I came to Bath 18 years ago to retrain as an Architect and have been here ever since with my family. In the 1980’s, when it was undergoing restoration, it was coming up in the world - a thriving place, with many independent shops, interesting bars and restaurants.
The City appears to be in decline, the centre has lost many of its independent traders, many shops are empty and those that have been recently let appear to be mostly only for fast food restaurants, nail bars and tourists. Independents are being driven out by high rents, inflexible leases and a poor visitor experience. Our tourist information team, Visit Bath, has been handed over to Bristol. The Council does not appear to value Bath or understand that for the City to thrive it must be a great place, to live, work and visit.
I would like to be part of a Council that has civic pride, that values our buildings, our parks, our businesses. We must build on what we have in Bath, preserve, enhance, and adapt what we have for a more promising future. We have amazing assets such as the Universities and I would like to see our students stay in Bath after they qualify and create businesses and jobs. It is wrong that few people who work in Bath can afford to live in Bath, so we must bring more business and well-paid jobs here.
We also have the most extraordinary parks and gardens, which must be preserved for all to use, exercise in and enjoy. We must have a long-term programme for replanting the trees lost through storms and disease. We should green our City further. Why is it that the new developments of Saw Close and Southgate have few or no trees?
We must make Bath a more desirable place for retailers, for new businesses and for young Bathonians to find work so they can afford to live here.