The week got off to a very positive start when we had the opportunity to showcase the regeneration work under way at Bath Western Riverside to Sir Edward Lister, chairman of Homes England.

Homes England is a government body which is responsible for increasing the number of new homes that are built in England, including affordable homes and homes for market, sale or rent. It also works to improving existing affordable homes; bring empty homes back into use as affordable housing and stimulate economic growth and investment in areas.

 Sir Edward visited Bath Western Riverside, the Crest Nicholson site, for an overview of the development and a short site tour which also gave us the chance to talk about both successes and challenges we face in the region.

 We were also able to discuss the Joint Spatial Plan (JSP). Ours is the first statutory development plan document of its kind in the country. It provides a strong framework for future development that will provide certainty for developers, employers and residents.

 More homes means demands on the infrastructure and the services that local authorities provide. And it was at a meeting in London on Thursday that I had the chance to discuss these issues and the ways in which unitary authorities can play a significant role in the economic prosperity of their communities. The Unitary Council Network gives leaders of authorities like Bath & North East Somerset the chance to strengthen our combined concerns to Government.

 Out of council business I had the privilege to attend the Norland Nannies graduation on Friday and to celebrate a member of my family’s achievements. Norland is a Bath institution with a global reach – well done to all those graduates who are now setting off on their careers all over the world. 

 Pictured at Bath Western Riverside are l to r: Councillor Tim Warren, Neil Dawtrey (Crest Nicholson); Sir Edward Lister (Chairman Homes England); Ashley Ayre (B&NES chief executive); Kevin Bourner (Homes England); Simon Martin (B&NES).