Firstly, I would like to congratulate Clare Moody following her election as Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for Avon and Somerset. I also extend my thanks to the outgoing Police and Crime Commissioner Mark Shelford for his service in the role over the previous three years. Tackling crime is a key issue for local people and I look forward to working collaboratively with the new PCC to help keep our communities safe, particularly including our rural communities, villages and towns.

Another key issue for our area is transport and we’re currently working on plans for a £15.2million scheme to improve walking, cycling, wheeling, public transport infrastructure and to reduce congestion along the A37 and A367.

If agreed, the project would make catching the bus or walking and cycling easier by offering improved bus facilities and delivering safe, easy-to-use walking and cycling facilities.

Transport, like tackling crime, is an issue we can address only by working in partnership. So funding for the project, which is called Somer Valley Links, comes from a £1.414m West of England Combined Authority grant and £330k match funding from developer contributions. Somer Valley Links is a ‘strategic corridor’ project within the City Region Sustainable Transport Settlement (CRSTS) programme, funded by UK Government through the West of England Combined Authority.

We want to provide people with greater transport choice and reduce reliance on cars, but if routes don’t feel safe to walk or cycle, or if they don’t easily connect, then it puts people off. We also need to improve air quality - Farrington Gurney and Temple Cloud have been declared as Air Quality Management Areas - and reduce carbon emissions.

Finally, I would like to thank to all those who contribute to our local communities. The Chew Valley has a particularly strong support network, as seen with the Village Agents, who and put people in touch with help and support to allow them to live more independently. We also have a very active network of Flood Wardens- remember, too, that it helps us to help you if you can report problems with roads, pavements, drains and flooding through our website.

I would like also to thank all those involved in running the Chew Valley Community Library in Bishop Sutton. This year sees a year-long celebration of 100 years of library services in Bath and North East Somerset, which includes events at the three main libraries in Keynsham, Bath and Midsomer Norton, special displays, competitions and limited edition library membership cards.

People are also invited to submit their favourite memories of the libraries which will be collated into a large public exhibition at the end of the year. Memories, stories and photographs can be emailed to [email protected] You can visit the Bath and North East Somerset Libraries blog for further updates and details of regular library events throughout the year