Census 2021 will provide a snapshot of modern society

Households across Whitchurch Village will soon be asked to take part in Census 2021.

The census is a once-in-a-decade survey that gives us the most accurate estimate of all the people and households in England and Wales. It has been carried out every decade since 1801, with the exception of 1941.

It will be the first run predominantly online, with households receiving a letter with a unique access code, allowing them to complete the questionnaire on their computers, phones or tablets.

“A successful census will ensure everyone from local government to charities can put services and funding in the places where they are most needed,” Iain Bell, deputy national statistician at the Office for National Statistics, said.

“This could mean things like doctors’ surgeries, schools and new transport routes. That’s why it is so important everyone takes part and we have made it easier for people to do so online on any device, with help and paper questionnaires for those that need them.”

Census day will be on March 21, but households across the country will receive letters with online codes allowing them to take part from early March.

The census will include questions about your sex, age, work, health, education, household size and ethnicity. And, for the first time, there will be a question asking people whether they have served in the armed forces, as well as voluntary questions for those aged 16 and over on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Results will be available within 12 months, although personal records will be locked away for 100 years, kept safe for future generations.

For more information, visit census.gov.uk.

How to recycle your real Christmas Tree

How to recycle your real Christmas tree
Residents in Bath and North East Somerset are being reminded of the options available to recycle their real Christmas trees once the twelve days of Christmas have passed.

The trees can be collected by Bath & North East Somerset Council when garden waste collections resume, taken to a recycling centre or collected by Dorothy House and all trees will eventually be converted into compost.

Dorothy House is running tree collections in BA1, BA2, BA3 and BS31 postcode areas with collections taking place between January 8 and January 10. The trees will be taken to the council’s Pixash Lane site in Keynsham for compaction before being sent to another facility for conversion into compost.

Collections should be booked online at www.charityxmastreecollection.com before 12pm on January 7 in return for a small donation.

Real trees can also be collected by the council free of charge on garden waste collection days between January 18 and February 12, even if residents don’t have a green bin. Trees should be cut up small enough to fit in the lorry and be free of decorations. Alternatively, they can be taken to a council recycling centre.

Councillor David Wood, joint cabinet member for Climate Emergency and Neighbourhood Services, said: “Christmas trees are completely recyclable so it’s unfortunate that so many end up in landfill each year. If you have enjoyed a real tree this year as part of your Christmas celebrations, please dispose of it sustainably and please don’t abandon it on the pavement. We’re happy to collect them on garden waste days or you can bring them to one of our recycling centres. Alternatively, you may prefer to support an important local charity by booking a collection from Dorothy House.”

There will be no recycling or rubbish collections on Christmas Day, Boxing Day, December 28 or New Year’s Day. Garden waste collections have paused from December 7 to January 15 inclusive. Residents can check the website for full information https://www.bathnes.gov.uk/webforms/waste/collectionday/. The council’s recycling centres will close on Christmas Day, Boxing Day, December 27 and New Year’s Day.

Support for residents struggling with their mental health

Support for residents struggling with their mental health
Residents across Bath and North East Somerset struggling with their mental health are being urged to seek support.

Current research shows that one in four people experience mental health issues each year, and at any one time, one in six working adults are experiencing depression, anxiety, or problems relating to stress.

With the added pressures of lockdown and coronavirus restrictions the Community Wellbeing Hub has seen an increase in the number of calls from residents who are struggling with the pressures of money worries, caring for others, and increased feelings of loneliness and isolation due to social distancing and prolonged working from home.

Councillor Rob Appleyard, cabinet member for Adult Services, said: “Now, more than ever, is a time to ensure we maintain a positive and supportive culture where people feel able to talk about their mental health and their experiences.  One of our key partners at the Community Wellbeing Hub is the mental health service Bath Mind, who can not only offer support but also signpost callers to support services in their own community.”

Research shows that men find it particularly difficult to talk about their mental health struggles, which is why this month, Men’s Health Awareness month, Bath Mind is particularly encouraging men to reach out for support.

Kate Morton, Chief Executive Officer of Bath Mind, said: “This is a very challenging and uncertain time for many of us, and although we are, on the whole, pretty resilient, we are in unprecedented times.  It is important not to underestimate the impact the pandemic is having on our mental health and wellbeing and it is really important we look after ourselves.

“Never feel ashamed about how you are feeling.  Talking to someone is a vital first step. Bath Mind’s Breathing Space, is a phone support service, open every evening of the week from 5.30pm to 11.30pm.  You can call in confidence on 01225 983130 if you are feeling worried or anxious and want to talk.”

For more information on Bath Mind’s Men’s Health Awareness month campaign visit: www.bathmind.org.uk/news/mens-mental-health-awareness-month-at-bath-mind/

Jo Scammell from Virgin Care BANES said: “The Community Wellbeing Hub can offer a little extra help to people when they need it most.  We have an excellent team of colleagues at Bath Mind who have been helping residents since March and this has often been a lifeline to so many.  The additional evening service they offer is extremely important particularly during the winter months.”

To contact the Community Wellbeing Hub:

Get ready for Bath’s Clean Air Zone

Bath’s clean air zone is set to launch on Monday 15 March 2021 to urgently improve air quality in the city. It means that most higher emission vehicles – except private cars and motorbikes – will be charged to drive in the city centre.

A higher emission vehicle is a Pre Euro 6/VI diesel vehicle (Euro 1 to 5/V or earlier) or Pre Euro 4 petrol vehicle (Euro 1 to 3 or earlier).

You can now check whether your vehicle will be charged using your vehicle registration number at GOV.UK’s Central Clean Air Zone Service: www.gov.uk/cleanairzone.

If charges apply, please refer to Bath & North East Somerset’s website for a list of local exemptions and whether you might be eligible for financial support to upgrade or replace a non-compliant vehicle or fleet of vehicles.

While private cars are not charged in Bath’s zone, the Council is asking everyone to consider whether they need to use their vehicle, especially for short trips where walking, cycling or taking public transport is possible. We all have a part to play in improving air quality.


To find out more, go to www.bathnes.gov.uk/BathCAZ


Whitchurch Village Playpark, Norton Lane, Refurbishment News!!

Following on from the consultation events held during 2019 with residents, parents and children at a Have a Field fun day, Whitchurch Primary School & St Nicholas Pre-school, we are delighted to announce that work will commence on Monday 19th October, this will include new play equipment with accessible aspects, a multi-use games area (MUGA) and a table tennis table.

View of an artist impression of the new play park

Funding for this project has been provided through Section 106 funds from developers, held by Bath & North East Somerset Council and required to be spent on play provision within Whitchurch Village.

The play area will be closed from 19th October 2020 for approximately six weeks, we are sorry for any inconvenience this may cause.


Thank you to all our volunteers, we are still here to help



Whitchurch Village Council members would like to say a massive thank you to all the volunteers who have supported our community during the last few months.  We have a number of volunteers who have been shopping, collecting medication, posting letters/parcels and generally helping to support those who are who are vulnerable, self-isolating and needing some support during these challenging times. We also know many neighbours and friends have been involved in this too, our thanks goes to all of them also.  

Although the need for this support has now become much less we still have a number of volunteers available to support you, if you feel you are:


  • isolated
  • struggling to get your basic food needs
  • have other difficulties, or
  • would just like to chat to someone


Please contact the Clerk if you need further support. 

Tel: 01275 839873 Email: info@whitchurchvillagecouncil.co.uk 

or B&NES Council Covid Support Helpline Tel: 0300 0247 0050

Whitchurch Village Playpark

Children will be welcomed back to Whitchurch Village Playpark from Saturday 4th July and parents are being advised about the COVID-19 measures to help prevent the spread of the virus. 

Following the Government announcement that playgrounds are permitted to open, children will be welcomed back but the onus is on parents and carers to ensure rules are followed around social distancing, hand hygiene and not eating or drinking near play equipment. 

Visitors to the park should practise social distancing at all times and bring their own sanitiser to clean their hands frequently, as well as wash their hands regularly where facilities are available. People are advised to bring their own wipes to clean equipment after their child has used it if possible. 

Eating and drinking within the play areas should be avoided and anyone who develops symptoms of COVID -19 should return home immediately. 

The council previously closed the play park at the end of March in line with Government guidance. 

Click to enlarge leaflet below



Beware – Contact Tracing Scammers

Residents in Bath and North East Somerset are being warned to be on their guard against scammers pretending to be from the government’s Test and Trace Service.

The Test and Trace Service has been set up to alert people who have been in contact with someone who has coronavirus symptoms.

Since the service was launched last week, Bath & North East Somerset Council’s Trading Standards Officers have received a number of complaints about scammers trying to exploit the system and con people out of money via bogus text messages, emails or calls.

Residents are being reminded that the genuine Test and Trace Service will never:

  • ask for bank account details
  • ask for any passwords or PIN numbers or ask you to set up any passwords or PIN numbers
  • ask for a payment
  • ask you to purchase a product
  • ask for social media identities or login details
  • ask you to download any software onto your PC or ask you to hand over control of your PC, smartphone or tablet to anyone else
  • ask you to call a premium rate number to speak to the NHS (for example, those starting 09 or 087)
  • disclose any of your personal or medical information to your contacts
  • provide medical advice on the treatment of any potential coronavirus symptoms
  • ask you to access any website that does not belong to the government or NHS

If residents are asked these types of questions they should report the incident to Action Fraud by visiting:  https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/reporting-fraud-and-cyber-crime

Rob Appleyard, cabinet member for Adult Services, said: “Unfortunately, there are some unscrupulous people who are trying to take advantage of the COVID-19 situation.  Residents need to be on their guard. You may be contacted by the Test and Trace Service by text, email or phone, but the official tracers will never ask you to make any payment or for your bank details.”

The government’s Test and Trace Service will only ask you for information found on the contact tracing website: https://contact-tracing.phe.gov.uk/help/privacy-notice  or on the government’s website:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/nhs-test-and-trace-how-it-works.  This will include your full name, date of birth and details of any symptoms you may have.

If you have tested positive for coronavirus:  you will either receive a call, text or email from NHS Test and Trace with instructions on how to share details of the people you have been in close contact with.

If you have been in contact with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus, you will be contacted in the same ways and asked about symptoms.

You will only ever be called from the number 0300 013 5000 or receive a text from NHS.

However, if you do not feel comfortable talking on the phone or suspect the call to be a scam, you can ask for an email or a text that will invite you to use the Test and Trace website instead. From this email you should only ever be directed to contact-tracing.phe.gov.uk. You can check this by looking in the address bar at the top of your web browser to see if it is the address shown, it should also have a small padlock symbol next to, indicating that the website connection is secure.

Check the address carefully, if you see a different address it is likely to be a scam and you should close the window immediately.

If you are in any doubt always submit information via the Test and Trace website.