The council’s proposal to address the climate emergency took another step forward when the progress report was approved by full council on October 10. After looking at the main sources of local carbon emissions, we’ve set out three priorities that will be reviewed each year: a big increase in local renewable energy generation, energy efficiency improvements for existing buildings and zero carbon for new builds, and a major shift to public transport, walking and cycling. We cannot work alone on this so we’ll be enlisting the help of our local partners, business and communities to deliver real change.
The council launched an important campaign on October 25 to seek the help of primary schools in encouraging parents and carers to stop idling vehicles near school gates. Idling engines produce up to twice the amount of exhaust emissions than when a vehicle is moving and these emissions are linked to a range of health issues. The campaign is part of Bath Breathes and I hope many primary schools across the district will sign up.
Last week was Care Leavers’ Week and we’ve been highlighting the fantastic achievements of more than one hundred young adults across the district who spent time in care before they were 18. Our ‘Moving On’ team supports this vulnerable group of young people who often thrive as they become independent, successfully progressing into work, training and further education.
We have been focussing on prevention by supporting the first national NHS mental health campaign, Every Mind Matters. The campaign encourages adults to be more aware of their mental health and look after their wellbeing. On our website, people can link to an NHS-approved online tool that helps them build an action plan to deal with stress and anxiety, boost their mood and improve their sleep. You can find the tool at https://www.bathnes.gov.uk/services/public-health/one-you/every-mind-ma…
The £7.5m we’ve invested in expanding three primary schools has begun to come to fruition with the opening of a new £2.4m teaching block at St Nicholas CoE Primary School in Radstock at the beginning of the month. These facilities and the new expansions at Castle Primary School in Keynsham and Whitchurch Primary School will deliver for residents as those communities evolve and grow.
I was pleased to welcome our new Chief Executive, Will Godfrey, on October 7 when he joined us from Newport City Council. Will’s experience fits in well with the challenges we face over the next few years. I know he has spent the first couple of weeks in his new role exploring those challenges and how the council can best focus on improving people’s lives.
Next month I’ll be able to update you on how communities are addressing the climate emergency as that’s the focus for our Area Forum meetings in November, which I hope lots of residents will engage with as we want to give people a bigger say. We need your help if we are to deliver on the priorities in our climate emergency report.