It was a pleasure to speak at a conference organised by the National Justice and Peace Network in Bath last Saturday. I was asked to talk about our experiences in welcoming Syrian refugees to our area, particularly partnership working with local groups, Bath Welcomes Refugees and Family Matters.  I’ve followed the progress of how we are welcoming and supporting Syrian refugees very closely. I know from my own conversations with the five families that they are very grateful for the help they have received and the opportunity to provide education and safety for their children. We are proud of our welcoming, friendly city with responsible and responsive citizens and passionate and committed voluntary groups - many of which are faith organisations – as well as of our dedicated staff teams.

Last week was Cycle to Work Day which aims to encourage everyone to take to two wheels and cycle to work for at least one day. I was delighted to hear how many of our own staff got involved. On Tuesday I and my colleagues Martin Veal and Vic Prichard met with local cyclists; we went out with them on electric bikes across the city - it was useful for us to find out more about some of the issues they face. It was also surprisingly easy on the electric bikes! Thanks to Adam Reynolds from Cycle Bath for organising.

On Thursday 22 September I’m attending the Bath Chronicle Business Awards. I look forward to meeting representatives from local businesses, large and small, and to presenting the Best Place to Work Award, sponsored by the Council.

I’m delighted to see that Daniel Cattanach from our Communications team has been shortlisted in the Communicator of the Year category at this year’s Digital Strategy & Impact Awards. His innovative approach of engaging with the public with short, catchy videos has captured people’s imagination.  His Valentine’s and Pancake Day videos helped secure more than 8,000 new electoral registrations. You can vote for Daniel until September 29 by texting the letter “B” to 0158 221 4351.