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Can Bath really claim to be the wellbeing capital of Britain?


"Bath is the ultimate wellness destination for a city break

24 hours in Bath is simply not enough, the gorgeous city is perfect for a midweek getaway to invest in your own wellness" [My London, travel review 24/2/2022]

Bath is a city of two halves, the tourist destination and the city of the struggling workers. There has been a lot of talk recently about Bath being penned as the Wellbeing Capital [Independent 25/02/2023], in response to the councils Re:Balance festival. So what has this festival done to tackle the cities wellbeing? It has teamed up with business across the city centre to offer wellbeing sessions. But who for? Is this a scheme aimed at residents to tackle the anxiety caused by the housing and cost of living crisis? Certainly the Independent article doesn't make it look so as it clearly indicates this is a great chance to visit Bath. Unfortunately it would seem this is an opportunity to promote tourism during the cities quieter period.

Whilst this in itself is a clear commercial venture it misleads and perpetuates the myth of the wealthy city. It seems ironic that during the period the Re:Balance festival ran B&NES council published the "Strategic Evidence Base for Bath and North East Somerset" [23/03/2023] that outlines a much bleaker picture of wellbeing for the residents of the city:

Clearly the people of Bath, are not feeling great, with measures of wellbeing plummeting, anxiety and suicide on the increase we have to ask what will our officials do to improve the quality of life for its inhabitants? Can they really pat themselves on the back when a national news paper gives praise, do they really believe papering over the cracks will wok in the long term?

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