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e-connect 23 February

Date published: 2023-02-23

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

e-connect 23 February 2023

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

This week we agreed the council’s budget, which has been set amidst significant inflationary pressures alongside an increase in demand for our services.

Many other councils are increasing Council Tax, whilst at the same time making significant cuts to jobs and services. This is not our approach in B&NES. We are increasing Council Tax by well below the rate of inflation. We’ve managed our finances well over recent years and, through making savings and increasing our income, we are confident the majority of residents won’t notice any change to the council services we all rely on.

One of the things included in our budget is an extra £280,000 for local bus services ‒ a 36% increase. However, as costs have risen, the money that we give to the West of England Combined Authority (who are the transport authority) for supported buses does not go as far as it used to.

This has meant some very difficult decisions. We’ve taken into account the impact of the Mayor’s new Demand Responsive Transport (DRT) to ensure that no community in B&NES is left without a public transport option. In addition, where DRT will be introduced from April, we will use the additional funding to extend five bus services for two months until June 2023, to help with the transition.

Since DRT will not be introduced in in Bath itself, we will also use some of the extra funds we have allocated to keep current supported bus services.

I’m pleased to update you on a trial extension to the operating hours of our park and ride service. Anyone using our park and ride tomorrow (Feb 24) evening will see the service has been extended to 10.30pm. This is a trial two-hour extension to help us understand passenger demand. It’s great news for fans travelling to Bath Rugby’s home game against Bristol Bears, which kicks off at 7.45pm.

This week we published a shortlist of ideas to improve the vitality and viability of Radstock town centre ‒ these proposals follow feedback from a consultation held last autumn. They are part of a regeneration action plan which we are working on with Radstock Town Council. Please have a say in this next step – you can link to the online survey which runs until March 7.

And if you want to have your say on public services and you live in the Chew Valley then the area forum meets this evening. As well as a presentation on local transport from the West of England Combined Authority you can find out about updates on the Local Plan and the Chew Valley Reconnected project.

As we are all aware, tomorrow marks the first anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. We're flying the Ukraine flag above the Guildhall and I will be attending a fundraising Concert of Warmth and Light for Oleksandryia at Bath Abbey tomorrow evening organised by the Friends of Oleksandriya group. Oleksandriya is a small city of similar size to Bath, with surrounding villages similar to North East Somerset.

One year one and support is still needed. So many people across Bath and North East Somerset have opened their homes to Ukrainian guests, but we need more hosts. If you could become a host for the Homes 4 Ukraine scheme, or if you've a property you could let to a Ukrainian family, please get in touch:

Have a good weekend.

The word Ukraine, with the flags of the UK and Ukraine embossed on it. We Stand Together.
Tomorrow we will be standing with Ukraine on the first anniversary of the invasion by Russia. One year on, support is still needed. If you could become a host for the Homes 4 Ukraine scheme, or have a property you could let to a Ukrainian family, get in touch:

Cost of living crisis

Worried about the cost of living? Help is out there. There is a dedicated Cost of Living Crisis section on Live Well B&NES, including: You can also get help from your supplier through the Priority Services Register. This is a free support service that makes sure extra help is available to people in vulnerable situations. Check the website to see if you’re eligible to register.

Support is also available for those who need a little extra help paying their water bills. If you’re struggling, and want more information and advice about the support that’s available, visit the Wessex Water website.
Public health update
Find the latest Government data on coronavirus here.

Covid and flu vaccination clinics

Although the autumn booster is no longer being offered, you can still get your first and second Covid-19 vaccinations, as well as your flu vaccination, at local walk-in clinics this month. Bath City Football Club, the Salvation Army's Bath Citadel and Mulberry Hub are hosting clinics on Mondays and Thursdays, from 11am-5pm. All are subject to eligibility.

Bath City Football Club, 105 High St, Twerton, Bath, BA2 1DB
  • Monday 27 February
The clinics are open for Covid vaccinations to anyone aged 5+. For those aged 5-11, the clinic is only open between 3-5pm. Flu vaccinations are available to those aged 18+ throughout the clinic. All subject to eligibility.

*These clinics are also holding wellbeing conversations and NHS Health Checks subject to eligibility. For more information, visit the NHS website.

You can also book a vaccination appointment online or find a walk-in clinic on the NHS website. To book online, you need to be registered with a GP (or call 119), but you don't need to book or be registered with a GP to use a walk-in clinic.

Park & Ride trial extension for Bath Rugby derby

Park & Ride bus services in Bath will have a trial two-hour extension on Friday 24 February as Bath & North East Somerset Council looks to better understand passenger demand during extended hours of operation.

Have your say on Radstock town centre regeneration

Residents and businesses in Radstock have another chance to give their views on an action plan to revitalise the town centre which could include a new community hub, a space for outdoor events and bringing vacant buildings back into use.

Consultation on changes to LLPAR

Residents, architects, builders and developers are encouraged to have their say on proposed changes to the Local List of Planning Application Requirements (LLPAR), the list of documents that need to be submitted with a planning application.

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.

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Voters will need to show photo ID at polling stations in the May elections.

Free chair yoga sessions

Come along to a free chair yoga session with the therapeutic yogi, Elizabeth on 22 February at Bath Central Library. Four sessions are being held at 10am, 11am, 12pm and 1pm. All ages and abilities are welcome, and free tea and coffee will be provided. You can book a free ticket here, but drop-ins are also welcome on the day.

Roots to wellbeing

If you're feeling disconnected from others, from nature, or from feeling calm, why not come along and reconnect at Roots to Wellbeing. Come along to Brickfields Park for two hours every Tuesday afternoon (12:30-2:30pm) and spend reconnecting with others and with nature. Sessions are free and lunch, refreshments and transport are all provided. They're also full accessible and suitable for all mobility levels. Sign up here, or email Sara for more information.

Saltford jobs fair

Saltford Jobs Fair is being held on Saturday 25 February from 11.30am to 1.30pm at Saltford Hall, BS31 3BY. The fair will be an opportunity to meet employers who are looking for staff, and also other organisations who can offer support.

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.

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.

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 and haven’t already registered ‒ make sure you’re included. It’s free and takes less than five minutes to register. Find out more or email the LWB team.

Mental Health and Wellbeing Support

Bath Mind is here for everyone living in B&NES, offering wellbeing groups and courses, befriending, breathing space crisis support, safe space youth group, and affordable 1:1 counselling.

For more information, support resources and to self-refer, visit the website, or call our Access Community Mental Health Team who can help you access the most suitable support for your needs: Freephone 0808 175 1369 or you can email.

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.
Someone feeling ill and holding a blanket around them. If you have been unwell with norovirus, please don’t visit loved ones in hospital until you're 48 hours symptom-free.  You could be putting others at risk #DontPassItOn
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Date published: 2023-02-23

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

Date published: 2023-02-23