Fire-break lockdown begins
Across Wales, the ‘fire-break’ lockdown announced by Welsh Government is now in place. Scheduled to end on Monday 9 November, the lockdown is designed to stop a sudden rise in the number of people contracting coronavirus across Wales – as many as 2,500 people every day – and to prevent hospitals and critical care units from becoming overwhelmed in the weeks and months ahead. More information is available at the council website, and Welsh Government has published frequently asked questions to support residents while the lockdown is in effect.
Halloween, Bonfire Night and Remembrance Sunday
As outdoor gatherings will not be able to take place during the fire-break lockdown, organised activities around Halloween and Bonfire Night will not be able to go ahead this year. Where small-scale Remembrance Sunday events organised by town and community councils are being held, most are limiting the services to invited armed forces and community representatives only in order to comply with regulations on how many can gather, requirements on social distancing, face coverings etc. Householders are being encouraged to participate from the doorstep of their homes in the two-minute national silence which will be held at 11am on Sunday 9 November.
Support for local businesses
A wide range of support has been confirmed by Welsh Government to provide financial assistance for businesses during the lockdown. Grouped under the heading of the Lockdown Business Fund, the support includes various grants for retail, leisure and hospitality businesses, certain not-for-profit organisations and businesses in other sectors. The grants will be open to applications from Monday 26 October and will close at 5pm on November 20 November or when the fund is fully committed. Specific criteria will apply – visit the business support webpage at the council website to find out more.
Making sure children don’t go hungry
The council will be providing free school meal parcels to the home addresses of all eligible pupils during the fire-break lockdown, and also throughout the half-term holiday.
Accessing foodbanks in the lockdown
Local foodbanks will continue to be available throughout the fire-break lockdown to provide support to eligible households and individuals. For information on opening times and how local foodbanks can be accessed, visit the Bridgend Foodbank website or go to their Facebook page for details.
Reporting a pandemic breach
Enforcement officers from the Shared Regulatory Service are visiting businesses across the county borough to offer advice and support, and to ensure that Covid-19 rules are being followed to keep people as safe as possible. Anyone who believes that a business is breaching the rules can send details directly to [email protected] – as well as helping businesses to meet their responsibilities, officers can take further action and if necessary can issue improvement and closure notices.
Flood report welcomed
Bridgend County Borough Council has welcomed a report from Natural Resources Wales calling for fresh thinking on how flooding is dealt with in future. The report outlines the impact of record rainfall and river flows triggered by storms Ciara, Dennis and Jorge earlier this year. All arrived in the UK following an exceptionally wet winter, and led to the most severe and widespread flooding incidents experienced in Wales since 1979. As part of its flood prevention work, the council carries out regular inspections of its culverts, drains and watercourses, and undertakes strategic CCTV surveys. Blockages, build-ups of silt and larger issues are all dealt with promptly, and culverted watercourses and drainage assets are kept free of tree roots and other obstacles. Damaged culvert grids are replaced, and a system of flood sensors is maintained to monitor rising water levels.
Take away options at food businesses
Several restaurants and food businesses throughout the county borough are offering home delivery options during the lockdown. Please contact local food businesses directly to find out more.
Newton Beach car park
The private operators of Newton Beach car park in Porthcawl have confirmed that the car park will be closed for the lockdown period. Council-maintained car parks will remain open, but will monitored closely.
Apply online for secondary school places
Parents, guardians and carers of children who will be of secondary school age next September can now apply for school places by using the My Account service – a fast, convenient, free online facility that enables you to conduct a wide range of business with the council. All you need to sign up is an email address – find out more at the council website.
Remain alert during test, trace, protect
Residents are reminded that official callers from the free Test, Trace, Protect service will never ask you to make a payment or to disclose your personal banking details. Please remain alert for scammers, and report any suspicions to 101 or the Shared Regulatory Service on 0300 123 6696. You can find out more on preventing fraud at www.actionfraud.police.uk, while info about track and trace is available at www.bridgend.gov.uk/coronavirus
Looking out for children and adults
The Bridgend Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) is continuing to provide safeguarding services for vulnerable children and adults. You can report concerns about a child to 01656 642320 or [email protected], while concerns about adults can be directed to 01656 642477 or [email protected]. For more information, visit the MASH page.
Help shape Bridgend’s future
Residents in Bridgend County Borough are being asked to help shape the local authority’s spending priorities over the coming year with the council’s annual budget consultation. This year’s consultation is focused on the longer-term vision for the county borough following the Covid-19 pandemic. The survey covers areas such as the pandemic response, businesses and the local economy, health and well-being, council tax levels, customer access to the civic offices and more. Responses will be used to inform the medium term financial strategy for 2021/22 – 2024/25, and residents have until 13 December to take part – you can do so by visiting the council website or requesting a hard copy by emailing [email protected], calling 01656 643664 or writing to the Consultation Team, Civic Offices, Angel Street, Bridgend CF31 4WB. Easy-read, large print and youth versions are available.
Mental health support
A range of support is available for anyone who may be suffering from poor mental health during the pandemic. Visit the council website for links to help and support such as Samaritans Cymru (116 123), Mind Charity (0300 1233393), Welsh Womens Aid (0808 8010800), Calan DVS (01656 766139), Childline (0800 1111), NHS Direct Wales (0845 4647) and more.