Storm Francis clear-up operation
Crews worked throughout yesterday and overnight to deal with storm damage across the county borough. Highways crews dealt with a number of fallen trees and flooding issues while the strong winds also damaged the roof at the Watersports Centre in Rest Bay, Porthcawl. Repair work has been underway today.
Council to reveal new master plan for town centre
Major improvements are planned for Bridgend town centre over the next 10 years as part of an ambitious new regeneration strategy. The Bridgend Town Centre Masterplan aims to increase the number of people who shop, work, live, visit and enjoy the town centre by using a ‘zoned’ approach for improving retail opportunities, creating new commercial and office space, introducing new public realm works and providing better transport facilities. Designed by specialist consultants on behalf of the council, the masterplan seeks to create improved areas of open space within the town centre while striking a new balance between the benefits of pedestrianisation and requirements for vehicular access. With widespread public consultation set to take place in October, the council is currently obtaining views and feedback from wider stakeholders and preparing to present the masterplan to a future meeting of the Town and Community Council Forum.
New outdoor adaptations grant for businesses
Property or business owners located in the commercial core areas of Bridgend, Maesteg, Porthcawl, Pencoed and Pyle are being invited to apply now for grants of up to £10,000 for outdoor adaptations that facilitate social distancing in external areas. The funding can be used towards a variety of adaptations ranging from outdoor canopies and igloo bubbles to outdoor furniture and planters. Called the Urban Centre Property Enhancement: Covid-19 Recovery Fund, it provides funding of up to 80 percent of total eligible improvement costs – up to a maximum value of £10,000. A minimum of 20 percent of the total project costs will need to be met by the applicant. The grant is a partnership between Welsh Government and the local authority. To find out more email the regeneration team on [email protected] or call 01656 815209.
Free parking to continue
Council-maintained town centre car parks will be free to use for another month, now continuing throughout September. In Bridgend town centre, it is available at the Rhiw and Brackla Street multi storeys as well as the open air car park behind Wilkinsons. In Porthcawl, it is available at the Hillsboro and John Street car parks. Furthermore, from October 1 until March 31, the first three hours will then be free in the Rhiw car park in Bridgend. And in John Street car park, Porthcawl, parking will be free between midday and 3pm from October 1 until March 31.
Free school meal food parcels extension
Food parcels for pupils eligible for free school meals will continue to be delivered up until September 4 due to the phased return of pupils to school. Due to the bank holiday on Monday August 31 deliveries will be taking place one day later than normal for all areas. The food parcels which started at the end of April replaced the packed lunch provision that was put in place when schools closed in March. Around 5,000 food parcels are delivered each week to homes across the county borough. They include a variety of fresh fruit and vegetables, pasta, sauces and tinned food.
New support available for EU nationals
A new webpage has been set up at the council website to offer a one-stop-shop of resources and useful information to help EU nationals who wish to apply to continue to live and work locally. It includes information in a variety of different languages, links to useful websites and a short animated video which explains how the application process works. To find out more, visit the Preparing for Brexit page at the council website.
New modular classrooms arrive at Mynydd Cynffig Primary
State-of-the-art new modular classrooms have been lifted into place at Mynydd Cynffig Primary School ready for when the new term begins in September. The modular classrooms, which have been manufactured to a high standard, represent a £1.2m investment into the school and will ensure that infants can continue to be educated on site after work to repair a burst pipe at their former premises revealed further damage which forced the building to close.
While Shopmobility remains closed at present, we are looking into how we can reopen the service safely and will let residents know as soon as plans are in place.
Home-to-school transport services to resume
Dedicated home-to-school transport services will resume for the start of the new autumn term in September 2020. Wherever capacity allows, social distancing will be implemented between learners, or groups of learners, and between drivers/passenger assistants, or escorts, on dedicated local authority provided home-to-school transport services. While the pandemic is still in effect, parents, carers and guardians will be strongly encouraged to use walking and cycling wherever possible. The council is recommending that face coverings be worn on school transport for secondary age pupils with masks being provided by the local authority, if requested. All bus routes will operate as normal and new starters who are eligible for school transport will receive a letter providing details of their transport arrangements. A set of frequently asked questions is also available on the website to help prepare parents, carers, guardians and pupils ahead of schools reopening.
Students begin to receive BTEC results
Students are due to receive their BTEC results this week for 2020. Various BTECs have been reviewed and regraded following a decision by exam board Pearson to delay their release earlier this month. This week the exam board confirmed all eligible results for the vocational qualifications would be available by Friday. Anyone who did not receive the grades they were hoping for can access a wide range of advice, support and confidential counselling, so please make sure that you speak to your school or Careers Wales for more information
Care home visits
We are working closely with care homes as they prepare to open for more routine indoor visits following a Welsh Government announcement they could resume from August 29, if conditions continue to allow it. Visits to care homes were restricted by the government in March as a response to the coronavirus pandemic, helping to protect people living at the homes, staff and visitors. Last month care homes made arrangements to support outdoor visits for families and friends. More details will follow.
Bank Holiday waste and recycling collections changes
Due to the bank holiday, there will be no waste and recycling collections on Monday 31 August. Collections will be one day later until Saturday 5 September. With more people at home due to the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic, please support the crews by making sure that cars are parked with enough room for collection vehicles to get through.
Don’t put household waste in public litter bins
Ahead of the bank holiday weekend, residents are being reminded not to place household waste inside public litter bins as this is creating problems with unnecessary litter as well as issues with emptying them and the risk of attracting vermin. The weekly recycling and fortnightly waste collections have continued throughout the pandemic, and there are no limits on how much recycling can be put out each week. If necessary, additional sacks and containers can be provided – you can find out more by visiting the council website.
Last chance for ‘Eat Out’ scheme
The last day of the national ‘Eat Out To Help Out’ scheme will be 31 August. Designed to provide heavy discounts on food and non-alcoholic drinks, the offer applies to all food and non-alcoholic drinks which are consumed on the premises on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. The scheme aims to support restaurants, pubs and cafes by offering up to 50 percent off the cost of a meal and features a maximum discount per person of £10. To support the scheme, a restaurant finder has been launched at the Gov.uk website which uses a postcode locater to list all of the participating businesses within five miles of an address. For more information, visit the Eat Out to Help Out page at Gov.uk
Helping to keep people safe
If you suspect that a friend, family member or neighbour is at risk of abuse, don’t delay – call the council’s safeguarding team on 01656 642477 for adults and 01656 642320 for children. You can also call 01443 743665 if out-of-hours, and if you suspect a person is at immediate risk of harm, call 999. Find out more about emergency support at the council’s website.
Contacting the council
The Customer Service Centre at the Civic Offices in Angel Street, Bridgend remains closed to the public. Residents are asked to use the online My Account and Oggie webchat facilities, or to email [email protected] or call 01656 643643.