At the Cabinet meeting this week, we agreed a new policy on houses with multiple occupants (HMOs). It follows on from a consultation in September/October where 49 per cent of people who took part wanted to see HMOs limited to a ten per cent threshold within an area. We’re responding to residents’ concerns while recognising the role HMOs have in our housing stock and I hope it will help prevent the erosion of communities where HMOs were dominating their area.
The Cabinet also focused on better integrated services between the Council and NHS Bath and North East Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group. One of our main aims is to support good mental health and I’m especially pleased about this, after all we are all in the same world and we owe it to each other to look out for one another.
Working with one and another is the ethos behind the West of England Combined Authority (WECA). I was able to join colleagues from other councils which make up WECA when we took part in the West England Economic Growth Conference held at the Passenger Shed in Bristol. We met business leaders from the region and were able to talk about how devolution can benefit us all.
This week I had the honour of presenting the Bath Chronicle Community Club of the Year award at the paper’s annual Sports Awards. So many people give their time voluntarily to community sports groups and it was a pleasure to meet the winners, Bath Arsenal Juniors. Well done also to runners up Oldfield Old Boys RFC and Sulis Scorpions Youth Cycling Alliance.
This weekend is, of course, all about paying our respects to those who lost their lives in the First and Second World Wars and other more recent conflicts. Along with our chief executive Ashley Ayre I will be laying a wreath on Sunday on behalf of the council at the Royal British Legion Service of Remembrance at the War Memorial in Royal Victoria Park.
Remembrance was the theme of a marvellous event I went along to on Thursday at St Michael’s Church, in Bath, where children from schools across Bath and North East Somerset took part a World War One Intergenerational Primary School Programme. It was a glorious sing-along, with young and old joining together, organised by the Goldies Charity, which works to prevent isolation among older people.
Finally I need to say thank you to all our Bath and North East Somerset residents for adapting to the changes this week in their bin collection service. As well as keeping our streets tidier, by recycling more you are also helping us keep a lid on the issue of more than half of the average bin bag containing waste which could have been recycled.