This week kicked off with a bit of sport for the Cabinet – quite literally! We were invited to join the walking football players for Age UK Bath and North East Somerset for a few games and it was a really fantastic morning. As a Council we are delighted to see any initiative that encourages people over 50 to live healthy lives by getting more active, more often, so it is great to see that the sport is proving so popular. It not only provides a great way of staying fit but also the opportunity to socialise and I would like to thank Age UK for inviting us to join in!
This week the Cabinet has approved plans to review the Council’s recycling and rubbish collection service from autumn 2017 to improve recycling rates and keep the streets cleaner. The existing weekly recycling and food waste collection, and existing garden waste collections every other week will stay as it is, but – in response to public demand – we will invest in providing new wheeled bins or gull-proof rubbish sacks for every property within the Bath and North East Somerset area, to be collected every other week from autumn 2017. We understand that one size does not fit all so we very much intend to be flexible in adopting a sensible approach towards sensitive areas and helping households who may have a higher-than-average amount of non-recyclable waste. Over the next 12 months we’ll work with residents and communities to encourage an increase in recycling.
I would like to remind everyone that public consultation events start next week regarding the creation of a new West of England Mayoral Combined Authority and the proposed devolution deal. You can take part in the consultation online, or you can also pop along to the road show events with the first one taking place in the Guildhall on Tuesday, 19 May. There will also be events over the next month in Keynsham, Chew Magna and Midsomer Norton - click here for more information. copies of the survey will also be available from local libraries, Customer Service Points and One Stop Shops from today – or by calling 0117 922 2848. The proposed deal will affect everyone so it is vital that we get as many local views as possible so I would urge everyone to get involved.
On Wednesday I met with James Wharton, the Under Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, in London alongside the other West of England council leaders and the West of England LEP to discuss the our upcoming bid for funding from the government’s Local Growth Fund. This is a completely separate pot of money to the devolution deal and we are looking to secure funds to help us to invest in transport and entrepreneurial projects with the aim of remaining the most productive Core City region outside of London.
Finally, I am really looking forward to celebrating the tenth anniversary of Somer Valley FM this evening. I have always been big fan of the local station so I am looking forward to looking back at their broadcasts across the last decade.