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e-connect 23 September

Date published: 2021-10-12

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


Coronavirus update 23 September 2021

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

This week many students will be starting or returning to their university courses. Over the summer both our universities made extensive preparations for students’ safe return and this included working with our Public Health team and NHS to provide opportunities for students to get their vaccination on campus.

The NHS has now started its Covid vaccine rollout for school children aged 12-15 following recommendations made by the UK’s chief medical officers. Staff from Virgin Care’s Immunisation Service Team are visiting all schools across Bath and North East Somerset to offer this age group one dose of the Pfizer vaccine.

Throughout the pandemic many local volunteers, community groups and partners have worked tirelessly to help others. It was wonderful to learn that our partners 3SG were honoured with two Bath Life Awards, as well as a third award with the Community Wellbeing Hub. Huge congratulations to all involved on these well-deserved awards and sincere thanks to the entire third sector for the amazing work they do in Bath and North East Somerset.

On Tuesday I met other local leaders and mayors to discuss the West of England Combined Authority’s proposed new approach to reducing carbon emissions and protecting the environment, as well as the proposed expansion of Bristol Airport. I was very pleased that we reached agreement in opposing the airport’s plans and I am also unapologetic about speaking out on the level of investment we need from the Government’s Green Recovery Fund.  We must seek more investment to make sure the region achieves its Climate Emergency goals and I will continue to press the West of England Combined Authority on this.

This weekend sees the end of our Climate and Biodiversity Festival Hundreds of people have taken part in events and joined our webinars – thank you to everyone involved. Our first festival has given us a great platform to share local action – and just weeks before October’s COP15 Convention on Biological Diversity in China, and November's UN COP26 Conference in Glasgow. If you missed any of the webinars you can find them on our Youtube channel.

This year the city will not be seeing the large-scale Bath Christmas Market, that was held in previous years, because of the chronic impact of Brexit and the pandemic on supply and staffing.

As we did last year we are working with city partners Bath BID, Visit West, SouthGate Bath and Milsom Place to make sure residents, visitors and businesses can enjoy a great package of traditional Christmas events and experiences over the festive season.

In addition a virtual Bath Christmas Market will be launched online to give all stallholders who were offered a place at Bath Christmas Market, the opportunity to sell their goods and give more people a taste of Bath’s Christmas magic.

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


Vaccination walk-in clinics

Walk-in Covid-19 vaccination clinics are still available for everyone aged 16 and over at Bath Racecourse on non-race days. You don't need to book, but please check for when events are being held. Doses of both Pfizer and AstraZeneca are available.

For other walk-in vaccine clinics, check the Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group website.

The website also has more information on the vaccine rollout, and details of all local health and care services.

Bath Racecourse bus service changes

The free First Bus service (No. 32) for anyone travelling between Bath Bus Station and Bath Racecourse for a booked vaccination appointment will continue until this Saturday (25 September). You can catch the bus every hour between 7am and 8pm, from Bay 15 of the Bus Station or anywhere along the route.
From next Tuesday (28 September), anyone travelling to the Racecourse is instead being advised to take the Lansdown P&R Service (No. 31) from Milsom St in Bath City Centre. A free shuttle bus service will run from the P&R every 15 and 45 minutes past the hour during the following times:
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: 15.00-19.00
All buses will be wheelchair accessible. For more information about the service, visit:

Self-isolation removed for double-jabbed close contacts

Adults and children who are double jabbed no longer need to self-isolate if they are identified as a close contact of a positive case. Instead, they are advised to get a free PCR test as soon as possible.

If you have symptoms, you must take a PCR test and isolate until you receive your test result. Call 119 or visit here to book a test. Find out about Covid-19 symptoms here. Appointments at PCR test sites are refreshed throughout the day so please try again if you haven't been successful in booking on your first attempt.

You can order a home test kit to be delivered to your home. There's more information about claiming financial support if you've been asked to self-isolate here.

Check the latest government guidance here.

Covid-19 rapid testing 

The new test and collect site at 19 New Bond Street opened this week. Residents, shoppers and workers in Bath city centre will still be able to pick up their test kits and take supervised tests from the new site.

Keep an eye out for our mobile testing van and drop in to pick up your test kits if you see it around. The van’s locations are published on our website and you can just turn up and have a supervised test or collect LFTs to take home. Trained outreach workers will also answer questions about testing, support to self-isolate, vaccination or other COVID-19 queries.

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


Comment on city centre security traffic orders

A consultation on the Traffic Regulation Orders needed to progress a scheme in Bath as a preventative anti-terrorism measure has launched today (September 23).

Cleveland Bridge refurbishment update

An anticipated target to reopen Cleveland Bridge to traffic at the end of the month has been delayed and the plan is to have a staged re-opening in October.

Council nominated for prestigious Film Award

The council’s Film Office has been shortlisted for an internationally recognised award for its work on hit television period drama Bridgerton.

Great Bath Feast & Abbey Quarter Market funding

A celebration of the best food and drink in the South West will take place at Bath’s Milsom Quarter this weekend with support from high streets recovery funding.

Partners back the magic of Bath at Christmas

An enticing package of traditional festive events and experiences to enhance the magic of Bath at Christmas and support the city’s businesses is set to be announced by local partners.

Have your say on changes to planning policies

Residents and businesses are being reminded they still have time to give their views on proposed changes to planning polices to help tackle the Climate and Ecological Emergencies in Bath and North East Somerset.

Disappointment at Planning Inspectorate decision

Objections by the council to a local plan which proposes around 450 houses on sites near Midsomer Norton and Westfield have not been upheld by a Planning Inspector.

Celebrating Black History Month

The accomplishments, experiences and challenges faced by black people will come under the spotlight throughout October in a series of events across Bath and North East Somerset to mark Black History Month (BHM21).

Scam money launderer made to pay back £213k

A convicted money launderer who was involved in the Prior Park College scam of foreign nationals has been ordered to pay £213,000 as a result of a prosecution by the council’s Trading Standards team.

£10,000 donated to Bath bereavement support group

The council has donated £10,000, raised from the recycling of metals reclaimed from Bath’s Haycombe Crematorium, to a Bath charity which offers a support group for adults who have been affected by a suicide loss.

Visionary who transformed Heritage Services retires

After more than four decades of dedicated service Bath & North East Somerset Council’s Head of Heritage Services Stephen Bird, MBE is retiring.

New WECA focus on tackling the climate emergency

After calling on the West of England Combined Authority to show “much more ambition” in its plans to tackle the climate emergency and deliver net zero, Bath & North East Somerset council leaders have welcomed the publication of a report on WECA’s refreshed principles for a refreshed climate emergency ambition.

Armed Forces reminded of local support

Current and former members of the Armed Forces and their families who may have been affected by recent events in Afghanistan are being reminded that support is available for them.

Council unveils plans for Bath at Christmas

The council, faced with a “double whammy” of Brexit and Covid, which has led to a national shortage of logistics and security staff, is reshaping this year’s Christmas events programme, including its Bath Christmas Market.

Funding for new memorial at Odd Down

The creation of a permanent memorial for more than 3,100 people lying in unmarked graves at the Workhouse Burial Ground at Odd Down in Bath has been awarded £6,800 in community funding by the council.

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


COVID-19 vaccination: Guide for eligible children and young people

This leaflet explains the coronavirus (Covid-19) vaccination programme for eligible children and young people.

Ventilation of indoor spaces to stop the spread of coronavirus

What ventilation is and why it is important.

Check if you can claim back Statutory Sick Pay paid to employees due to coronavirus

If you're an employer, find out if you can use the Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme to claim back employees' coronavirus-related Statutory Sick Pay (SSP).

Working safely during coronavirus

Working safely during coronavirus (Covid-19).

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.

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.

Residents who want to get back to work or change career can now get tailored advice on training and upskilling from a new Employment and Skills Pod. The Pod has been set up by the council and its partners to help people identify the type of job they could do, refer them to training opportunities and gain work experience.

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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Date published: 2021-10-12

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

Date published: 2021-10-12