Scrutiny process gives hope to Meadows campaigners

By BathNES Lib Dems 🔶, Nov 16, 2015 4:11

Lib Dem Councillors have said that a recent resolution by B&NES Council gives hope to campaigners in the fight to save Bathampton Meadows and solve Bath’s congestion and pollution problems.

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B&NES Council met on 12 November to consider the issue of the East of Bath Park and Ride proposals and consultation. After a long debate, the Conservative administration forced through their own resolution, calling for an internal review of only the existing options for an East of Bath Park and Ride.

However Liberal Democrat proposals, allowing for a parallel review of all options to be carried out by Scrutiny, were accepted as a last minute addition. Over 80 residents spoke at the Council meeting, which lasted for 6 ½ hours, and scores more protested outside.

Lib Dem Leader, Councillor Dine Romero (Southdown), commented:

"Earlier this week the Conservative Group Leader promised a review of the proposals around an East of Bath Park and Ride. We welcomed this partial climb down and hoped that this was a sign that the administration were willing to listen to the strength of local public opinion.”

“Unfortunately, the Conservatives’ suggestion at Council of a quick review, by an informal working group, made it clear that they were only paying lip service to the idea of an alternative and were still fixated on a Park and Ride on the Meadows as the only solution."

“After an emergency meeting of the Group Leaders, within the meeting itself, they accepted our additional wording. This will allow Councillor Butters and me to ask the Communities, Transport and Environment PDS Panel to carry out a parallel examination of all the sites and all possible integrated transport solutions, solutions that are not standalone Park and Rides.”

Bathavon North Councillor, Alison Millar [pictured], added:

"I was overwhelmed by the passion and knowledge of the local residents who came to speak at full Council last night and I am incredibly grateful that so many of them did. The Conservatives can be under no illusions as to the strength of local feeling."

"Whilst the Meadows are still not safe and the Conservatives refused to rule them out as a Park and Ride site, I am hopeful that the review processes will give us the chance to convince the Conservatives that the Meadows are the wrong site for a Park and Ride. There is still a chance of coming up with the right solution, as opposed to forcing a huge carpark onto the Meadows for very little benefit."

"However, they need to allow enough time for this review to take place properly and independently, if possible harnessing some of the many ideas put forward by the eighty-plus residents who spoke at the meeting last night and from the hundreds of people who took the time to write in."

UPDATE: the minutes of the Council meeting, including the results of the named votes, have been published online here: LINK


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