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e-connect 26 January

Date published: 2023-01-26

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

e-connect 26 January 2023
A picture Cllr Kevin Guy, Leader of Bath & North East Somerset Council

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

Tackling the climate and ecological emergency is a council priority and our successful actions to reduce carbon emissions and restore nature have been set out in our recent Climate Progress Report.

As well as improving the energy efficiency of our own buildings including the Roman Baths and work on the new Keynsham Recycling Hub, I am delighted to report we have made a ground-breaking step in our housing development policy.

Last week at a special meeting of Council, the Local Plan Partial Update (LPPU), which set out updates to parts of the current Local Plan so it would better address council priorities, including the climate and ecological emergencies, was adopted.

It means we are the first council in England to successfully adopt an energy-based net zero housing policy – a huge amount of work has gone into achieving this. It will have a positive impact on the energy use of any proposed development, set requirements for sufficient on-site renewable energy generation and address building emissions.

The consultation on the council’s budget proposals for 2023-24 has now ended and I would like to thank everyone who has taken the time to respond. By law we have to balance the budget and while we are going into this budget in a stronger position than many other councils, the simple fact we face is that our money doesn’t go as far as it did. This means we still have some difficult decisions to make in the light of spiralling costs, social care pressures and the challenging economic climate.

Our proposals were scrutinised at Corporate Policy, Development and Scrutiny Panel, which met on Monday. The next step is the budget proposals will come before cabinet on February 9 before the full council meets on February 21 to set the budget and council tax.

Our priority is always to protect frontline services and the most vulnerable, which is where the vast majority of our budget is spent – and where it does have positive outcomes. I want to take the opportunity to highlight the work of our Connecting Families team, which is celebrating ten years directly helping more than 1,700 families across Bath and North East Somerset to improve their lives.

I promised an update following last week’s West of England Combined Authority Committee meeting to agree transport arrangements for the region, including changes to supported bus services and the implementation of a new Demand Responsive Transport (DRT) system. I have written to Dan Norris, the Metro Mayor for the West of England Combined Authority (WECA), asking him to take three specific actions to improve public transport in Bath and North East Somerset. A copy of the letter, detailing specific routes, is on the newsroom and I am awaiting a response from the mayor.

I was delighted to join guests including volunteers, members of staff and specialist nurses at the Guildhall yesterday where a reception was held for Camilla, Her Majesty The Queen Consort who unveiled a plaque to commemorate newly opened Royal Osteoporosis Society offices in Bath. You can find out more about the important work of the Royal Osteoporosis Society here.

This evening the Guildhall will host a special ceremony to mark the 78th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau in Poland. I will join others at the event to commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day – thanks must go to council staff and Bath Interfaith Group who have arranged the commemoration which will bring people together to remember and to learn about the Holocaust.

Have a good weekend.

A lit candle to mark Holocaust Memorial Day

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.
Public health update
Find the latest Government data on coronavirus here.

Covid and flu vaccination clinics

You can still get your Covid-19 and flu vaccinations 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 30 January
  • Monday 20 February*
  • Monday 27 February
Bath Citadel Salvation Army, Green Park Road, Bath, BA1 1XE
  • Thursday 2 February
  • Thursday 9 February
  • Thursday 16 February#
  • Thursday 23 February
Mulberry Hub, Mulberry Way, Combe Down, Bath, BA2 5BU
  • Monday 13 February*#
  • Monday 20 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, apart from during half-term (#), when clinics are also open from 11am-5pm for 5-11 year olds. 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.

Positive outcomes for thousands of families

A council team that has helped more than 1,700 families in Bath and North East Somerset to improve their lives, is celebrating ten years of success.

Wild Escape at Victoria Art Gallery

The Victoria Art Gallery is going wild in 2023 ‒ the Gallery is taking part in The Wild Escape, a nationwide project uniting hundreds of museums, schools and families to find nature in museums.

College partnership to improve their maths skills

Businesses are being encouraged to help staff develop their numeracy skills and confidence by signing up for a new national training initiative to be delivered by Bath College in partnership with the council.

Voters need photo ID for May elections

Changes in national legislation mean that for the first time voters will need to show photographic ID when they go to the polling station to vote in the local elections.

Council leader writes to Mayor about transport

Bath & North East Somerset Council leader, Councillor Kevin Guy, has written to Dan Norris, the Metro Mayor for the West of England Combined Authority (WECA), asking him to take three specific actions to improve public transport in Bath and North East Somerset.

Council adopts ground-breaking planning framework

Bath and North East Somerset has become the first council in England to successfully adopt an energy-based net zero housing policy as part of its commitment to tackling the climate emergency.

Council committed to new Fashion Museum

Plans for a new Fashion Museum in Bath will continue despite the announcement that the council has been unsuccessful in securing £20 million towards the project from the UK Government’s Levelling Up Fund.

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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Bath and Saltford jobs fairs

Two Jobs Fairs are taking place this month. Bath Central Library is holding a Jobs & Skills Fair on Tuesday 21 February, between 11.30am and 3pm. The event is for anyone looking for work, training or even considering starting their own business. You can find out about live vacancies, training and meet people who can support you on your journey.

Saltford Jobs Fair is being held on Saturday 25 September 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.

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: 2023-01-26

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

Date published: 2023-01-26