Battle is renewed by Back to Bath group

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By Bath Chronicle | Friday, November 02, 2012, 20:38

Campaigners wanting Bath to have its own council are stepping up their battle with the launch of a new website and Facebook page.

The Back to Bath group is keen to show the Government the level of support for its call for the city to be self-governing.

It says there is overwhelming backing for the idea of Bath and North east Somerset Council being broken up, with a new unitary authority covering just the city.

The pressure group says Bath – where income from the civic property portfolio was such that the old city council did not need to charge domestic rates – is subsidising the rest of the district.

It acknowledges that seven out of the eight members of B&NES' ruling cabinet are from the city, but says that the current regime allows decisions about Bath to be taken by politicians from places as far afield as the Chew Valley and Whitchurch.

The group, which collected nearly 13,000 signatures for a petition ten years ago, points out that other towns and cities of a similar size to Bath, such as Hartlepool, whose population of 90,000 is identical, have their own all-purpose authorities.

Back to Bath founder Anna Harper said: "Bath people must run Bath. We feel that we have lost our identity."

Her colleague, former city councillor Jill Attwood, added: "We have run our own affairs for centuries but we won't get this if we don't fight for it."

They have no fixed ideas on how the rest of B&NES could be broken up, but one idea would be for Keynsham to be part of Bristol, with Midsomer Norton and Radstock being swallowed up by an extended Somerset County Council and Mendip District Council.

The group says the strength of the city's civic property chest – B&NES is the biggest commercial landlord in Bath – means that the creation of a new local authority need not be expensive.

Ms Harper said: "I believe it could and should happen."

The website is at, with the Facebook page at



  • Profile image for playboy51

    Exactly my sentiments Scribe2. I have written many times of BANES indifference towards Keynsham and that most of their better decisions always benifit Bath and towns east of the city. Whether or not we would be better off as part of South Gloucestershire is open to debate although i have always thought it odd that although we became part of BANES we kept the Bristol post code and telephone area code. Is that so that one day they can dump us back into Bristol? And don't be fooled into believeing the regeneration is for the benifit of us in Keynsham. It is not. It's main purpose is to provide new office blocks for it's workers. That's why it's designed the way it is, in blocks! At least they would no longer be able to bleed us dry with parking charges, although moving authority's may not be the answer to this anomaly.

    By playboy51 at 17:46 on 25/08/13

  • Profile image for Scribe2

    As a resident of Keynsham I would be delighted to hear any announcement that Bath is to have its' own council. I was never convinced that the merger of Wansdyke and Bath would be beneficial to non Bath residents, and feel that many councillors do not make any positive decisions for the benefit of Keynsham residents. The Keynsham redevelopment was initially opposed and as for the Spa - enough said.

    By Scribe2 at 14:32 on 24/08/13

  • Profile image for jezer

    Are you being ageist? I hope not.

    By jezer at 20:38 on 02/11/12

  • Profile image for Viscount_V

    I think the photograph sums up sectors of Bath nicely. We should use it on tourism posters.

    By Viscount_V at 16:04 on 02/11/12

  • Profile image for jdd1977

    Absolutely right Dave. Bath's saving grace has been how shambolically run Bristol has been. Many who live in Bath's satellite towns are some of its most significant 'stakeholders' (to use that awful parlance of the day). Cast them adrift at your peril.

    By jdd1977 at 15:44 on 02/11/12

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