The Guildhall, Bath

My week began with an announcement about a new team for the Council’s Cabinet.

I would like to give my sincere thanks to previous Cabinet Members as they have made an enormous contribution to the Administration over the last two years, for which I am extremely grateful.

The Cabinet’s core aims are to ensure that Bath & North East Somerset Council is efficient and well run, invests in the future of the area and puts the interests of its residents first. Our priorities continue to be delivering new homes and jobs, improving local transport, investing in our young people, supporting cleaner, greener and healthier communities and promoting greater choice and independence for older people.

I have been meeting with representatives from other local councils across the country this week as part of the Local Government Association (LGA) conference. This provides a great opportunity to network and share ideas and best practice on a range of issues and can also be used to develop and shape new policies. I look forward to sharing my learning with colleagues.

I was also delighted to learn this week that Bath & North East Somerset Council’s Children’s Social Care Services have been rated as ‘Good’ in their latest Ofsted inspection with ‘Outstanding’ features. This puts the services in the top 20 nationally. In particular, recognition should be given to the Local Adoption Services, which have been judged as ‘Outstanding.’ This is the first time a Council in the South West has been awarded an ‘Outstanding’ grading in any category under the current inspection framework.

As with all inspections there is always room for improvement and Ofsted have highlighted recommendations for making the service even better. They have indicated that services for care leavers and for children who need help and protection still ‘require improvement to be good’. However, this is a fantastic achievement for all those involved in the provision of the services and reflects the high standards we aspire to for children and young people who need our help and support. Well done to everyone involved.

Whilst we have no Bath Rugby to mention at the moment, I congratulate the British and Irish Lions on their win against the All Blacks last weekend. It’s been a great tour and I look forward to the final match against the All Blacks on Saturday.