Plenty to talk about at local forums.

Residents in Bath and Bathavon will be looking at ways partners in their areas can join together to address the cost-of-living crisis at their next Area Forums.

The online meeting of the Bathavon Area Forum on 5 October and the Bath Area Forum on 6 October will start a conversation on how residents can be supported with rising living costs and how communities could identify ways to extend the help already available.

The forums will hear an update from Bath & North East Somerset Council on the new Local Plan, the basis for decision-making on development and the use of land across the district. All local authorities are required to have an up-to-date Local Plan and the new plan for B&NES needs to be adopted by 2025.

There will also be a discussion about a new health and wellbeing strategy that is being drawn up, on which residents will be able to have their say and share their key priorities for their wellbeing.

Councillor Kevin Guy, leader of Bath & North East Somerset Council, said: “These meetings will explore a range of significant topics. Importantly, we will begin to explore what is already available and what else is needed to support our communities with the cost-of-living crisis.

With our partners we have already joined forces under the umbrella of the Community Wellbeing Hub to provide a single point of contact for anyone needing support and we have taken practical steps to identify where Warm Centres could be set up. However, it’s important that we explore every avenue to address the underlying inequalities this crisis is exposing and so I hope many residents will join the discussion at the forum.”

The telephone number for the Community Wellbeing Hub is 0300 247 0050.

Nicolette Boater, chair of the Bath Area Forum, said: “The cost-of-living crisis will test us all this all this winter, and especially those already struggling to meet their day to day needs and most dependent on affordable energy to meet them. The neighbourly sharing, caring habits and initiatives that welled up in the pandemic will be crucial to our rising to the challenge. As will concerted action within and across the diverse communities, organisations, and networks that make our city what it is. This meeting is the place to forge and strengthen such purposeful collaborations – not only for surmounting the current crisis, but also for co-creating the thriving resilient future we desire for all in our City.”

John Adler, chair of the Bathavon Forum said: “The meeting will be addressing some key points that affect our community in the area of improving our lives – the B&NES Health and Wellbeing Strategy, Liveable Neighbourhood and Transport which are all interlinked. A key question that the Forum will address is how to help the WECA local transport strategy better address local needs. Your thoughts will be needed in how the Forum responds to this and will also provide you with the opportunity of making your views on all topics heard by B&NES.”

Both meetings will also include an AGM where nominations can be made for the next chair or vice chair of the forum.

  • Bathavon Area Forum on 5 October at 6pm, residents can join the meeting here
  • Bath Area Forum on 6 October at 6pm, residents will need to register in advance here

The Area Forums, which are open to all residents, are supported by Bath & North East Somerset Council and bring together public services, local organisations and residents to improve local engagement, encourage people to talk to each other and share their skills and ideas. You can find more information and meeting dates on the council website.

You can watch the Area Forums live, or at a later time, on the council’s YouTube channel