British Science Week events @ Roman Baths

British Science Week events @ Roman Baths

 

Families can enjoy a week of fun activities based on the science behind the Roman Baths and its museum objects as part of British Science Week (10-19 March 2017).

The week kicks off with Science Busking on Saturday 11 March, 2-5pm. From discovering Roman pottery found at the Baths to finding out how to test water temperature at the Great Bath, there will be a range of activities to take part in during the day.

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The Roman Baths.

Throughout the week (13-17 March, 2-4pm), hands-on science events will be running with the chance to explore coins, mosaics and bones from the museum collection.

The week ends with Bath Taps into Science (18 March, 10am-4pm) a day of science investigations at Royal Victoria Park, by the bandstand, organised by the University of Bath. Visitors will be able to find out how the Romans built arches, have a go at building one, and learn about the technology behind aquaducts.

Cllr Patrick Anketell-Jones (Conservative, Lansdown), Cabinet Member for Economic Development, said: “British Science Week at the Roman Baths is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate and explore the science used by the Romans, with an array of activities for all ages. All events are free for local residents with a Discovery Card.”

No advance booking required. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

http://www.romanbaths.co.uk

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About the Roman Baths

The Roman Baths is located at the heart of the World Heritage City of Bath. Here, the Romans built a magnificent temple and bathing complex on the site of Britain’s only hot spring, which still flows with naturally hot water. Visitors can walk around the Great Bath where people bathed nearly 2,000 years ago, see the ruins of the temple of Minerva, and explore the Roman Baths museum. Run by Bath & North East Somerset Council, the Roman Baths attracts more than 1 million visitors a year, making it one of the most visited heritage attractions in the United Kingdom.

About British Science Week

British Science Week is a 10-day celebration of the best of British science, technology, engineering and maths, featuring fascinating, entertaining and engaging events across the UK. British Science Week is organised by the British Science Association; funded by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills; and supports the Your Life campaign (www.yourlife.org.uk). For more information visit http://www.britishscienceweek.org.

Could you give a refugee child a home?

Could you give a refugee child a home?

Bath & North East Somerset Council is looking for foster homes for unaccompanied asylum seeking children.

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Councils across England have agreed with the Government to take a set number of children. Bath & North East Somerset Council will take 23 young people over the next two years.

Most of the children will come from Afghanistan, Albania, Iraq and Eritrea with some from Syria. The children will need to be placed in caring foster homes.

Councillor Michael Evans (Conservative, Midsomer Norton North), Cabinet Member for Children’s Services said: “We are all aware of unaccompanied children fleeing from Syria and desperately in need of homes. We as a Council want to do what we can to help some of these young people who have been left traumatised after living in war zones, being trafficked across Europe at the mercy of people smugglers, physically and sexually assaulted, separated from their families and the death and serious injury of family and friends.

“We have already welcomed eight Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children (UASC) to Bath and North East Somerset and we are committed to providing caring homes for a further 15 children over the next two years. But we need help from existing foster carers and those who are thinking about becoming foster carers.

“As a result of the distress and trauma experienced these young people may display challenging behaviour and so will need foster carers who have the skills needed to help them settle and feel secure to help them live comfortably in the UK and begin to access the skilled help they will need to start to deal with their traumas.”

Most of the asylum seeking young people needing foster homes, are male and aged 14 and over.

Helping to change lives for the better

Samul* came from Albania in 2015. He already spoke some English and quickly improved. He is now about to sit his GCSEs and is predicted As and A*s. He plans to attend sixth form and university as he aspires to work in medicine.

Foster carer, Keith Gittens, said: “A young man from Syria stayed with us until he was 18 in late 2013. He then moved in to his own flat. This was a very rewarding placement and four years later he still visits weekly, for a chat or a meal, he calls my wife his mother in the UK.”

Haydar* is Kurdish. When he arrived in mid-2016 he spoke only a small amount of English and has had difficulties with cultural differences, especially around school behaviour. However, he is a very receptive learner and is starting to adapt his behaviour, he is working on improving his English as he would like to be a mechanic.

The Bath and North East Somerset Virtual School offers extra help to students who are learning English and there is also lots of emotional support available to these young people and their carers. Keith said: “The biggest difficulty is that the boys come to us when they are around 15 to 16 years old. This gives them around three years to leave school speaking English and with enough qualifications to either go to college or get an apprenticeship, some will make it to university.

“Whatever these children aspire to, you as the carer need to put in the work through encouragement and pushing them on to achieve as the window of opportunity is very short. As a carer you’re relied on to support these children and you will get all the rewards you ever wanted from fostering a child.”
Most foster carers have suggested that UASC settle well and are happy to have someone they can rely on and a sense of certainty after so much uncertainty.

Keith added: “When it comes to respecting us and the home, they are always very respectful, they treat my wife as they would their own mother, they carry her shopping bags, do the washing up, take out the rubbish and keep their bedrooms spotless.”

Fostering gives you the chance to see a young person’s progression and help them with a life change. One foster carer said that “fostering Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children is challenging, but really rewarding.”

How you can help improve a child’s life

There has already been a noted push of people wanting to help, with organisations such as Bath Welcomes Refugees showing just how welcoming and caring those in Bath and North East Somerset are.

Anyone interested in caring for Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children will need to be a fully assessed foster carer. There is no national or local scheme enabling you to be a short term ‘host’ family; anyone interested in caring for Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children (UASC) needs to be approved as a general foster carer.

Anyone who would like to care for UASC will need to become a foster carer and complete the extra necessary training designed to prepare for and help UASC.

Councillor Evans said: “We hope that anyone who wishes to foster asylum seeking childrenUASC would also be open to fostering B&NES children in Bath and North East Somerset whilst they wait for and prepare for UASC.”

Pete Campbell, Service Manager, Care Outcomes, said: “I’m confident there are many households in this area who could help us meet the challenge to provide homes for young people who no longer have safe, stable and loving homes in their home countries. I would like to invite you to work with us in our Children’s Services Team and our colleagues in education, health and community groups to provide the very best care and opportunities for this group of young people.”

If you would like to find out more about fostering UASC, a special information session is being held on Wednesday 22 February, 6-8pm, at 117 Newbridge Hill, Bath. Please call the Bath & North East Somerset Council Family Placement Team on 01225 394949 to book your place and for more information about fostering and UASC fostering.

*The names have been changed to protect the identities of the children and young people

No Library ‘U-turn’ says B&NES

No Library ‘U-turn’ says B&NES

B&NES is denying the Council has made a ‘U-turn’ regarding its proposed relocation of the Central Library to the ‘One-Stop Shop’ in  Manvers Street.

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On its website it says: ‘The Council has not yet reached a decision on whether to move Bath Library, but is currently undertaking a consultation on a proposal to integrate the Library and Customer Services. The consultation focuses on what services local people want provided. The outcome of this will be made public and will form part of a business case. There will then be a further period of public consultation.

This is not a U-turn as it has always been our intention to hold further consultations as the Council has a duty to meet the requirements of the Museum and Library Services Act 2010 and public equality duties.

At this stage we cannot say what the final proposals for Bath Library will be as the business case has not been produced. We are at the start of a 3 year process seeking to integrate and modernise the Library Service with other customer facing services.

While some other local authorities have been forced to cut library services Bath & North East Somerset Council remains committed to the provision of quality Library Services.

The current consultation closes on March 1 and the Council will listen to feedback provided.”

Web broadcast of first meeting of WECA.

Web broadcast of first meeting of WECA.

March 1st is the date set for the first formal meeting of the newly established West of England Combined Authority – and it’s going to be broadcast live on the Web.

The parliamentary order which sets out the legal framework for the combined authority has now received final parliamentary approval. This means the West of England Combined Authority (WECA) – which will manage new powers, funding and responsibilities handed from central Government to the region – is now fully established.

A first public meeting will take place on Wednesday 1 March at Watershed in Bristol, 1:30pm-3:30pm.

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The West of England devolution deal that will see more decisions being made locally, rather than nationally, on issues including transport, housing, adult education and skills has reached a significant milestone.

The WECA members are Cllr Tim Warren, Leader of B&NES Council, Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol and Cllr Matthew Riddle, Leader of South Gloucestershire Council.

On 1st March the group will be taking decisions to enable the WECA to begin functioning, including agreeing the new organisation’s constitution, the statutory officer posts and the nominations for scrutiny and audit committees.

Following the West of England Mayoral elections on 4 May 2017, the combined authority will then be chaired by the new West of England Mayor.

Cllr Tim Warren, Leader of B&NES Council, Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol and Cllr Matthew Riddle, Leader of South Gloucestershire Council, said:  “The WECA has been established to deliver a devolution deal which unlocks a billion pounds of funding for the area, helping us to further tackle priorities such as improving transport infrastructure, delivering affordable homes and investing in the skills training needed for the local economy.

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Cllr Tim Warren Leader of B&NES.

“It is now our task to ensure we establish robust systems, including scrutiny and audit, that can help ensure the benefits of the deal can be used effectively within the region. We will also plan ahead to secure even greater opportunities offered by future devolution deals.”

As with all statutory authority meetings, there will be an opportunity for members of the public to ask questions. These must be submitted in writing before the deadline of 5pm on Thursday 23 February and any petitions or statements should be submitted by 12pm on Tuesday 28 February.  All questions, petitions and statements should be sent to info@westofengland-ca.org.uk.

Full details of the meeting, including agenda, reports and venue information will be published online on the WECA’s website on Tuesday 21 February. Visit www.westofengland-ca.org.uk and go to the Meetings page to view or download them. The meeting will also be webcast.

For your information.   

The Order was taken to the Cabinet meetings at Bristol and Bath & North East Somerset and full Council at South Gloucestershire Council on 14 November 2016, where all three gave their consent for the establishment of the West of England Combined Authority.

The Order then had to go through a Parliamentary process, which included House of Commons and House of Lords committees. The Combined Authority was then legally established on 9 February 2017.

The Combined Authority will be led by the new West of England Mayor and the Cabinet will be the Leader of Bath & North East Somerset Council, Cllr Tim Warren, Bristol Mayor, Marvin Rees, and the Leader of South Gloucestershire Council, Cllr Matthew Riddle. 

The West of England Combined Authority will manage new powers, funding and responsibilities handed from central Government to the region as part of the West of England devolution deal. As a result, more decisions will be made locally rather than nationally, including about spending on regional transport, housing, adult education and skills.

An election for the role of West of England Mayor will be held on Thursday 4 May 2017 across voters in Bath & North East Somerset, Bristol and South Gloucestershire.

Visit www.westofengland-ca.org.uk to find out more.