Bath Deserves Better campaigners say they’re looking forward to an open, honest discussion with council leader Tim Warren tonight, Tuesday 11th July, at a public meeting.
The group have been campaigning for a public meeting since February.
Emma Adams, of the Bath Deserves Better campaign group, said campaigners hoped the meeting would mark “an era of new politics in Bath and of open and honest engagement between residents and their elected representatives.”
Bath Deserves Better is an umbrella group comprising residents who have opposed the council on recent issues including proposals to move Bath Central Library, build a Park and Ride on Bathampton Meadows and the axing of arts funding.
They organised the meeting after a petition calling for council leaders to be held to account for the way they’d handled these controversial policies.
All cabinet members of Bath & North East Somerset council have been invited to the public meeting, but so far only council leader Tim Warren and cabinet member Martin Veal have confirmed that they will be attending.
The new cabinet member with responsibility for transport, Mark Shelford, sent his apologies but had a prior commitment that he could not change.
The chair of Transition Bath, Peter Andrews, who works for Bath & West Community Energy, will be chairing the meeting, which will include brief presentations from Councillor Warren, and then from each campaign.
The organisers say all are welcome to come and ask questions of their council leaders. “There will be several opportunities for the public to ask questions,” said campaigner Dionne Pemberton.
“After each presentation, the chair will open the meeting up to questions from the floor. People can also write down their questions, and we will collate them and put them to the council afterwards so that everyone will have a chance to have their voice heard.”
Fellow organiser, Emma Adams, added: “We want this to be an open, constructive and good-natured debate. People have a lot of questions to ask the council about the way some of these projects have been handled, and we hope that this meeting will be part of a new approach towards policy-making in our beautiful city based on sound evidence, transparency and openness.”
The meeting comes shortly after what Cllr Tim Warren described as ‘ a mid-term reshuffle’ in his ruling group.
However, some of the outgoing cabinet members said it had been due to differences of opinion over the controversial plan to build a Park & Ride on Bathampton Meadows.
Campaigners say it is widely expected that the council will be making an announcement about the Park & Ride ahead of today’s meeting.
The Foxhill residents association and the Avon Valley Action Group, which opposes the proposed A36/A46 link road, will also be speaking at the meeting.