Roman treasures roadshow

Roman treasures roadshow

Bath & North East Somerset Council’s Beau Street Hoard Roadshow team is showing off its Roman treasures in Midsomer Norton as the roadshow continues its travels around the region.

Some of the cleaned coins.

Some of the cleaned coins.

On Saturday 7th March, from 11am to 3pm, visitors can discover the mysteries and majesties behind the Beau Street Hoard at the Midsomer Norton Town Hall. Illustrated talks will take place at 11.30am and 2pm. Entry is free.

Visitors will be able to see some of the fabulous Roman coins found during an archaeological excavation in 2007, strike their own Roman coin to take home, learn all about the find and the mystery that shrouds it, take part in all- ages activities, and watch illustrated talks.

The Roadshow project, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, is one way the Council-run Roman Baths is working to bring these marvellous coins out to communities in Bath, North East Somerset and beyond.

The hoard lifted by crane ©Cotswold Archaeology

The hoard lifted by crane ©Cotswold Archaeology

Councillor Ben Stevens (Lib-Dem, Widcombe), the Council’s Cabinet Member for Sustainable Development, said: “With some coins still in amazing condition, the hoard has given us a better understanding of the lives and politics of Britain 2,000 years ago. The images on the coins are fascinating; they were the easiest way the Roman Emperor had of communicating with his citizens, and therefore represent thousands of mini state broadcasts.”

The Beau Street Hoard was excavated by archaeologists on the site of the Gainsborough Hotel development in Beau Street, Bath, in 2007. The 17,577 Roman coins span the period from 32BC – 275AD and were found in eight separate money bags, which were fused together. No one knows how they got there, why they were put there, or why no-one ever returned for them; the mystery behind them has led to many interesting theories, but no actual fact.

In March 2014, Bath & North East Somerset Council was awarded a grant of £372,500 from the Heritage Lottery Fund to purchase the hoard, and, from February 2015, it will be on permanent public display in a new interactive exhibit within the Aquae Sulis Gallery at The Roman Baths.

Like us on Facebook at Facebook.com/BeauStHoard or give us a Follow @BeauStHoard. Alternatively, take a look at the http://www.romanbaths.co.uk events section.

Students give Bath a spring clean

Students give Bath a spring clean

Key routes into the centre of Bath are to be given a Spring Clean with students from the University of Bath and Bath Spa will litter pick as part of their ‘Green Week’.

Roadside rubbish!

Roadside rubbish!

The event is being run in conjunction with the Student Community Partnership, a jointly funded Partnership made up of Bath & North East Somerset Council, University of Bath, Bath Spa University and their Students’ Unions.

The SCP provides a forum for liaison between the Universities, their SU’s and the Council on matters relating to students and the local community in Bath.

The aim of Green Week is to raise awareness of local environmental issues. Events exploring themes such as sustainable transport, food and resource use are being held from February 23 – 27.

Rubbish thrown over the wall!

Rubbish thrown over a park wall!

Cycling features at both Universities. Dr Bike sessions held at Bath Spa University on the Wednesday and on Friday the University of Bath runs its first ever Cycle Cinema. This off-grid event sees members of the audience generating power for the big screen by bike! The ‘Big Spring Clean@ event takes places on Saturday February28.

Cllr Paul Crossley (Lib-Dem – Southdown) Leader of the Council, said: “Universities have a significant impact on local communities. Long after they leave as graduates, students are affected by the values that they develop at university and events such as these help to a develop socially-positive outlook.”

This year’s Green Week runs in conjunction with Fairtrade Fortnight and National Student Volunteering Week.

Editor:

Must say the Virtual Museum approves of the spring clean idea and wishes it would spread to the whole city and its citizens.

 

Midland Bridge refurb under way soon

Midland Bridge refurb under way soon

A £1million project to refurbish the Midland Bridge and make sure it’s safe to use for years to come will be started on site by Bath & North East Somerset Council later this month (February 2015).

Midland Bridge

Midland Bridge

The bridge supports the important B3118 Midland Bridge Road link from the Lower Bristol Road to the Pinesway gyratory into Bath city centre at Green Park. The works involve removing the existing paint coating to all steelwork, undertaking any necessary repairs and re-painting to restore the structure to its former glory. Works will commence in late February and are expected to be completed later this summer 2015.

Councillor Caroline Roberts (Lib-Dem, Newbridge), Cabinet Member for Transport said: “This ambitious project is part of an on-going commitment by the Council to improve key historic highway infrastructure assets and will ensure the longevity of important links into the city well into the future.”

The steel lattice girder bridge was originally installed in 1905 by the Corporation of the City of Bath, and was opened on 12th December 1905 by Alderman A. Taylor.

Due to the nature of the works it is difficult to determine the extent of any necessary repairs until the existing paint has been removed, but engineers’ experience of working on similar structures has been used to plan and programme the works. Works to replace the bridge deck waterproofing membrane and movements joints at either end will also be undertaken to ensure its future integrity and prolong the serviceable life of this important bridge structure.

In order to safely undertake the works and maintain pedestrian access across the bridge it will be necessary to close one road lane for the duration of the works. This will mean that traffic flows from Green Park Road to Pinesway will remain but in the opposite direction traffic will be diverted from Pinesway along the Lower Bristol Road and across Churchill Bridge back into Green Park Road.

Full overnight closures will be required during some parts of the work for the safety of the travelling public and those undertaking the works on site. Advance notification will be given – with diversion signs put in place both before and during the works to help keep traffic moving smoothly with minimum disruption.

The works will be carried out in collaboration with Raymond Brown Construction Limited following a competitive tender process.

Kevin Valentine, Divisional Director at Raymond Brown Construction said: “The Midland Bridge refurbishment is an exciting scheme for us and we are committed to delivering a first class project in partnership with Bath & North East Somerset Council which will serve the city well into the future.”

River transformation underway

River transformation underway

Bath & North East Somerset Council and the Environment Agency are about to start work on a £6.22 million project to transform the riverside in Bath and improve flood defences.

river avon

The Bath Quays Waterside project, which was given planning permission earlier this week, involves flood mitigation and defence works to the north and south banks of the River Avon, between Churchill Bridge and Midland Bridge.

Expected to be completed by the end of 2016, the project will reduce flood risk for over 100 existing residential and commercial properties; reconnect Bath to its riverside with a new riverside park, and enable the development of Bath Quays, a new office and creative quarter.

In order to create these new riverside spaces, new flood walls are being put in and the river widened to improve flow during times of flooding; initial work will begin this week to remove trees and vegetation between Green Park and Churchill Bridge.river avon

To make room for the flood defence works, around 70 trees, many not native to Britain, will need to be removed, but when completed, 150 new native British trees will be planted including willow, alder, field maple, birch and lime trees.

Cllr Ben Stevens, Bath & North East Somerset Council’s Cabinet Member for Sustainable Development, said: “This investment will significantly enhance the riverside environment, creating better wildlife habitat, access and a more beautiful and enjoyable environment for local people and visitors to the city.

The transformation of this waterside place will include new promenades at different levels creating new routes for cyclists and walking, and new space for outdoor performances and events. The new public realm has been modelled on best practice from Europe to help the City reconnect with the River Avon.”

new railings being installed.

new railings being installed.

Cllr Paul Crossley, Leader of the Council, said: “We have timed this work to coincide with safety improvements along the river including the installation of new river safety railings alongside Broad Quay and from Widcombe Lock to Churchill Bridge. We are also working with Avon Fire and Rescue to develop more robust, vandal-proof cabinets for life-saving equipment; a prototype cabinet is under construction and user testing will be taking place later in February.”

Ed Lockington from the Environment Agency said: “We are pleased to work with Bath & North East Somerset Council on this project which will reduce existing flood risk in Bath and help provide exciting redevelopment opportunities.”

The Bath Quays Waterside project forms part of the Bath City Riverside Enterprise Area which will transform the riverside, delivering up to 30,000 square metres of much-needed modern, office accommodation for the city, alongside improved pedestrian and open spaces.

National Libraries Day

National Libraries Day

Bath & North East Somerset Council will be marking National Libraries Day on Saturday February 7.

Local libraries will be running a Find the Book Character Treasure Hunt for children and a literary quiz for adults – sheets will be available at all local libraries.

Bath Central Library

Bath Central Library

Library visitors will also be able to rent DVDs at half price, and reserve two items on the LibrariesWest catalogue free of charge. Those who borrow at least three physical items (books, CDs, audio books, and DVDs) or join online at http://www.librarieswest.org.uk will also be entered into a prize draw with the chance to win a Samsung Galaxy tablet, a £25 Amazon voucher and a range of bestselling books.

Bath & North East Somerset Council’s Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods, Cllr David Dixon, said: “National Libraries Day is a great day to celebrate everything our libraries can offer. The Council runs eight libraries and a mobile service and also supports four community libraries.”

Bath Central Library

Bath Central Library

Library members can benefit from a whole range of services including:
· Borrowing books, CDs, audio books, and DVDs.
· Online, there are free e-books and audio downloads as well as reference works, family history research material and more.
· Support for children and families including Bookstart packs, baby rhyme times and loans to pre-school groups.
· Information, advice, and courses for adult learners.
· Community activities including reading groups, writing competitions and After Hours events.

To find out more about the range of services provided by Bath & North East Somerset Council libraries visit http://www.bathnes.gov.uk/services/libraries-and-archives

Flushed with success!

Flushed with success!

Bath & North East Somerset Council is moving into the final stages of the plans to improve public toilets across the district.

Refurbishment works have started today (19 January) at the Royal Victoria Park play area, with Newbridge Park & Ride and Henrietta Park to follow in the next few weeks.

toilet-signNew toilets have already been completed at: Seven Dials, Monmouth Street; Odd Down Park & Ride; Sandpits play area at Monksdale Road; Alice Park; Keynsham Memorial Park; Charlotte Street car park; Parade Gardens; Sydney Gardens; Alexandra Park and at The Shallows in Saltford.

The Council’s contract with Healthmatic Ltd will provide investment in cleaning and management services for 15 years, and means that 15 public toilets in parks, play areas, green spaces and key transport hubs will remain open and be improved, and a brand new facility as part of the Newbridge Park and Ride expansion project.

Cllr David Dixon (Lib Dem, Oldfield), Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods, said: “Our commitment to improving the quality of public toilets across Bath and North East Somerset is delivering increased benefits to our public spaces.

More and more people keep telling me how happy they are to have modern clean toilets which are much better to use.”

The new public toilets will have many benefits for local people, including:

• Cubicles will be unisex, disability compliant and will have baby-change facilities
• The cubicles offer a high standard of cleanliness and safety and are able to handle large numbers of people using them
• They are large enough for a parent with a couple of small children and a pushchair to use together
• High-tech controls means access can be 24 hours / 7 days a week all year and timers can be adjusted remotely to suit local need as well
• Access is by coin entry to a totally private cubicle with its own hand-washing and drying facilities
• The inside is resistant to vandalism and misuse with an easy-clean tiled interior and hard-wearing fittings
• Problems are detected remotely enabling rapid response by Healthmatic’s engineering and maintenance teams.

All of the refurbished facilities will be charged at 20p for use, in order to make the contract sustainable over the next 15 years.

A round-up of the other locations is:

• Riverside Coach Park toilets are being cleaned and managed by Healthmatic on a normal basis, pending progress with redevelopment of that part of the Enterprise Area;
• The current auto-loos at Charlotte Street and Shaftesbury Road are continuing in operation until at least 2020;
• Temporary cleaning, locking and repairs by Healthmatic continues at Gullock Tyning, Midsomer Norton (until mid-2015 when the leisure contract is awarded with public convenience provision included);
• At Ashton Way, Keynsham, the toilets are now closed as the new Council development and car park at Market Walk is fully open;
• We are continuing to work with local businesses in High Street, Weston and Larkhall Square on innovative arrangements to provide a public toilet service together; these should be in place in January and April respectively
• Paulton Parish Council have worked with the Council to take over fully running the public conveniences on a 15 year agreement (with effect from last July, 2014);
• The Council is continuing to work with Batheaston Parish Council over the public toilets building in London Road car park in support of their Vision Plan;
• Former locations at Dominion Road – Twerton and Bradford Road – Combe Down have been sold at auction with completion in December 2014;
• Peasedown St John (Greenlands Road car park) has been scheduled to be demolished to make way for extra parking spaces in the well-used car park.

PLEASE NOTE:

In Keynsham, there are alternative Council facilities in Memorial Park (open 7 days a week) and at the One Stop Shop and Library at Market Walk (open 6 days per week). The High Street also has a number of popular cafes and shops with customer facilities.

Peasedown – there are late discussions with the Parish Council on alternative options (taking over the block either to run as toilets or to use for their own storage purposes) which the Parish is considering as part of its budget-setting on Tuesday 20th. Demolition works are on hold until the end of this week.

Are Bath’s buskers sometimes too loud? Have your say!

Are Bath’s buskers sometimes too loud? Have your say!

Bath & North East Somerset Council is asking for people to give their views about the amplification of on-street entertainment.

A busker in Abbey Courtyard.

A busker in Abbey Courtyard.

On-street entertainers and performers – buskers – are an important part of the culture of Bath, bringing vibrancy and character to the city. Some use amplifiers to enhance the volume of their performance.

Currently, Bath & North East Somerset Council does not have a formal policy on busking as there is a voluntary code of practice used by the busking community.

Following concerns raised by local businesses and residents, the Council is considering a ban on the use of amplifiers in the following locations: Abbey Church Yard, Kingston Parade and Abbey Green.

This would be done by putting in place a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO). The criteria for issuing a PSPO are:

· That the activities have had a detrimental effect on the quality of life of those in the locality
· The activities are persistent or continuing
· The activities are unreasonable
Before making any decision, the Council wants to hear the views of local people, whether residents, businesses, shoppers, visitors or buskers.

Cllr David Dixon (Lib-Dem, Oldfield), the Council’s Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods, said: “Buskers are part of the vibrancy of Bath. However, the aim of the order would be to stop unwanted disturbance in specific areas of the city centre.

Brass playing buskers in Stall Street.

Brass playing buskers in Stall Street.

“Bath & North East Somerset Council wants to ensure that activities don’t have a detrimental effect on the quality of life of those in the locality and to prevent activities that are persistent, continuing or unreasonable. I would encourage local people to fill out the consultation and make their views known to us.”

Cllr Manda Rigby (Lib-Dem, Abbey), Chair of the Licensing Committee, said: “Thanks to the ongoing work of the Council’s Public Protection Team, we are able to consider how officers can best respond to any issues raised by the public about the amplification of on-street entertainment. The outcome of this consultation will help us to achieve a fair balance for everyone.”

The questionnaire is now available on the ‘Consultations’ page of our website and will close on Sunday 29th March, at 11.45pm.

If you would prefer to respond on paper you can contact the Council via 01225 396803 or caroline_ranscombe@bathnes.gov.uk for a paper copy of the survey.