Chairman’s Report 2023/24

The following is a transcript of the report presented verbally at the Association’s Annual General Meeting on April 11th 2024 at the Chapel of St Michael’s Within,

During the last year we’ve made efforts to revive the social/community actives of the Association after a couple of “dormant years”, principally by organising a series of complimentary events for TARA members. These have been held at a variety of historic city centre venues, and the fourth event in this series takes place this evening immediately after this AGM. 

The previous three events, dubbed “TARA Talks”, were well attended and received – they were:

  • September 15th at the Clore Learning Centre with a presentation given by Robert Campbell, Head of Heritage Services for BANES Council, in which we heard about their plans for the new Fashion Museum, the Roman Baths and other heritage assets owned and managed for us by the council.  
  • October 16th at St Michale’s Without, where we heard presentations from Wendy Maden and Georgi Tyler of the council’s Regeneration Team, outlining plans for the city centre, including the Milsom Quarter and the city centre riverside.  
  • January 22nd at the Bath Abbey Discovery Centre, where Frank Mowat and Nathan Ward provided us with an update on the Abbey’s successful “Footprint Project” and their future plans for restoration works at the Abbey.  

I’d like to thank again the speakers at these events for freely providing us with their time and for presenting such interesting talks. I’d also like to thank in advance this evening’s speakers, as I’ve no doubt that what we’re about to hear about St John’s Foundation will be equally fascinating and informative. 

Other than organising these enjoyable social events, many of our endeavours in the past year involved raising various planning/licensing concerns with the council on behalf of members and responding, where appropriate, to some of the many public “consultations” launched on us by the council. In these respects, I’ve simply attempted to follow, as far as possible, the lead provided by my predecessors as Chair of TARA, namely Ian Perkins and Michael Brett, who continue to provide valuable advice and assistance to the current committee (as observers) and I’d like to thank them for this. 

You may recall that local council elections were held last May, at which the same political party was re-elected with an increased majority. TARA is a non-political association and maintains a cordial and “constructively critical” relationship with our elected ward councillors for the city centre and with other Cabinet members and council officers. 

A number of city centre councillors stepped down last May and so we’ve made efforts to build a rapport with their replacements on the council over the past year. I now hold monthly meetings with the new Kingsmead ward councillors (George Tomlin and Paul Roper) and so if any our members have particular concerns that you’d like TARA to raise with the councillors on your behalf, please contact me (or any other TARA committee member) either in person or by email to 

Councillor Roper is also a member of the council’s Cabinet and, as such, attends quarterly meetings of the City Centre Action Group (CCAG), set up by my predecessor to address issues of common concern to TARA and two of our neighbouring city-centre residents associations. I’ve found these revamped meetings to be useful and constructive to date and, as a result, hope to be able to report some progress at next year’s AGM on several recurring (perennial?) themes that concern us, including:

  • Major building developments in the city centre – in progress or planned;
  • Public realm improvements and council services; 
  • Tourism, the city economy and street safety/crime;
  • City centre housing.

For further information, I’ve appended a note to this report that lists several of the recurring topics that the CCAG has grouped under the above broad themes – again, please feel free to contact me about any of these in person or via [Note added to transcript – a link will be provided separately on the website]

In the past year, TARA also re-joined the broader group of Bath-based residents’ associations, known as FoBRA (the Federation of Bath Residents Associations). We can utilise this channel to express our views on some of the major issues that affect both our own central area and the city more generally, such as transport policy and the council’s current development of a new Local Plan, which will establish the planning framework for BANES up to 2042.

I also attend meetings of the Bath BID (Business Improvement District) which is an organisation funded by the city’s business community, whose purpose is to “create the environment for business in Bath to succeed”.

The BID have been particularly active in the past year in working with the police and other organisations on a scheme dubbed “Safe and Secure Bath” and I’d be happy to discuss this further with TARA members that are interested in hearing more about it – it’s also a potential topic for a future “TARA Talks” event. 

 Finally, some members may have noted that, in the last year, we launched a new website for TARA, which can be found at I’d encourage you all to visit the website where you can sign up to receive a new TARA Newsletter by email – as soon as we have at least a half dozen members opting in to receive a Newsletter – this service will begin! I anticipate that we’ll provide this Newsletter on a quarterly basis, with just occasional notices in-between (about events such as this evening’s) so you won’t be deluged by emails once you sign up. 

Thank you all once more for attending this evening’s AGM and TARA Talks event.

Ian Tarr.