It is with great pleasure that I’m announcing new awards to celebrate the outstanding achievements of extraordinary young people in the region. 

Our Young Stars Awards is being officially launched next week to champion young people who make a valuable contribution to the community.

I was inspired to set up these awards after hearing the remarkable stories of young people who were honoured at Bristol’s Young Heroes Awards, an event organised by Community of Purpose earlier this year.

There are many selfless and courageous young people, who may have forsaken some of the joys and freedom of childhood to make a difference to the lives of others or to achieve great things in the face of adversity or personal challenges.

We sometimes hear their stories through the media, but mostly the actions of these young people are unrecognised. I think it’s really important to uncover and share their stories and celebrate their achievements.  

There are five main categories for the awards which are education, unsung, courage, sport and innovation and finalists in each category will be invited to a Gala Awards Dinner on 9th March 2019.  

I’d encourage people who know a young person worthy of an award to find out more by going to www.bathnes.gov.uk/ouryoungstars

Earlier this week the West of England Combined Authority (WECA) announced £4.5m will be invested in improving skills to benefit residents and businesses across the region through a skills innovation fund.

I’m especially pleased about this this because it will create opportunities for people to get a fair chance to improve their career prospects by creating nationally-recognised centres of excellence which look at business innovation and support.

Today I am at a meeting of the Local Government Association City Regions Board where with council leaders from other authorities we will be talking about fiscal devolution and what it means for each of our authorities.

Finally after a disappointing result away at Saracens last week I am hopeful of a good home result when Bath take on Exeter.