Page 1

This issue... Your guide to Spring days in our area

The magazine for the people of Bath and North East Somerset | Spring 2014

Win £50

in our phot competitio o n on page 6

Parking in Bath

Charges compared to the rest of the UK

It’s great outdoors

10 ways to get active outside Brought to you in partnership with:

Plus... All the latest news

including Chairman’s Community Awards and Radstock regeneration

If you have problems reading this magazine, please contact Bath & North East Somerset Council for a braille or larger version on 01225 477495



ave you ever seen an obstacle on a motorway, about half a mile in the distance? The longer you leave it to take action, the fewer options you have to avoid trouble. But plan ahead and make your manoeuvres early and you have every chance of escaping disaster. This simple analogy closely resembles the approach the Council has taken to manage local taxpayer’s money responsibly. Seeing danger well ahead, we’ve steered carefully around the dangers of reductions in funding for the public sector, increasing numbers of older people and rising costs, and have put a clear emphasis on the following local priorities: – Protecting public services; – Freezing Council Tax; – Investing in homes and jobs. So look at our 2014 budget update on p14 to discover how we are on course to balance the books and invest in the fabric of your local communities.

Talking of roads, my mailbag is full of letters from people concerned about the impact of the weather on our highways. In response to this feedback, we’ve agreed an additional £2 million for resurfacing, taking the total investment over a three-year period to £9.2 million, to win the war on potholes. We’ve also listened to the views of local people who are anxious about

“We’ve agreed an additional £2 million for resurfacing… to win the war on potholes” reductions to Early Years Services, including children’s centres and adult advice services. Extra money is now in our budget for these purposes. Also in this issue, you’ll find a number of ideas for getting outdoors this Spring (a novel experience given the recent wet weather), as well as the usual round-up of events in the Bath area. If you have any feedback on the issues raised in this magazine, please tweet me at @BathnesLeader or use #getconnected Councillor Paul Crossley, Leader of Bath & North East Somerset Council

is brought to you by...

CONNECT magazine is distributed to 76,000 households. It is produced in partnership between Bath & North East Somerset Council and MediaClash

MediaClash, Circus Mews House, Circus Mews, Bath BA1 2PW T: 01225 475800 W:

Spring 2014

Holly Robinson makes a dash for it during the Chew Valley fun run

In this issue...

Newsdesk..................................4 All the latest news from the area, including awards recognising our local volunteers

Events diary...............................9 Fashion, music, crafts, cars and culture are all on offer, as well as some Easter eggs!

The great outdoors................10 Spring is here, and here are 10 ways to get you and your family active outside

Loan a bike in Bath.................13 Hear from a resident who has rediscovered the joy of cycling

Council Tax freeze..................14 The Council budget for 2014 sees many local frontline services protected

Parking in Bath.......................16 Local parking charges are under scrutiny, with some interesting national comparisons

It’s cheaper to recycle......... 20

We look at the contents of your black rubbish sacks and find there’s room for improvement

Your healthcare..................... 24 The Clinical Commissioning Group would like to hear your ideas about health services

Bath Innovation Quay........... 28 The first steps towards reconnecting the River Avon to the heart of the city

Services directory................. 34 Council services at your fingertips. If you need us to help then please get in touch

Meet the.................................. 38 The Civic Secretary explains her role and how the Civil Office supports the community

For advertising enquiries contact | 3



Newsdesk Newsdesk


Keeping you informed with the latest news from the area

Prepare for flooding With the UK in the grip of some of the worst floods in living memory, would you know what to do if water was on the horizon?


ore than five million people are at risk from flooding in the country, according to the Environment Agency. But who could react quickly and contact the right people if in trouble or see a highway swelling with water? Remember to have the right information at your fingertips and prepare for flooding in your home.

When flooding strikes

n Bookmark the Environment Agency

n Call 999 if you are in danger, remember that flood water can rise quickly; n Turn off utilities if flood water is about to enter your home, but do not touch electricity sources when standing in water; n Remember, people and pets before property. Get them upstairs with a means of escape.

webpage which contains lots of important information, including a flood warning service at and store their Floodline on 0845 988 1188. You can also create your own personal Flood Plan online; n The Met Office weather forecast is also useful at n Familiarise yourself with the isolation points for water, gas and electricity for your property; n If you feel you are at risk, remove important documents and belongings to a safe place. Property owners are responsible for protecting their own properties in the event of flooding, if you are a tenant it will be your landlord who has this responsibility.

4 | Connect | Spring 2014

The Environment Agency is responsible for issuing flood warnings to the public. Should a major flood occur, the emergency services and Council have special arrangements and they would quickly carry out the necessary action. But remember – as with any other emergency, they might not be able to reach you straightaway.

Contact the Council if you encounter flooding on highways and pavements. We will investigate as soon as possible. Please don’t drive through flooded roads. n Monday – Friday, 8am (9.30am Weds) – 6pm contact Council Connect via Twitter @ccbathnes or councilconnect@ or call 01225 39 40 41; n Out of hours emergency please call 01225 477 477.

roads Don’t drive through flooded

Find out more

For more information about how to respond to all types of emergencies go to See p.14 to read about how the Council and the Environment Agency are helping people in Chew Magna protect their homes from flooding.

Car park extends

News round-up Views of the City


ork to expand Newbridge Park & Ride by 250 spaces is now underway. Engineering work will then begin in April on a reconfigured junction with the Newbridge Road The expansion of Newbridge Park incorporating traffic signals, & Ride is designed to take away and improvements to turning the frustration of full car parks movements. In May, work to the car park extension to increase capacity inside begins in earnest. Peter Dawson, Group Manager for Planning Policy and Transport, said, “We are moving as quickly as possible to expand the Park & Ride service in time for Christmas.” New passenger facilities will also be in place, including a covered waiting area, public toilets and cycle storage. The expansion is part of the £27 million Bath Transportation Package which has already seen the expansion of Lansdown and Odd Down Park & Rides. The overall capacity of facilities will have increased from 1,990 spaces to 2,860 once Newbridge is finished. Excellent progress is also being made on improving bus routes – some 420 stops are being improved, with 170 featuring Real-Time Information displays. Drivers will also have noticed better information on electronic signs on key approaches to the city giving up to the minute traffic information to help inform route planning. For the latest info on the Bath Transportation Package go to n

Chairman’s Community Awards


he winners of the B&NES Council 2013/14 Chairman’s Community Awards have been announced. The aim of the awards is to recognise volunteers, community leaders, educational institutions and businesses that make a positive contribution to the local community. The Chairman, Councillor Neil Butters, said, “The volunteers, community leaders and businesses that make such a fantastic contribution to the local community and inspire others to get involved to shaping the future of their community have been celebrated through these awards. I’d like to r of Year Nathan Gale, Voluntee

Winner: Enatcus Bath

Winner: Eileen Colbu rn

thank everyone who made a nomination and congratulate all those who received an award.” The winners were: Bath Magistrates Courts Witnesses Service; Enactus Bath, (a student-led society from the University of Bath); Alice Park Community Garden; University of Bath Students’ Union; B&NES and Curo Community Challenge staff team at Read Aloud @ the Orangery; Linda Wyon, Corsham; Phoebe Bidgoode, Keynsham; Shirley Edwards, Stanton Drew; Nathan Gale, Bath; Grace O’Hara, Keynsham; and Eileen Colburn, Midsomer Norton. n

The Bath City Conference 2014 will take place on Wednesday 30 April in The Guildhall. The aim is to discover what the people of Bath as well as visitors think about the city. There will be a range of stalls with displays, and local businesses, community groups, charities, social enterprises, public organisations and council departments will showcase their services.

Civil enforcement body cameras As a result of incidents of violent or threatening behaviour directed at B&NES Civil Enforcement Officers (CEOs) issuing parking tickets, the Council will shortly be using Body Cams. These simple cameras, which can record at the touch of a button, will be carried by every CEO and will enhance the quality of A body cam in actio n evidence in the case of prosecution. The Body Cams are already working successfully in East Hampshire, Leeds and Cardiff, reducing incidents by up to half.

Loans for home repairs Homeowners may be able to borrow money to fund essential repairs to their homes through a B&NES Council subsidised loan scheme. The loans – offered from £500 to £15,000 – are available to those on a low income who follow certain criteria. The loan could cover anything from a replacement boiler, mending a leaking roof, solving a damp issue, replacing faulty electrics or plumbing, or simply making stairs and pathways to a home safe. Phone 01225 396444 for more info, or go to

Core Strategy The Core Strategy sets out the policy framework for the location and level of new housing and other developments. Hearings continue from the end of March 2014 on a range of issues, including housing delivery and their allocation on the Green Belt. Representations of the recent Green Belt consultation can be viewed on the link below. The inspector has agreed with the Council that the housing provision in the plan should be no more than the 13,000 proposed. | 5


Radstock regeneration is given the go-ahead


Cate Le Grice-Mack on the former railway land where new homes will be constructed

ermission has been given to plans to regenerate 17 acres of former railway land in the centre of Radstock. The proposals by the Norton Radstock Regeneration Company and developer Linden Homes will create 190 new homes and additional commercial space. Outline permission for the site and for work to be carried out in the conservation area was approved, despite concern from residents whose fears included road safety, reduced car parking, loss of green space and wildlife and the lost opportunity for a Frome rail link. An application from Linden Homes to develop land closest to the Victoria Hall creating 70 new homes, including 47 affordable ones, will be considered for permission at a later date. Supporters see the regeneration as a positive way of delivering a new heart for Radstock with enhanced community space and

recreational areas as well as new homes and business capacity. Work will start as soon as possible on the road network upgrade needed to support new homes and new jobs. In response to issues raised during the Development Control Committee meeting about parking availability during the regeneration, the Council will be liaising closely with landowners to identify potential locations to increase temporary parking while works are underway. Cate Le Grice-Mack, chair of Norton Radstock Regeneration Company said, “We are aware of the role this development will play in supporting the future of the town. Alongside the mix of housing, significant amounts of office work and retail space will lead to substantial investment in Radstock, supporting the creation of new jobs.” n

Somerdale homes are approved N I W

Connect competition Name the location? Flooding is not a modern phenomenon as this picture shows. Can you guess which road in Bath lies underneath this puddle of flood water? Extra points if you can name the year! This photograph was provided by Bath Records Office (



he planning permission to build new high quality homes on the former Cadbury’s factory site at Somerdale has been approved. The 220-acre, mixed-use sustainable development will include up to 700 new homes, employment space, a local centre, a sports and social club and a primary school. Work is already under way, with the demolition of one of the existing factory blocks known locally as Block D. This work will pave the way for the construction of a replacement Fry Club, the development’s new sports and social facility. Charlie Joseph of Taylor Wimpey Bristol, says: “As well as building much-needed new homes – including affordable housing – our development will bring many additional benefits to the local area, including new employment opportunities as the build progresses.” n

HOW TO ENTER Email: Send your answer to Post: Send your answer to Connect Competition, Floor 1, Guildhall, Bath BA1 5AW LAST ISSUE’S WINNER: Mrs D Ashman, Corston, Bath TERMS AND CONDITIONS: Competition open to residents of Bath and North East Somerset only. Employees of MediaClash and Bath & North East Somerset Council (or relatives) not eligible to enter. Editor’s decision is final.

6 | Connect | Spring 2014

The proposed look of the Somerdale development

The latest ongoing projects in your community

Keynsham, view from Bath Hill

Keynsham regeneration

made on the £34 million Excellent progress is being am town centre. On the project to regenerate Keynsh s that will provide new unit il bottom level are the reta local people. jobs and opportunities for

Panels are being put into place by construction workers who are on target to complete the scheme by autumn 2014. The building will use the latest solar technology to reduce energy bills, saving the local taxpayer around £200,000 per year. Find out more at regen

Bath Riverside


Crest Nicholson Regeneration started work on Bath Riverside development in 2010 to create a new residential quarter for the city. Work recently started on 26 new town houses designed by Alison Brooks Architects adjacent to Homebase. For more news www. or follow @BWRnews on Twitter

Victoria Hall, Radstock Ralph Allen School

A completed £2.4 million App lied Learning Centre will specialise in science, technolo gy and engineering. Pictured is Bryony Robertson, senior pupil, and principal Tim Wit hers at the topping-out ceremon y.

r a £660,000 building is now in full use afte The treasured community of the one is h the facility. Pictured Council investment to refurbis info about e mor For . area the people from activities taking place with .uk Victoria Hall go to www.victo | 7

8 | Connect | xxxxxx 2014


events diary It’s time to shake off those winter blues! There’s plenty going on in our area this season to put the spring back in your step

A colourful collection

Celebrating World Heritage Day


Until 2 November


3 May 10 May

Bath in Fashion

13 April

18 May

Vesuvius in Eruption


n Georgians Until 1 January 2015 The Fashion Museum’s new exhibition for 2014 presents a selection of the finest fashions worn by those attending Assemblies and other glittering

n Patchwork

and Quilting

Until 31 May

Radstock Museum’s renowned Patchwork and Quilting exhibition returns with what promises to be the best ever display of work by quilters both local and from across the globe. Chris Howell and De Pickford of Midsomer Quilting have exhibited a broad and diverse range of over 200 items including quilts, garments and furnishings, some of which date back to the 1850’s. 01761 437722

A varied range of textiles on display

Until 5 May occasions of 18th century life. | 01225 477789

n Joseph Wright of Derby: Bath and Beyond Until 5 May Bath and Beyond will place Joseph Wright in the context of the many artists, musicians, writers and scientists living and working in Bath and present for the first time a comprehensive view of his life and work from November 1775 to June 1777. | 01225 388569 n The Colourful World of Kaffe Fassett Until 2 November Celebrating 50 years as an artist and colourist, world-renowned knitwear and textile designer Kaffe Fassett returns to the American Museum to showcase his latest exhibition of textile art, vibrant mosaics and still life paintings. | 01225 460503 n Somerset Farmers Market 12 April, 10 May & 14 June Situated in the car park adjacent to Keynsham’s busy High Street, this market will be bursting with a huge variety of local produce, plus live music. n World Heritage Day 13 April Sydney Gardens hosts a day of free events and activities, including guided walks, dance and theatre performances, children’s games, refreshments and

Classic cars on the Crescent much more. This event also ties in with the Holburne’s ‘Easter Eggstravaganza’. From midday and until 4pm. | 01225 477785

n Easter Bunny Weekend 19 April – 20 April Join in the Easter egg hunt at Midsomer Norton South Station. Ticket price includes drink, snack and a metal badge, plus the chance to win an Easter egg. | 01761 411221


n Bath in Fashion 3 May – 10 May Fashion celebrities and authors will be sharing their style and stimulating debate, there will also be a variety of hands-on workshops, exhibitions and installations to inspire you. | 01225 332299 n The Wonderful World of Glass 15 May Discover the Wonderful World of Glass with Dr Francis Burroughs at Wesley Hall in Paulton. Non-members welcome. Tickets cost £2. Talk begins at 7.30pm. | 01761 412051 n Museums at Night 16 May – 17 May This annual festival sees museums and galleries across the UK unlock their doors after hours for special evening events and music. The Roman Baths is one of the many venues participating. | 01225 477785

n International Music Festival 16 May – 26 May Proceedings get underway on Friday with Party in the City, which will bring the city centre alive with music and dancing. As usual, this 10-day festival will provide an eclectic selection of music to suit all tastes, from jazz to folk and classical to world. Visit the website for a list of performances. | 01225 463362 n Classics at the Crescent 18 May Set in front of the Royal Crescent, this event features some of the finest classic cars. There will be a shopping village for motoring enthusiasts, a food and drink court, plus jazz and folk music to recreate the ambience of times gone by. | 01225 442244

Add an event Any organisation or member of the public can add an event to our online calendar. All you need to do is register with us via the website. Events will be searchable by date or category. Visit events to begin uploading. | 9

The next Race for Life in Bath takes place on 15 June

It’s great outdoors If you haven’t exercised for a while, you may be in search of some ideas. Here are 10 ways of getting healthy while taking in a breath of fresh air


here’s nothing like a bit of outdoor exercise to make you feel on top of the world. Here are some ideas to suit every perspective – including gazing at trees, free sessions at your local leisure centre or getting your kids riding with a cycle club. Many of these are group activities, one of the most motivating ways of enjoying the outdoors, an opportunity to meet new friends and to have fun in the process.


Get strolling

Introduce some outdoor activity by going for a regular stroll in a local green space. Many parks have a ‘Friends’ group, such as at Silver Street Nature Reserve (Midsomer Norton) who work together to make the local area a better place. If there isn’t one already, you can start a friends group with the help of the Parks Team. 01225 394041; councilconnect@www.

Botanical Gardens where you can learn about 20 of the best trees on the way. Get your Tree Gazing Trail from the BRSLI at 16-18 Queen Square between 10am and 4pm, Monday to Saturday;


Get moving

If you are feeling unfit, then ask your doctor to refer you to Step Back into Exercise activities with Passport to Health. These free sessions give you access to a leisure centre for 12 weeks, and the opportunity to cycle, walk and do circuits at Odd Down Playing Fields. Another good place for walking, cycling and jogging is at the Linear Park and the Two Tunnels – this route is straight with very gentle gradients.;


Get running

If you’re starting to run as a beginner or as someone who hasn’t run for a while, get some support to help build up your fitness levels. Chew Valley Leisure Centre offer circuit training sessions from 8-9pm on Thursdays, for example, or you can use Run B&NES to get information about local running clubs. These include one for beginners that will get you running 5k in eight weeks (Mondays, 6.30pm outside Sweaty Betty). 01225 396429; runningclubs


Get tree gazing

Probably the most rewarding way to get active is to combine it with spending time with the family. The Tree Gazing Trail is a guided walk from the Bath Royal Literary & Scientific Institution in Queen Square to the

10 | Connect | Spring 2014

Tree gazing is a gentle wa y of

getting active

ages Running can be fun for all


Get serious running

Once you’ve got a running regime and you’d like to move it up a level, the next stage is to find an event. This will give you the opportunity to raise some money for a good cause. Examples of upcoming events are the Bath Race for Life (5K) on 15 June at Royal Victoria Park, The Chew Valley Road Race (10K) on 22 June and the Bath Running Festival (5K and 10K) on 27 July. Race for Life: 0845 600 6050; raceforlife. Chew Valley:; Running events: runninggirls


Get a bike

The Loan Bike Scheme, designed to get people cycling to work, is operated by Bike It in Radstock and Take Charge in Bath. Bikes are available for up to four weeks – apply for a voucher through the TravelWest field team. From April, you can also hire new bikes from new cycle stations in Bath, directly from the stand, or in advance either online or from the Tourist Information Centre. Read more on page 13. Loan Bike Scheme: 01173 521105; travel. Cycle hire:

TravelWest training: 01173 521105; travel.; www.


Get kids playing

Another idea for getting active is to explore your local area on foot with your children to find parks, woodlands, hidden pathways and new green places for them to play. Pick up the Council’s ‘Places to Play’ leaflet, which gives suggestions about where your children can play for free with 26 ideas that will get you started – you can find the leaflet in any Council walk-in centre. 0800 073 1214;;


Get kids riding

Sulis Scorpions is a children’s cycle club offering one-hour Go-Ride induction courses over four weeks for 7-16 year olds. Saturday sessions are led by qualified coaches on the Odd Down Playing Fields. The circuit can also be hired for children’s parties. Sulis Scorpions: Odd Down Cycle Circuit: 01225 396429;; www.bathnes.


Get a bit of everything

If you’re not sure where to start but you are committed to getting active, then you can invest in an Aquaterra Platinum or Gold membership. You’ll benefit from golf, gym, swimming, sauna and steam and exercise classes with unlimited access to Culverhay Sports Centre, Bath Sports and Leisure Centre, Bath Approach Golf Course and Entry Hill Golf Course. Prices start from £30 per month, plus a joining fee.

You can loan a bike for up

to a month

n The most popular activities are swimming, cycling and the gym

Enjoy the benefits of exercis e

n 43.7% of adults in the region do no sport or active recreation. n 27% of those in the region undertake 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise on three or more days a week n 30% of 65-74 year-olds and 15% of adults aged 75 and over reported any exercise lasting at least ten minutes during four weeks n 64.4% of men and 55.9% of women take part in physical leisure activities at least once a week n 12% of pupils watch TV, videos or DVDs and 13% play computer games for more than three hours after school


Get on your bike

Go By Bike sessions at Odd Down Playing Fields are supervised sessions that cost just £1. These include special groups for over 50s, women and families (where children can learn to ride a bike). Another option is the TravelWest training designed for adults who want to develop more confidence on their bikes. Training is free, one-to-one and pitched at the level of the learner. Book through TravelWest or through the Cycling Instructor’s website. Go by Bike:;

Fitness facts for our area

Find out more time with loved ones Walking is a way to spend

If you want ideas on how to improve your fitness go to uk/fitness | 11

12 | Connect | Winter 2013

Champion for Bath Tamzin with Jess, Breeze

Tamzin trying out her electric bike in one of Bath's rare flatter areas

Loan a bike in Bath A newly mobile Bath resident gives us her verdict on the loan bike scheme


amzin Anderson was looking for a way to get a little fitter, enjoy the open air and rediscover the joy of cycling, but the hills of Bath were putting her off. So she was delighted to discover the Council’s loan bike scheme and decided to try out an electric bike for a month. “I’m not a confident cyclist,” admits Tamzin, “Traffic terrifies me, and I have a real issue with the hills around Bath. I have a desk job and wanted to get fitter, so was reconsidering my journey to work. I heard about the bike scheme from a friend and discovered there was the option of a hybrid road bike, fold-up bike or electric-assist bike, which really appealed.” The loan bike scheme is designed to let people try out a new style of bike on their commute, with bikes available for up to a month. The bikes can also be used for leisure rides, and there’s free adult cycle training available for those wanting some advice on their cycling skills, or advice on manoeuvring complex local junctions. The two shops running the scheme are Bike It in County Bridge, Radstock and Take Charge at 3 Georges Place, Bath. “It was really easy to get the loan bike.” Said Tamzin. “I'm really impressed at how smoothly it all went. I looked online, e-mailed the team who were super-friendly

and I had the voucher within a week.” “I phoned Take Charge in Bath to arrange the bike collection, took along a deposit and some ID and the whole thing took less than half an hour. The staff were really helpful and friendly. They were very knowledgeable and customer focused – I really appreciated all their help and patience.”

A helping hand up the hill

Tamzin opted for a Giant Twist electric bike, and was impressed with the full set of accessories including the lock and lights, along with pump, puncture repair kit, pannier bags and even a bike computer so she could tell how fast and far she was cycling. “It’s straightforward to use the electric assist, and the battery detaches from the

The TakeCharge team are part of the scheme

bike, meaning I can charge it from any plug. I’ve heard people say that electric bikes are cheating, but riding them still requires effort – I've now cycled all the way up Bloomfield Road and I've not managed that before. It’s like having a helping hand pushing you up the hill!” Tamzin’s electric loan bike has now gone back to the shop, but she’s determined not to slip back into her old habits. “Although I will be returning to my own (non-electric) bike, I still intend to take it out a bit more at weekends. I have found the Breeze network [a programme to get women riding bikes for fun] has been really supportive, and I'm looking into cycle training to help me build up confidence on busier roads.”

Cycling to work

“I would definitely consider cycling to work – I've found some less traffic-dense routes, but there’s still the issue of a big hill at the end. I’m hoping that as my fitness and confidence grow I will be able to make it up a hill under my own steam. The cost of a new electric bike is still a little out of my price range, but if my employers join the Cycle to Work Scheme, I could get one taxfree and this would be a big help.” “I think this is a great move to get people to reconsider their commute. How often do you get to try out a completely different mode of transport? For free? This is a great opportunity!” The Bath Loan Bike Scheme is provided by Bath and North East Somerset Council thanks to the Local Sustainable Transport Fund from DfT. You must be over 16 to take part, and provide photo ID, proof of address, along with a returnable deposit. n

Find out more To get a voucher for the scheme, contact the TravelWest Field team: 01173 521105; or email travel.road show@westofengland. org. To loan a bike you must be over 16, provide photo ID, proof of address and a returnable deposit (£50 or £100) depending on bike type. Pay by cash or card swipe. | 13

Pictured are some of the services the Council has protected in 2014/15

Council Tax freeze achieved A newly agreed budget sees bills frozen for the fourth year, many valued local services protected and investment in homes and jobs

14 | Connect | Spring 2014

Many local services will continue just as before – these include weekly bin collections, supported buses, lollipop patrols, youth centres, recycling centres, leisure centres, community meals and library services, along with many other existing services.

In addition, some aspects of last year’s budget have changed after councillors listened to the concerns of local people. We have rounded-up some of the highlights – to find out how the budget affects you, go to n




ouncillors recently agreed a budget which delivers on the things that local people have been telling the Council are important, including the protection of many frontline services. The Government’s response to the severe financial situation has seen funding reduced by £16.8 million over three years. This, along with growing numbers of elderly people and children, has meant that the Council has needed to balance its books by being prudent and financially responsible. In the second year of a three-year budget plan, all the major investment in local communities reported in the Spring 2013 edition of Connect will continue. This includes the regeneration of Keynsham town centre, an upgrade of the transport system in Bath and the rejuvenation of Radstock. There continues to be a focus on providing services for the most vulnerable people in society, young and old. For every pound collected in council tax, fifty pence will be spent on vulnerable residents.

A new skate-park facility will be


Better local play areas

Play and park facilities are being upgraded so that young people and families have high-quality locations where they can enjoy their leisure time and stay active. £540,000 is being invested in outdoor activities for young people and families. There will be an extra local skate-park facility in the east of Bath, skate ramps will be replaced at Royal Victoria Park, and improvements made to the Sandpits play area in Oldfield Park. Keynsham will also witness upgrades to play areas.

2 Resurfacing more roads


An extra £2 million will be invested in improving road surfaces and pavements across the area. This helps to provide smoother highways for drivers and cyclists, while reducing the number of potholes that occur during severe weather and minimising the need for costly reactive work.

A £200,000 boost to property flood protection is being made in Chew Magna. This will reduce the effects of flooding and limit the damage caused through measures such as dewatering pumps or adding further barriers to flood boards and automatic airbricks.

By April 2016, the £9.32 million investment made over a three-year period will have resulted in around 13% of the entire road network being either resurfaced or surface dressed – equivalent to 93 miles.

in 3 Investing green jobs

Improved flood protection

This forms part of a 69 property pilot project to learn more about property flood protection. The enhancements will also enable householders to present their insurers with a strong case for the steps that they have taken to manage flood risk. £340,000 is also earmarked for improvements to the River Avon corridor, including projects to mitigate flooding.

Our area is a hotbed for hi-tech industries and this investment will take advantage of this culture of innovation. It will create new jobs, develop a low-carbon community that’s less dependent on fossil fuels and further enhance our reputation as a green powerhouse for renewables in the south west and nationwide.

Increased flood protection in Chew Magna


Prioritising the most vulnerable

After listening to the views of local people, changes have been made to some of our savings targets: n £800,000 extra to cater for early years (0-11) services, including children’s centres, which will lower the savings target from £2.3 million from 2015/16 to £1.5 million. This money will be used to provide services for the most vulnerable children and families. All 11 Children’s Centres will remain open. n £157,000 extra for two years to fund adult advice services (currently provided by the Citizens Advice Bureau) for the most vulnerable in society. This will help us deliver a new strategy for adult advice.

wable energy The aim is to invest in local rene

n Council Tax frozen n Parking charges frozen n Funding reductions over three years of £2.8 million per year on average; or 1.2% each year n Investment in on-going regeneration projects worth £89 million

The £1 million Green Investment and Jobs Opportunity Fund could create many new jobs in the local renewable energy industry. The idea is for the Council to invest in local renewable energy, such as solarpanel technology and hydro-electric power. This could create jobs for those projects and yield a predicted net return to local taxpayers of 2% per year from the electricity generated, repaying the investment within 15 years.

Key budget points

n £3.52 million will be spent on public convenience improvements. We are keeping open for one year toilets previously earmarked for closure, including High Street, Weston, Dominion Road , Twerton and Larkhall Square. assess a business case for the long-term future of these facilities.

in 6 Investing local business £1.3 million is set aside for expanding Midsomer Norton Business Centre to safeguard 150 jobs and create up to 100 more. This would mean that workspace at the Centre would double. An early proposal at this stage, extensive feasibility work would need to take place and the business case made watertight before it receives go-ahead. £350,000 is also allocated for improve wireless and broadband technology in the area, better connecting businesses to the information superhighway.

Find out more Our website contains lots of information about the budget, including: n Budget challenges n How the organisation is becoming more efficient n List of protected frontline services Go to budget2014 | 15

Parking charges in Bath compare favourably with similar sized cities in the UK

Bath’s parking charges compared A recent survey reveals exactly how Bath’s parking charges compare to other similar sized cities across the country


n a comparison of 20 similar sized or slightly larger locations, Bath’s charges are either much lower than, or exactly average, on a range of tariffs. The great news is that car parking charges in Bath have been frozen for a fourth year running, as are resident, trader and visitor permits in 2014/15. The national comparisons indicate that some Councils have increased their parking charges to balance their budgets. In contrast, B&NES Council has focused on avoiding the car park charge increases that have such an impact on local businesses and their customers. Parking fees in urban centres are often a hot issue for local businesses and residents. But when the Council sets charges they have to reflect the needs of the city. Bath has limited road space, narrow roads and a massive number of visiting tourists, so if parking charges are set too low, this results in extra congestion. The Council also has a responsibility to the environment, ensuring parking tariffs direct drivers towards more sustainable

16 | Connect | Spring 2014

habits. That’s where the Park & Ride services come into play, so drivers can take a Park & Ride bus from £2.60 return, rather than parking all day in the city.

Local feedback

Many have welcomed the news of the parking charge freeze. Fergus Hobbs, Chairman of Bath Retail Landlords Forum, said, “It is very helpful to retail businesses in Bath that car parking charges continue to be frozen. We share the aim Bath should be known as a walkable city”. Peter Rollins, Marketing Manager for the Bath Spa, said, “It is a positive sign that the Council is testing the car parking charges and is highly aware that Bath needs to be competitive against other cities.” Andrew Cooper, Chief Executive of the Bath BID company, said, “Freezing car park charges is welcome, along with other initiatives that make it easier to travel in and out of Bath and encourage people to stay longer in the city. Our partnership with the Park & Ride to promote discounted season tickets is an example

of an initiative that has significantly reduced the cost of working in Bath.” Ian Bell, Executive Director of the Bath Chamber of Commerce and the Initiative in B&NES said, “As the league tables show, car parking charges in Bath compare pretty well with other places and they benefit people who stay longer, which benefits traders.” He also points out how the use of technology has made it much easier for those using car parks, “We are pleased to see progress with technologies which make it easier to pay for car parking and avoid people having to struggle to find change.” Remember that all money raised through parking charges is put back into frontline services – it also helps to balance the books so that Council Tax can be frozen.

“It is very helpful to retail businesses in Bath that charges continue to be frozen”

National comparisons: the facts The numbers in brackets relate to the respective position in that category


Short stay 2 hours

Medium stay 4 hours

Long stay 8 hours



£13.00 (1)

£20.00 (2)



£10.00 (2)

£25.00 (1)



£7.70 (4)

£17.70 (3)



£4.90 (14)

£7.80 (15)



£8.00 (3)

£11.50 (8)



£6.40 (7)

£12.00 (7)



£5.00 (10)

£7.50 (17)



£6.80 (5)

£15.00 (4)



£6.40 (6)

£10.00 (9)



£5.40 (9)

£9.90 (13)



£6.00 (8)

£12.00 (5)



£4.10 (18)

£7.80 (16)



£4.50 (16)

£8.00 (14)



£4.60 (15)

£7.40 (18)



£5.00 (11)

£7.00 (19)



£4.80 (17)

£12.00 (6)



£5.00 (12)

£10.00 (12)



£4.00 (19)

£4.00 (20)



£5.00 (13)

£10.00 (10)



£4.00 (20)

£10.00 (11)





All off-street parking charges in Bath have been frozen for four years

Where to park from 7pm? If you need to park in Bath from 7pm, perhaps to visit the cinema or the theatre or to meet friends for a meal, there’s often a gap to bridge until 8pm, after which time car-park and on-street parking becomes free for the evening. Here are some viable options: n Use a short stay car park for £1.60 for an hour from 7-8pm and then you can leave the car for the evening n Park on the street for an hour from 7-8pm for as little as £1 n Park on single yellow line areas where line restrictions are enforced until 6pm, unless signage indicates an extra restriction

“As the league tables show, car parking charges in Bath compare pretty well with other places, and they benefit people who stay longer, which benefits traders” Ian Bell, Bath Chamber of Commerce

Find out more For more about transport in the region visit www.bathnes. | 17

32 | Connect | Summer 2013

The aim is to deliver support that is truly integrated and person-centred

A new approach

The way support is being provided for children with Special Educational Needs and Disability Support (SEND) in our area is changing


ew legislation to transform the support given to children with SEND is going through Parliament and will become law by September 2014. Changes are planned to the way statements, reviews and services will be delivered and publicised and how local authority responsibility will be defined for local young people with SEND up to age 25. The plan is to have joined-up education, health and social care plans (EHC) instead of statements of SEN. The reform will look at the way support is provided for children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities. Support will focus on enabling them to achieve their long-term aspirations.

children and young people and those with SEN up to 25 truly integrated and personcentred. The intention is to improve long-term outcomes for all children and young people.

What’s next?

EHC plans are being piloted over the next few months. The Council will be publishing its ‘Local Offer’; this sets out in one place all the arrangements, services and education settings for children and young people with SEN and/or disabilities. n

Get involved! We’d love you to get involved, so have a look at what we are doing on the link to the Council website www. and give us your comments. Email us on or post us a message on our Facebook page Plans will be piloted over the next few months

“The intention is to improve longterm outcomes for all children and young people” Person-centred

Our aim is to make our education, health and social care service delivery for disabled | 19

We want to reduce the number of black sacks and increase the amount of recycled waste

It’s cheaper to recycle We’re recycling your household waste well, but we need you to recycle more!


fantastic 58% of our region’s household waste was recycled and treated in 2012-13. However, although we offer a recycling service where you can recycle over 17 items every week from your homes, the amount of black sack rubbish being collected is increasing. So we have carried out some black sack research to discover the items that are still left in your rubbish sacks.

What’s in the black sack?

The important findings are that half of what is still being thrown away could have been recycled through the home collection service in Bath and North East Somerset. n 27% is food waste – we can recycle ALL your food waste. n 14% is paper and card – we collect most of your newspapers and magazines but please remember to include smaller items such as envelopes, junk mail, printing

Black sack rubbish composition in Bath and North East Somerset, 2013 6%

25% Miscellaneous


Food waste



Paper & card



5% 2%

■ Other biodegradeable waste ■ Food waste ■ Textiles ■ Recyclable glass ■ Plastics ■ Paper & card ■ Metal ■ Miscellaneous (nappies, animal waste etc)

20 | Connect | Spring 2014

paper, scrap paper, catalogues and directories so we can recycle ALL your clean, dry paper. n 19% is plastics, of which about 11% we could have recycled. Don’t forget to recycle ALL your plastic bottles, pots, tubs and trays except any black plastic. Please wash and squash these to save space on our vehicles and keep your green box hygienic. n 25% is miscellaneous rubbish, mainly nappies and animal waste, which we can’t collect for recycling. It was important to find out that food waste makes up over a quarter of our black sack rubbish – and this could ALL have been recycled! Our recent household survey established that one of the main reasons that residents say they are not recycling food waste is because they don’t believe they produce any. This supports the research of the national Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP), which says that as a nation 57% of us claim not to waste food (or that we waste very little). However, this is not what we are finding in your sacks!

What’s in the food waste bin?

We know that around 58% of households are recycling their food waste – we have recycled nearly 4,000 tonnes of food waste in 2012-13, saving over £140,000. But we know we could collect a great deal more. According to WRAP, almost half of the

Food waste composition in Bath and North 2% East Somerset, 2013 1% 3%



■ Paper and card ■ Unavoidable food waste (bones, tea bags,eggshells etc.) ■ Avoidable food waste (food that could have been eaten such as bread, potatoes, milk, cooked pasta, salad etc.) ■ Plastic ■ Bio bags (liners)


Don’t feed the animals – recycle all your food waste in your food waste bin so you don’t attract animals and birds. They may still be attracted by food packaging, but don’t forget you can still use normal dustbins to keep your rubbish sacks contained (or a reusable rubbish bag if you live in a street where we have provided these).

News round-up Plan ahead Recycle what you can’t eat

Buy what you need

How to reduce food waste

Eat it all or store leftovers for later

Store correctly

Cook the right amount total amount of food thrown away in the UK comes from our homes. Can you imagine five Wembley Stadiums full of food waste? Our wasted food would fill these every year. We dispose of 7 million tonnes of food and drink from our homes every year, and more than half of this could have been eaten. This food wastage costs the average UK family almost £60 a month. The main reasons for this waste are preparing and cooking too much food and not eating it in time. The majority of the avoidable food that gets thrown away but could easily be recycled is bread, fresh potatoes, milk and uneaten meals. We work closely with the Love Food Hate Waste campaign in order to help you cut down what you throw away and save yourself money.

Make full use of your services

Sending waste to landfill or for treatment at the mechanical biological treatment (MBT) plant in Avonmouth costs more than

TOP TIP The cheapest way to buy compostable liners for your kitchen caddy is often through offers online

recycling. You pay for this through your council tax. We now send all the rubbish we collect from homes to the MBT plant for treatment instead of to landfill. Although we can recover some valuable materials such as plastic and metals for recycling in this process, it is still cheaper and more environmentally friendly to collect materials separately for recycling through our green box, food waste and blue bag collections. Our new Recycle More leaflet 2014 on our website wasteservices summarises how to make full use of your services. The impact of doing this is significant – if everyone reduced, recycled and composted even more we could save money to use for other important council services. Our recycling containers are free and you can order an extra green box if you need one – just contact Council Connect:; 01225 394041 n

Furniture Sale Success

Residents flocked to our recent furniture sale in Keynsham in January, and at opening time the queue reached over 150 people! We sold three and a half tonnes of furniture on the day – these were items brought to our recycling centres by residents in the last year and put aside for reuse by our recycling centre staff. Over 340 residents attended the sale and bought 193 items at bargain prices, including sofas, tables, dining chairs, cabinets and shelving. These would otherwise been sent for recycling or to landfill.

Some of the furniture that was sold

Find out more

If you want to find out anything more after reading this article, then our website has loads of information about recycling:

Do you want to receive tips to reduce your rubbish and recycle more? Like us on facebook: | 21

Home composting saves money A really important way to do your bit to reduce the amount of waste we throw away is to compost as much as you can at home. Indeed, spring is the perfect time to start. The best advice is to compost any raw food waste at home and put any cooked food in your food waste bin for us to collect (we compost this using a different process). Composting at home is an inexpensive, natural process that transforms your kitchen and garden waste into a valuable and nutrient-rich food for your garden. It’s easy to make and to use. Even for households that are already composting, new research has found that

almost half of the food waste in their bins could have been composted.

Compost bins at 2013 prices

If you want to invest in a compost bin or water butt they are still available through B&NES Council at 2013 prices until 31 March 2014 (see below). To see more information about special offers on compost bins and accessories, water butts and food waste caddy liners visit the website at or call 0844 571 4444. n

Creating garden compost What to put in: You need a mixture of roughly equal amounts of green to browns (about a handful of each). n BROWNS Slower to rot than greens and provide carbon and fibre and allow air pockets to form. Cardboard, egg boxes, scrunched-up or shredded paper, fallen leaves, sawdust, small twigs. n GREENS Quick to rot and provide important nitrogen and moisture. Vegetable peelings, salad leaves and fruit scraps, tea bags, grass cuttings, old flowers and nettles, coffee grounds and filter paper, spent bedding plants, rhubarb leaves, young annual weeds.

What to keep out: Cooked food, meat,

dairy products, diseased plants, dog waste and cat litter, perennial weeds (like dandelions) or weeds with seed heads. For more advice and help with home composting then please visit

New garden-waste collection charges

From 1 April 2014 the collection charges for the fortnightly garden waste collection service will be: n Wheeled bin hire 140 or 240 litres – £38.50 per bin per year (plus an initial delivery charge of £2.70) n Council paper sacks – £2.40 each To order a bin hire or buy sacks please contact Council Connect. Alternatively, see the list of local sack stockists on our website. You can also take your garden waste to any of our three recycling centres for free.

22 | Connect | Spring 2014

Fruit and vegetable peeling s

for home composting

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With our live in care service you could enjoy quality of life and quality of care. | 17

Do you Need Home Help/Personal Carer? For live-in care, companionship, homesitters, respite, palliative, spinal injury care and complex specialist care. Either on a long or short-term basis. We have fully trained, CRB checked, experienced and friendly staff. Whether you need someone for an overnight, weekend break, weeks, months or maybe you are the sole carer and need short relief or continuous care. There is no minimum contract required. We have experienced live-in carers / home helps / house keepers who will help with peace of mind independent living or for outdoor activities, wedding helpers, shopping trips and going to church. We will match you with someone with similar likes or hobbies as our staff have genuine care and concern and you will never feel lonely. Call us today!

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• Elderly and frail • Elderly with dementia or alzheimers • Physical / mental disabilities • Cancer or other terminally ill patients • Spinal injury Other specialist and complex care Or any type of care

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• 24-hr personal and practical care • Live-in carers • Event helpers for weddings, shopping trips, holidays, etc. • In-home respite care • In-home palliative care • Post-hospital discharge care at home • Stroke / care for terminally ill • Acquired brain injury care staff • Sleep-in and sit-in services • Mental health support workers

Please call for a full list and to place an order.

For more information Call Healthcare Assist Tel: 0845 388 1316, 01582 580 242, 074 2617 2478 Email: Our website:

Your healthcare Help us to make your healthcare what you want it to be in Bath and North East Somerset


here are a number of changes being made to the way in which health services in Bath and North East Somerset (BaNES) are being provided. Involving patients and members of the public in the planning of local health services is a key part of those changes, and it’s an important aspect of the work of your local Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG). This is the organisation that plans and pays for most NHS services in BaNES. This is led by local GPs from your area who know their patients well and have an expert understanding of the services that are needed. The CCG took over from the Primary Care Trust in April 2013.

The services we plan and pay for include:

n Urgent and emergency care such as A&E, ambulance and out-of-hours services n Planned hospital care n Community health services n Maternity services

24 | Connect | Spring 2014

n Rehabilitation services n Mental health services n Older people’s healthcare services n Healthcare services for children n Healthcare services for people with

learning disabilities n Pregnancy termination services n Infertility services n Wheelchair services n Home oxygen services n Treatment of infectious diseases n Meeting the costs of prescriptions written by our GPs

Looking ahead, the CCG needs your input to help us develop better services for patients nearer to home, to care for people longer in their own homes and prevent unnecessary hospital admissions. We would also like to hear your ideas about how we can bring our partners together to deliver health and care services differently in your community. n


The CCG is pleased to welcome Suzannah Power as our new Lay Member for Patient and Public Involvement. Suzannah will sit on the CCG’s board as a champion for public and patient involvement in the planning of health services in BaNES. She will also chair the CCG’s new public forum: ‘Your Health, Your Voice’. Suzannah has worked in a range of customer-focused roles in the private, public and voluntary sector and is passionate about ensuring that local people are active partners in the planning and delivery of their healthcare.

A new way to tell us what you think

How can I get involved?


An innovative new trial by BaNES CCG will see iPads placed in nine GP practices to make it easier for patients to provide feedback. The iPads will enable patients to complete the new NHS Friends and Family Test, which was introduced in 2013 to provide immediate insight into patient experience and improve the quality of care. The pilot scheme is being run by BaNES CCG in collaboration with a number of partners including BaNES General Practices, Sirona Care and Health, the Royal United Hospital and Optimum Health Technology. After their appointment, patients will be asked to rate the quality of their treatment on an easy to use interactive screen on the iPad. The feedback is anonymous and the comments will be used by GPs and the CCG to identify how services can be improved. The trial will run in nine GP practices across Bath and North East Somerset to begin with and the CCG plans to extend the trial to all 27 GP practices if further funding can be secured.

The CCG is setting up a new public forum called ‘Your Health, Your Voice’ to allow you to have a say about NHS services in BaNES and to give you a chance to provide feedback directly to the GPs and managers who make decisions about NHS services in your area. We have held a number of public taster events over the past few weeks for people who would like to get more involved in planning NHS services. We’ve already got lots of people signed up, but there’s still time for you to get involved. It’s up to you how much time you want to give. If you are really keen, then you will be able to attend meetings every two months as a ‘core member’. At these meetings, we will be updating you on the latest work of the CCG and seeking your feedback on proposals for new and improved services.

Find out more To find out more about BaNES CCG please visit, call 01225 831800, email or write to: BaNES CCG, St Martin’s Hospital, Bath BA2 5RP.

If you can’t always make it to meetings but still want to play your part, then you can become an ‘associate member’. We will keep in touch through email or post to get your feedback, and you may be asked to be part of focus group meetings about a specific area of interest or a change to a particular NHS service.

Care Centre next to the A&E department at the RUH. This new building will be your first port of call if you need to see a GP out of hours or need some urgent treatment that doesn’t require a visit to A&E. Bath is one of the first places in the country to be using this approach and we are relying on the feedback of those who are using the service to help us continue to make it work as effectively as possible. The CCG has also been looking at ways to improve care for elderly residents in nursing homes. GPs are now holding regular ‘ward rounds’ to ensure residents receive the best possible care and can avoid being admitted to hospital. The new service means residents, who are often frail and have complex conditions such as dementia or Parkinson’s, have individual care plans designed to meet their needs. Looking ahead, the CCG needs your input to help us develop better services for patients nearer to home, to care for people longer in their own homes and prevent unnecessary hospital admissions. We would also like to hear your ideas about how we can bring our partners together to deliver health and care services differently in your community.

The issues you can help with

If you would like to become part of ‘Your Health, Your Voice’, please contact us using the details below:

The CCG is constantly looking at ways to improve local health services. For example, in April, we will be opening a brand new Urgent 01225 831800 | 25

Hearing therapy service Services for those with hearing disabilities


he Hearing Therapy service operates from the Clara Cross Centre at St Martin’s Hospital, Bath. They work closely with Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) consultants and audiologists and offer the following to those over the age of 16:

Tinnitus service

n Reducing awareness of tinnitus n Improving sleep and using relaxation

techniques n Avoiding things that can make tinnitus more noticeable n Preventing unnecessary anxiety about tinnitus

Hearing loss service n Explaining test results

n Giving information about hearing aids n Advice on coping in hard-to-hear

situations n How to use amplified equipment for meetings, such as telephones or personal microphones

Listening difficulties in background noise

n Giving advice and support n Providing communication strategies

Help for Hearing Communication Group

n Meeting other people with hearing loss n Advice on looking after your hearing aid n Advice on coping in hard-to-hear


Excellent catering

An innovative project teaching catering skills to those with learning disabilities has won two top awards


he Catering Crew in Radstock has been awarded a top Food Hygiene Rating Score (FHRS) of Five – Very Good with Bath & North East Somerset Council and a Gold Eat Out Eat Well Award. The Catering Crew provides buffets for corporate companies and wedding and christening parties for locations within a 25-mile radius of Radstock. Richard Holland, Sirona’s Project Officer with The Catering Crew, says: “To quote one of the Crew members, ‘I think we have all done very well and we have done our best and it means a lot to me to receive a Five FHRS rating and a Gold Award’”. He continues, “We are very proud of these achievements and pleased to show how well people with learning disabilities can excel with the right support and encouragement.” The Catering Crew was formed nearly 20 years ago when day-service users were asked to prepare vegetarian food for a regular meeting. Richard explains, “Several service users accepted the challenge and the Catering Crew was formed. Once

established, the group wondered if they could take their newfound skills and services into the community. “The reputation for the high quality of the food and the standard of service soon spread into the wider community. “The Catering Crew currently has seven regular working members, who in one year provided some 2000 buffets to customers in the region. Meals are produced in our specially designed catering facilities and are then delivered and served to customers. “The Crew continues to improve their practical and business skills, from menu design to full provision of outside catering services at customers’ venues. “The vision of The Catering Crew is to expand the business to suit the developing needs and skills of each Crew member and to continue to provide quality foods and a profitable business. “We also seek to become a training establishment for disabled people and other socially disadvantaged people to enable them to seek open market employment.”

The Clara Cross Centre in Bath

Find out more Please call us for further information or to find out how you can be referred to our service or self-refer to our group sessions: Hearing Therapy, Clara Cross Centre, St Martin’s Hospital, Bath BA2 5RP 01225 838560

Councillor David Dixon, Bath & North East Somerset Council’s cabinet member for Neighbourhoods, said: “These awards demonstrate a commitment to offering foods that are lower in sugar, fat and salt, and prepared in a hygienic environment – making them a really healthy choice.” Louise Lees, Sirona’s Health Improvement Specialist, said, “Often at weddings or corporate events people have no choice but to eat the food on offer. The Catering Crew offer real choice for their customers – congratulations to the whole team.” n

The Catering Crew with the ir awards

Find out more The Catering Crew, Connections Day Services Frome Road, Radstock BA3 3LL; 01761 420452;

Committed to You | 27

Innovation is quay In the last edition of Connect, we told you about plans for new homes and jobs along the River Avon. Here is the first step toward making that plan a reality…


magine for a moment walking along the River Avon in Bath city centre on a summer’s evening. There are people walking or sat outdoors eating and drinking at cafes and restaurants on the raised riverside promenade at Innovation Quay, there are children playing on the terraces and grass slopes of the riverbank and canoeists paddling on the water to your side, while you enjoy the birdsong and wildlife within the surrounding trees and wetland habitat. It may seem a far-fetched vision looking now at the river with its derelict buildings and busy road running beside Avon Street car park. But a £5 million investment in the Bath Quays Waterside Project is set to help make this, and the Enterprise Area regeneration plans for new homes and jobs, one major step closer to becoming a reality. As John Wilkinson – Council Director for Community Regeneration – explains, “Our aim is to reconnect the River Avon to the heart of the city. To achieve this, we must overcome one of the major stumbling blocks for development – the possibility of flooding – whilst improving the public space

28 | Connect | Spring 2014

alongside the river for people of all ages to work and play.”

Widening the river

To make all this possible the Council has joined forces with the Environment Agency and is using money from the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership. In essence, the plan is to: n Widen the river by 15 metres on the north side river bank (Green Park side) at towpath level so flood water can travel safely downstream – this requires the re-routing of Green Park Road but offers the main opportunity for opening-up the riverside to the city; n Improve flood defences and infrastructure at Lower Bristol Road; n Raise river walls on the south side between Churchill Bridge and Midland Bridge; n Raise and improve the river edge at Newark Works. “In essence, just like in Lyon, Chester or Exeter the river front will be opened-up so that workplaces, homes and public spaces

have the beautiful environment of the riverside on their doorsteps,” emphasises John Wilkinson. As well as the project being crucial to getting the green light for planning consent for new development, it will also reduce existing flood risk to Lower Bristol Road and 120 residential and business properties on the south side of the river – one of the key factors behind the involvement of the Environment Agency.

Listening to you

Extensive discussions with local residents and community groups have been underway for some time. Many have contributed ideas and given their support due to the potential for Innovation Quay to become an exciting

In numbers... Bath Quay Waterside Project will support projects that will deliver n 650,000 square feet of new workspace n 9,000 new jobs n 3,500 new homes n £1.2 billion increase in the value of the Bath economy by 2030

What the community says…

An artist's impression of what the River Avon in Bath could like in the future

new 21st century quarter for Bath, with new workspaces for creative and technology businesses, new places to live and study and great public spaces, riverside promenades and pathways for pedestrians and cyclists. Rhodri Samuel, Council Regeneration Manager overseeing the project, said, “There is real enthusiasm among many in the community for this project because of the opportunity it provides to invest in Bath’s future vitality, to restore the historic link between the city and the river and to protect this part of the city from flood. We have met and listened to a large number of stakeholders to understand their aspirations, ideas and concerns, which have shaped the emerging design of the scheme.” The timescale is challenging. A planning application is anticipated to be submitted this summer in order for initial work to start by the end of 2014 – by then, those dreams of a lazy day by the river will become more real. n

Find out more For more about the Enterprise Area call 01225 396553 and speak to the Regeneration, Skills and Employment Team

Name: David Metcalfe Organisation: Co-Chair of the Cultural Forum for the Bath Area

Name: Ian Bell Organisation: Executive Director for Business West Bath

Name: Henry Brown Organisation: Chairman of the Federation of Bath Residents’ Associations

“The scheme looks like a great opportunity to enliven this section of the riverside for recreation and assembly, and in so doing to celebrate Bath's dynamic and colourful quayside past in a beautifully inventive way. We look forward to working further with the Council, particularly in relation to the potential for public art and heritage interpretation.”

“This vital piece of the regeneration jigsaw must slot into place alongside improved transport, better local skills and more workspace. The river can be made into an attractive location where the land around it can be redeveloped so it can deliver private sector jobs.”

“This is one of the least attractive parts of Bath and it’s crying out for regeneration. We welcome this project because of the opportunity it presents to create an interesting new quarter, to reduce the impact of Green Park Road, and to reconnect the city centre to the riverside.”

Caring for the environment The River Avon is a Site of Nature Conservation Interest and is home to a range of important habitats and species. During recent stakeholder engagement meetings it was clear how important the local environment and preservation of ecology was to people. “We are taking very seriously our responsibility to safeguard wildlife and trees that could be affected by the plans,” reassures Rhodri Samuel. Expert opinion has been sought from the Environment Agency, Natural England and the private sector. A wide range of ecological surveys within the area identified for the scheme have been carried out, including surveys for bats, otters, kingfishers, reptiles, trees and vegetation. Plans are in place to avoid adverse impacts on wildlife, appropriate mitigation and enhancement of the area.

Becoming more Poplar? Tree surveys have also been carried out. One group of trees that will be affected are on the north bank of the River opposite Avon Street car park. These will require removal to allow the works to Green Park Road and are mainly Poplar trees from the 1970s that were planted to screen Green Park Road from the opposite side of the river and will soon die. The new scheme will reinstate mature trees and carry out landscaping. For example, we are investigating planting a mixture of species including more fruiting species that will help to attract birds. Options for creating quiet areas along the River - mainly on the south bank - for the benefit of creatures such as otters are also being considered.

The River Avon is an import ant environmental habitat | 29

32 | Connect | Summer 2013

Good communication is important when resolving a safeguarding issue

Keeping adults at risk safe How does ‘safeguarding’ work?


n previous issues of Council Connect, we have talked about ‘safeguarding adults at risk of abuse’ and what we mean by abuse: financial, emotional, physical, sexual, psychological, neglect, discriminatory and institutional. This time, we are presenting two recent cases where a safeguarding alert was made, explaining both the investigation and the final outcome. n

Case study 1 Mrs D, aged 92, lives in sheltered housing. She likes to keep her money in her bedroom and was very distressed to discover some of it had gone missing; because of this Mrs D said she had lost trust in people and wanted to move. An alert was raised for safeguarding procedures. A police investigation was carried out but, unfortunately, there was no witness and a lack of evidence, so it was agreed with Mrs D that protective measures were the best solution.

What was the outcome?

The entry fob system to the sheltered housing scheme was unreliable, so this was rectified. Staff were reminded of the need to record their visit when they enter tenants’ properties along with the reason for their visit. A letter was sent to all tenants about the importance of security measures and the Police Crime Prevention Team made recommendations for improvements to be made. As a result of these actions, Mrs D had a safe installed to keep her money in. She is much happier and no longer wishes to move home. She is starting to trust people again.

Case study 2

Helping older people feel safer in their own homes

Find out more More information is on the Council’s safeguarding web page – see www.bathnes. If you are concerned about someone you think might be the victim of abuse, you can contact Sirona on 01225 396 000. Always call 999 in an emergency situation.

Miss T is a young woman with autism and severe learning disabilities. She lives with her parents, who are her main carers. Miss T has challenging behaviours and sometimes self harms. She has support from a care agency to attend social activities. A worker from the agency alleged that Miss T had bite marks on her arms, was agitated, upset and had banged her head against the wall, causing a bump. The worker stated that Miss T’s parents had not taken her to get this treated. A safeguarding alert was raised and the procedures were started to discuss the safety and welfare of Miss T. The investigation found that Miss T’s parents cared greatly for her, but were becoming increasingly stressed by their caring role. Miss T cannot manage change well and, at the time of these problems, there had been a change to her routine.

What was the outcome?

Miss T’s parents were reluctant to take their daughter to their GP because they often have a long wait. They found this very stressful due to Miss T’s challenging behaviour when she has to wait. Community nurses have been involved to ensure access to doctor’s appointments do not involve waiting. Miss T and her parents are now supported by a social worker and behaviour specialist nurse. Respite care has been provided and Miss T receives more support from a specialist agency. She also has an advocate. Miss T’s parents were offered a Carers’ assessment and a budget to help them. The parents report that things are now much better. | 31

Services Directory Do you need some information about a Council-run service? Help is at hand with this useful guide... To be put through to someone who can help, call the Council switchboard on 01225 477000 or visit for further information

Council Connect n Bus Passes n Dog Warden Service n Fly Tipping n Garden Waste n Grass Cutting n Graffiti Removal n Gritting of Roads (except motorways)

n Libraries n Parks and Open Spaces n Pavements and Road n n n n n n n

Maintenance Planning Enquiries Public Toilets Public Transport Recycling and Waste Road Faults and Potholes Road Safety Street Lighting

For all of the above services, contact Council Connect:

Twitter: @ccbathnes Telephone: 01225 394041 Email: councilconnect@ Text: 07797 806545 Monday to Friday 08.00 to 18.00 (except Wednesdays 09.30 to 18.00). Closed Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holidays. At other times, for emergencies or dangerous incidents only, please phone 01225 477477.

34 | Connect | Spring 2014

Aa n Adoption and Fostering Placements, recruitment of adopters and support services. The team also provides counselling for adopted adults and support in accessing birth records. W: T: 01225 394949 Google Search: Bathnes Fostering

Bb n Benefits: Housing and Council Tax Support Visit Council Connect in Bath, Keynsham or Midsomer Norton, or alternatively, contact a Benefits Officer by phone or email. W: T: 01225 477777 Google Search: Bathnes Benefits n Birth Registration Register a birth, which occurred in the district, at the Guildhall, High Street, Bath BA1 5AW or The Hollies, High Street, Midsomer Norton, BA3 2DT. W: T: 01225 477234 Google Search: Bathnes Births n Building Control Contact Building Control for help and advice about the building regulation process and any proposed building projects you have. W: T: 01225 477517 Google Search: Bathnes Building Control

Cc n Cemeteries and Crematoriums Find out about Council-administered cemeteries, when organising a funeral. W: T: 01225 396020 Google Search: Bathnes Cemeteries n Children’s Centre Information Service The Service holds up-to-date information about all Ofsted-registered childcare, as well as information about working with children and family support. W: T: 01225 395343 Google Search: Bathnes Fis n Community Meals Service This service provides hot meals to those who have difficulty cooking for themselves.

W: T: 01225 394350 Google Search: Bathnes Community Meals n Council Tax Enquiries For account queries about your Council Tax bill, ranging from online payments to exemptions. W: T: 01225 477777 Google Search: Bathnes Council Tax n Curo Curo is the largest provider of affordable housing in the area and offers a range of high-quality care and support services. Contact us using the details below. W: T: 01225 366000 T: 01225 366111 (repairs) T: 0300 123 2468 (anti-social behaviour) E: (enquiries) E: (repairs)

Dd n Death Registration Register a death, which has occurred in our district, at the Guildhall, High Street, Bath BA1 5AW or at The Hollies High Street, Midsomer Norton, BA3 2DP. W: T: 01225 477234 Google Search: Bathnes Deaths n Disabled Car Users (Blue Badges) The UK-wide Blue Badge scheme provides parking concessions for people with severe mobility problems. W: T: 01225 477133 or 01225 477134 Google Search: Bathnes Blue Badges n Discovery Card Discovery Card holders receive discounts or free entry for numerous attractions in the area. W: T: 01225 477737 Google Search: Bathnes Discovery Card

Ee n Electoral Registration and Elections For queries on voting rights or other election matters. W: T: 01225 477333 Google Search: Bathnes Electoral Registration

Ff n Family Information Service The Service holds up-to-date information about all Ofsted-registered childcare, as well as information about working with children and family support. W: T: 01225 395343 Google Search: Bathnes Fis n Fire Service, Avon Get updates on the latest news and incidents in your area and view the work we do within the community. W: T: 0117 9262061 (non-emergency)


Hh n Housing Services Support and advice for all of your housing issues. W: T: 01225 396296 Google Search: Bathnes Housing

Jj n Jobs with the Council Up-to-date information about job vacancies, equal opportunities, employment and training initiatives. W: T: 01225 396409 (24 hours) Google Search: Bathnes Jobs

Ll n Leisure Centres Bath Leisure Centre, North Parade Rd, Bath BA2 4ET W: T: 01225 486905 Google Search: Bathnes Leisure and Sport Culverhay Sports Centre, Rush Hill, Bath BA2 2QL T: 01225 486902 (office hours) T: 01225 480882 (after 5pm) Keynsham Leisure Centre, Temple Street, Keynsham BS31 1HE T: 01225 395164 South Wansdyke Sports Centre, Rackvernal Rd, Midsomer Norton BA3 2UG T: 01761 415522 n Licensing Offers a range of information regarding licensing, including alcohol, cinemas and taxis. W: T: 01225 477531 Google Search: Bathnes Licensing

Mm n MOT Testing We offer vehicle MOTs to members of the public and trade for cars, taxis, and some coaches. Book today! W: T: 01225 477314 Google Search: Bathnes MOT Testing n Museums and Art Galleries Assembly Rooms and Fashion Museum W: T: 01225 477789 Google Search: Bathnes Museums Roman Baths and Pump Room T: : 01225 477785 Victoria Art Gallery (closed Mondays) T: : 01225 477233 Bath’s Historic Buildings (venue hire) T: : 01225 477786 or 01225 477782

Nn n NHS Service, BANES Find out how to register with your local GP or NHS dentist, plus information on other key services. W: T: 01225 831800

Pp n Parking Services For parking queries, Park & Ride, clamping, fines, permits, Blue Badges, Pay & Display, enforcement of restrictions. Visit the website to download maps. W: T: 01225 477133 Google Search: Bathnes Parking n Pest Control The Council offers a comprehensive pest-control service for residents. W: T: 01225 477551 Google Search: Bathnes Pests n Police Service, Avon and Somerset Stay informed about what is happening in your area, with regular news updates, as well as useful information about crime reduction. W: T: 101 (non-emergencies)

Rr n Record Office The office holds a wealth of information and archives. W: T: 01225 477421 (closed Mondays) Google Search: Bathnes Records

Ss n School Admissions We deal with applications and can advise about your right of appeal, as well as home-to-school transport. W: T: 01225 394312 Google Search: Bathnes Schools n Sirona Care & Health Providing community health and adult social services in Bath and North East Somerset. For detailed information on the services we offer, as well as online contact forms, visit our website. W: T: 01225 831400 n Social Services Visit the Health and Social Care pages on the website for information and advice. W: T: 01225 477000 T: 01454 615165 (out of hours emergencies about adults or children) T: 0808 800 4444 (emergency housing advice, contact the Shelter England 24-hour freephone advice line) Google Search: Bathnes Social Services

Tt n Taxi and Private Hire Cars – Complaints If you have a complaint regarding any licensed vehicle, contact the Council Licensing Enforcement Officer. W: T: 01225 477689 Google Search: Bathnes Taxi Complaints

n Trading Standards The Council is responsible for enforcing a range of consumer legislation including misleading advertisements and counterfeit trademarks. W: T: 01225 396753 Google Search: Bathnes Trading n Travel Information (Traveline) Traveline provides timetables and journey planners for bus, coach and rail services in the South West. W: T: 0871 200 2233 (7am to 10pm - Calls cost 10p per minute from landlines) Google Search: Southwest Traveline

Yy n Youth Services Working with young people aged 11-25 years. W T: 01225 396980 Google Search: Bathnes Youth Services

How to... Pay the Council… The Council’s ‘pay for it’ online service is a speedy, simple and secure way to pay for bills and charges, and it is available 24 hours a day. In just a few simple steps, you can make payments for Council Tax, Penalty Notices, Business Rates, Commercial Rents, Garden Waste renewal fees, and many other services. You will need your account number or invoice reference in order to make a payment. Once you have this, visit the website at, click on the online payments link and follow the on-screen prompts. If you don’t have access to the internet, you can also pay by phone, or by visiting one of our local offices: Call 0845 372 3501 (24 hours a day) Visit the One Stop Shop in Bath, Riverside in Keynsham or The Hollies in Midsomer Norton. | 35

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Meet the...

Civic Secretary For the Civic Secretary, no two days are ever the same. We look at her role and how the Civic Office supports the local community making the relevant arrangements. I make sure that all the dates and times fit well, manage records and paperwork and keep a scrapbook for the Chairman, which we present at the end of the year. I also fundraise for the Chairman’s chosen charities and organise events as part of the Chairman’s charity committee, ranging from a gala evening at a local venue to an afternoon tea in the Guildhall.

What kind of events does the Chairman attend?

Top fact... In a typical year, the Civic Secretary takes care of arrangements for attending or hosting over 500 events


ocated at the Guildhall in Bath, the Civic Office is the office of the Chairman of the Council, who is the non-political interface between the local community and the Council. During this one-year term, the Chairman helps support Bath & North East Somerset’s community groups, charities and organisations, and acts as an ambassador for the Council. Behind the scenes is Civic Secretary Paula Bartlett, who makes sure that everything runs like clockwork – from managing the Chairman’s busy diary to making cups of tea for hundreds of visitors.

What does your working day typically involve?

So a typical day involves talking to people who phone to invite the Chairman to their event, arranging his diary, sending out invitations to our hosted events and

My role is to make sure that the Chairman visits a wide variety of local community and charitable organisations as well as business groups, and attends events that the Council runs to raise awareness of its services. I also look through the local papers to find organisations that I think might benefit from the Chairman coming along as a way of helping to raise their profile. In these cases, I try to get as much press coverage as possible as well as featuring the event in the Chairman’s diary, which is published weekly on the Council’s website.

How do I ask the Chairman to attend an event? Use the contact details below to invite the Chairman to attend your local charity or community group event.

How do you prepare for all these events?

I gather background information to make sure that the Chairman is well informed and as a basis for any speeches he is giving. I need to ensure that diary bookings take account of locations. For example, one event could be in central Bath and the next in Chew Valley so I need to allow time for getting between the two. I also make sure that the Chairman has the right clothes with him for the day, such as Wellington boots if he is scheduled to plant a tree in a park.

“It is really fantastic meeting different people of all ages and from a huge variety of organisations” 38 | Connect | Spring 2014

Who do you host events for?

Most of the events that we host are for charity and community groups, which could range from schoolchildren to people doing voluntary work. These events are particularly nice for volunteers at an organisation who work at different places and times, such as those who do shifts at a charity shop or work as carers, where they don’t meet each other. This is an opportunity for them to meet and for us to thank them for what they do. We normally host around 60 events a year here, so part of a typical day is sending out and following up invitations – anything up to 200. We time events to suit the people coming along so they could be in the morning, lunchtime, afternoon or evening.

Do you work with other Council departments?

I try to engage with as many departments as possible so that the Civic Office can put on relevant events on their behalf. These events could range from visits from schoolchildren to meet the Chairman and ask questions about how the Council works to hosting the South West Arts Awards.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

It really is fantastic meeting different people of all ages and from a huge variety of organisations. Hosting events to thank people and give them recognition for what they do is especially satisfying and I know that they appreciate it. I also like the fact than no two days are ever the same, and as the Chairman’s appointment is for 12 months only, I also get a new boss every year, so no two years are ever the same either! n

Find out more To invite the Chairman to your event, call 01225 394235, or you can email paula_bartlett@bathnes. alternatively, go to the website

Connect Magazine - Spring 2014  

Latest news, information and events for Bath and North East Somerset residents