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Conservatives accused of ‘smoke and mirrors’ over garden waste collections

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The Conservatives are trying to hoodwink local residents over charges for garden waste collections say Lib Dem Councillors in B&NES.

Residents are receiving their annual bill for the garden waste service this month. The letter includes a claim that the price has been frozen at £44 alongside an announcement that the service will no longer be provided for three winter months. This means the price per collection is actually going up by 30%.


Conservatives refuse to be transparent about affordable housing

Lib Dem development spokesperson, Councillor Will Sandry, has pressed the Conservative Cabinet to improve transparency around the affordable housing element of new housing developments.


More children should get free school meals say Lib Dems

Changes to eligibility criteria, which come into force next month, will mean some local children will miss out on free school meals say Lib Dem Councillors in B&NES. They have called for the current rules to be maintained so that more children from poorer families can benefit.

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Councillor slams Conservative Cabinet for refusal to publish air quality report

Crucial proposals for improving air quality in Bath will not be made public before they are signed off by the Cabinet members and submitted to government later this month, it has emerged.

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Curo decision ‘tough but right’

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Lib Dem Councillor for Combe Down, Cherry Beath, responds to Curo’s announcement that the planned regeneration of Foxhill has been abandoned in favour of managed refurbishment.


Shortsighted cuts risk lost generation

On Wednesday night I watched with increasing despair as the Conservative Cabinet voted through the budget they’ll put to B&NES Council next week.

They tried to trumpet their fiscal austerity and the balanced budget, but that budget was built on the backs of massive cuts to services that residents rely on in a slash and burn approach that will hurt Bath and North East Somerset for generations.

I was especially angry to see them cut children’s and youth services and I’m proud that the Lib Dems are taking a stand on that particular issue. You can sign the petition against those cuts here.

Last month I attended Paulton Parish Council and at that meeting we were told about the Youth Connect service and what impact it has in our village. The Youth Connect service is one of the youth services that the Cabinet are dispensing with.

Youth Connect helps young people mainly 14-19 years old from the 4 youth hubs (Southside in Twerton, Riverside on London Road, Peasedown St John and Radstock) as well as operating a mobile hub bus. This bus visits Paulton on a regular basis, working with young people in the village.

The Youth Connect website on the B&NES website has more detail on what they offer from “positive activities and advice through to individual support for those who need it the most for moving on into adulthood and work or training”. It also has examples of where they have helped people with complex issues get back into work or onto college courses.

The staff have got to know the young people in Paulton, working alongside them to educate about drugs and alcohol and reduce vandalism. It’s a personal touch that works, keeping minor problems from becoming serious by using relationships built up over time.

Youth Connect have been told their Council funding expires on 30th August and they should be prepared to close. From that day, the experience and relationships the staff have built up will be lost, and, if we are not careful, the young people they help could be lost too.

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Challenge to Tory Library Plans Update

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Bath’s Conservative-led Council is bringing in sweeping changes to the way Library services will be run in the future. Community groups and volunteers will be asked to step in and run branch libraries, whilst Bath Central Library is set to be merged with the One Stop Shop customer services centre.

Lib Dem Councillors are opposing these plans and used the Council's 'Scrutiny' process this week to mount a formal challenge against the Cabinet's decisions.


Lib Dems call for action on single-use rubbish

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Urgent action is needed to tackle the enormous quantities of single-use packaging waste, such as plastic bottles and coffee cups, which are thrown away every day, say local Lib Dem Councillors.


Lib Dems issue official challenges on library cuts

Lib Dem Councillors have today tabled formal challenges to two decisions taken by the Conservative Cabinet last week to downgrade library services across Bath and North East Somerset.

The Conservative plans would see the Bath One Stop Shop merged into Bath Central Library at the Podium, whilst Parish Councils, Town Councils and community groups would be expected to take charge of library provision in rural and suburban areas (e.g. Moorland Road, Weston, Paulton, Radstock, Saltford and areas currently served by the mobile library).

 


One Man 'Board of Trade'

Liam Fox, International Trade Secretary, has created a new Board of Trade, and made himself its only member. 

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