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e-connect 14 October

Date published: 2021-10-14

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

Let's look after each other. Covid hasn't gone away.

Coronavirus update 14 October 2021

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

I strongly believe that the more we all work together across Bath & North East Somerset, the stronger our voice and the more we can achieve for our local communities. Last night I saw a great example of this when I attended our Parish Liaison meeting. Chaired by Councillor Lisa O'Brien, this regular meeting brings together the council and parishes to discuss key topics of interest.

Last night, we were pleased to welcome Mark Shelford, the Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner and West of England Metro Mayor, Dan Norris. As you can imagine, our parishes raised a huge number of issues and concerns relevant to their local communities. I was very proud of the constructive discussions that took place and in particular we will keep pushing to ensure that the needs of rural communities ‒ for example for improved bus services ‒ are not overlooked.

Councillor Dine Romero also updated on the really good work that Bath & North East Somerset women councillors are undertaking ‒ again, working with partners ‒ on women’s safety.

Another example of where we are getting our voice heard is through our work with Visit West. On Monday, Tourism Minister Nigel Huddleston visited the West of England to hear more about the challenges and opportunities for the visitor economy in recovery from the pandemic. After visiting the SS Great Britain, he came to Bath to see our famous Roman Baths and Bath Abbey. The West’s visitor economy is worth an estimated £2.33bn and supports 45,000 jobs. I am totally committed to working with our partners to ensure we sustain the visitor economy and support our High Streets. A great example of this is the Great Bath Feast, a collaboration with WECA and the ERDF Welcome Back Fund, which recently attracted the highest footfall to Milsom Street since we started measuring it in 2018.

I am also proud that for the third year running five of Bath & North East Somerset Council’s parks have been officially recognised as being among the best green spaces in the country. Alexandra Park, Bloomfield Green, Hedgemead Park, Henrietta Park and Royal Victoria Park have all won Green Flags, the international mark of quality for being well-managed.

Our parks and green spaces help support people’s health and wellbeing and they are really valued by residents with visits increasing by 60% since the start of the pandemic. They also play a key role in helping tackle the climate and ecological emergencies. I would like to thank our parks team and the volunteer Friends groups for all their hard work in maintaining all our beautiful parks.

Have a good weekend.

These are the latest Covid case figures for B&NES – please play your part to drive the number down.

Covid-19 update


B&NES schools given fresh advice on Covid testing

The council’s Director of Public Health Becky Reynolds has written to schools to clarify what students, staff, parents and carers should do if they have received a negative PCR test result for Covid-19 following a positive lateral flow device (LFD) result.

The move follows the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) stating that they have been made aware of some areas reporting positive LFD test results with subsequent negative PCR tests, and that they are looking into the cause.

In the letter Becky Reynolds says: “We are aware that the current situation is making it difficult for parents to determine when their child should return to school and would like to remind them of the national guidance. If a child still feels unwell after a negative PCR test, they should stay at home until feeling better. Where a child tests negative via a PCR test but goes onto develop Covid-19 symptoms after the test, they should have another PCR test.

“Whilst the UKHSA investigation is under way, where a child has the following markers, we advise that they are more likely to have Covid-19 than not, and are treated as potentially infectious for Covid-19: 
  1. Have displayed Covid-19 symptom/s AND/OR have been in close contact with a positive case (such as a household member), AND
  2. Have tested positive via an LFD test (even if they subsequently tested negative on a PCR)
“We recommend they isolate and remain out of the setting for 10 days. The isolation period includes the day symptoms started and the next 10 full days. It should be noted that this is advisory and as such parents are unable to claim the additional Covid payments without a positive PCR test result. 

“We are constantly reviewing the advice we issue to schools in line with the national guidance and will provide further information as it becomes available.”

For further information visit these links: If you are self-isolating due to Covid you can get support such as emergency food, mental health support and other help and advice from the Community Wellbeing Hub on 0300 247 0050.

Flu and Covid booster jabs

This autumn and winter, it’s more important than ever to get vaccinated to protect yourself against flu and Covid-19. This is because:
  • more people are likely to get flu this winter as fewer people will have built up natural immunity to it during the Covid-19 pandemic
  • if you get flu and Covid-19 at the same time, research shows you're more likely to be seriously ill
  • getting vaccinated against flu and Covid-19 will provide protection for you and those around you for both these serious illnesses
Find out if you’re eligible this autumn/winter.

Covid-19 booster vaccines

Booster vaccines are now available for care home residents, health and social care workers, people aged over 50, those aged 16 to 49 years with underlying health conditions, adult carers, and adult household contacts of immunosuppressed individuals.

People will be contacted by the NHS six months after their second dose was given, as there needs to be a six-month gap between second and third doses. Everyone will either be invited to a local vaccination site or invited to book their appointment via the National Booking Service on the NHS website.

The JCVI advises a preference for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to be offered as the third booster dose irrespective of which product was given for the first and second doses.

People who are pregnant and in one of the eligible groups can also get a booster dose. To find out more about Covid-19 booster vaccines, please visit the NHS website.

Getting your Covid-19 vaccine

If you're 16 or over, you can still get your first dose of the vaccine in any of the following ways: All children aged 12 to 15 are also being offered a first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine. Parents and guardians will have received a letter with information about when the vaccine will be offered. Most children will be given their vaccine at school. Some children are being offered two doses of the vaccine if they either:
  • live with someone who is more likely to get infections, such as someone who has HIV, has had a transplant or is having certain treatments for cancer, lupus or rheumatoid arthritis
  • have a condition that means they're at high risk from Covid-19
If your child is eligible for two doses of the vaccine, you'll be contacted by a local NHS service such as their GP surgery to arrange their appointments. Find out more about which children are eligible for two doses on

Find out more about COVID-19 vaccination for children and young people on GOV.UK.

Walk-in clinics for everyone can be found on the NHS website.

Bath Racecourse bus service changes

Please be advised that the free First Bus service (No. 32) for those travelling between Bath Bus Station and Bath Racecourse for a vaccination appointment has now ended. Instead, you can now take the Lansdown P&R Service (No. 31) from Milsom St in Bath City Centre to the P&R at Lansdown.

A free shuttle bus service will then run from the P&R on the hour and 30 mins past the hour to the Racecourse, returning from the Racecourse to the P&R every 15 mins and 45 mins past the hour, during the following days and times only:
  • Monday: 10.00-14.00 and 15.00-19.00
  • Tuesday: 10.00-14.00 and 15.00-19.00
  • Wednesday: 10.00-14.00
  • Thursday: 10.00-14.00
  • Friday: 10.00-14.00
  • Saturday: 15.00-18.15 (last bus from the P&R is 17.30/last bus from Racecourse is 18.15)
 All buses will be wheelchair accessible. For more information about the service, visit the website.

Test and collect vanAsymptomatic Covid-19 testing 

Remember: keep an eye out for our mobile test and collect van travelling around B&NES. The van’s locations are published on our website and pick up test kits or have a supervised test. Trained outreach workers will also answer questions about Covid-19 vaccinations.

Also, the test and collect hub in Bath city entre has now moved to New Bond Street. Please do not attend the van or the hub if you have any of the symptoms of Covid-19. Take a PCR test instead.

You can also pick up test kits from our libraries in: Timsbury, Radstock, Bishop Sutton, Weston, Midsomer Norton, Keynsham and also Bath One Stop Shop.

Latest council news


Bath parks scoop coveted Green Flag Awards 

For the third year running five of Bath & North East Somerset Council’s parks have been officially recognised as being among the best green spaces in the country.

Health and wellbeing at Bathavon Area Forum

Bathavon residents are invited to find out more about work to improve people’s health and wellbeing at the next meeting of their Connecting Communities Forum which will be held on Wednesday 20 October on Zoom.

Council bids for improved active travel routes

A new bid for £890,000 in Government funding to improve a 1.5km walking and cycling route between Combe Down and the University of Bath is set for a decision this autumn.

Community funding for centre of Bear Flat

The centre of Bear Flat in Bath is set to be enhanced thanks to a grant of £5,000 for repairs to the drinking fountain, the first step in a wider project to make the area more attractive.

Improving Temple Street in Keynsham – have your say

Residents in Keynsham are being asked how they would like Temple Street to look in the future.

Consultation on SPDs extended

Residents and businesses are being given more time to give their views on three draft Supplementary Planning Documents (SPDs) that are part of a series of proposed changes to the Bath and North East Somerset planning framework.

Great Bath Feast serves up extra footfall

A free food and drink festival enlivening the Milsom Quarter area of Bath during the final weekend of September attracted the highest footfall to Milsom Street since records began in 2018.

Sydney Gardens Tree Weekender writing competition

Sydney Gardens has launched a writing competition to promote its Tree Weekender, which will run on Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 November.

Library of Horrors Escape Room

This Halloween, why not try and outsmart our haunted library. From 15 October to 10 November, you'll have a chance to take part in our Halloween challenge.

Six books, six rooms, six puzzles and one Hall of Fame.

To complete our escape rooms you won’t need any special knowledge or abilities, just a pencil and paper. Everything you need to solve the puzzle is within the room but the answers, or even what the questions are, won’t always be obvious.

You can play the game online using any device that has a browser, but the quality is best on a computer or via a VR headset and generally on newer devices. The challenge is recommended for adults, due to the horror theme and difficulty of the puzzles.

Council meeting calendar

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.

Latest Government guidance


Pay Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme grants back

Find out how to pay all or some of your grant back if you’ve overclaimed, or if you do not need the grant and want to make a voluntary repayment.

Covid-19 vaccination: women of childbearing age, currently pregnant or breastfeeding

Information for all women of childbearing age, those currently pregnant or breastfeeding on coronavirus (Covid-19) vaccination.

Priority appeals centre payments

Guidance on priority appeal payments, eligibility and making a claim for schools, colleges and other exam centres.

Covid-19: guidance for households with possible coronavirus infection

Stay at home guidance for households with possible coronavirus (Covid-19) infection.

Guidance for contacts of people with confirmed coronavirus (Covid-19) infection who do not live with the person

Guidance for contacts of a person with a positive test result for coronavirus (Covid-19) who do not live with that person.

Follow us online

You can follow us on twitterfacebook and instagram; subscribe to us on YouTube, read the latest releases on our newsroom and if you sign up on nextdoor we are there too.

For updates on our services visit our website.

Employment and 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.

Since launching in March, more than 50 B&NES residents have been helped with their job, business and training goals. Here is what some of them said about our services:
  • “Friendly professionals giving helpful and spot on advice. Really appreciate your help.”
  • “Great help during the uncertain process of attempting to change careers.”
  • “Great communication. They have endeavoured to seek out potential possibilities to push my career in the right direction. I would highly recommend this free careers service.”
  • “The service was very professional and thorough.”
Call us now on 0300 247 0050 or email us on You can also find out more on the website.

Take a Stand for active health and a greener community

Life Cycle UK provides free, secure cycle stands to small businesses and community organisations thanks to funding from the council.

Installing cycle parking is a great way to enable  your staff, your customers and your community  to unlock the active health and environmental benefits of cycling.

To apply for up to two FREE quality ‘Sheffield stand’ stands (parking for up to four bikes), for all the details, to check your eligibility and make sure your premises are suitable for cycle stands, visit Life Cycle's website.

Live Well B&NES adults

A brand-new, web-based resource providing information, signposting and support to residents in Bath & North East Somerset has launched. 
Live Well B&NES provides a wealth of 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:

Future Bright

Do you know someone who is in work and wants to take the next step in their career? Future Bright offers FREE careers coaching, support and access to training. Future Bright Careers Coaches work with local residents to develop the skills and confidence needed to improve their work and pay. Check out the Future Bright newsletter to read about those who have already benefitted from the project.   
For more information go to or give us a call 01225 395555.

Specialised dementia groups in B&NES

Age UK Bath & North East Somerset are starting two new specialised Dementia Groups, which are now running weekly in Midsomer Norton & Bath.

These groups are a safe, fun environment for people to come for activities and friendship. Staff are trained in Maintenance Cognitive Behaviour Therapy which helps concentration, confidence, memory and wellbeing.

You can find out more here or call 01225 466135.

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 8:15am-12pm, every weekday.

Support available from the Community Wellbeing Hub

Anybody who is a resident of Bath and North East Somerset can benefit from support from the Community Wellbeing Hub, including those people who are isolating due to testing positive for Covid-19 or being in contact with someone who has Covid-19.

Originally a collaboration between Bath & North East Somerset Council; Virgin Care; the 3SG; Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group; and other third sector organisation representatives, the team can 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.

To contact the Hub:
Phone: 0300 247 0050.
Text: 07870 868368
Opening hours: Monday–Friday, 9am until 5pm

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

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. Since lockdown this has been either online or over the phone. Now following careful planning, some Covid-secure face-to-face support sessions are resuming on an appointment only basis.

Your Community Sight Loss Adviser will be available at Manvers Street Baptist Church, Bath on the first Wednesday each month and at Midsomer Norton Town Hall on the 4th Thursday each month. 
To find out more, or make an appointment please call  0117 3224885 or email For more information on the full range of services visit

For more useful information visit the RNIB website:

Local agencies and useful links

We have been working closely with local agencies and if you would like to find out more about their work please look on their website: RUHAvon and Somerset PoliceCuro, and Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire CCG.
  • Public Health England updates a daily dashboard:  It includes deaths that have occurred in all settings where there has been a positive Covid-19 test, including hospitals, care homes and the wider community. 
  • Latest information on coronavirus:
NHS information on coronavirus:
Visit our Bathnes youtube channel

Tune in

Local radio is a great way of keeping up to date with essential information, if you don’t already you should tune into BBC Radio Bristol, BBC Radio Somerset or BBC Radio Wiltshire.
BBC Radio Bristol BBC Radio Bristol
BBC Radio Somerset BBC Radio Somerset
BBC Radio Wiltshire BBC Radio Wiltshire
Somer Valley FM covers Midsomer Norton, Radstock, Westfield and surrounding villages including Farrington, Paulton, Peasedown, Coleford and Stratton.

Broadcast online and on 97.5fm you can contact at or call 01761 411 755
Somer Valley 97.5FM Somer Valley 97.5FM
Bath Radio is a community radio station which has been operating as a hospital radio station for the past 50 years. It now broadcasts to the wider Bath community. Listen online.
Radio Bath provides local news and information, promotes the city and supports its businesses, charities and community organisations.
Keynsham’s KTCRfm 105.8FM is now broadcasting 24/7.

KTCRfm covers Keynsham, Saltford, Hanham, Bitton, Warmley, Clutton, Timsbury, the Chew Valley and as far south as Temple Cloud. East to the eastern edge of Bath. North across South Gloucestershire to the M4 corridor and west into many parts of Bristol.
KTCRfm 105.8FM KTCRfm 105.8FM

BA1 Radio have been established for a year in Bath and operate from a studio in Southside Youth Hub, broadcasting twelve hours of shows every weekday, focusing on Bath and the local community, including hourly news reports.


call: 01225 941 080
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B&NES Council Website

Date published: 2021-10-14

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

Date published: 2021-10-14