Roger Symonds and Cherry Beath

Liberal Democrat Councillors for Combe Down

First Review bus fares

June 4th, 2014 by rogersymonds

Following consultation on bus fares in Bath, First Group is taking a little time to decide which reductions in fares to implement.  90% of respondents to the survey said that they thought fares were too expensive.

We are confident that there will be some reductions in fares, but we recognise that if the reductions are to be sustained in the longer term  more people must be attracted on to buses.  Cost of fares is not the only factor that will attract people on to buses.  Probably next in line is punctuality – if the bus is not on time you may miss a connecting train – so you may not be willing to risk this, so you take the car to be sure.

It is in this area that the Council can act.  In a city that suffers from too much traffic it is up to the Council to take steps to give buses priority over private motor cars.  This will benefit bus passengers , but more importantly might encourage more people on to the buses and make it easier for essential private cars to get around.

Comfort, cleanliness and extras such as WI FI will also encourage people to use buses.

Bus Stop Improvements for Combe Down

April 14th, 2014 by Cherry Beath
Church Road New Bus Shelter

Church Road New Bus Shelter

We have continued to work to see improvements to our Bus Stops over the past two years, and we lobbied to save the half hour No I Service, which had been planned to be less frequent.

We now have a new bus shelter in The Avenue, and improvements in Church Road, including the new shelter in the picture, and in Combe Road.  In progress now are improvements to bus stops in North Road and opposite Prior Park School.  Kerbs have to be built up to conform to the Disability Discrimination Act, which becomes law soon and all the buses will be “low floor” allowing flat access for wheel chairs.

Cllr Roger Symonds said:

“The improvements will be followed by electronic information for many of these bus stops, and throughout the city, to tell waiting passengers exactly when their bus will arrive”.

Replacement shelters due to be installed from Spring 2014

·         Route 2 / stop 1 – Foxhill Hutments

·         Route 2 / stop 3 – Hadley Arms, North Road

·         Route 2 / Stop 8 – Ralph Allen Drive, Priory Close

·         Route 13 / stop 3 – Queen’s Drive

·         Route 13 / stop 5 – Kewstoke Road

·         Route 13 / stop 9 – Bradford Road opposite Shops

·         Route 13 / stop 10 – Bradford Road opposite Entry Hill


Combe Down Public Toilets

March 14th, 2014 by Cherry Beath

Combe Down Bradford Road Public Toilets, can you help keep them open?


As you might be aware the Public Toilets on Bradford Road, by the shops, last year were listed for closure as part of the Council budget cuts, unless a workable plan can be found for alternative use, which would keep one public toilet open, adapted for universal use, and produce funds to cover the costs.

Councillor Cherry Beath has put efforts in to see if this could happen, being aware that a number of local residents feel it is important, particularly those with mobility problems, or chronic illnesses, who are worried about getting to the shops and back without the facility.

 Cherry recently met with a representative of “Healthmatic” a company the Council have agreed a new contract with to refurbish some of the public toilets in the authority with new automatic facilities, and a 20p slot charge.

 This could happen to the Bradford Road Toilets, adapting one toilet open for all use, including disabled, and refurbishing the remainder of the building for a community or commercial use, for which a low rental would be charged. The space would be roughly 7×4 Metres.

These Combe Down Toilets will have to close if a business or community group cannot be found to take the building over.

Possible uses could be: A community group wanting a premise; Small office for local businesses; A nail bar; Internet hub open for public use; Maybe a hand car wash business; or small retail outlet.

The Council is willing to put funds in to refurbish, so what is needed now is people to get in touch who are interested in exploring an idea to use the building. Get in touch with Roger or Cherry, or contact the Council Officer, Kate Hobson:  [email protected]  working with Healthmatic on this for details.

Rockhall House and The Orchard Refurbishment Launch

February 5th, 2014 by Cherry Beath
Visit to The Orchard and Rockhall House, with the Chair of Council and with Sonya in her refurbished flat in Rockhall house

Visit to The Orchard and Rockhall House, with the Chair of Council and with one of the residents,Sonya, in her refurbished flat in Rockhall House

Cherry visited Rockhall House and the Orchard sheltered flats and extra care facilities today in Combe Down for the launch of the new refurbishments and improvements.

The flats have all been refurbished, with wet rooms, and new Kitchens, new heating systems and secondary glazing. the gardens have undergone a huge transformation! with pathways for mobility vehicles all on the level so that residents can enjoy being outside and sit with friends and visitors. They seemed very pleased with the changes, which have been ongoing throughout most of last year.

In the Orchard Sirona Health services team are based there, giving 24/7 cover For those needing extra care.  Rockhall House and The Orchard are always pleased to see people from the local community book in for meals and also take part in activities, such as computer starter courses run from Rockhall House. If you would like to know more pop along and speak to the warden who looks after the complex and has an office in Rockhall House.

There are now widened footpaths being completed from the top of Rockhall Lane down to the  Orchard, which provide for mobility vehicles. This is part of the planning conditions of the new development of  houses in the re-named Ralph Allen Yard ( formally known as Gammons Yard). Roger and I were insistent this road improvement happened, together with an improved junction with Combe Road.

These new homes are built to high standards of sustainability, and the small complex is carbon neutral. The homes are due to be ready in the early Spring.



Visit to MoD Foxhill Site

June 11th, 2013 by Cherry Beath

                     Our Recent Tour of The Site 

MoD Site Block A Tour June 13

The Ministry of defence were in Bath for more than 70 years.  Yet few local people, apart from those who worked there ever went into MoD Foxhill, a secure area enclosed by 3 metre high fences.  The area, a community within a community, remained a mystery to most.  Cherry and I visited the site with the Chair of the Council, Cllr Neil Butters, a group of councillors, and officers from Curo and from the Council.  Local resident, former MoD employee and local photographer Robert Coles, accompanied the group.

MoD Site our June '13 The first thing that struck us all is the size of the site.  At 19 hectares it seems massive and is a similar size to Royal Victoria Park.  All the buildings on site at present are one or two stories in height, but there is plenty of screening with trees on the northern edge of the site, so higher buildings should be possible, however the Bath skyline will remain a concern in any development.  Robert was able to give us information about which department occupied which building when he worked there.

 One of our biggest concerns is how the new development of around 700 homes can integrate with surrounding dwellings such as the Foxhill estate, Stonehouse Lane and Close, Trinity Road and Priory Close.  There will also be some huge transport issues that will need innovative solutions.  Curo, formerly Somer Housing, who now own the site are anxious to get the views of local people about how the site should be developed and to ensure that the development meets as far as possible the aspirations of surrounding residents and people who will live on the site in future.

 Cherry and I have arranged a meeting for all interested local people in Combe Down School Hall this Thursday 13th June from 6.30pm to 8pm, so that Curo can give local people an update on progress to date and for people to ask questions and make suggestions about the development.

 The B&NES concept statement for the site, made in partnership with the MoD and Homes and Communities Agency can be found at

MoD Site Update

May 29th, 2013 by Cherry Beath
Cherry and Roger outside Foxhill MOD last week

Cherry and Roger outside Foxhill MOD

As you will know from our last Enewsletter Curo Community Housing Trust are the Developers of the Foxhill Site, and this is good news as we understand that togwether with the MoD Site development, they intend to regenerate some of their housing stock in Foxhill, and thus integrate the development with the exisiting communities bordering the site.

We have had several meetings with Curo and with Council officers, and the Administration Cabinet. We have also kept in touch with MP Don Foster, who is active in supporting our Community, and helping with this important development and regeneration.

There has been an active group set up in Foxhill – Foxhill Futures – steered by local resident Nigel Dann, who have been active in gathering views from residents about what they would like to see on the site. The MoD have now vacated the Site, and Curo are applying for demolition of the existing buildings on site.

Curo are inviting initially Councillors to have a tour of the site next week, and they have agreed for a Photographer from the Combe Down Heritage Society to come along to record the buildings. Curo have  told us that they will arrange for local residents to tour the site in near future.