Below in alphabetical order are the manifestos of the main political parties taking part in the May 4th, 2023, elections in Bath and North East Somerset. A reminder that to vote in the next election you need photo ID.
WARNING: they vary in length – so do take your time reading them.
To see a list of candidates visit https://beta.bathnes.gov.uk/sites/default/files/jsna/NoticeOfPollAndPersonsNominated_2023-04-04%2019-55_FINAL%20%28002%29.pdf
Problems with our transport and connectivity have exploded in the last four years. The future of our buses in the Chew Valley remains completely up in the air and Low Traffic Neighbourhoods threaten to cut off communities. Moreover, Residents Parking Zones are crippling the local economy as cars are effectively shut out of our urban areas. Unfortunately, after years of so-called “consultation”, the Liberal Democrats continue to ignore public opposition to their ideologies. They’re also prepared to completely ignore the dangerous state of our roads. We’ll put a stop to this chaos.
We will work to subsidise buses to maintain the vital trade and transport links which keep our economy afloat. We will protect lifeline bus services for our rural communities and ensure they are not neglected. We will also work with major generators of traffic to reduce rush hour congestion and develop medium-term plans to remove through traffic from the centre of Bath and crowded roads across the district.
Moreover, we will remove the ‘Ring of Steel’ in Bath and other inappropriate and unnecessary barriers that have been introduced over the past four years. As many have pointed out to us, the ring of steel does not even effectively cover the areas it is supposed to protect. This and the fact that it only operates from 10am to 6pm renders its protective value almost useless, despite the high annual cost to maintain it. Rather than keeping out terrorists, the only people it does keep out are potential tourists.
We’re deeply concerned by the way which existing services are being funded. We, the Conservatives, will fund quality services by increasing the Council’s income, not your taxes. We will start by attracting more businesses to BANES. We will also increase income from the Council’s commercial property rentals, and from business rates to pay for improved services, avoiding the need for any unnecessary increases in Council tax. We also firmly believe that our city should value tourism, not hamper it.
That’s why we will welcome back visitors from home and abroad to our World Heritage city. We will reinstate a Bath tourism promotion team, based in the city, and re-open a tourist information centre. Given the wide-spread popularity of the recent Bridgerton Netflix series, which still films in Bath almost three years after its debut in 2020, we strongly believe that our city should have sufficient tourism infrastructure to be able to facilitate growth in this crucial sector of our local economy.
understand the importance of ALL businesses to Bath & Northeast Somerset and are aware that certain recent council decisions have not helped businesses to prosper. We therefore pledge to hold a business forum within 28 days of the formal Council AGM to address the issues facing local businesses and discuss what the council can do to help and support our businesses.
Like all residents of BANES we respect and value our natural environment, as shown when we held the administration in 2019 and declared the Climate Emergency. Unfortunately, we have been incredibly disappointed by the broken promises made by the current administration not to destroy our environment. In the case of the tufa field behind Englishcombe Lane, although Kevin Guy initially said, following residents’ anger, that there would be no development, he has of course reneged on this and now says there will be some development on the tufa Field. We the Conservatives completely oppose this. We also applaud residents and their efforts for shining a light on the issue of contamination in Entry Hill and for resisting a mountain bike path that nobody wanted.
We will work with the Bath Preservation Trust, the Universities and others to develop Bath as a leading centre for the research and delivery of best-in-class models for the active retrofitting of Georgian and other heritage homes for energy-efficiency. Two ideas we would like to explore are: creating a property which can act as an active laboratory for new ideas. And secondly, a data base of approved modifications to heritage buildings which residents can look at and learn from. We will protect our world heritage city by making it beautiful and vibrant once again, with more independent stores, more community-focused cultural activities, with clean and safe pavements, and a much more stylish approach to the public streetscape.
Everyone has the right to breathe clean air. We would use a range of measures such as Low Emission Zones near population centres and schools, to bring air pollution under control.
Everyone has a right to a fair wage. We believe the council should lead by example and ensure that all its employees and contractors are paid at least a Living Wage.
Everyone has the right to a world with a good future. Climate change is the greatest challenge of the modern age. We would take urgent and decisive action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (75% by 2030) in BaNES area to ensure a safer future for future generations.
Everyone has a right to move around safely, affordably, and comfortably. We would champion walking, wheeling, cycling, and public transport in all policy making and budgeting.
Everyone has a right to choose local businesses which create jobs and prosperity, keeping money in the community. We would use the council’s property portfolio to prioritise small independent businesses and support our thriving local economy.
Everyone has the right to affordable energy and a warm home. We would promote and support energy conservation schemes and renewable energy production. We will continue to resist any fracking, and price gouging by the energy industry.
Everyone has a right to have a say in decisions that affect them. We would devolve council powers to neighbourhood councils and community level (parish) wherever possible.
Everyone has the right to local parks and green spaces. We will protect and expand these treasured community assets and oppose any attempts to build on the green belt.
Green Party policies are all decided by members, so they’re always based on the needs and desires of local people.
In Bath there are two independents standing in the Westmoreland Ward: Colin Blackburn and June Player. Their manifesto:
First and foremost, as Independent Councillors, we work to represent and give a voice to our residents.
Being Independent enables us to do this without being restricted by having to follow a political party line.
We are here solely to speak up on behalf of our residents and for our area and to create a strong united voice on our local community issues.
Between us we have represented Westmoreland Ward actively for the past 12 years.
If re-elected, our priorities for the next four years will include:
Encouraging pride in our community with extra focus on dealing with street cleaning and dog fouling. We will continue with our regular litter picks in the Ward.
Improving pavements and roads, including potholes and lighting. We have already had extra lighting installed along Highland Terrace, making this a much safer public right of way.
Work to continue to improve standards in rented accommodation.
Installing additional trees and more community street planters to enhance their locations and contribute to the climate and ecological emergencies. The trees we have already had planted along Moorland Road are now blossoming beautifully and the additional four at Dorset Close Open Space are thriving well. The new planters we have had installed in Brook Road have also made a huge improvement there.
Continuing to closely monitor new building developments and to press for: a) appropriate gull control measures, including designing-out flat roofs and installing deterrent measures at the building stage; b) provision of appropriate numbers of social housing units; and c) inclusion of accompanying open spaces and allotments within the Ward (which is often not currently happening).
Local Amenities and safety
Continuing to support our local community library in Moorland Road.
Continuing to hold the Council to account regarding our public financial and building assets.
Riverside – We will continue to work with the residents , Crest, Pinnacle and the Council regarding the Bus Gate and Parking issues. By working with Pinnacle we have brought about measures for making Riverside more safe especially for pedestrians during icy conditions.
We will also continue with the Councillor and Police Surgeries as well as working with Moorland Road traders to push to have CCTV cameras installed along Moorland Road and,
We will also reinstate Residents’ Meetings to which guest speakers will be invited to present and discuss various topics of interest to the community and raise with us any other issues.
Parking and Residents’ Parking Zones
Regarding parking issues and the current Residents’ Parking Zone, we will continue to work with the Council and all the community to achieve an outcome that will result in the best for our community including traders, schools, churches, dental and doctors’ surgeries, policeand Volunteer-run organisations as well as residents. We realise that a ‘ONE SIZE FITS ALL’ approach is not the way to go and have asked for the current Scheme to be reviewed.
We will of course continue to follow up any issues that residents bring to our attention and to live by our motto: Keeping it Clean, Green & Friendly – Promoting Pride in our Community.
Another Independent BRANSTON, John Philip is standing in Oldfield Park but so far we don’t have his manifesto.
New-build homes must be energy efficient and built to last, comfortable to live in and affordable to run. So we’ll scrutinise planning applications to make sure houses are designed to high, modern standards.
House-building must be responsible and new developments must come with infrastructure like public services, shops, and transport. So we won’t support new estates being bolted onto towns and villages unless they have schools, shops, and transport links.
Buying and renting are too expensive. So we’ll make sure all new developments include large amounts of both social and affordable housing. Our councillors will scrutinise developments’ financial viability, to check they’ll really deliver their planning permission promises of building affordable homes.
Wherever possible it will be brownfield land that we develop.
Labour will make sure the council claims all the money developers promise when they apply for planning permission (S106 and Community Infrastructure Levy). We’ll get it spent properly, on infrastructure and support for local people.
We’ll give the B&NES planning enforcement team the right resources to make sure developers follow the rules: for planning conditions and building standards.
And our councillors will work with West of England Metro Mayor, Labour’s Dan Norris, to get our homes quickly “retrofitted” to be energy efficient.
Local Labour councillors successfully campaigned for social services to come out of the private sector and be returned to council control. Next, we will press for local community health services to be NHS-run, or by not-for-profit organisations.
We want local communities involved in health and care planning and decisions. To improve services for everyone, and make money go further, we’ll improve the links between health and social care, the council and the public.
An official report on a care home run by B&NES, Charlton House, found shocking neglect. We will work to get an Excellent rating for all our council-run care homes. We’ll get them the funding and support they need to recruit and keep great staff, so residents get the best quality care they deserve.
So that care home staff and the public can hold us to account, we will sign the UNISON Ethical Care Charter. It sets out sustainable pay, conditions, and training standards, and drives standards for safety, quality, and dignity of care.
We’ll make it our mission that every organisation providing commissioned health or care pays and trains all their staff properly. We’ll support the development of co-operative models and not-for-profit organisations.
One child in every five lives in poverty right here in B&NES. Hunger, cold, food, clothes, safety and shelter: every part of a life lived in poverty falls far below acceptable levels. Families in poverty live under the extreme pressures of stress, fear and an unpredictable daily existence. So tackling child poverty will be a top priority. We will work across our community and council and with other parts of government to give children the best start in life.
Where we’ve lost children’s centres like Sure Start, we’ll work with community health services to fill in the gaps, and support parents and young children.
We’ll link up with other councils to improve local and affordable placements for the children in our care.
To address the crisis in resources for children’s mental health, we’ll support a joined-up approach to put mental health support in local schools.
Helping people stay well is at the heart of the NHS’s founding mission. It’s as important today as it was in 1948. Labour councillors will work with care providers to roll out what’s called “social prescribing” of healthy activity, and recreation.
Through planning procedures, we’ll insist that all new housing developments include more “Homes for Life” – properties that are easily adapted to extend people’s independent living, as their health and other needs change.
Aging in the community shouldn’t mean families have to take on a challenging care-burden. To address this, the NHS is developing initiatives like “virtual hospitals”. We will work with carer’s organisations to ensure that this does not put additional burdens on family carers.
The fact people go hungry in Britain in 2023 is a shame on the Conservative government. Our Councillors will continue to work with local food producers, foodbanks, and businesses with the objective of eliminating food poverty and reducing food waste across B&NES.
Law and Order
We will protect council tax rebates for our community’s most vulnerable.
We’ll run a “public loo review” and investigate how we can add public loos to council-owned spaces and throughout B&NES. We know people will go out and about more, if they know they can access clean, safe public toilets.
We want to rid B&NES of criminal and anti-social behaviour. So we’ll work with the police, schools, community groups, youth and social workers to address the causes at the source. We will work creatively to find and implement solutions that make the difference.
The Community Infrastructure Levy has a budget of £1.5 million for environment and public realm improvements. Labour councillors will involve local people more in deciding how and where this should be spent.
New housing developments need bus routes. There are good examples of this like the 349 in Keynsham changing its route to go via the Bilbie Green estate.
Buses must cover the whole region; in rural areas, they’re a lifeline. Labour’s Metro Mayor Dan Norris’ new WESTlink service takes people from small local bus stops to main route bus stops. He’s also invested so that people in Midsomer Norton will have a bus to Bath every 15 minutes. Unlike this Liberal Democrat council, a Labour B&NES council would increase the transport levy to fund more council-supported lifeline buses.
As more people use electric or hybrid vehicles, we need a proper charging network — not everyone has a private driveway where they can charge their car — especially in Bath. We’ll push for new charging points, in lampposts on residential streets and ‘Park & Plug’ spaces in car parks. A Labour council will work with the Metro Mayor and use his EV charging point funding to get these street-level changes happening now.
Cycling & Walking
Where it is practical and safe, we will encourage walking and cycling by making it easier, safer and more appealing through infrastructure improvements in consultation with local people.
Wet or frozen leaves are a real danger for walkers and cyclists. We will make sure they are cleared from pavements and paths all year round.
Fears for your safety — from rogue speeders, anti-social behaviour, or criminals — are big reasons for not walking or cycling. We’ll work with residents to address these fears and improve safety and Thriving Businesses in a Vibrant Local Economy
We will work with town and parish councils to support thriving centres in our small towns and villages, with shops, cafes, green spaces, and employment.
Wherever possible we will prioritise local procurement for all council contracts.
We want to support independent, small and medium-sized businesses, local start-ups and co-operatives, shops and creators. Nationally, Labour will reduce business rates which will make running a business far more viable. Locally we will promote Dan Norris’s West of England Growth Hub, which supports and guides small and medium businesses.
Tourism is a vital part of the local economy. We need to enhance the visitor experience across the area. We will work with local businesses to promote longer stays and year-round visits as well as encouraging local people to get the most from the attractions on our doorstep.
Training, Skills & Quality Jobs
We will end all council zero-hour contracts, and go further, to make B&NES a living wage employer.
We will work closely with the Metro Mayor on skills and training. Dan Norris has recently secured £3million to boost skills training. He has already funded many hands-on skills training courses, including on welding at Bath College, Somer Valley Campus, Radstock, and for electricians in Midsomer Norton
Supporting Our Young People
The Labour Party is committed to significantly expanding childcare. We will do all we can locally to support local providers, parents and children.
We will encourage schools to coordinate their admissions policies for the benefit of local children.
Society & Recreation
We will help people who are disadvantaged to access sports and recreational facilities.
We will protect and promote libraries and ensure they are always free. They’re a vital public space. There’s also wonderful community libraries supported by parish councils, such as in Bishop Sutton – we will give them the support they need.
We would explore installing more contactless donation points across B&NES, to benefit local charities.en Spaces
Ambitious for B&NES: A positive vision with the Liberal Democrats
We are proud of our track record running B&NES Council for the last four years. Hard-working Liberal Democrats have been listening, staying in touch and getting things done for their communities.
We are a Council that listens to residents and takes action.
We stand up for all of B&NES: our towns, villages and all areas of Bath.
We are leading the UK in Climate Action, and delivering safer and cleaner streets, with more travel choices.
We have started to deliver on our ambitious vision for B&NES and will deliver even more over the next four years. With the Lib Dems in charge B&NES council has balanced the books every year and, through prudent financial management, we have reversed years of cuts to front line services while investing in what you’ve told us matters to you.
Whether that’s creating the first Council Houses in a generation, planting 100,000 trees, investing in fixing and cleaning our streets or doubling renewable energy in the district, we have delivered and are ambitious to go further.
Standing up for all of B&NES: our towns, villages and all areas of Bath
We recognise the distinct needs of the different parts of B&NES and will ensure each area has its own plan, responsive to local needs.
Bath city centre is thriving and has bounced back after Covid with new shops and restaurants opening all the time and footfall that’s beating the regional average. We will continue to invest in regenerating Bath and improving the look of the city centre.
We stand up for all communities in Bath and have made sure all parts of the city have benefitted from money to improve local high streets, investments in play parks, street cleaning and road repairs.
We are investing heavily in our towns. We brought £49m investment to Keynsham, including a new recycling centre, and have made it our main base of Council operations.
We are investing in the regeneration of Radstock and Midsomer Norton including high street investment.
We are making sure the Somer Valley Enterprise Zone works for local communities.
Leading the UK in Climate Action
We are the first Council in England to require all future housing developments to be net zero and generate their own energy
We’ve doubled renewable energy in the district and by 2025 we will install enough renewable capacity to power 48,000 homes
We’ve hit our best ever recycling rate of 60% and will go further, building new recycling centres and recycling more materials
We’re reaching our stretching 100,000 target for tree planting and will double woodland cover by 2050
Safer and cleaner streets, with more travel choices
We will continue to fight for our bus services and make it easier and safer to walk and cycle around. We will further invest in fixing pavements and in road safety to encourage walking, including requesting powers from government so the Council can support the Police in enforcing speed limits.
We will cut congestion in Bath and resist plans to increase HGVs and cars cutting through North East Somerset.
We’ve reversed years of cuts to frontline services and will continue to do so, investing an extra £2m a year in fixing our roads and an extra £1m a year in cleaner streets.
We will continue to work with residents on designing and delivering meaningful improvements, such as reduced rat-running and speeding, through our Liveable Neighbourhoods programme.
Affordable houses in the right places
We have a crisis in housing with local people unable to afford to rent or buy. We will stop developers dodging their affordable housing obligations and building only expensive houses which will not solve that crisis.
We will accelerate our programme of general-needs council house building.
In Bath we will build on brownfield sites to protect our greenbelt, making sure blocks of student flats are built on campus, so those brownfield sites can provide more affordable homes for local people. We will reduce the number of family homes being turned into HMOs and convert upper floors of city centre buildings to flats.
In North East Somerset we will not force housing allocations on unwilling villages, our presumption will be that houses should be built close to jobs to reduce the length of journeys.
More things for people to do
We will build on our investments in parks and open spaces across B&NES, including reopening the Approach golf course and creating the Chew Valley Recreation Trail, to provide more for local people and visitors to do.
We are helping Cleveland Pools to reopen.
We will invest in youth facilities in rural areas and continue to invest in our parks.
Supporting vulnerable children and adults
We are bringing social care back into direct Council control, reversing Conservative privatisation.
We have developed houses for homeless people and made sure no-one has to sleep rough in B&NES.
We will improve access to mental health services, extend community services and develop local accommodation for people with complex needs so they do not need to be placed out of our area.
Balancing the books to invest in your priorities
Through careful financial control we have balanced the books every year, something the Conservatives did not manage, in spite of challenges including lost income from Covid and increasing inflation.
We will continue this prudent management enabling investment in frontline services and your priorities.