This is a new service – your feedback will help us to improve it.

e-connect 20 October

Date published: 2022-10-20

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

e-connect 20 October 2022

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

As I write this, national politics has once again changed with the resignation of the Prime Minister. It’s hard for us as a council to plan and to get answers to the funding questions we pose of Westminster when civil servants don't know who their minister is from one day to the next, or what policies are in place that morning or afternoon.

Still, all we can do is control what we can control. Specifically, my task for Friday is to attend the Brunel pension meeting and ensure that the pension provision for many in our authority is being protected as best it can from the vagaries of a hyper-volatile market caused by instability at Westminster.

A number of neighbouring councils have published their medium-term financial plans and we will be doing so at our cabinet meeting on November 10. Like every other council and like all businesses we are also facing challenging months ahead, but I want to reassure you that despite these pressures we will continue to work hard to improve people’s lives and be ambitious for Bath and North East Somerset.

I want to thank organisations that have come forward and joined our register of warm spaces. If you want to offer a warm space and join the directory, please do – and if you are looking for a warm space or need help or advice with energy bills and the cost of living, you can call The Community Wellbeing Hub on 0300 247 0050.

Anyone who lives, works or visits Bath knows gulls are a big issue in our city. I’m regularly asked what is being done to reduce the numbers – and I also get letters from people in support of protecting gulls.

Because gulls are a protected species under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, we have a licence from Natural England to deal with them. The licence allows the removal of nests and eggs during the breeding season in cases where a member of the public’s safety is at risk. However, Natural England is very strict on the list of gull nuisances and this means to a large degree our hands are quite often tied. However, making sure our roofs are less attractive for the birds to nest on is something that can be done and on our webpages you can find out how to ‘proof your roof'.

The issue was discussed last week at our Climate Emergency and Sustainability Policy Development and Scrutiny Panel, which you can watch on our Youtube Channel.

The panel was also updated on the way our own buildings are generating renewable energy as part of our net zero commitment. We have delivered schemes like Charlton House Care Home in Keynsham, which has energy reducing air source heat pumps and LED lighting and No.1 Bath Quays, the office block at the heart of our flagship regeneration project, which among other measures has 224 PV panels on its roof allowing on-site micro generation of electricity.

These are just a couple of examples of how we are showing leadership in our net zero ambitions and we’ve got more projects in development – including: rooftop solar panels at Odd Down Sports Ground, schools and leisure centres and solar canopies on car parks, and our flagship Keynsham Recycling Hub.

As we head towards October half-term, our attractions have lined up some great activities to celebrate Museums’ Week, and don’t forget if you have a Discovery Card it gives residents of Bath and North East Somerset free access to council-owned heritage sites, including the Roman Baths, Fashion Museum, Victoria Art Gallery and Parade Gardens, as well discounts with participating local attractions and businesses.

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.
It’s never too late to quit smoking. You will notice immediate improvements to your health when you stop. #Stoptober provides information and support to help you start your quitting journey.
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 are not always able to offer walk-in Covid-19 appointments. To avoid disappointment, 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

  • 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.

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.

100 Years of Housing in Bath exhibition

A free exhibition of artwork inspired by Bath’s archives will go on show at The Guildhall, Bath on Monday 24 October from 11am to 3pm.

Reduce the impact of fireworks this Bonfire Night

People looking forward to celebrating Bonfire Night this year are being asked to consider reducing the impact of fireworks to avoid scaring animals and vulnerable residents.

October half-term fun for Museums Week 2022

Museums and venues across Bath and North East Somerset will host an exciting programme of special events and activities over October half-term for Museums Week (22 to 30 October 2022).

Phasing for City Centre Security scheme discussed

The next phase of the Bath City Centre Security scheme is due to move forward in the New Year.

New long-term lease plans for Fairfield House

Plans to protect and enhance the former home of His Imperial Majesty Emperor Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia in Bath have taken a step forward with a new lease on the historic Fairfield House to a not-for-profit Community Interest Company.

Free school meals this autumn

Families eligible for benefit related free school meals will be sent a £15 supermarket voucher per child for the school holidays. If you've received vouchers before, look out for an email from us. If you haven't applied before and may be eligible, you can find out more here.

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.

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

Follow us on TwitterFacebook and
Instagram; subscribe to YouTube,
read the latest releases on our
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.
B&NES Council Twitter
B&NES Council Facebook
B&NES Council Website

Date published: 2022-10-20

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

Date published: 2022-10-20