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e-connect 7 March

Date published: 2024-03-07

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

e-connect 7 March 2024
Cllr Kevin Guy pictured with Ghika Savva (right), Bath’s Student Community Partnership Manager and Joe Dyke (left) a Community Warden.

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

You may have seen that the West of England Combined Authority was issued on Tuesday with a Best Value Notice by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.
You can find out more details on this here. In essence, though, the notice reflects the concerns that myself and others have been pressing over a long period of time. The notice in particular highlights the poor professional relationships between the Metro Mayor and the representatives of the constituent members. This really matters, as the Metro Mayor has access to millions of pounds in funding for important services such as buses that are vital for our constituents.
Things needs to improve, and quickly. This Best Value Notice represents a serious step, but I believe it is a helpful one. A board will be appointed to ensure that agreed improvements are put in place. We will continue to work in partnership with the other constituent authorities and the Metro Mayor to ensure the combined authority delivers for businesses, residents and the region as a whole. I also look forward to a frank, honest and open discussion about this when the matter is brought before WECA Committee on 15th March.
Last week I mentioned the Household Support Fund which local government and other organisations have called on the government to extend. I was relieved to hear in the Chancellor’s budget that the fund will continue for six months, which for now avoids the March 31 deadline. This fund is vital to preventing households falling into crisis and putting additional pressures on already overstretched services.  
Finally I want to thank Ghika Savva, Bath’s Student Community Partnership Manager and Joe Dyke a Community Warden (pictured) who took the time to join me on a recent walkabout in Oldfield Park. It was extremely helpful to see firsthand the really valuable work of the partnership which fosters better relationships between neighbours as well as encouraging students to feel part of our community.  You can find out more about the Student Community Partnership which recently received a grant of £47,000 in the last round of Neighbourhood CIL funding.
Have a good weekend.

Watch our video to learn about a Local Plan and why we prepare one. Find out more and take part in the consultation. The consultation ends on 8 April.

Council Tax change to encourage owners to bring empty properties back into use

Owners of residential properties in Bath & North East Somerset that have been empty for more than six months are being alerted during National Empty Homes Week, to a change in Council Tax charges.


Active travel scheme in Midsomer Norton and Westfield moves forward

Bath & North East Somerset Council has taken the next steps on a £1.5million project to improve walking, wheeling and cycling options in Midsomer Norton and Westfield.


Nine out of ten families in B&NES offered their first choice of secondary school

A first preference school place was offered to 1,692 pupils (90.1%) with 99 offered a place at their second preference school.


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.

Follow us online

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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.
Help with the cost of living.
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

CSE energy advice

Residents wanting to reduce their bills, insulate their homes or add energy efficiency measures can get guidance from trained energy experts on the first Thursday of every month from 11am to 2pm at a pop up in the Podium outside Bath Central Library.

Library services

Our Libraries offer a range of services, including the Library at Home service where we can bring the library to you and sensory spaces for children and young adults with sensory needs. You can also find out about events happening in our libraries.


Employment support and skills



Achieve in B&NES provides a job and course search service for anybody wishing to enter the workplace or progress their career. There are free and funded courses from local providers.

We Work For Everyone

Looking for work and have a learning difficulty or learning disability, or you are autistic, we can help. Visit

Future Bright

Future Bright offers FREE career coaching, training and support. Visit the Future Bright website to find out more or call 01225 395555.

Employment & Skills Pod

The Employment & Skills Pod provides information, advice and guidance for residents who are unemployed, 18+ and would like support around employment. You can find out more on the achieve website.

Health, wellbeing and support


Live Well B&NES

Live Well B&NES is a web-based resource providing information, signposting and support to Bath & North East Somerset residents.

Community Wellbeing Hub

The Community Wellbeing Hub opening hours are from Monday to Friday, 9am until 5pm. Call the Hub on 0300 247 0050 or text 07870 868368 or visit the website.

Bath Mind

Bath Mind is an independent mental health charity whose services operate across Bath and North East Somerset. Explore Bath Mind’s services by visiting their website. Alternatively, call Freephone 0808 175 1369 any day of the week between 9am and 11pm for mental health support.

Age UK

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. You can also find out about digital support for people aged 55 and over. Email or visit

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.

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.

Bath Community Transport

Bath Community Transport provides accessible transport to community, church and support groups, social clubs, care homes and sport foundations.
Call 01225 832317 for further details or visit

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, support is available from Bath and North East Somerset Carers’ Centre. Freephone support line: 0800 038 8885 or email 9am-1pm, every weekday.

Public health

To keep up to date with the latest public health news stories across Bath and North East Somerset, including upcoming events, consultations  and other information, subscribe to the public health monthly newsletter. You can also browse previous editions of the public health newsletter.
You can report a problem with a street, park or green space to us directly with FixMyStreet. We’ve fixed over 900 issues in the last month.
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Date published: 2024-03-07

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

Date published: 2024-03-07