The decade-long saga of the Bristol North Baths may be finally reaching a conclusion, as the Mayor considers allocating additional funding to ensure the developments completion at a cabinet meeting on Tuesday 5th April. The council took back control of the long–delayed development last autumn, and the proposal is that additional money invested by the council would be repaid once the scheme is completed.
Green Councillors have welcomed the news that the development will finally be completed, but have stressed the need for the local community to be kept informed and for there to be complete transparency over the completion process.
Redland’s Green Councillor, Martin Fodor, who has tabled a question1 to the Mayor ahead of the cabinet meeting, said:
“The development has taken a decade since it was conceived, and we do hope the end is in sight at last. Many residents have had concerns about the delays since the development has unravelled, and lack of communication has led to rumours and misinformation. As local councillors, we have tried to provide as much information as possible through local magazines and newsletters, but getting up to date news that keeps people informed has not always been easy.”
“Now, with additional financing being sought, it’s time for an open approach and a commitment to keeping everyone abreast of progress and timescales. This is why I’m seeking a public assurance from the Mayor that residents, traders and us as elected representatives are kept informed in a timely and accurate manner. Let’s use this opportunity for a new start, and work together for the speedy completion of this troubled development.”
The council has made clear its priority is completing the new flats, library, public toilets, and restoring the shoppers’ car park. The old baths building will take longer. The value of the development will ensure no overall cost to the council (see: https://www2.bristol.gov.uk/committee/2016/ua/ua000/0405_6.pdf).
Councillor Fodor is also asking that there should be a commitment to learning lessons from the experience.