Bath Voice News: a message from the council leader

A message from Cllr Kevin Guy, Leader of Bath & North East Somerset Council

We have a rich and diverse arts scene across Bath and North East Somerset and it was a real pleasure to go along recently to a new exhibition space which has opened in Twerton to encourage new and emerging artists.

The space at 106 High Street provides free residency for local artists who might not otherwise be able to access studio space and is part of a fantastic Vacant Unit Action Project which is supporting local high streets. Thank you to the team who hosted our visit.

From Monday 31 July people in Walcot, Snow Hill and Claremont Road will need a permit to park in the latest residents’ parking zone to go live. Five other zones have been successfully introduced following extensive consultation. The zones aim to tackle anti-social driving and commuter parking in residential streets and to improve people’s health and local environment as part our Liveable Neighbourhoods programme.

Signs for the Oldfield Park and Westmoreland residents’ parking zone have also gone up ready for when it comes into force from Tuesday August 29. We have met and are working closely with the community, to ensure that scarce parking space is allocated fairly and proportionately, prioritising residents but also ensuring visitors have the allocation they need to continue to support this vibrant area. You can find out more about the scheme on our residents parking zone webpages.

As a council the services we provide are many and varied and staff do a great job in sometimes very challenging circumstances, so it is very distressing when we learn about unacceptable behaviour towards them. Examples of unacceptable behaviour over the past year have included one worker being driven at, a female colleague followed back to her workplace and threatened with physical violence and another member of staff threatened with a hammer. Staff also report being sworn and shouted at, being trolled on social media and receiving persistent aggressive calls, visits or emails.

So, you may see posters appearing at our offices, depots and in our libraries as we raise awareness of the violent and aggressive behaviour staff frequently have to face by a minority of people. I am happy to say that most people treat council staff with respect and I know they value the many services the council provides. As an employer the council is committed to providing and maintaining a safe working environment and safe systems of work for all staff because we all deserve to be safe at work and to be treated with respect.