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e-connect 24 August

Date published: 2023-08-24

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

e-connect 24 August 2023

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

Today we mark Ukrainian Independence Day and stand in solidarity with the Ukrainian people who continue to show such strength and resilience in their fight for freedom.
As a sign of our solidarity and friendship Bath & North East Somerset Council now has in place a formal Friendship Agreement with the Ukrainian city of Oleksandriya. I wrote to the Mayor of Oleksandriya Serhii Kuzmenko expressing our support for residents of the city as they celebrated their independence.
Across Bath & North East Somerset families and individuals continue to show direct support by hosting Ukrainians under the Government-funded Homes4Ukraine Scheme. More than 350 guests have been helped to date. If this is something you think you could also do you can get help and support from our great team of advisers, just go to
One way we are improving local neighbourhoods is by introducing Residents’ Parking Schemes (RPZs). Following extensive public consultation, six new RPZs have already been introduced in Bath this year and generally welcomed by residents.

Walcot, Snow Hill and Claremont Road went live on 31 July and the Oldfield Park and Westmoreland RPZ goes live on Tuesday 29 August.

As we introduce changes like these it is crucial that we listen to people’s concerns and respond flexibly and imaginatively. For example, after the formal consultation on Oldfield Park and Westmoreland’s zone closed, we received additional requests from the community, including the area’s ward councillors, for more provision for visitors.

To accommodate these requests, we are trialling more short-stay visitor bays in the zone from its launch on 29 August. While the RPZ itself is now permanent, the trial will see an additional 60 dual-use and limited-used bays in place for a minimum of 6 months to see what people think. In the original design, these spaces were reserved for permit holders only.

Dual-use bays can be used by visitors for the time indicated, but also by resident permit holders for an unrestricted period. The bays will be near facilities such as the GP surgery, shops, community and faith groups with maximum stays of up to 2 or 3 hours. You can find out more about the trial and complete a survey at

This week the West of England Combined Authority (WECA) launched its consultation on the future of public transport along the A4 between Bath and Bristol. These are early-stage plans, which aim to cut traffic and improve air quality. Transport ideas include changes to the Keynsham by-pass, new junctions, plus potentially new cycle and bus lanes. To find out more including consultation events visit
Developing space for creative industries to flourish is one thing we want to improve and so we are asking people including existing and emerging artists to share their opinions on the current and future requirements of artists’ workspaces in Bath. The aim is to help us develop a Creative Quarter to support employment, skills and the local economy. Details are on our website.
This weekend is set to be another busy time for Bath as people make the most of the late summer Bank Holiday weekend. You only need to look around to see the city centre is thriving and that’s reflected in high demand from businesses to open new premises. In the year to 31st March 2023, the council agreed 22 new lettings of its own commercial premises to businesses in Bath city centre. All this contributes to the local economy, to jobs and to an attractive and vibrant centre for residents and visitors alike.
Finally, well done to all our young people and schools who are celebrating their exam successes today. Even if the results were not what you had hoped there is plenty of advice to help you with your next steps.

Have a good weekend.


Air quality in Bath continues to improve

Bath’s Clean Air Zone (CAZ) is continuing to improve air quality with a decreasing trend in nitrogen dioxide concentrations across the city, new data published today shows (August 24).

Students across Bath and North East Somerset celebrate GCSE results

Young people receiving GCSE results today are being congratulated on their achievements and reminded of the support available for the next chapter in their lives.

Conservation work and a new learning space at Victoria Art Gallery

The Upper Gallery of the Victoria Art Gallery will temporarily close to visitors from the 4 September for conservation work over the autumn.

Somer Valley Walking Festival

The Somer Valley Walking Festival aims to encourage local people and visitors to explore the beauty of the local countryside and also to discover its rich heritage. All walks and activities are free of charge.

NHS Strike Action

Consultants in some NHS trusts, including at the RUH, are taking strike action from today (24 August) until 7am on Saturday 26 August due to a national dispute between the Government and unions. The RUH is advising patients to attend for appointments and procedures unless you hear from them. The RUH emergency department remains open 24 hours a day for life-threatening emergencies. Read more information about the strike action.

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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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.
For people struggling to afford broadband or phone services, there are social tariffs available. Connecting Devon and Somerset (CDS) has a webpage with more information about social tariffs including eligibility requirements and how to apply Social tariffs - Connecting Devon and Somerset

Free online Home Fire Safety Check

Avon Fire & Rescue Service is encouraging residents to use the new Online Home Fire Safety Check to keep your home safer from fire risk. The check gives personalised fire safety advice unique to you and your home and takes approximately 15 minutes. Complete the check:

The Library at Home service

Did you know that if you aren’t able to visit our libraries because of mobility or other issues, we can bring the library to you? Volunteers from our Home Library Service can visit you at home every few weeks to bring books and talking books. The service is available in any part of B&NES but we currently have new volunteers in the Keynsham area to pair with new readers, so if you’d like to register, email or call 01225 39 40 41.

Sensory Spaces in our libraries

We have three Sensory Spaces in our libraries for children and young adults with sensory needs. The spaces at Bath, Keynsham and Midsomer Norton Libraries are open to everyone as a place to take a sensory break away from the lights and sounds of the main library. You can download a short guide to these spaces and our libraries before, or borrow a copy when you visit us.
Book a visit via Eventbrite -

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.

We Work For Everyone – free employment support

We Work For Everyone is a free employment support programme for unemployed people age 16+ with a learning difficulty, learning disability or autism. No formal diagnosis is required.

To find out more call 0117 9223330, email or visit

The programme supports people in Bath and North East Somerset, North Somerset, Bristol and South Gloucestershire.

Employment & Skills Pod

The Employment & Skills Pod has been relaunched in Bath & North East Somerset by B&NES Council and West of England Combined Authority to provide information, advice and guidance for residents who are unemployed, 18+ and would like support around employment.

We are running a series of events across B&NES during September and October with a range of local organisations attending. Please see the details below and use the links to sign up or drop in on the day. We look forward to seeing you there.

Thursday 21st September - Pod Launch – Bath Central Library, The Podium BA1 5AN 
Monday 2nd October - Keynsham Training & Jobs Fair – Keynsham Library, Civic Centre BS31 1FS
Tuesday 24th October - Midsomer Norton Training & Jobs Fair – Midsomer Norton Library, High St BA3 2DP

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, visit their website or you can email them.

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: 2023-08-24

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

Date published: 2023-08-24