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e-connect 22 September

Date published: 2022-09-26

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

e-connect 22 September 2022

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

The period of national mourning, culminating in the very moving State Funeral on Monday, showed the best of our country as our communities came together to pay our respects to Her Majesty The Queen. I would like to thank everyone who signed the books of condolence which we opened and to those who left so many wonderful floral tributes. My thanks also go to the staff and others who provided support and comfort during this period, including Bath Abbey.

As we start a new chapter in our national and local life, we pick up again the huge challenges facing us. The most pressing of these is clearly the cost-of-living crisis. We have heard about government plans for an energy price guarantee for households. However, despite this, local people are rightly worried about what they face this autumn and winter.

The choice between heating and eating is I am afraid a very we real one for many in our community, as we are all being hit hard by astronomical energy costs as well as increases in food bills. I would like to emphasise that help is out there.

The Community Wellbeing Hub provides a single telephone number (0300 247 0050) to access support from key local agencies with money matters, bills, benefits, energy costs, food, housing, mental health support, jobs and skills, support for carers and other services.

The Hub is also co-ordinating a network of community warm spaces across Bath and North East Somerset. The council is working with community partners to identify spaces that can welcome people and provide support over the coming months.

We are also establishing a ‘Winter Welcome’ package in council-run libraries.

As well as impacts on households, I am particularly concerned about the rise in energy bills for businesses and third sector groups, including the village and community halls that are central to local life. The government has just announced an Energy Bill Relief scheme for non-domestic energy customers such as businesses, charities and public sector organisations, for six months from 1 October. There is also a promise of equivalent support for non-domestic consumers who use heating oil or alternative fuels instead of gas. We are closely monitoring these developments.

Given the impact of rising energy costs on businesses I have created a new cabinet role dedicated to supporting regeneration and the local economy. I have appointed Councillor Mark Roper to this new role. Councillor Roper will bring enormous strengths and experience, including business experience, to this new brief. He will help our area continue its bounce back from the pandemic during these very challenging times for the national and local economy.

Councillor Roper welcomes approaches from local businesses on how we can work together – please contact Mark Roper.

Another change that will have an impact on our area is the reduction in bus services. I am afraid for example, that despite an excellent local campaign to save it, First have decided to go ahead with their decision to scrap the 178. I repeat my call to First to pause these cuts until proper alternatives have been put in place.

Despite all these challenges, there are still so many strengths in our community. As students at our two local universities prepare to take up their places, I reiterate my pride in these key institutions, the work they do and students’ contribution to local life. My congratulations to The University of Bath which has been named the University of the Year by The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023. Overall, Bath has also moved up to eighth position in the national league table, and is the highest ranked university in the South West. Again, my congratulations to staff, students and all those involved in achieving this prestigious and well-deserved accolade.

Finally, you may have seen on the news the dreadful fire in Grove Street, in Bath city centre. My thanks go to our firefighters who responded to this blaze. My thoughts are with this affected, and I would like to provide reassurance that the council is providing wide-ranging welfare and support to those affected.

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 Money Matters section on Live Well B&NES. This includes:

Covid-19 update

You can find the latest Government data on coronavirus here.

Autumn Covid booster campaign

The autumn Covid booster campaign is now under way in England, with care home residents and housebound patients among the first to get vaccinated.

Many people will get a new vaccine which tackles both the original Covid virus and the recent Omicron variant.

Who will get an autumn booster?

The dose will be offered to:
  • adults aged 50 and over
  • people aged five to 49 with health conditions which put them at higher risk – including pregnant women
  • care home staff
  • frontline health and social care workers
  • carers aged 16 to 49
  • household contacts of people with weakened immune systems
The NHS National Booking System is now open for those people aged 75 and over, people who are immunosuppressed, and health and social care workers are now eligible to book appointments, which are available from on-site clinics from Monday 12 September.

Appointments will be made available for other groups in a staged process, updates can be found on the NHS website.

Upcoming clinics

Clinics this months:
  • Friday 30 September ‒ Bath City Football Club (11-5.30pm)
You can get the following vaccinations:
  • First and second doses for anyone aged 12+ in Year 8 and above
  • Boosters for people aged 16+, plus at-risk children aged 12-15
  • Additional primary doses for people with severely weakened immune system 12+
Anyone aged 12 in year 7 and below, can book their vaccination appointment online or find a walk-in clinic on the NHS website. If you plan to attend a walk-in, please check the 'grab a jab' website to make sure the site is open on the day.

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.

Latest council news


Preparing for the future and community resilience

Residents in the Chew Valley joined local partners in the area last night to discuss key issues for their community including the cost-of-living crisis, building resilience and planning for the future.

Light projections to add colour to Christmas lights

The council has announced new four-year framework contracts for the provision of Christmas lights across the area.

Tell us what children need from library services

Parents and carers of children aged zero to 11 are being invited to have their say on what they want from library and information services in Bath and North East Somerset in a survey launched today (September 21).

Have your say on Local Plan modifications

Changes to parts of the Local Plan, which sets out the basis for decision making on development and the use of land across the district, are being consulted on by the council.

University rugby players join Clean and Green action

Members of the University of Bath’s performance rugby programme turned out to help tackle litter during a community action event in Kingsmead, Bath.

Upper Bristol Road/Marlborough Lane road closure

Residents and motorists in Bath are being notified of the start of works on the next phase of the Upper Bristol Road active travel scheme.

The Great Bath Feast benefits from High Street Renewal funding

A free festival celebrating the best food and drink in the South West will take place in Bath’s Milsom Quarter this coming weekend with support from high street renewal funding.

Funding available for SEND activities and clubs

Providers that deliver activities to children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) outside the school day can apply for funding for their activities and clubs from October. Providers are invited to an event on Teams on 27 September at 10.30am to find out more. To register email.

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.

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.

Further support


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: 2022-09-26

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

Date published: 2022-09-26