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e-connect 21 October

Date published: 2021-10-25

Cllr Kevin Guy, Leader of Bath & North East Somerset Council with RBL Poppy Appeal

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

Coronavirus update 21 October 2021

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

Currently Bath and North East Somerset has the highest seven-day Covid rate in England and the numbers are still increasing – so we need everyone’s help to turn this around and bring these rates down.

We have all worked so hard over the past 20 months to keep each other safe. Acting now by simple steps such as regular testing and getting jabbed can help prevent the spread. These steps also help avoid pressures on the NHS, on our council services and on local businesses, as we go into winter. I encourage you to read the update below from our Director of Public Health Becky Reynolds.

A number of residents will have been be affected by the news that Bath-based renewable energy provider Pure Planet Energy is the latest to cease trading. We’re obviously very concerned about the impact of this on the Pure Planet employees who have lost their jobs as a result and our business support teams have been encouraging the affected workforce to access our skills programmes to help them find new jobs.

In addition, support for renewable energy is a key part of our drive towards tackling the climate and environmental emergency. Ofgem have appointed Shell Energy to take on customers of Pure Planet Energy so energy supplies will continue as normal after being switched over. However, once the transfer has been completed, customers can shop around for a better deal if they wish to. OFGEM have provided more information for former Pure Planet Energy customers here.

Regardless of your energy supplier, there is also a wealth of information on energy efficiency available on the Energy@Home website, including useful tips.

This week I was especially pleased to meet Poppy Appeal Volunteers and visit the Walcot Street base which the council has made available for the duration of their street collection campaign.

The Poppy Appeal is the Royal British Legion’s biggest fundraising campaign and as an ex-serviceman and the council’s Armed Forces Champion, I know how important this campaign is to the Royal British Legion in raising vital funds for the Armed Forces community.

Have a good weekend.


A message from Becky Reynolds, Director of Public Health at Bath & North East Somerset Council

In my last message, I said that we should expect to see rises and falls in Covid-19 rates as we move into autumn and winter. Over the past week, unfortunately, we’ve seen a concerning sharp rise in our rates. Today Bath and North East Somerset has the highest seven-day rate in England compared with all other local authorities, at 877 cases per 100,000.

Those most affected are the 10-14-year-olds with a rate of more than 4,700 per 100,000, week ending Friday 15 October. Rates are also increasing rapidly among younger and older children (5-9 and 15-19-year-olds), and among 40-49-year-olds.

Rates are increasing in all regions in England. We don’t know for certain why rates in B&NES have risen so fast, but it will be due to a mixture of things – restrictions on what people can do largely removed, much more social mixing, and a knock-on effect from the national lab issue meaning that many children and adults who received false negative PCR results won’t have self-isolated and unwittingly will have passed the virus on to others. That lab issue has now been resolved.

The pandemic is not over. There is so much virus circulating at the moment and we need everyone’s help to bring rates back down again.

If you’re going to meet up with family and friends this half term, do meet up outside wherever possible and let fresh air in if you meet inside. While the virus is in circulation, along with other winter illnesses such as colds and flu, please do continue to wear a face covering in crowded places unless you are exempt. Keep space around you, and if you are unwell, stay at home to recover.

It’s a good idea to test yourself once or twice a week with a lateral flow device (rapid) test. Testing regularly is one way to know if you have the virus. If people test positive and self-isolate, it helps break the chain of transmission and limits the spread of the virus. Even if you’re vaccinated still test yourself regularly as you can still catch and pass Covid-19 on.

If you have a positive lateral flow test result, self-isolate and get a free PCR test as soon as possible to confirm whether or not you have Covid-19. You should also get a PCR test if been in contact with someone who’s tested positive, or if you have symptoms yourself.

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.

If you’re eligible for your Covid-19 booster vaccination and haven’t been invited within a week of becoming eligible, I strongly encourage you to book an appointment through the National Booking System. The vaccine is very effective, but, like all vaccines, it becomes slightly less effective over time. Having the booster will mean you get good protection. If you’re eligible for the flu jab it’s really important to book this as soon as you can as well.

Thank you to all of you who take these precautionary measures. We are seeing an increasing number of people in hospital with Covid-19 (53 inpatients yesterday), the education of our children and young people is disrupted with higher levels of virus circulating, and businesses can be impacted when staff are off ill. So reminding ourselves to make these precautionary measures part of our day to day lives will make a real difference to protecting each other and our communities.

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


RUH update

As of today (Thursday 21 October) the RUH has 51 COVID inpatients, with 6 in our Intensive Care Unit.

There is also high demand on other services; 241 people attended the emergency department with figures regularly above 250, peaking at over 300 one Sunday in September.

The RUH is encouraging everyone who is eligible to take up the offer of a Covid booster to increase protection. If you are coming to our hospital as a patient or visitor you must still wear a face mask and observe social distancing.

Please also know your health care options as you may be best treated somewhere other than the emergency department.

Thank you for helping keep our community safe.

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.

Getting your Covid-19 vaccine

All children aged 12 to 15 are 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.

If you're 16 or over, you can still get your first dose of the vaccine in any of the following ways: Walk-in clinics for everyone can be found on the NHS website.

More information can be found on the BSW CCG 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.

For more information about how and when you can get the bus here.

All buses will be wheelchair accessible. For more information about the service can be found here.

Test and collect vanAsymptomatic Covid-19 testing 

Remember to look out for our mobile test and collect van. Locations are published on our website, and you can pick up test kits or have a supervised test. Trained outreach workers will also answer questions about Covid-19 vaccinations.

Please do not attend the van or the test and collect hub in New Bond Street 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


Parents and carers are asked to remain alert

With Covid rates increasing sharply across Bath & North East Somerset, parents and carers are asked to stay vigilant and protect themselves and others.

Cleveland Bridge to remain closed to HGVs

Cleveland Bridge will remain closed to HGVs but will re-open to vehicles under two metres in width from 0600hrs on Monday October 25.

Next steps for Bath city centre security proposals

The council is updating residents on the next steps towards implementing proposed preventative anti-terrorism measures in Bath after its consultation on the traffic regulation orders needed came to an end last week (October 14).

Have your say on-street parking permit changes

You can have your say on proposed changes to on-street parking that include new on-street parking permits based on vehicle emissions, in a council consultation.

New parking restrictions proposed

Residents in Oldfield Park and Westmoreland in Bath are being asked what they think of proposed changes to on-street parking in the area.

Council offers Bath Poppy Appeal a temporary base

The council has offered a local team of charity fundraisers a city-centre base for the duration of its street collection campaign.

Free school meal vouchers for holidays

Families whose children are eligible for benefit-related free school meals will be provided with supermarket vouchers worth £20 for the October and Christmas holiday periods by the council. 

Myths and Monsters at Victoria Art Gallery

Monsters are taking over the Victoria Art Gallery in Bath this winter – with a new exhibition opening on 27 November, a follow-up to 2017’s blockbuster Here be Dragons, which broke attendance records at the Gallery.

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


Coronavirus: how to stay safe and help prevent the spread

Find out how to stay safe and help prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Providing apprenticeships during the COVID-19 pandemic

This guidance is for apprenticeship training providers (providers), employers, end-point assessment organisations (EPAOs) and apprentices.

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

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