Security Zone Update

While it is clear that hardly anybody buys the justification for the security scheme proposed by the police which manages to be both objectively oppressive and inadequate when judged against recent attacks. It is also clear that the Council lack both the authority and political will to oppose it. So it is now time to focus on the issues of implementation.

Bath is very fortunate in having a wide variety of people that have chosen to live in the historic city centre. This is something that many cities have spent large sums of money trying to achieve and there are too many example of historic cities and tourist destinations that have lost their inner city residents and paid a heavy price.

Too often in Bath people who actually chose to live in the City come bottom of the list of stakeholders to be taken into consideration in creating and implementing policy. The city centre security proposals are yet another example of this. The original proposals were developed with minimal consultation with residents and the publicity sought to downplay negative impacts. As a consequence they largely failed to acknowledge issues for those with limited mobility and dumped almost all the responsibility for coping with the negative impact on residents. This dereliction of responsibility by BANES was most clearly manifest in the ludicrous proposed arrangement for deliveries and property maintenance.

While the access consultants did a good job of starting to identify problems their terms of reference constrained their conclusions to a focus on the most disadvantaged and then only a subset.

What is needed now is a proper consultation with all affected residents proactively working to identify problems that will be created and identifying ways in which the local authorities will seek to take responsibility for implement schemes to minimise those impacts and associated costs.