Liveable Neighbourhoods – Consultation closes 19th December 2021
I don’t have a lot of faith in these very quick consultation exercises but this may be one we should consider.
Back in June, Camden was eliminated from the first wave of Liveable Neighbourhood work for the following reasons, I quote:
Two areas that scored relatively well in the prioritisation process (Walcot/Lambridge/Charlcombe Lane and Westmoreland/Oldfield Park) were considered to be too complex and pose too many challenges to be included in the phase 1 programme…E3285 Liveable Neighbourhoods Cabinet Paper, 23rd June, 2021.
We covered this at the time with an article here, which was fairly critical of the decision. It remains hard to agree with this approach, as delivering easy, relatively low impact improvements doesn’t provide much benefit, by definition. In November the Council claimed at our AGM that it was important to learn how to make these sort of changes in less challenging situations first. Our view is that there is tons of experience around England of doing these things both well and badly so why don’t you ask them how they did it? B&NES is now using consultants to help them who will also have expertise and past experience, so use them. Finally, something that has got forgotten is that ‘Experimental Traffic Orders’, which the council were intending to use, have consultation within them plus the ultimate safeguard of a full consultation before any experimental change can be made permanent.
Why we should be interested
Back to the pressing need. Lower Walcot did get selected. It is area 6 on the Council’s map below. Ironically it includes Camden – maybe that’s a drafting error, or is it?
Being numbered ‘6’ means that out of 15, it is the sixth highest priority area so should stand a fighting chance of getting something. What that might be, is less clear. In the overall Walcot bid, of which Camden was part there were two main issues:
- provision to extend residents’ parking zones to the streets of Lower Walcot as there is claimed to be a a lot of ‘park and walk’ going on in the mornings there
- some solution to the very awkward route along Snow Hill and Tyning Lane which is used by a lot of pedestrians as well as car drivers.
… and Lower Walcot is a very near neighbour of Camden. I have made a point to the council that we are stakeholders in anything that happens close to us. At best Camden may get something beneficial out of this or at worst be disadvantaged in some way.
What we could do…
Either way it is worth us all registering our views in the consultation which has recently opened and will be closed very soon, on Sunday, 19th December.
We are being strongly encouraged to submit our comments via the consultation pages, using the interactive map (see top iliustration) accessible through the consultation pages. If you are used to working digitally, the map is relatively simple to use. You can drop a pin into any location where you wish to comment, select from a menu of choices to answer five simple questions about any issue you highlight and what you think could improve it, and optionally add some comments in a free text box.
You can also read others’ comments and register your agreement, or not, with them. You’ll find my ones next to ‘Prospect Place, for example.
There is an option to contact Council Connect on 01225 394041 to receive maps on paper, for return to Guildhall by post by the same deadline but you’ll need to act quickly.
There are also some public consultation sessions on line and in person. The most relevant in-person opportunity is on Mon 13 Dec 3pm to 8pm, Morrisons car park, London Road, Bath BA1 6AN.