Monday, 31 December 2012

Free warmer home check-ups for elderly and disabled from new service

A brand new service provider funded by Bath & North East Somerset Council offering practical services supporting elderly, disabled people of any age, and vulnerable people to support them to live in warm, safe, and secure homes is offering free home check-ups in the run-up to Christmas and into the New Year.
West of England Care & Repair is now providing Home Improvement Agency services to residents in partnership with the Council in an initiative funded by the Department of Health. They offer practical help services such as small repairs, minor home adaptations and housing related advice including support to make choices about where to live.
From now until 2035 the over-65 population is likely to increase by 50%, and the over-85 population is likely to increase by 110% over the same timescale.
The area is facing a ticking demographic time bomb as the number of older people continues to rise rapidly. This service is part of Bath & North East Somerset Council’s overall £5 million commitment to people with intermediate or low level needs to ensure those residents are supported to live in their own home as long as possible and preventing the need for costly residential or nursing care placements.
Craig Wilson, West of England Care & Repair’s Chief Executive, said, “We are encouraging homeowners over 60 and disabled people of all ages to contact us to book up a free warm home check-up. As well as giving you advice on essential home maintenance we are also giving out free packs to people in need which include a hot water bottle, snuggle blanket, socks and gloves, and an insulated cup.
“We want to make sure people get advice on keeping themselves and their home warmer this winter. The free warm home check-up includes advice on loft insulation, smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, central heating systems and draught proofing amongst other things.”
West of England Care & Repair can help on most housing issues from repairing a leaking tap, to replacing a bath with a walk-in shower to re-wiring your house.
Residents can also find out more about help available to keep warm at home and prepare for severe winter weather by contacting the Council Home Energy Team on 0800 082 2234.
Advice and support on applying for grants and benefits for housing work and help fundraise for clients on low incomes is also available on 0300 323 0700 or visit

On your doorstep

Early in the New Year we will be calling on residents in Twerton with personal visits to all houses in the ward over a period of a few months.

When we call if you are out we will leave you a calling card to let you know that we have been so that you can contact us.

We believe that it is important to speak to as many people as possible to get an idea of the issues that need dealing with in the area.

New Flats progress

The Building of Flats on the corner of Shophouse Road and Twerton High Street is going well and the area is looking much tidier than it has for a long time.

The new flats will also provide very needed new homes in the area.

By Cllr Tim Ball

Sunday, 30 December 2012

Save a life this New Year report a drunk driver

Below is a Christmas message for all people tempted to drink and Drive or take drugs and drive to same message applies for the new year.

Have a happy one and heed the message below.

Drinking or taking drugs and then driving is a lethal cocktail, so we are urging party-goers to leave their car at home this Christmas.

As the festivities get underway, our Roads Policing Unit has already kicked off its annual Christmas drink drive campaign - Operation Tonic, with nearly 50 people being arrested for drink or drug driving in the first week.

This year we are encouraging people to shop a drink or drug driver by calling 999 or texting the word drunk to 81819 on their mobile phone together with any information which might help us respond. This might include the vehicle registration number of the vehicle and its location and, if you can, the name of the person. These texts are treated in the same way we treat 999 calls.

For more information about Operation Tonic, visit our Christmas mircosite

Twerton PACT December 13th 2012

The meeting was held at Southside youth centre and was chaired by Cllr Gerry Curran in the absence of the PACT Chair and local head Teacher David Goucher.

The priorities that were agreed are.

Agreed 13th December 2012
1. Speeding vehicles on Kelston View. BANES Highways to be consulted with regard to conducting a traffic survey and local police team to conduct speed checks

2. Vehicles parking in Poolemead Road impeding pedestrian access of the footpath from Kelston View. BANES parking services to evaluate the need for road markings to be installed.

3. Street drinking in Twerton High Street. Local police team to continue to deal in a robust fashion acts of anti social behaviour involving street drinking.
View previous priorities
Next public meeting
All members of the public are welcome to attend
9 May 2013 at 7:00 PM (In 130 days)
at St Michaels School
You can contact your neighbourhood team if you wish to have the opportunity to meet with them prior to the next meeting date.

Pact meetings are organised by the Police and not by the local council or Councillors who attend to give support the Police decide on the location of the meetings in consultation with the PACT Chair.

PACT meetings currently rotate between Southside Youth Centre, St Michaels Junior School and Twerton Village Hall. In the early days of the PACT meetings Southside Youth Centre was not used due to refurbishment works but is now on the rotating Schedule of meetings.

By Cllr Tim Ball

Flytipping Dominion Road

I have asked for the large waste bag that has been dumped on the pavement by Bath City Football Club entrance to be removed as soon as possible.

If you know who dumped this bag then either let me know or contact council connect on 394041.

By Cllr Tim Ball

Rubbish Poolemead Road & Kelston View

It is a shame that after the collection crews worked on Saturday to remove much of the rubbish and recycling form the houses in Twerton that several roads were left in such a mess.

I have asked that Poolemead Road and Kelston View are cleaned up as a matter of priority as they have been left in the worst mess as far as I can see.

If you are ware of any area that is still in a mess perhaps you would let me know or contact council connect on 394041.

By Cllr Tim Ball

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Swimming at Christmas in Bath

Now that the World has not ended and the kids will soon be getting on parents nerves it is good to know that Culverhay Sports Centre at Rush Hill will be opening for the Kids to go swimming whilst the main pool at Bath sports centre is closed.

Please follow link below for opening times.

Friday, 21 December 2012

Changes to waste collections over the festive season

There are no waste or recycling collections on:
  • Tuesday 25 December – next collection day Saturday 29th December
  • Wednesday 26 December – next collection day Wednesday 2nd January 2013
  • Tuesday 1 January – next collection day Saturday 5th January 2013.
Garden waste and Christmas tree collection
There are no garden waste and Christmas tree collections for 2 weeks from Monday 24 December. Normal fortnightly collections will begin again on Monday 7 January 2013.
Recycling Centres
Usual winter opening times from November to the end of March are:
  • Monday to Friday 8am – 4.15pm
  • Saturday 9am – 3.45pm
  • Sunday 9am – 1pm
Festive closures:
  • Tuesday 25 December       Closed
  • Wednesday 26 December Closed
  • Tuesday 1 January 2013    Closed
Did you know?
The amount of wrapping paper estimated to be thrown away in the UK at Christmas could stretch around the equator nine times or to the moon if each sheet was laid end to end. Every year the UK throws out an estimated 4,500 tonnes of tin foil over the Christmas period. This is enough to cover around 1500 square miles - roughly the size of Suffolk. But wrapping paper (white backed non foil types) greeting cards, gift tags and aluminium foil can be recycled in your green box.
You can make full use of your food waste recycling collections for all food waste including bones. For tips to save money and cut down your food waste this Christmas visit www.lovefoodhatewaste

By Cllr Tim Ball

Linley Close

I have met with Curo looking at the recycling area at Linley Close which has been a mess for quite a while.

Curo are looking to place fencing around the area similar to the black fencing around the flats at Linley Close.

I would hope that this would be in place early in the new year.

By Cllr Tim Ball

Blocked Drain

I have asked for the blocked drain to be cleaned out at Pennard Green between 14/16, with the amount of wet weather I am hopeful that this will be done quite quickly.

If you know of any other blocked drains that need clearing please let me know or contact council connect on 01225 394041.

By Cllr Tim Ball

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Carrs Woodland Group

Councillor Gerry Curran is in the process of setting up the Carrs Woodland group to meet again to bring about improvements to the area in Twerton.

If you are interested in either joining the Woodland group or rejoining, then please contact Gerry to find out how to take part, email Gerry at 

Litter Wedgewood Road

I have arranged to have the litter removed from the hedgerows in ad around the bus stop at Wedgwood road circle.

Some of the litter has been there for a long time and has got itself lodged in difficult places to get out as this now looks very messy particularly in the winter months.

Christmas & New Year Buses

Christmas Eve

All First services will be operating to a Saturday timetable, except for Bath Park & Ride and service 15, which will operate a Monday to Friday timetable.
All other bus services will operate to their normal timetable.

Christmas Day & Boxing Day

 No bus services will be operating on Christmas Day or Boxing Day.

Thursday 27th & Friday 28th 

 All First services will be operating to a Saturday timetable, except for Bath Park & Ride and service 15, which will operate a Monday to Friday timetable.
All other bus services will operate to their normal timetable. 

Saturday 29th & Sunday 30th

All First Buses running to a  normal Saturday & Sunday Timtable

New Years Eve

All First services will be operating to a Saturday timetable, except for Bath Park & Ride and service 15, which will operate a Monday to Friday timetable.

New Years Day

Services 1, 5, 6, 7, 10, 12, 13, 14A, 17, 173, 178, 179, 332, 338, 339, 376 & 678 will be operating a Sunday service. All other bus services will not operate on New Year’s Day. 

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Online Christmas shopping – know your rights

 Online Christmas shopping – know your rights

This article first appeared in the Guardian on 3rd December 2012

As Cyber Monday heralds the start of a month of present buying, we look at your rights and how you can avoid looking like a turkey this Christmas.

It's that time of year again – the moment you realise that if you want to buy Christmas presents at a good price and get them delivered in time to wrap and put under the tree, you'd better start shopping.
The first Monday in December is usually one of the busiest for online shoppers, although there are many who leave their purchases until later. So what do you need to know if you are planning to join the throng online?

How do I get the best deal?

It's the usual story about shopping around – but there are a couple of price comparison sites you can use if you know what you are looking for.
Google Shopping offers a pretty comprehensive round up of prices – type the name of the item into Google and click on Shopping at the top – but it isn't laid out brilliantly so you will need to scroll through to find the best price.
Kelkoo and PriceRunner also claim to scour the internet for the best price, although they seem to perform better on best-selling items than older goods (I searched for Django Django's album and the The Killing series 1 on DVD and the results seemed to show just one retailer's price).
A new site, Flubit, claims it can beat the best price you find, but you have to wait for it to return with an offer by email so is not ideal for last-minute shopping.

With any of these sites the actual order is placed with a retailer so your contract is with it, not the price comparison site.

Is it safe to shop online?

Under internet sales rules websites should include the retailer's address and an email address, so alarm bells should ring if none of this information is available. You should also be concerned if, when you go to pay, you do not see a padlock or key symbol somewhere on the page, often near the URL.
The best way to avoid rogue sites is to do a bit of research – internet forums are packed with people sharing their stories about bad service and goods that do not appear, so before you buy do a search on the name of the company.
Even if you are shopping on a well-known, legitimate site you should be security conscious. Make sure your anti-virus software is up-to-date, do not use communal computers and create the strongest passwords you can. If a site gives you the choice between storing your payment details or making a one-off purchase, you might want to opt for the latter.
If you are worried you could stick to sites that let you place an order but pay when you pick up an item in store – this at least means you know you have secured the item you want and do not have to queue up. Argos and PC World are among the few retailers that offer this option.

Do I need a credit card to shop online?

You don't, but it is sensible to use one if you are ordering anything costing more than £100, because using a credit card gives protection that isn't afforded by a debit or prepaid card or PayPal. Under section 75 of the consumer credit act, the credit card provider is jointly liable if something goes wrong, so if you place and pay for an order with a company that goes bust before you get your delivery you can claim your money back from the credit card company.
Debit and prepaid card providers do offer a voluntary protection scheme called chargeback which applies on smaller sums. You can find out more about section 75 and chargeback here.

What happens if I change my mind?

If you have had an item made to your specification or personalised – for example, you have had someone's name put on a football shirt – you cannot change your mind.Otherwise, under the distance selling regulations you are allowed to change your mind and cancel an order at any point from the day you place it up until seven working days from the day after it is delivered, but you should do so in writing, either a physical letter or an email. You then need to return the goods.
Some retailers recently got into trouble with the Office of Fair Trading for insisting items had to be returned in their original packaging. Legally, this isn't the case – you are only obliged to make sure the items are returned in reasonable condition. If you had to get them out of the packet to inspect them, that is OK.
The retailer's terms and conditions should tell you if you are responsible for paying to return an unwanted order, so if you have any doubts before you press "Buy", make sure you have checked this out. Retailers with a high street presence will often let you take goods back to their stores, which can be much handier than having to queue at the Post Office. If the retailer does not say who is responsible for paying, it will have to stump up the cost.

If you have any problems cancelling an item, Which? has a range of template letters you can use to take on a retailer.

What happens if it doesn't arrive in time?

When you place an order the retailer should tell you when you can expect it to be delivered – if it doesn't, the distance selling rules assume it will be in a maximum of 30 days. If the retailer fails to deliver within the agreed timeframe it should let you know and, if you decide you no longer want the order, give you your money back.

What happens if it doesn't ever arrive?

If the item does not arrive you should complain to the retailer. If the retailer disappears or refuses to help then contact your credit or debit card company and begin the process of claiming back your money.

A price is too good to be true – does the retailer have to honour it?

Online price glitches can lead to retailers offering goods at incredible prices, and usually spark a surge of consumers rushing to take advantage. Whether the retailer has to honour it depends on its terms and conditions – it can say that the contract is not deemed to have been entered into until it has sent out a confirmation email.
This means that even if you have placed the order and paid the "too good to be true" price, if it spots its mistake later it is within its rights to adjust the price to the correct sum. If the goods arrive at the low price, however, it is not allowed to chase you for the difference.

Monday, 3 December 2012

Missing Buses

I have complained to First Bus today about either missing busses on the number 5 bus route or late running busses the problem time seems to be around 2.30pm and on more than one occasion the bus has either not run or been very late.

The problem is many parents returning from work having to collect children are left struggling to get to the schools in Twerton.

I will publish first bus response.

By cllr Tim Ball

Innox Park

I have asked the council to cut the edges of the grass that leads into Innox Park off of Shophouse Road the area has started to look rather untidy as this area seems to have been not cut since the rainy period that we have had.

I know that winter is on us but this are needs a good tidy up.

By Cllr Tim Ball