Bath and North East Somerset

Bath and North East Somerset (commonly referred to as BANES or B&NES) is the district of the unitary authority of Bath and North East Somerset Council that was created on 1 April 1996 following the abolition of the county of Avon. It is part of the ceremonial county of Somerset.

The unitary authority provides a single tier of local government with responsibility for almost all local government functions within the district, including local planning and building control, local roads, council housing, environmental health, markets and fairs, refuse collection, recycling, cemeteries, crematoria, leisure services, parks, and tourism. It is also responsible for education, social services, libraries, main roads, public transport, trading standards, waste disposal and strategic planning, although fire, police and ambulance services are provided jointly with other authorities through the Avon Fire and Rescue Service, Avon and Somerset Constabulary and the South Western Ambulance Service. Its administrative headquarters is in Bath, though many departments are based at offices in Keynsham. The air ambulance and critical care service is provided by the charity Great Western Air Ambulance Charity.

Bath and North East Somerset covers an area of 136 square miles (352 km2), of which two thirds is green belt. It stretches from the outskirts of Bristol, south into the Mendip Hills and east to the southern Cotswold Hills and Wiltshire border. The city of Bath is the principal settlement in the district, but BANES also covers Keynsham, Midsomer Norton, Radstock, Westfield and the Chew Valley.

The area has varied geography including river valleys and rolling hills. The history of human habitation is long but expanded massively during Roman times, and played significant roles in the Saxon era and English civil war. Industry developed from a largely agricultural basis to include coal mining with the coming of canals and railways. Bath developed as a spa resort in Georgian times and remains a major cultural tourism centre having gained World Heritage City status.

Bath and North East Somerset

Bath & North East Somerset Council
Official logo of Bath and North East Somerset

 
Nickname(s): 
BANES or B&NES
Bath and North East Somerset shown within Somerset
Bath and North East Somerset shown within Somerset
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Constituent countryEngland
RegionSouth West England
Ceremonial countySomerset
Admin HQBath and Keynsham
Created1 April 1996
Government
 • Typeunitary authority
 • LeaderDine Romero
 • CouncilLiberal Democrats
 • MPs:Wera Hobhouse (LD)
Jacob Rees-Mogg (C)
Area
 • Total135.57 sq mi (351.12 km2)
Area rankRanked 116th
Population
 (mid-2018 est.)
 • Total192,106 (Ranked 98th)
 • Density1,340/sq mi (518/km2)
 • Ethnicity
[1]
90.1% White British
4.4% Other White
2.5% Asian
0.7% Black
1.6% Mixed Race
0.7% Other
Time zoneUTC0 (GMT)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+1 (BST)
Postcode
BA and BS
Area code(s)01225 and others
ISO 3166 codeGB-BAS
ONS code00HA (ONS)
E06000022 (GSS)
Websitehttp://www.bathnes.gov.uk/

History

Although BANES was only created in 1996 the area it covers has been occupied for thousands of years. The age of the henge monument at Stanton Drew stone circles is unknown, but is believed to be from the Neolithic period,[2] as is the chambered tomb known as Stoney Littleton Long Barrow.[3] Solsbury Hill has an Iron Age hill fort. The hills around Bath such as Bathampton Down saw human activity from the Mesolithic period.[4][5] Several Bronze Age round barrows were opened by John Skinner in the 18th century.[6] Bathampton Camp may have been a univallate Iron Age hill fort or stock enclosure.[7][8] A long barrow site believed to be from the Beaker people was flattened to make way for RAF Charmy Down.[9]

Roman Baths in Bath Spa, England - July 2006
The Great Bath at the Roman Baths. The entire structure above the level of the pillar bases is a later reconstruction.

The archaeological evidence shows that the site of the Roman Baths' main spring was treated as a shrine by the Celts,[10] and was dedicated to the goddess Sulis, whom the Romans identified with Minerva; however, the name Sulis continued to be used after the Roman invasion, leading to Bath's Roman name of Aquae Sulis (literally, "the waters of Sulis").

Excavations carried out before the flooding of Chew Valley Lake also uncovered Roman remains, indicating agricultural and industrial activity from the second half of the first century until the third century AD. The finds included a moderately large villa at Chew Park,[11] where wooden writing tablets (the first in the UK) with ink writing were found. There is also evidence from the Pagans Hill Roman Temple at Chew Stoke,[12][13] and a villa at Keynsham.

The Saxon advance from the east seems to have been halted by battles between the British and Saxons, for example; at the siege of Badon Mons Badonicus (which may mave been in the Bath region e.g. at Solsbury Hill),[14] or Bathampton Down.[15] This area became the border between the Romano-British Celts and the West Saxons following the Battle of Deorham in 577 AD.[16] The Western Wandsdyke was probably built during the 5th or 6th century. The ditch is on the north side, so presumably it was used by the Celts as a defence against Saxons encroaching from the upper Thames valley. According to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, the Saxon Cenwalh achieved a breakthrough against the British Celtic tribes, with victories at Bradford-on-Avon (in the Avon Gap in the Wansdyke) in 652 AD.[17] In 675, Osric, King of the Hwicce, set up a monastic house at Bath, probably using the walled area as its precinct.[18] King Offa of Mercia gained control of this monastery in 781 and rebuilt the church, which was dedicated to St. Peter.[19] In the ninth century the old Roman street pattern had been lost and it had become a royal possession, with King Alfred laying out the town afresh, leaving its south-eastern quadrant as the abbey precinct.[20] Edgar of England was crowned king of England in Bath Abbey in 973.[21]

King William Rufus granted the city to a royal physician, John of Tours, who became Bishop of Wells and Abbot of Bath in 1088.[22] It was papal policy for bishops to move to more urban seats, and he translated his own from Wells to Bath.[23] He planned and began a much larger church as his cathedral, to which was attached a priory, with the bishop's palace beside it.[22] New baths were built around the three springs. Later bishops, however, returned the episcopal seat to Wells, while retaining the name of Bath in their title as the Bishop of Bath and Wells. The priory at Hinton Charterhouse was founded in 1232 by Ela, Countess of Salisbury who also founded Lacock Abbey.[24]

By the 15th century, Bath's abbey church was badly dilapidated and in need of repairs.[25] Oliver King, Bishop of Bath and Wells, decided in 1500 to rebuild it on a smaller scale. The new church was completed just a few years before Bath Priory was dissolved in 1539 by Henry VIII.[26] The abbey church was allowed to become derelict before being restored as the city's parish church in the Elizabethan period, when the city revived as a spa. The baths were improved and the city began to attract the aristocracy. Bath was granted city status by Royal Charter by Queen Elizabeth I in 1590.[27] Keynsham, said to be named after Saint Keyne, developed into a medieval market town, its growth prompted by the foundation of an influential and prosperous abbey, founded by the Victorine order of Augustinian monks founded around 1170. It survived until the dissolution of the monasteries in 1539 and a house was built on the site. The remains have been designated as grade I listed building by English Heritage.[28] The town was the site of a battle between royalist forces and the rebel Duke of Monmouth.

During the English Civil War, Somerset, which was largely Parliamentarian, was the site of a number of important battles between the Royalists and the Parliamentarians.[29] The Battle of Lansdowne was fought on 5 July 1643 on the northern outskirts of the city.[29]

In 1668 Thomas Guidott, who had been a student of chemistry and medicine at Wadham College Oxford, moved to Bath and set up practice. He became interested in the curative properties of the waters and in 1676 he wrote A discourse of Bathe, and the hot waters there. Also, Some Enquiries into the Nature of the water. This brought the health-giving properties of the hot mineral waters to the attention of the country and soon the aristocracy started to arrive to partake in them.[30] Several areas of the city underwent development during the Stuart period, and this increased during Georgian times in response to increasing numbers of people visiting the spa and resort town and requiring accommodation.[31] The architects John Wood the elder and his son John Wood the younger laid out the new quarters in streets and squares, the identical facades of which gave an impression of palatial scale and classical decorum providing a unique set of buildings and architecture.[32] The creamy gold of Bath stone further unified the city, much of it obtained from the limestone Combe Down and Bathampton Down Mines, which were owned by Ralph Allen (1694–1764).[33] Allen, in order to advertise the quality of his quarried limestone, commissioned the elder John Wood to build him a country house on his Prior Park estate between the city and the mines.[33]

Pensford and Viaduct
Aerial photo of Pensford with the viaduct in the foreground

In north Somerset, around Radstock mining in the Somerset coalfield was an important industry, and in an effort to reduce the cost of transporting the coal the Somerset Coal Canal was built; part of it was later converted into a railway.[34] It connected to the Kennet and Avon Canal which linked the River Thames at Reading and the Floating Harbour at Bristol, joining the River Avon at Bath via Bath Locks. The Somerset and Dorset Joint Railway connected Bath and Bournemouth. It was jointly operated by the Midland Railway and the London and South Western Railway (L&SWR). After the 1 January 1923 Grouping, joint ownership of the S&D passed to the LMS and the Southern Railway.[35][36] The area was also served by the Bristol and North Somerset Railway that connected Bristol with towns in the Somerset coalfield. The line was opened in 1873 between Bristol and Radstock, where it joined with an earlier freight only line from Frome. The biggest civil engineering project on the line was the Pensford Viaduct over the River Chew. The viaduct is 995 feet long, reaches a maximum height of 95 feet to rail level and consists of 16 arches. It is now a Grade II listed building. Freight services on the branch line ceased in 1951. The line achieved some fame after closure by its use in the film The Titfield Thunderbolt, but the track was taken up in 1958.

During World War II, between the evening of 25 April and the early morning of 27 April 1942, Bath suffered three air raids in reprisal for RAF raids on the German cities of Lübeck and Rostock. The three raids formed part of the Luftwaffe campaign popularly known as the Baedeker Blitz; over 400 people were killed, and more than 19,000 buildings were damaged or destroyed.[37] Houses in the Royal Crescent, Circus and Paragon were burnt out along with the Assembly Rooms, while the south side of Queen Square was destroyed.[38] All have since been reconstructed.

The River Chew suffered a major flood in 1968 with serious damage to towns and villages along its route, including Chew Stoke, Chew Magna, Stanton Drew, Publow, Woollard, Compton Dando and Chewton Keynsham. The flood even swept away the bridge at Pensford.

Geography

Bath and North East Somerset covers an area of 136 square miles (352 km2),[39] of which two thirds is green belt. It stretches from the outskirts of Bristol, south into the Mendip Hills and east to the southern Cotswold Hills and Wiltshire border.[40] Surrounding local government areas include Bristol, North Somerset, Somerset, South Gloucestershire, and Wiltshire.

The city of Bath is the principal settlement in the district, but BANES also covers Keynsham, Midsomer Norton, Radstock and the Chew Valley. Bath lies on the River Avon and its tributaries such as the River Chew and Midford Brook cross the area.

In the west of the area the Chew Valley consists of the valley of the River Chew and is generally low-lying and undulating. It is bounded by higher ground ranging from Dundry Down to the north, the Lulsgate Plateau to the west, the Mendip Hills to the south and the Hinton Blewett, Marksbury and Newton St Loe plateau areas to the east. The River Chew was dammed in the 1950s to create Chew Valley Lake, which provides drinking water for the nearby city of Bristol and surrounding areas. The lake is a prominent landscape feature of the valley, a focus for recreation, and is internationally recognised for its nature conservation interest, because of the bird species, plants and insects.

To the north of Bath are Lansdown, Langridge and Solsbury hills. These are outliers of the Cotswolds.

Governance

Bath Guildhall, Council chamber, toward chair
The council chamber in the Guildhall

Historically part of the county of Somerset, Bath was made a county borough in 1889 so being independent of the newly created administrative Somerset county council, which covered the rest of the area that became B&NES.[41] The area that would become B&NES became part of Avon when that non-metropolitan county was created in 1974. Since the abolition of Avon in 1996, Bath has been the main centre of the district of Bath and North East Somerset (B&NES), one of the four authorities that replaced Avon County Council and the six district councils of Avon. B&NES covers the combined areas of the non-metropolitan districts (that existed 1974 to 1996) of Wansdyke and Bath.[42]

Before the Reform Act of 1832 Bath elected two members to the unreformed House of Commons.[43] Bath now has a single parliamentary constituency, with Liberal Democrat Wera Hobhouse as Member of Parliament. The rest of the area falls within the North East Somerset constituency.[44] Previously most of the area was in the Wansdyke constituency, which covers the part of B&NES that is not in the Bath constituency. It also contained four wards or parts of wards from South Gloucestershire Council. It was named after the former Wansdyke district.

Since B&NES was created, until 2015, no political party had been in overall control of the council. The Liberal Democrats quickly became the dominant party, but in the local elections on 3 May 2007 the Conservative Party won 31 seats and became the largest party, though they did not have a majority. In the 2011 local elections, the Liberal Democrats and Conservatives won 29 seats each with the Labour Party winning only five seats; the Liberal Democrats went on to form a minority administration. In 2015, the Conservative Party became the first party to secure a majority, with 37 seats.

The current council composes of 59 councillors, 28 from Bath, 6 each from the Norton Radstock and Keynsham areas, and 19 others. The current political division after the election of May 2019 is:

Party Councillors +/-
Liberal Democrats 37 +22
Conservative Party 11 –26
Independent 6 +4
Labour & Labour Co-op 5 –1

Local concerns include the building of a new road for buses on Conservation Area land as part of the Bath Transportation Package, the closure of a Bath Secondary School to remove excess places,[45] economic difficulties in the Norton Radstock area, development of the large Western Riverside brownfield land site in Bath, and the now popular, but long delayed Thermae Bath Spa development. On 10 December 2003, Bath and North East Somerset was granted Fairtrade Zone status.

Between 2000 and 2104,[46] Bath and North East Somerset Council ran a youth democracy group, Democratic Action for B&NES Youth (DAFBY).[47] The group was consulted by the council and its partners on issues that affected young people.

Elected mayor

Following a successful petition, a referendum was held on 10 March 2016 proposing a directly elected mayor for Bath and North East Somerset.[48] However, the majority of voters in the district opted to stay with the current system.[49]

Parishes

The area of the city of Bath, which was formerly the Bath county borough, is unparished. The fifteen electoral wards of Bath are: Bathwick, Combe Down, Kingsmead, Lambridge, Lansdown, Moorlands, Newbridge, Odd Down, Oldfield Park, Southdown, Twerton, Walcot, Westmoreland, Weston and Widcombe & Lyncombe. These wards are co-extensive with the city, except that Newbridge includes also two parishes beyond the city boundary.[50]

Image Name Status Population Former local authority Coordinates Refs
St.nicholas.church.at.bathampton.arp Bathampton Civil parish 1,603 Bathavon Rural District 51°23′N 2°19′W / 51.39°N 2.32°W [51][52]
Batheaston Batheaston Civil parish 2,735 Bathavon Rural District 51°25′N 2°19′W / 51.41°N 2.31°W [52][53]
High Street, Bathford - geograph.org.uk - 809104 Bathford Civil parish 1,759 Bathavon Rural District 51°23′N 2°18′W / 51.39°N 2.30°W [52][54]
Cameley church 2 Cameley Civil parish 1,292 Clutton Rural District 51°19′N 2°34′W / 51.32°N 2.56°W [55][56]
Camerton (Somerset) St Peter's Church - geograph.org.uk - 67585 Camerton Civil parish 655 Bathavon Rural District 51°19′N 2°27′W / 51.32°N 2.45°W [52][57]
Langridge church Charlcombe Civil parish 422 Bathavon Rural District 51°25′N 2°22′W / 51.41°N 2.36°W [52][58]
Chelwood church Chelwood Civil parish 148 Clutton Rural District 51°21′N 2°31′W / 51.35°N 2.52°W [56][59]
Streetchewmagna Chew Magna Civil parish 1,149 Clutton Rural District 51°22′N 2°37′W / 51.37°N 2.61°W [56][60]
Chewstokevillagescape Chew Stoke Civil parish 991 Clutton Rural District 51°21′N 2°38′W / 51.35°N 2.64°W [56][61]
Claverton Pumping Station Exterior Claverton Civil parish 115 Bathavon Rural District 51°23′N 2°19′W / 51.38°N 2.31°W [52][62]
Clutton church Clutton Civil parish 1,602 Clutton Rural District 51°20′N 2°32′W / 51.33°N 2.54°W [56][63]
Combe hay weir Combe Hay Civil parish 147 Bathavon Rural District 51°20′N 2°23′W / 51.34°N 2.38°W [52][64]
Compton Dando church Compton Dando Civil parish 579 Keynsham Urban District 51°23′N 2°31′W / 51.38°N 2.51°W [65][66]
Compton martin duck pond Compton Martin Civil parish 508 Clutton Rural District 51°19′N 2°39′W / 51.31°N 2.65°W [56][67]
Corston (Somerset) All Saints Church - geograph.org.uk - 67722 Corston Civil parish 494 Bathavon Rural District 51°23′N 2°26′W / 51.39°N 2.44°W [52][68]
Dunkertonaqueduct Dunkerton Civil parish 502 Bathavon Rural District 51°20′N 2°25′W / 51.33°N 2.41°W [52][69]
East harptree church East Harptree Civil parish 644 Clutton Rural District 51°18′N 2°37′W / 51.30°N 2.62°W [56][70]
Englishcombe Englishcombe Civil parish 318 Bathavon Rural District 51°22′N 2°25′W / 51.36°N 2.41°W [52][71]
Farmborougchurch Farmborough Civil parish 1,035 Clutton Rural District 51°20′N 2°29′W / 51.34°N 2.48°W [56][72]
Farringtongurneychurch Farrington Gurney Civil parish 901 Clutton Rural District 51°17′N 2°32′W / 51.29°N 2.53°W [56][73]
Freshford Mill Freshford Civil parish 551 Bathavon Rural District 51°20′N 2°19′W / 51.34°N 2.31°W [52][74]
High Littleton (Somerset) Holy Trinity Church - geograph.org.uk - 67726 High Littleton Civil parish 2,104 Clutton Rural District 51°19′N 2°31′W / 51.32°N 2.51°W [56][75]
Hintonblewittpubandchurch Hinton Blewett Civil parish 308 Clutton Rural District 51°19′N 2°35′W / 51.31°N 2.58°W [56][76]
Hinton Charterhouse church Hinton Charterhouse Civil parish 515 Bathavon Rural District 51°20′N 2°19′W / 51.33°N 2.32°W [52][77]
Kelston church Kelston Civil Parish 248 Bathavon Rural District 51°24′N 2°26′W / 51.40°N 2.43°W [52][78]
Keyneshamhighstreet Keynsham Town 15,641 Keynsham Urban District 51°25′N 2°29′W / 51.41°N 2.49°W [66][79]
Marksbury church Marksbury Civil parish 397 Bathavon Rural District 51°22′N 2°29′W / 51.36°N 2.48°W [52][80]
Somer2 Midsomer Norton Town
10,997
Norton Radstock 51°17′N 2°29′W / 51.28°N 2.48°W [81][82]
Monkton.combe.from.afar.arp Monkton Combe Civil parish 554 Bathavon Rural District 51°22′N 2°20′W / 51.36°N 2.33°W [52][83]
Nempnett church Nempnett Thrubwell Civil parish 177 Clutton Rural District 51°20′N 2°41′W / 51.34°N 2.68°W [56][84]
Newtonstloechurch Newton St Loe Civil parish 681 Bathavon Rural District 51°23′N 2°26′W / 51.38°N 2.43°W [52][85]
Norton Malreward Norton Malreward Civil parish 246 Clutton Rural District 51°23′N 2°34′W / 51.39°N 2.57°W [56][86]
PaultonBatch Paulton Civil parish 5,302 Clutton Rural District 51°19′N 2°30′W / 51.31°N 2.50°W [56][87]
Peasedownstjohn Peasedown St John Civil parish 6,446 Bathavon Rural District 51°19′N 2°26′W / 51.32°N 2.44°W [52][88]
St Luke and St Andrew's Church, Priston, Somerset Priston Civil parish 232 Bathavon Rural District 51°20′N 2°26′W / 51.34°N 2.44°W [52][89]
Publow bridge Publow Civil parish 1,119 Clutton Rural District 51°22′N 2°33′W / 51.37°N 2.55°W [56][90]
RadstockMineWheel Radstock Town
5,620
Norton Radstock Town Council 51°17′24″N 2°26′52″W / 51.29°N 2.4477°W [82][91]
Saltford St Marys church Saltford Civil parish 4,073 Keynsham Urban District 51°24′N 2°28′W / 51.40°N 2.46°W [66][92]
Shoscombe Shoscombe Civil parish 443 Bathavon Rural District 51°18′N 2°25′W / 51.30°N 2.41°W [52][93]
Southstokechurch Southstoke Civil parish 460 Bathavon Rural District 51°21′N 2°22′W / 51.35°N 2.36°W [52][94]
Stanton drew church Stanton Drew Civil parish 787 Clutton Rural District 51°22′N 2°35′W / 51.37°N 2.58°W [56][95]
Bishop Sutton Stowey-Sutton Civil parish 1,361 Clutton Rural District 51°20′N 2°35′W / 51.34°N 2.59°W [56][96]
Upper Swainswick Swainswick Civil parish 265 Bathavon Rural District 51°25′N 2°21′W / 51.41°N 2.35°W [52][97]
Timsbury (Somerset) St Mary's Church - geograph.org.uk - 67849 Timsbury Civil parish 2,624 Clutton Rural District 51°20′N 2°29′W / 51.33°N 2.48°W [56][98]
Ubleychurch Ubley Civil parish 331 Clutton Rural District 51°19′N 2°41′W / 51.32°N 2.68°W [56][99]
Wellowsomerset Wellow Civil parish 529 Bathavon Rural District 51°19′N 2°22′W / 51.32°N 2.37°W [52][100]
Westfield Shops, Wells Road, Radstock - geograph.org.uk - 431126 Westfield Civil parish
5,854
Norton Radstock Town Council 51°17′24″N 2°26′53″W / 51.29°N 2.448°W [82][101]
West Harptree West Harptree Civil parish 439 Clutton Rural District 51°19′N 2°38′W / 51.31°N 2.63°W [56][102]
Whitchurchchurch Whitchurch Civil parish 1,354 Bathavon Rural District 51°25′N 2°34′W / 51.41°N 2.56°W [52][103]

Demography

Population Profile[104]
UK Census 2001 BANES UA South West England England
Total population 169,040 4,928,434 49,138,831
Foreign born 11.2% 9.4% 9.2%
White 97.3% 97.7% 91%
Asian 0.5% 0.7% 4.6%
Black 0.5% 0.4% 2.3%
Christian 71.0% 74.0% 72%
Muslim 0.4% 0.5% 3.1%
Hindu 0.2% 0.2% 1.1%
No religion 19.5% 16.8% 15%
Over 75 years old 8.9% 9.3% 7.5%
Unemployed 2.0% 2.6% 3.3%

170,238 people live in the area and approximately half live in the City of Bath making it 12 times more densely populated than the rest of the area.

According to the UK Government's 2001 census, Bath, together with North East Somerset, which includes areas around Bath as far as the Chew Valley, has a population of 169,040, with an average age of 39.9 (the national average being 38.6). According to the same statistics, the district is overwhelmingly populated by people of a white ethnic background at 97.2% — significantly higher than the national average of 90.9%. Other non-white ethnic groups in the district, in order of population size, are multiracial at 1%, Asian at 0.5% and black at 0.5% (the national averages are 1.3%, 4.6% and 2.1%, respectively).[105]

The district is largely Christian at 71%, with no other religion reaching more than 0.5%. These figures generally compare with the national averages, though the non-religious, at 19.5%, are significantly more prevalent than the national 14.8%. Although Bath is known for the restorative powers of its waters, and only 7.4% of the population describe themselves as "not healthy" in the last 12 months, compared to a national average of 9.2%; only 15.8% of the inhabitants say they have had a long-term illness, as against 18.2% nationally.[105]

Population since 1801 – Source: A Vision of Britain through Time
Year 1801 1851 1901 1911 1921 1931 1941 1951 1961 1971 1981 1991 2001
Population BANES[106] 57,188 96,992 107,637 113,732 113,351 112,972 123,185 134,346 144,950 156,421 154,083 164,737 169,045

Economy

This is a chart of trend of regional gross value added of North and North East Somerset and South Gloucestershire at current basic prices published by Office for National Statistics with figures in millions of British Pounds Sterling.[107]

Year Regional Gross Value Added[108] Agriculture[109] Industry[110] Services[111]
1995 5,916 125 1,919 3,872
2000 8,788 86 2,373 6,330
2003 10,854 67 2,873 7,914

Settlements

The major towns and villages in the district are:

Transport

Bath is approximately 12 miles (19 km) south-east of the larger city and port of Bristol, to which it is linked by the A4 road, and is a similar distance south of the M4 motorway. Bath and North East Somerset is also served by the A37 and A368 trunk roads, and a network of smaller roads. Bath is also 12 miles (19 km) south-west of Chippenham, and 8 miles (13 km) south-west of Corsham.

Bath is connected to Bristol and the sea by the River Avon, navigable via locks by small boats. The river was connected to the River Thames and London by the Kennet & Avon Canal in 1810 via Bath Locks; this waterway – closed for many years, but restored in the last years of the 20th century – is now popular with narrow boat users.[112] Bath is on National Cycle Route 4, with one of Britain's first cycleways, the Bristol & Bath Railway Path, to the west, and an eastern route toward London on the canal towpath. Although Bath does not have an airport, the city is about 18 miles (29 km) from Bristol Airport, which may be reached by road or by rail via Bristol Temple Meads station.

Bath is served by the Bath Spa railway station (designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel), which has regular connections to London Paddington, Bristol Temple Meads, Cardiff Central, Swansea, Exeter St Davids, Plymouth and Penzance (see Great Western Main Line), and also Westbury, Warminster, Salisbury, Southampton Central, Portsmouth Harbour and Brighton (see Wessex Main Line). Services are provided by Great Western Railway. There are suburban stations on the main line at Oldfield Park and Keynsham which have a limited commuter service to Bristol. Green Park station was once operated by the Somerset & Dorset Joint Railway, whose line (always steam driven) climbed over the Mendip Hills and served many towns and villages on its 71-mile (114 km) run to Bournemouth; this example of an English rural line was closed by the Beeching cuts in March 1966, with few remaining signs of its existence, but its Bath station building survives and now houses a number of shops.

The 2004 Bristol/Bath to South Coast Study[113] was commissioned as a result of the de-trunking in 1999 of the A36/A46 trunk road network from Bath to Southampton.

Education

State-funded schools are organised within the district of Bath and North East Somerset. A review of Secondary Education in Bath was started in 2007, primarily to reduce surplus provision and reduce the number of single-sex secondary schools in Bath, and to access capital funds available through the government's Building Schools for the Future programme.[114]

The city contains one further education college, Bath College, and several sixth forms as part of both state, private, and public schools. In England, on average in 2006, 45.8% of pupils gained 5 grades A-C including English and Maths; for Bath and North East Somerset pupils taking GCSE at 16 it is 52.0%.[115] Special needs education is provided by Three Ways School.

Bath has two universities. The University of Bath was established in 1966.[116] It is known, academically, for the physical sciences, mathematics, architecture, management and technology.[117]

Bath Spa University was first granted degree-awarding powers in 1992 as a university college (Bath Spa University College), before being granted university status in August 2005.[118] It has schools in Art and Design, Education, English and Creative Studies, Historical and Cultural Studies, Music and the Performing Arts, and Social Sciences.[118] It also awards degrees through colleges such as Weston College in nearby Weston-super-Mare.

Sports

Bath Rugby plays at the Recreation Ground.[119] Bath Cricket Club play at the North Parade cricket ground next door to the Recreation Ground.

Bath City F.C. is the major football team in Bath city but there are also clubs in the surrounding areas such as; Paulton Rovers F. C., Bishop Sutton A.F.C., Radstock Town F.C. and Welton Rovers F.C..

The Bath Half Marathon is run annually through the city streets, with over 10,000 runners.[120] Bath also has a thriving cycling community, with places for biking including Royal Victoria Park, 'The Tumps' in Odd Down/east, the jumps on top of Lansdown, and Prior Park. Places for biking near Bath include Brown's Folly in Batheaston and Box Woods, in Box.

There are sport and leisure centres in Bath, Keynsham the Chew Valley and Midsomer Norton. Much of the surrounding countryside is accessible for walking and both Chew Valley Lake and Blagdon Lake provide extensive fishing under permit from Bristol Water. The River Chew and most of its tributaries also have fishing but this is generally under licences to local angling clubs. Chew Valley Sailing Club[121] is situated on Chew Valley Lake and provides dinghy sailing at all levels and hosts national and international competitions.

Places of interest

There are a total of 72,000 dwellings within the area, 6,408 are listed buildings, 662 Grade 1and 145 Grade 2 and classified as of historical or architectural importance. These include many buildings and areas of Bath such as Lansdown Crescent,[122] the Royal Crescent,[123] The Circus and Pulteney Bridge.[124] Outside the city there are also several historic manor houses such as St Catherine's Court and Sutton Court.

Bath is a major tourist centre and has a range of museums and art galleries including the Victoria Art Gallery,[125] the Museum of East Asian Art, and Holburne Museum of Art,[126] numerous commercial art galleries and antique shops, as well as numerous museums, among them Bath Postal Museum, The Fashion Museum, the Jane Austen Centre, the Herschel Museum of Astronomy and the Roman Baths.[127]

The Radstock Museum details the history of the Somerset coalfield.

The Avon Valley Railway serves Avon Riverside railway station.

See also

References

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External links

2011 Bath and North East Somerset Council election

The Bath and North East Somerset Council election was held on 5 May 2011 to elect 65 local councillors for Bath and North East Somerset Council.

2015 Bath and North East Somerset Council election

The 2015 Bath and North East Somerset Council election took place on 7 May 2015 to elect members of Bath and North East Somerset Council in England. This coincided with other local elections and the 2015 general election.

2019 Bath and North East Somerset Council election

The 2019 Bath and North East Somerset Council election was held on 2 May 2019 to elect members of Bath and North East Somerset Council in England.

The Conservative Party took control of the council at the 2015 election, with thirty-seven members and a working majority of seven. At the 2019 election, the Conservative Party defended 36 seats, the Liberal Democrats defended 17 seats and the Labour Party defended six.

Bath and North East Somerset Council

Bath and North East Somerset Council is the local council for the district of Bath and North East Somerset in Somerset, England.

It is a unitary authority, with the powers and functions of a non-metropolitan county and district council combined. The council consists of 59 councillors: 28 from Bath, 6 each from the Norton Radstock and Keynsham areas, and 19 from other areas.

Bath and North East Somerset Council elections

Bath and North East Somerset is a unitary authority in Somerset, England. It was created on 1 April 1996 replacing Bath, Wansdyke and Avon County Council.

Broadlands Academy

Broadlands Academy is a secondary school in Keynsham, Bath and North East Somerset, England. Formerly known as Broadlands School founded in 1935, the academy opened in December 2012. The school, which had specialist Science College and Engineering College status, had 464 students between the ages of 11 and 16 years as of 2014.The Academy is located near the north-west edge of the Bath and North East Somerset local authority area, and attracts many of its pupils from outside the local authority area. In 2006, 69% of pupils came from Bristol and South Gloucestershire. This led the local authority to consider amalgamating the school with the nearby Wellsway School, though in 2010 a decision was made not to proceed with this proposal.In July 2012, Justine Hocking (who worked alongside students and staff to ensure that the school would remain open in 2010) stepped down as head after working at the school for 10 years.

Broadlands converted to an academy with the Academies Enterprise Trust in December 2012. Mr Dean Anderson will take over from Richard Williams (interim head Sep - Dec 2012) as Headteacher of Broadlands Academy in January 2013.The head teacher as of 2017 is James Hall who has taken over from Dean Anderson.

Cam Brook

The Cam brook is a small river in Somerset, England. It rises near Hinton Blewitt, flows through Cameley, Temple Cloud, Camerton, Dunkerton and Combe Hay. It then joins the Wellow Brook at Midford to form Midford Brook before joining the River Avon close to the Dundas Aqueduct.

Along its length are the remains of the Somerset Coal Canal which originally took its water from Cam brook, and serviced the Somerset coalfield. The Long Dole Wood and Meadows SSSI is situated on the flood plain of a valley formed by a tributary of the brook.

Chew Valley School

Chew Valley School is situated within the Chew Valley in Somerset in South West England. It is 8 miles (13 km) south of Bristol in the village of Chew Stoke, on a 30-acre (12 ha) site in open countryside overlooking the Chew Valley Lake.

It is the only secondary school in the Chew Valley area, providing further education to local children, from various local primary schools, and some pupils who live outside the catchment area. As of 2015, the school had over 1,160 pupils, including 186 in the Sixth Form.

List of schools in Bath and North East Somerset

This is a list of schools in Bath and North East Somerset in the English county of Somerset.

Norton Hill School

Norton Hill School is a state school with academy status in Midsomer Norton, Somerset, England. It is part of the Midsomer Norton Schools Partnership academy group. It was formerly the Midsomer Norton Grammar School.

The school had 1,519 students from the age of 11 to 18 as of 2013 including 266 in the sixth form. It is situated in the Norton Hill area of west Midsomer Norton, north of Radstock. It is between Silver Street (B3355) and Fosseway (A367) near the former Midsomer Norton railway station, being nearer to Silver Street and just east of the railway centre.

Ralph Allen School

Ralph Allen School in Combe Down, Bath, England, is a co-educational, comprehensive secondary school with academy status. Located on the south-eastern edge of Bath, the school educates 11 to 18-year-olds from Bath and the surrounding area.

River Somer

The River Somer is a small river in Somerset, England.

Somervale School

Somervale School is situated in Midsomer Norton in Bath and North East Somerset in South West England. The school, which has academy status, is a specialist Arts College. It is one of two schools in the area, providing secondary education to local children and some pupils who live outside the catchment area. The number of pupils on the school roll is 538. A fall in the number of pupils prompted the school to propose a federation with nearby Norton Hill School in March 2009. This is now in place with Alun Williams as the head teacher of both schools within the federation, and a common governing body.

On 1 October 2010, Somervale School became an academy alongside Norton Hill. Somervale was named amongst the 100 top performing schools based on sustained improvement of results by Minister of State for Schools Nick Gibb in March 2012. Somervale School was awarded 'Good' by Ofsted in January 2013. The school shares its sixth form with federated school Norton Hill. The sixth form is based across both sites and is called the Midsomer Norton Sixth Form.In 2008, the school was the first in Bath and North East Somerset to win the Eco-Schools Silver Award.

Pupils in the school help to influence the way that the school is moving through the pupil council.

The local community radio station, Somer Valley FM, broadcasts from the former caretaker's house on the school premises. It provides opportunities for pupils to gain radio work experience and training.

The school was built on land that was formerly part of the estate of the now-demolished mansion Norton House, built by coalmine investor Thomas Savage in 1789. A Crimean War memorial obelisk built by the Savage family survives in the school grounds to this day.

Award winning playwright Chris Urch went to Somervale when he lived in Midsomer Norton before moving to London to study acting.

Three Ways School

Three Ways School is a coeducational special school with academy status, located in the Odd Down area of Bath in Somerset, England.

It was created in 2005 from the amalgamation of three special schools in Bath, the Royal United Hospital School, Summerfield School and Lime Grove School, but only moved into its new £12 million, purpose built facilities after they were opened on 17 November 2007, by High Sheriff of Somerset, David Medlock.The buildings, grounds and facilities cater for children and young people with a range of special needs. The school is divided into small family units from the nursery for the very youngest children to a post 16 centre. The facilities include a sensory theatre and Hydrotherapy pool. The school also has partners with Ralph Allen School.

Architects for the scheme were Cardiff-based B3, and it won the “Inspiring Design — special needs” in the British Council for School Environments (BCSE) inaugural awards in 2008.The school converted to academy status on 1 September 2013.

Wansdyke (district)

Wansdyke was a non-metropolitan district within the County of Avon, in the west of England from 1974 to 1996.

The district was formed by the Local Government Act 1972 on 1 April 1974 as part of a reform of local authorities throughout England and Wales. Under the reorganisation, the area surrounding the cities of Bath and Bristol was formed into a new county of "Avon", named after the river that ran through the area. The county was divided into six districts, one of which was formed from the areas of Keynsham and Norton-Radstock urban districts along with Bathavon Rural District and part of Clutton Rural District in Somerset. The district was named after the Wansdyke earthwork.

Following a review by the Local Government Commission for England, both the County of Avon and District of Wansdyke were abolished on 1 April 1996. Wansdyke was merged with the neighbouring City of Bath to form the unitary authority of Bath and North East Somerset.The Parliamentary constituency of Wansdyke covering a similar but not identical area was replaced at the 2010 general election, when it was split and merged into the North East Somerset and Kingswood constituencies.

Writhlington School

Writhlington School is a secondary school for pupils aged 11–18 in Writhlington, Bath and North East Somerset, England. It is the main secondary school in the Radstock area, providing further education to local children and some pupils who live outside the catchment area. The school became an academy in October 2011.

Around 70% of year 11 pupils apply to attend sixth form. The school is notable for its orchid project, which has won numerous awards including a gold medal at the 2009 Chelsea Flower Show. The school has also won awards in business with their enterprise companies. It is one of the few state schools to have its own non-compulsory Combined Cadet Force (CCF) with over 150 pupils involved from years 9 to 13.

In March 2017, the school received a "requires improvement" critical status rating from Ofsted. This is currently still in place.

A turf-cutting ceremony was held at the start of a major rebuilding programme funded by the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) as part of the Building Schools for the Future programme. It is designed to increase the capacity of the school to 1,300+ pupils and was due for completion in January 2010. The school moved into the new building in April 2010. The British Council for School Environments, an education charity which pioneers and supports the creation of effective and efficient learning environments, declared the Writhlington School project as Winner of the Excellence in Design for Teaching and Learning: Secondary New Build and Winner of the Badge in Excellence in Design for Virtual Learning.

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