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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.
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.
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.
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 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).
The Care Quality Commission’s (CQC) annual State of Care report has warned the NHS and care system is ‘straining at the seams.’ The crisis in funding is reducing the quality of care, and the Lib Dems have called on the Government to drive a cross party solution which will deliver long term results.
Thousands of pubs hit with crippling hikes to their business rates still haven’t received any funding from the government’s flagship relief scheme, research by the Liberal Democrats has revealed.
Commenting on news that new car sales have fallen for a sixth month in September, with the industry on course for their first annual decline since 2011, Liberal Democrat Leader Vince Cable said:
“This is a worrying indicator from the car industry. Uncertainty over the Brexit process and outcome is leading to a deepening erosion of confidence, which is harming our economic prospects.
“The Government must give some much needed certainty to business and industry, most crucially by committing to continuing our membership of the single market and customs union beyond any transition period.”
The Liberal Democrats have welcomed signs from Labour that they want to join in demanding a referendum on the facts at the end of the negotiations.
The Liberal Democrats have criticised the watering down of fire safety regulations under privatised control, and are fighting for the enforcement of better, more strict standards. MP Wera Hobhouse has called out the "systematic failures" which resulted in the tragedy, and she has been echoed across the party.