Paul Crossley

Liberal Democrat Councillor

Tour of Britain Stage 6 from Bath

September 13th, 2014 by Paul Crossley
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What a great stage day it was yesterday on Stage 6 of the Tour of Britain starting out from Royal Victoria Park. As a Council we worked hard with the tour and sponsors to ensure that not only was the race a great sporting success but that also the community side of it and the spectator opportunity was great.

We had a cycle village in the park and touring round the stalls stopped for a chat with the cycle bath campaign group, up on the stage awarded t-shirts and certificates to all the young people from schools from across B&NES who lead the race out and then enjoyed all the teams being introduced to the crowds.

It was a great honour to, with Laura, drop the flag at the start line to get the stage race of to its start.

Tour of Britain in Bath

September 11th, 2014 by Paul Crossley
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The Tour of Britain cycle race stage start from Bath is now only a few hours away. As Leader of the Council and a keen cyclist I am delighted that we are bringing a stage of this increasingly popular sporting event to Bath and NE Somerset.

We are expecting a big crowd and so we have put out information as widely as possible to show everyone the options.

 

Travel information around Bath for the Tour of Britain

Bath & North East Somerset Council is reminding people travelling in and around Bath to be prepared for the Friends Life Tour of Britain, which sets off from the city on Friday 12 September.

Following the huge build-up for the event in the local media and the Council’s Connect magazine, the Council is keen to assure people that disruption will be kept to a minimum so that everyone can enjoy the big day.

Some rolling road closures will operate along the route on Friday 12 September 2014 between 9am and 12noon along with some fixed closures at various points. However, the restrictions will not be active for the whole of this period and the closures will only be in operation when traffic signs or a police rolling road closure are on the scene. The rolling road closures will only last until the final race convoy vehicle has passed – which is anticipated to be no more than 25 minutes.

For up to date information on getting around Bath on the day visit www.bathnes.gov.uk/love2cycle.

Gear up for the big event

A large number of spectators are expected to line the route. The lead cars leave Royal Avenue at 10am and the race starts at 10.15am. Up to 120 professional riders from 20 teams will pass by some of Bath’s most iconic heritage sites before leaving the Bath and North East Somerset area via Brassknocker Hill around 10.45am.

If you plan to watch the race in Bath or on the city outskirts, please get there early. We advise that you walk, cycle or take public transport on the morning of the race or use the Park and Ride services at Lansdown, Newbridge and Odd Down.

For buses, please visit www.travelinesw.com, email [email protected] or call 0871 200 2233. For trains, please see www.nationalrail.co.uk or call 0845 748 4950.

For more information and updates on the big day, follow the Council on Twitter via @bathnes.

Credit Unions – a good way too save and borrow

September 10th, 2014 by Paul Crossley
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At Bath and North East Somerset Council we are encouraging staff to save via payroll deduction direct into one of our 2 local credit unions. We are served by Somerset Savings and Bristo CU. On Wednesday this week I signed up to save direct from my payslip into both unions. They are the best way to get access and loans for the many people who for whatever reason do not have bank accounts and they are certainly preferable to the loan sharks and pay day lenders that are on offer.

Make you home improvement dreams a reality at the Bath Home Improvement Fair

September 9th, 2014 by Paul Crossley
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The Bath Green Homes autumn programme of events kicks off this Sunday (14 September) with the Bath Home Improvement Fair, supported by Bath & North East Somerset Council.

Whether you are doing a DIY project, looking for professional help, or just want to get some ideas on how to make your home warm and beautiful, there is a lot to discover at the Bath Home Improvement Fair.

Cllr Paul Crossley (Lib-Dem, Southdown), Leader of Council, said: “The Fair is a great opportunity to find out what you can do in your own home. There will be plenty of local experts on hand to answer your questions, and you can even book a free consultation with an architect or a Bath & North East Somerset Council Listed Buildings Officer.”

The Fair brings together local trades, designers, installers, architects and organisations to create a vibrant market place. The “Ask the Expert” area offers free, bookable consultations with an architect or a Council Listed Buildings Officer by visiting www.asktheexpertbhif.eventbrite.com or by calling 01225 477528. There will also be an engaging programme of talks and free refreshments available throughout the day:

 

Time Topic Speaker
12.30pm Working with an architect PAAD Architects
1pm Fundamentals of sustainability Mori Architects
1.30pm Love your old home Bristol Hemp and Lime
2pm Making your home energy efficient B&NES Energy@Home Advice Service
2.30pm Eco Refurbishment to Passive Standards Hetreed Ross
3pm Where does all the energy go? GCP Chartered Architects
3.30pm ‘The care and repair of Bath stone’ Donald Insall Associates

 

And, if you want to see real home improvement examples around Bath, come along to the third Bath Green Homes Open Homes weekend on 27 & 28 September with loads of new homes to check out. Some of the homes require you to book a place, so visit www.bathgreenhomes.co.uk/openhomes for details.

Bath Green Homes is a community project jointly organised by Transition Bath, Bath Preservation Trust and Bath & North East Somerset Council to inspire residents to make their homes more energy efficient.

 

Liberal Democrat B&NES leading the way on Green Energy

September 9th, 2014 by Paul Crossley
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The joint DECC & OxFutures (Oxford City Council) conference called Powering UP held its first national conference on community energy for local authorities and community energy groups and is seen by government as a key component of DECCs’ recently published Community Energy Strategy.

Our work with Bath & West Community Energy (BWCE) is cited in the Strategy as a key case study of what local authorities can do to support the development of renewable energy within their own communities and BWCE and the Council were invited to speak at the conference to jointly present the local authority and community enterprise perspectives. Of the eight case studies presented, B&NES was the only authority presenting a genuine partnership with a community organisation. B&NES, under my Liberal Democrat Cabinet leadership, was very supportive in setting up BWCE as a community energy group and we are now seen as leaders in the UK on partnership working with community energy.

In addition, the Council was singled out in the keynote speech at the beginning of the day by Rebecca Willis, former Chief Executive of the Green Alliance, now Cooperatives UK – a well-known figure in the energy and climate change field.  She mentioned us particularly in terms of not being one of the usual suspects – ie showing that you don’t have to be a big council to make a difference on this.  Then, after lunch, Liberal Democrat MP Ed Davey, Secretary of State for Energy & Climate Change, also gave us a good plug in his address! Here is the link to his speech: http://www.wired-gov.net/wg/news.nsf/articles/DNWA-9NNG3Y

B&NES will now be working with APSE Energy, Plymouth and Oxford Councils along with an expert consultancy to create an event for local authorities on short term investment opportunities and issues and then to look at longer terms issues such as future pension investment in low carbon and renewable energy (which in the long term is likely to be safer and higher performing than investment in fossil fuel energy companies), with a view to APSE producing a guidance note for local authorities.

At the awards ceremony in the evening for the UK’s first Community Energy Awards – BWCE took the award for best community energy organisation and Pete Capener (Chair of BWCE and adviser to DECC on these issues) was awarded community energy ‘leader of the year’. Well done to Peter and all at BWCE

 

Pre-manifesto launch – Stronger Economy. Fairer Society. Opportunity for Everyone.

September 9th, 2014 by Paul Crossley
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Pre-Manifesto Launch

Today the Liberal Democrats will unveil our pre-manifesto. This is a significant political moment as we begin the run in to the 2015 General Election. The pre-manifesto is a comprehensive document that contains the bulk of what will become our 2015 General Election manifesto.

It sets out the Liberal Democrat vision for Britain in the next Parliament, with spreading opportunity at its heart. We are proud of our record of action in this Parliament and this document sets out our promise of more in the next.

Rescue to renewal

Since 2010, Liberal Democrats have worked in government to rescue and repair Britain’s shattered economy. Growth is up; jobs are up; government borrowing is down. The repairs to our public finances must be completed and they must be completed fairly. But we do not believe that in the next five years Britain simply wants more of the same.

We need to move from rescue to renewal. We need to move from austerity to ambition. We need to think boldly and restore a sense of national optimism. After the rescue from recession we cannot go back to the old Britain.

We no longer want an economy based on debt and speculation; out of the rubble of the 2008 crash we must build a new economy, not just reassemble the old one. We cannot accept a society of unfairness and inequality of opportunity. We cannot mortgage our children’s future by ignoring the threat of climate change; and we cannot have a state where power is hoarded at the centre rather than being returned to citizens and to our local areas.

But this manifesto is about the future and not the past. Liberal Democrats played an essential role in rescuing Britain; now we want to lead the renewal.

Spreading opportunity through education

We believe that the task of a liberal party is above all to empower every person to realise their own potential. No matter what your background, your race, your colour, your sex or your sexuality: we believe in you. Liberal Democrats don’t write anybody off. Our determination to set people free is the thread that holds this whole manifesto together. The Liberal Democrat vision for the next five years is to focus our efforts on clearing away the biggest barriers that are holding people, and holding Britain, back.

This is a manifesto for the next generation – one that prioritises the life chances of children and young people. That is why we have put spreading opportunity through education at the heart of our manifesto. Education is key to giving people the knowledge, skills and confidence to get on in life, which is why we will protect education spending, ensure children are taught by qualified teachers and invest more in children from poor backgrounds in the crucial early years.

Our objective is to create a stronger economy and a fairer society: a society of free citizens in which every person is enabled to get on in life. It is only with a stronger economy and a fairer society that we can spread opportunity, and this is something that only the Liberal Democrats can deliver. Labour cannot be relied upon to build a stronger economy and the Conservatives cannot be relied upon to build a fairer society. We want to build a liberal Britain where you and the people you care about have the freedom, the space, and the opportunity to flourish.

Record of action

  • The economy rebuilt.
  • Millions of people freed from paying income tax.
  • More renewable energy than ever.
  • The Pupil Premium to help poor children get a first-class education.
  • More childcare and shared parental leave.
  • Cancelling ID cards.
  • Free school meals for under-7s.
  • More apprentices.
  • The biggest ever cash increase in the state pension.
  • A Green Investment Bank.
  • Equal marriage.

None of these things would have happened without the Liberal Democrats.

Promise of more Finish the job fairly:

Balance the budget

Rebalance and rewire the economy to cut out carbon, rebuild our national infrastructure, embrace new technology and make sure every region flourishes

Continue to cut taxes for working people

Spread opportunity through education – a manifesto for the next generation:

Protect education spending

A parental guarantee of a core curriculum taught by qualified teachers

Triple the Early Years Pupil Premium to £1,000 a child

Examples of policies announced over the summer:

Protecting education spending: Extend the protection to all education funding from early years through school to college

Parental Guarantee: A core curriculum taught by qualified teachers

Free school meals: Extending free school meals to all primary pupils

Curriculum for Life: Children in state-funded schools, including academies and free schools, will be guaranteed age appropriate sex and relationship education, as well as financial literacy and citizenship lessons

Early Years Pupil Premium: We will more than triple investment in the early years pupil premium from £300 to £1000 per child

‘Daddy Month’: We will expand shared parental leave with an additional four week ‘use-it-or-lose-it’ paternity leave period

Balance the budget: Aim to balance the structural current budget by 2017/18 and set a course to reduce debt as a share of national income. Make deficit reduction fair by ensuring high earners and the wealthiest pay their share. Set new fiscal rules to balance the budget while allowing borrowing for productive investment. Increase public spending again in line with growth in the economy once the budget is balanced.

Cutting taxes for working people: Raise the income tax threshold to £12,500 before beginning to raise the National Insurance threshold

Making our tax system fairer: Introducing a banded High Value Property Levy on residential properties worth over £2m; limit tax relief on pensions to a pot of £1m; maximising revenue from Capital Gains Tax by aligning rates more closely to Income Tax

Council tax discounts for green homes: Households could save at least £100 a year on their council tax bill by improving the energy efficiency of their homes

Five Green Laws: The new laws will include legal targets for clean air and water, an end to dirty coal power stations and an ambitious decarbonisation target for the electricity sector. The laws are: A Nature Bill; a Heating and Energy Efficiency Bill; a Zero Waste Britain Bill; a Zero Carbon Britain Bill; and a Green Transport Bill.

300,000 homes: Set an ambitious target of increasing the rate of house building to 300,000 a year

Ring fence NHS budget: NHS spending will rise by at least the rate of inflation over the next Parliament. We also announced they will pool health and social care budgets. This would help make care more tailored towards individual patients and reduce inefficiencies

Help for Carers: We will support carers with a package of measures designed to make their lives easier. The package includes an annual Carer’s Bonus of up to £250 and raising the amount carers can earn before losing their allowance.

Mental health: We will establish a mental health research fund worth £50m per year to help bridge the gap between physical health and mental health treatment

Drugs: We will end imprisonment for drug users whose only crime is possession for personal use. They will instead receive non-custodial sentences and appropriate medical treatment

Safe Standing: Clubs in the Premier League and Championship will be allowed to work with their supporters to introduce standing areas, which provide better atmospheres and allow clubs to offer cheaper safe standing season tickets

Roman Temple part of new national learning resource

September 3rd, 2014 by Paul Crossley
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The Roman Temple at Bath is included in a new learning resource developed by the British Museum to support the revised National Curriculum for History.

The web-based resource has been developed with support from 35 museums, of which the Bath & North East Somerset Council-run Roman Baths is one.

Around 100,000 school children of all ages visit the Roman Baths each year with around 12,000 having dedicated teaching sessions delivered on site by staff. It’s excellent that the Roman Baths, and specifically the Roman Temple, are going to be part of this important new learning resource.

Research has shown that the object-based learning in which museums specialise is a highly effective way of delivering education programmes with improved understanding and retention of information by pupils.

 

Objects like the Roman Temple from Bath, Guy Fawkes Lantern and a Fire Bucket from the Great Fire of London are just some of the wonderfully evocative objects on the website that bring people into direct and personal contact with the great events, people and stories that have formed and define our national heritage.

The website address is www.teachinghistory100.org

20 mph for Radstock/ Westfield set for start

September 1st, 2014 by Paul Crossley
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New 20 mph speed limits initiated by Bath & North East Somerset Council are due to commence construction in Radstock/ Westfield in September, in response to requests from residents to make streets safer for people on foot and on bicycles. Works to provide poles, signs, and road markings will commence from Monday 1st September 2014. The speed limit follows extensive consultation with all communities and the approval of Traffic Regulation Orders by the Cabinet Member for Transport. The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents estimates that a pedestrian has a ninety per cent chance of surviving being hit by a car at twenty mph, falling to a fifty per cent chance at 30 mph and to ten per cent at 40 mph.

Further information about the timetable and proposed order for introducing the limits on the Council’s website on www.bathnes.gov.uk/20mphspeedlimit or email [email protected] or call 01225 39 40 41.

Moorland Road is amazing

August 10th, 2014 by Paul Crossley
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From L 2 R Cllr Sharon Ball, Cllr Will Sandry, Cllr Paul Crossley and Sarah Moore

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After a morning visiting the new ramp at Claude Avenue that leads down to the Linear Way and talking with residents and users on the path about the facility time for a coffee and chat on the amazing Moorland Road in the Busy Bee cafe.

This is one of our main shopping parades outside the city centre and it is good to see it thriving with a range of shops selling a wide variety of products.

Photo thanks to Sean Moore.

 

Two Tunnels – new access route

August 10th, 2014 by Paul Crossley
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From right to left Cllr Sharon Ball, Sarah Moore, Cllr Will Sandry, Cllr Paul Crossley

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Two Tunnels cycle route has been an amazing new cycle link in Bath. It was built in partnership between National Lottery, Sustrans, BathNES Council and the Two Tunnels Group. The cycling connectivity through Bath is getting truly awesome. The Liberal Democrat run Council of the last few years has been investing in cycle links and paths and also joining up different paths. Just a few weeks ago we opened the new link from Batheaston to Bathampton. Now we are ready to oppen a new link from Claude Avenue down onto the Linear Way which leads to Two Tunnels.

These routes are not just great for cyclists and pedestrians but they also form jogging routes, dog walking routes and safe routes to schools.

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