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e-connect 13 October

Date published: 2022-10-13

Cllr Kevin Guy, right, leader of Bath and North East Somerset Council, with Princess Esther Sellassie Antohin, co-chair of Fairfield House Bath CIC

e-connect 13 October 2022
Cllr Kevin Guy, right, leader of Bath and North East Somerset Council, with Princess Esther Sellassie Antohin, co-chair of Fairfield House Bath CIC

A message from Cllr Kevin Guy, Leader of Bath & North East Somerset Council

I want to use this column once again to highlight the help that is available for local people during this cost of living crisis.

The Community Wellbeing Hub provides a single telephone number 0300 247 0050 to access support from key local agencies, including Citizens Advice, Age UK and Bath Mind. Please pass this information to friends, neighbours, work colleagues and anyone else who needs it.

We have also recently set out our ‘Warm Welcome’ package for our libraries and are working with local groups to establish an online map of warm spaces that can help households struggling to meet the costs of energy to heat their homes. Groups can register their spaces here. Thank you to all the organisations who have signed up so far.

You can find out more about our Warm Spaces initiative on the council’s cost of living crisis web pages which also contain a wide range of information that is useful during these challenging times.

I am concerned about the impact of the cost of living crisis on local businesses. I am conscious that the vast majority of our businesses are small, independent and employ less than five people and I’ve created a new, dedicated cabinet role to help boost the local economy. Councillor Mark Roper, who holds this new Economic Development Regeneration & Growth portfolio and can be contacted here. We also offer free expert advice to B&NES-based businesses and pre-startups.

Our Invest in B&NES website contains more information on services to businesses, while we also have a dedicated Business & Skills Team available to meet either remotely or face-to-face. I urge businesses to reach out to our support services as soon as they enter difficultly to ensure they have the best chance of survival during the current economic downturn. The West of England Growth Hub is another excellent free online resource for businesses in the region.

The council is also working to maintain and develop the vibrancy of local shops and other businesses such as hospitality, including those in Bath city centre. We have recently attracted new lettings into council-owned commercial properties and many of those are independent retailers investing in Bath.

As well as residents and businesses I also want to support our local community organisations, who play such a vital role. One of the ways we can do this is to help them gain more control over key community buildings. We recently awarded Fairfield House Bath CIC (Community Interest Company) a two-year lease. This will enable this historic site to continue being used as a lively community hub, day care centre for the elderly and heritage attraction for visitors worldwide. From 1936 to 1941 the villa was the residence of His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie I, who gifted the property to Bath Corporation in 1959 as a home for the aged in gratitude for the warm welcome he received from the citizens of Bath I was particularly pleased to attend a recent open day at Fairfield House and meet with Princess Esther Sellassie Antohin, co-chair of Fairfield House Bath CIC.

As part of a new short-term lease agreement the council will also carry out repairs to the properties to preserve the integrity of the buildings. I recognise how much this building, its history and its current contribution to community life means to so many people, in Bath and across the world.

Have a good weekend.


Cost of living crisis

Worried about the cost of living? Help is out there.

The Community Wellbeing Hub can let you know what support is available and you can call them on 0300 247 0050. There is also a dedicated Cost of Living Crisis section on Live Well B&NES, including: You can print out and display a cost of living poster to help promote the help and support available.
Earlier this week it was National Burn Awareness Day. Did you know around 30 children a day are burned by hot drinks? Keep hot drinks out of reach. #BeBurnsAware
Covid-19 update
Find the latest Government data on coronavirus here.

Autumn Covid booster campaign

The autumn Covid booster campaign is now under way in England.

The Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire Integrated Care Board (BSW ICB) are also asking people to pay particular attention to the current eligibility:
  • anyone aged 65 or over
  • anyone aged 12 years or over with a weakened immune system, or living with someone who is
  • frontline health and care workers
  • pregnant women
Bath racecourse is not currently offering walk-in Covid-19 appointments. Instead, they are encouraging people to book an appointment via the National Booking Service.

Please be patient if they are struggling to book an appointment, as more appointments are being added regularly so people should keep trying.

Flu vaccine for two- and three-year-olds

If your child was aged 2 or 3 years old on 31 August 2022 (born between 1 September 2018 and 31 August 2020), they are now eligible for a free flu nasal spray vaccine. The children's nasal spray flu vaccine is safe and effective. It's offered every year to children to help protect them against flu. Please contact your GP surgery to book a vaccine appointment. Visit the NHS website for more information.

Upcoming clinics

  • Thursday 20 October ‒ Bath City Football Club (11-5.30pm)
  • Saturday 29 October ‒ Bath City Football Club (12:30-5pm)
There's still time to grab your first, second or booster doses, including the new autumn booster.

Anyone who is eligible can book their vaccination appointment online (new appointments are added frequently) or find a walk-in clinic on the NHS website. You need to be registered with a GP (or call 119) to book online. You do not need to book or be registered with a GP to use a walk-in clinic.
Check your eligibility here for first and second Covid-19 vaccinations, and here for the Covid-19 booster vaccinations.

Volunteer drivers needed to help housebound patients

Banes Enhanced Medical Services (BEMS) have been asked to carry out Covid vaccinations for a number of housebound patients across Bath and North East Somerset, and are looking for volunteer drivers to support vaccinators from Monday to Friday (9am-5pm).

Volunteers are required to have a full driving licence and use their own vehicle to transport the vaccinators, with BEMS covering the mileage. Volunteers are asked to commit to a minimum shift of four hours.

BEMS, BANES Enhanced Medical Services (BEMS+), is a GP Federation, that works across the community to provide high quality community based clinical services and supports local General Practices to provide these services.

If you are interested in this role email Roxie Minney or call 01225 560805.


COVID-19 Health and Wellbeing Questionnaire form

Local charity, Bath Ethnic Minority Senior Citizens Association (BEMSCA), is working with Bath & North East Somerset Council's public health team to understand how the pandemic has impacted on the physical and mental wellbeing of these communities. We want to understand your experiences and how you managed during the COVID-19 pandemic by completing this survey.

Night time closures for A4 Upper Bristol Road

A scheme to improve walking, wheeling and cycling along the A4 Upper Bristol Road is more than halfway to completion and residents are being notified of road closures needed for the next stage of the works.

Councillors updated on renewable energy roll-out

The generation of renewable energy in council buildings as part of the council’s net zero commitment has been outlined to councillors.

The little kit that could save your life campaign

A Bowel Cancer screening awareness campaign has launched in Bath and North East Somerset encouraging men aged 56-74 to take a simple free test which could save their lives.

Council’s Highways team prepared for winter

The council's Highways team have begun their preparations for winter by stocking up on gritting salt and refilling grit bins.

Next steps for Warm Spaces

Plans to create a network of Warm Spaces in Bath and North East Somerset have taken a big step forward.

Can you open your home to a Ukrainian family?

Due to the ongoing crisis in Ukraine, the council is looking for more sponsors for Ukrainian guests in need of a home. Almost 200 sponsors have opened their homes throughout B&NES so far, but more are needed.

Please consider signing up to the scheme if you think you could offer families fleeing the war in their country a spare room in your home, or if you have another form of accommodation that may be suitable. If you know anyone who might have an interest in registering for the scheme, please encourage them to get in touch.

We're seeking sponsors who can commit to offering a home to Ukrainian guests for a minimum of six months. We're also looking for sponsors who could provide accommodation on a short-term basis for a few weeks. All sponsors receive a ‘thank you’ payment of £350 per month.

If you have any questions and would like to register your interest, please email.

Autumn tree sale weekends coming up

Autumn tree sale weekends are being held in Midsomer Norton on 15 and 16 October, and in Bath on 12 and 13 November, to help reach our target to plant 100,000 trees in Bath and North East Somerset by May 2023. A variety of species will be on sale to suit different garden sizes, with trees in 10 litre containers available for £10, and trees in 5 litre containers only £5. Up to five trees can be ordered. Trees for Midsomer Norton go on sale tomorrow (7 October) at 5pm. Trees for Bath go on sale on 4 November at 5pm. More information is available here.

Discover orchestral concerts for free

For the second year running, Bath Philharmonia is offering up to four free tickets to one of its concerts at The Bath Forum between 1 October 2022 and 31 July 2023, to every household in Bath & North East Somerset. Individual tickets can be booked at Bath Box Office and full details on the concerts and terms and conditions for this special offer can be found online.

Council meetings

Do you want to know about decisions being taken by the council and have your say? Please follow this link to the council’s calendar of meetings.

Follow us online

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Newsroom and we're on Nextdoor, too. For updates, visit our website.

Public health newsletter

To keep up to date with the latest public health news stories across Bath and North East Somerset, including upcoming events and other information, subscribe to the public health monthly newsletter. You can also browse previous editions of the public health newsletter.

The Library at Home service

If you, or someone you know is unable to visit the library, why not try the Library at Home service. This is a great way to connect with new friends and volunteers through a love of reading. You can access books and audiobooks, regardless of your situation. To find out more visit here. Alternatively, you can email.

Employment & Skills Pod

Are you returning to work after a short or long break? Perhaps you are already in work and planning to change the direction of your career? The Employment & Skills Pod can help you find the right opportunities. Call now on 0300 247 0050 or you can email us. You can also find out more on the website.

Future Bright

Future Bright offers FREE career coaching, training and support to help you develop the skills and confidence you need to take your next step. Read some of the inspiring stories from those who have progressed with their careers with support from their Future Bright Careers Coach. Visit the Future Bright website to find out more or call 01225 395555.

Live Well B&NES: information for all

Live Well B&NES is a web-based resource providing information, signposting and support to Bath & North East Somerset residents. It provides useful information, signposting and resources for families, including Ofsted registered childcare, children and young people with additional needs (our SEND Local Offer) and adults needing care or support to live independently.
Information, services and groups are regularly added to Live Well B&NES. If you work with, support, provide services or run groups for children and young people or for adults needing care or support (such as older people, adults with physical disabilities and/or sensory impairments, people living with mental ill health), and haven’t already registered ‒ make sure you’re included. It’s free and takes less than five minutes to register.

Find out more:

Live Well B&NES has a brand new feature called Unsure where to start? to help Bath & North East residents find the information they need for themselves or a family member who needs care or support. Users of the site select a category (such as money matters & finance, keeping safe, caring for others) answer a few simple questions and are then presented with a range of resources and information relevant to their needs. For more information, email the LWB team.

Specialised dementia groups in B&NES

Age UK Bath & North East Somerset run specialised Dementia Groups in the district. These groups are a safe, fun environment for people to come for activities and friendship. Find out more here or call 01225 466135.

The Alzheimer’s Society also runs a series of support services for people across Bath and North East Somerset. For more information, email us.

Do you look after someone else?

If you support someone who has a disability, illness, mental health condition, addiction or who needs extra help as they grow older, Bath and North East Somerset Carers’ Centre is here for you. Their friendly team will listen to any concerns you have, offer practical advice and access to free wellbeing activities to ensure you’re happy and healthy in your caring role. Contact our freephone support line: 0800 038 8885 or email us. We’re available 9am-1pm, every weekday.

Support from Community Wellbeing Hub

Anybody who is a resident of Bath and North East Somerset can benefit from support from the Community Wellbeing Hub. The team offer a range of support services such as mental health, returning home from hospital, income, housing and benefits advice, emergency food, as well as lifestyle services for help with stopping smoking, getting active or losing weight. Opening hours are from Monday to Friday, 9am until 5pm. Call the Hub on 0300 247 0050 or text 07870 868368. You can also email or visit the website.

If you need to contact the council about its services please ring Council Connect on 01225 394041 or email us.

Domestic abuse

Southside provides help to people who live in Bath & North East Somerset who are at risk of domestic violence and abuse. The working hours are 9am-5pm Monday-Thursday, and 9am-4pm Fridays. Local support services can be found here.

Sight loss support

Sight Support West of England provides emotional and practical support to help people adjust to living with sight loss. To find out more, or make an appointment please call  0117 3224885 or email. For more information on the full range of services, visit the website. For more useful information visit the RNIB website.
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Date published: 2022-10-13

Cllr Kevin Guy, right, leader of Bath and North East Somerset Council, with Princess Esther Sellassie Antohin, co-chair of Fairfield House Bath CIC

Date published: 2022-10-13