Just before the schools broke up for a well-earned summer break, it was very welcome to hear about the opening of a new footbridge in Radstock, B&NES Council Leader Kevin Guy writes in his latest column for The Journal.

Children and families travelling on foot between St Nicholas Church School and the Heritage Park housing development can look forward to the new term knowing they have a more convenient way to do the school run thanks to the installation of the footbridge.

The bridge was funded by a section 106 developer contribution and delivered by the Council as part of the Linden Homes Heritage Park housing development.

The school now owns and maintains the bridge which provides another entrance and enables residents to walk safely to and from the site and helps reduce unnecessary car journeys.

Over the school holidays many families make use of the wonderful free spaces and parks we are blessed with across Bath and North East Somerset. Our parks team and friends’ groups work really hard at maintaining these gems and it has been great to see their efforts recognised with seven prestigious Green Flag awards - one more than the previous year.

Maintaining the parks including cleaning up after people is just one of the many, many services the Council provides to help improve people’s lives. Council staff do a great job in sometimes very challenging circumstances and so it is very distressing when we learn about unacceptable behaviour towards them. Examples of unacceptable behaviour over the past year include one worker being driven at, a female colleague followed back to her workplace and threatened with physical violence and another member of staff threatened with a hammer. Staff also report being sworn and shouted at, being trolled on social media and receiving persistent aggressive calls, visits or emails.

So, you may see posters appearing at our offices, depots and in our libraries as we raise awareness of the violent and aggressive behaviour staff frequently have to face by a minority of people. Most people treat Council staff with respect and I know they value the many services the Council provides. As an employer the Council is committed to providing and maintaining a safe working environment and safe systems of work for all staff because we all deserve to be safe at work and to be treated with respect.

It is a privilege to welcome visitors to experience our wonderful area but it is just as rewarding to see the growing number of residents who are making the most of their FREE Discovery Card. In the last year more than 30,000 local people signed up to enjoy the benefits – including free entry to the Roman Baths, Victoria Art Gallery, and Parade Gardens – as well as access to exclusive discounts at visitor attractions including Radstock Museum, restaurants, spas and other experiences across the region.

The Discovery Card is FREE to apply for and available to all residents of Bath & North East Somerset, including students at Bath’s universities.

You can sign up for a Discovery Card online at: www.bathnes.gov.uk/discoverycard and then pick it up at a variety of locations across Bath and North East Somerset. Cards can either be provided digitally to be displayed on a mobile device, or as a physical card which is recycled and recyclable. Please make the most of it – and enjoy the rest of your summer.

Councillor Kevin Guy