News in January 2009

Twerton PACT, 29th January

 
This is a summary of the lastest PACT meeting for Twerton which was held in St Michael’s Junior School. The meetings are held several times a year and can be attended by any resident wanting to influence change in the area.
 

Previous priorities

 
A need for more youth provisions in Twerton had been identified at the previous meeting in September. Councillor Gerry Curran said that he and Councillor Tim Ball, will try to get funding for more youth workers as the Council comes together to plan the new budget.
 
Some facilities such as BMX bike tracks are being added to Pennyquick Park and the Brickfields playing areas, as part of the Play Out, Hang Out scheme. For younger children, Councillor Curran and Kilda from the Community Play Rangers will attempt to set up a Saturday Club at Bath City Farm, starting on 7th February from 10am to 12 noon.
 
Another priority had been the need for a bus shelter at Twerton High Street, with particular concern for elderly people. Unfortunately highway restrictions prevent this from being possible.
 
At the last meeting, people had expressed strong feelings over a bail hostel located in Redland Park. This issue arose again last night, with one resident stating that he had been through “months of hell” and had only recently received a response from the police.
 

New issues

 
It was suggested that the authorities supply more information on issues such as the empty properties at Pennyquick View. Somer Housing has applied to demolish the buildings but the process is delayed by bats hibernating in the empty rooms. The work can begin after April when the bats reawaken.
 
Concerns were raised about the local environment – namely, litter in Carrs Woodland and around the stile leading into fields near Shaws Way, as well as fly tipping at Redland Park. Litter bins, dog fouling signs and a public skip at Redland Park were recommended.
 

Left: part of Carrs Woodland; right: the top end of Redland Park

 
Bruce Bennett who manages community clean-up schemes, said that he would like to do more to improve untidy areas but he needs volunteers. To get in touch with him phone 01225 394041.
 

The Hut Creche

 
A campaign is in motion to save The Hut Creche, as the Council has stopped funding this resource while allocating additional funding to the First Steps and Twerton Infant School nurseries.
 
Creche Manager Val Rowlands said that a Sure Start official will be visiting on 9th February between 9.30am and 10am. There was agreement at the PACT that the nurseries provide a good service but the Hut Creche is still too valuable to lose.
 

New priorities

 
Then it was time for people to vote on which three issues should be tackled. These turned out to be: 1) Bail hostel at Redland Park; 2) Ways to reduce litter and fly tipping; 3) Support the Save The Hut Creche campaign.
 

Joe, 30/01/09

Concern over creche decision

 
A campaign has been underway to persuade the Council to reverse its decision to stop funding The Hut Creche in Twerton. The creche is one of many children’s services provided by Bath Area Play Project, but staff have had to be laid off as the creche tries to continue for as long as possible without funding.
 
Parents who will be affected by the closure, have organised a petition and found people glad to demonstrate strength of feeling in the community by signing it. Many people have taken the time to add a comment alongside their name, explaining why they think the Council’s decision is a mistake. One individual wrote:
 

“I find it utterly incomprehensible how such an asset to the local community has to close due to lack of funding, at a time when single parent families and families on low incomes are being told they have to return to work. The Hut Creche provides much needed support and vital early learning to both adults and children.”

 

Some of the petition to save the creche

 
The campaigners have also received support from professionals who work with parents and children in the area. Local teachers have made the petition available for parents to sign at Twerton Infant School and St Michael’s Junior School. Headteacher of Twerton Infant School, Mr Mattausch-Burrows, has said:
 

“Funding is always difficult but the Creche does provide something for local people which is not provided by anything else. Not every service which is vital for people can be self-supporting, no matter how much people need it.” (Bath Chronicle, 15th January 2009)

 
Two health visitors based at St Michael’s Surgery and the Beehive Surgery, run Baby Clinics at Twerton and Southdown. They are on the side of the Creche and have added their names to the list of protestors. Meanwhile, council-paid children’s workers have agreed that the cutback is wrong but declined to sign the petition in case of repercussions.
 

Joe, 26/01

Full Moon Sports takes on Bath Spa

 
The football team of the Full Moon Pub at Twerton High Street, has been playing for around 17 years and is called Full Moon Sports.
 
On Sunday the team played Bath Spa University at Newton Park, in the Bath and District Football League.
 
Full Moon Sports scored in the early minutes of the game but then a sending off meant that they were down to 10 men for the rest of the match. The team felt that the referee’s judgement had been wrong and when Bath Spa were awarded a penalty – from which they scored – the players were left feeling a bit demoralised.
 
In the second half, The Full Moon had the better end of the sloping pitch but it was Bath Spa that scored again.
 
The Full Moon side created a number of opportunities including a superb free kick by striker Dan Scott. But the Bath Spa keeper produced some great saves to prevent the pub team from levelling.
 
When the two sides clashed last November, Full Moon Sports beat Bath Spa 2-0. Currently the pub is third place in the Second Division.
 

I made a video clip of some of the team’s attacking chances on Sunday which you can see here.

 

Joe, 19/01/12

Southdown PACT, 14th January

 
Here is a write up on the lastest PACT meeting for the Southdown Ward which was held at Southdown Methodist Centre. The meeting was well attended and fast moving, with a lot of topics discussed.
 

Last meeting’s priorities

 
Concerns about the Whiteway Road and lorries had been raised at the previous meeting in October. Councillor Paul Crossley reported that the Road Safety Engineer is looking at Whiteway Road from Pennyquick to Odd Down, with the aim of slowing traffic so as to make it a less attractive route for lorries and safer for pedestrians.
 
Two possibilities are a lower speed limit at Pennyquick and ensuring that the local speed camera is equipped to record speeding motorists.
 
Councillors want a signalised pedestrian crossing outside Haycombe Cemetery, and a road sign at Pennyquick to warn motorists of the turning into Newton Road. During the talk, it emerged that the Jubilee Pub on the Whiteway Road is up for sale and may not return to being a pub, as the firm Greene King has been unable to find a landlord for it.
 

Left: The Jubilee Pub; right: Pennyquick Bottom January 2008

 
Another concern had been a dark alley at Wedmore Park. Councillor Dine Romero reported that a light will now be installed.
 
People had also mentioned a bench at Blagdon Park that attracted youths to congregate, leading to antisocial behaviour. PC Mark Brain said that police had patrolled the area and sometimes found young people ‘chilling out’ there, but never causing a problem. Somer Housing has decided to remove the bench.
 
Somer Housing held a recent consultation with residents of Roundhill Park, over the play area that is to be built where the old one has been removed. A further talk is scheduled for 4th February, late afternoon, at Southdown Methodist Centre.
 

Current issues

 
Claire James representing the Children’s Society, spoke on how the organisation has reduced fear in a part of Southdown by breaking down barriers between young people and old. The Children’s Society is now working at the Southside Youth Centre, teaching young people how to form constructive relationships with others.
 
PC Mark Brain said that the police would be starting a series of high visibility patrols in Whiteway and Twerton, in order to deter criminals. This “Week of Action” would hopefully be repeated from time to time.
 
Head Teachers of Southdown Infant and Junior Schools, Sue Adams and Teresa Austin, talked about how the schools are required to produce a “Travel Plan” to cut the amount of traffic transporting children to school. They will put together an initiative to encourage parents to walk their children to school.
 
However, they appreciated parents’ safety concerns about being expected to do this. For example, the schools need slow down signs out by the road to reduce the risk of an accident.
 

New priorities

 
Then it was time for people to raise new issues of concern. It was recommended that a Post Office counter be set up in the Co-op or Tesco at Southdown.
 
A footpath across Hillcrest Field was suggested, as well as more litter bins.
 
There was also an idea to install a security gate across an alley leading into Blagdon Park, but this proposal seemed problematic because the alley is a public right of way.
 
The new priorities which people voted to be actioned were: 1) Post Office counter; 2) More litter bins; 3) “Friends of Roundhill” group; 4) Footpath across Hillcrest Field.
 

Joe, 15/01/09

New Year resolutions!

 
Here are some New Year resolutions that I collected from local people today.
 

At The Golden Fleece

 

 
“I gave up smoking 7 months ago and I’m not gonna start again.” – Malcolm
 
“Instead of us all giving up things, we should try to be better citizens and help each other. We could all improve our relations with others.” – Dave
 
“To stop beating up my brother.” – Ashley (teenager)
 
“To try harder at school.” – Jack (Ashley’s brother)
 
“To put more of a drive into our fundraising for local charities.” – Maureen (landlady)
 

At The Full Moon

 

 
“Not to drink so much.” – Ashley
 
“To sort my money out a bit better.” – Scottie
 
“To cut down, then stop smoking.” – Glen (barman)
 

By the Co-op, Mount Road

 

 
“I will definitely stop drinking.” – Maxine
 
“I just stopped drinking and I’m going to pack in smoking.” – Margaret
 
“My missus wants me to stop smoking, but no.” – Craig
 
“Not to waste money on shoes and things.” – Nicola
 
“To stop biting my nails and my friend’s is to stop smoking.” – Hayley (teenager)
 
I didn’t realise that so many people would be thinking of giving up smoking. You can get support to do this from the Health Trainer who is available at The Spot health advice centre by Twerton Infant School, on Tuesdays from 8.30am to 10am in term time. Telephone 01225 831847.
 

Joe, 01/01/09

 

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