Latest news from Bridgend County Borough

Mobile testing in Bridgend County Borough

Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board has confirmed that arrangements are back in place for coronavirus mobile testing facilities in Bridgend County Borough. The mobile facility located at the Richard Price Centre in Llangeinor will reopen on Saturday 31 October, and will remain available each day between 9am–5pm until 4 November. The testing facility will then move to the Grand Pavilion in Porthcawl on 5 November where it will be available until 12 November between 9am-5pm, seven days a week. Residents who are symptomatic can find out more and either book an appointment online, or call in and wait to be seen. Please only attend if you are showing symptoms of coronavirus such as a high temperature, a new persistent cough, or a loss or change in your sense of taste or smell.


Update on lost cargo

Debris and cargo is starting to wash ashore in Bridgend County Borough following news that five 40-foot long containers remain unaccounted for after being lost from a cargo ship in the Bristol Channel. While the majority of the containers were empty when they were lost, some contained non-hazardous absorbent tissue products such as nappies. These are now washing ashore all along the coastline of South Wales, and the council is working alongside partners to collect the debris and cargo so it can be returned to its owners. Sightings of the missing containers can be reported to Milford Haven Coastguard Operations Centre by emailing [email protected] or calling 01646 690909.


Stay safe this Halloween

As outdoor gatherings are not able to take place during the fire-break lockdown, organised activities around Halloween cannot go ahead this year. Instead, residents are being asked to mark the occasion safely at home, and to observe all rules designed to keep people safe. This includes not meeting indoors with people who are not from the same household, not trick-or-treating, wearing face coverings, observing social distancing and hand hygiene, etc. To support local families, South Wales Police have developed Halloween activity packs which can be enjoyed at home – find out more at their website.


Recycle your pumpkins

Used pumpkins can be recycled as part of the weekly food waste collections – simply remove any wax or candles, and place them out whole next to your food caddy. You can find out more about how the council recycles food waste into energy at the council website.


Council welcomes Sony investment

Bridgend County Borough Council has welcomed news that Welsh Government is providing Sony UK Technology Centre (UK TEC) with £3m to secure local jobs and invest in its longer-term future in the area. The money has been provided in addition to almost £500,000 in financial support to help the business meet the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic. The main manufacturing and customer service centre for Sony in the UK, the technology centre houses 29 related tenant companies. The support – from the Economic Resilience Fund – will protect hundreds of jobs and lay the groundwork for developing further employment. For more information on the third phase of the Economic Resilience Fund, visit the Welsh Government website.


Affordable housing in Cefn Cribwr

Work to provide new affordable homes on the site of the former Athletic Club and St John Ambulance Hall in Cefn Cribwr is underway. Located at the top of Bedford Road, the ground work is being carried out by Pyle-based firm Darlow Lloyd Construction. The two-storey development will provide 10 affordable homes which will be made available for social rent by the housing association, Valleys to Coast. The development consists of four single-bedroom flats, three two-bedroom flats and three single-bedroom flats which are suitable for wheelchair access. The work is being funded by a £893,226 social housing grant from Welsh Government which was secured by Bridgend County Borough Council. Anyone who is interested in applying to become a tenant can visit the housing page of the council website for more details.


Temporary pause for highways improvements

Heavy rainfall has forced Bridgend County Borough Council’s ongoing £2.25m investment into local roads, footpaths and bridges to temporarily pause until the weather improves. With a yellow warning in place from the Met Office and rain predicted over the next few days, it is hoped that the work, which is currently targeting Cae Wallis Street in Bridgend, will be able to resume early next week. The £2.25m investment into the local highway network is using funding from Welsh Government and the council’s Capital Programme for 2020-21 to refurbish, resurface and improve 44 local roads, eight footways and two bridges. Once it has been completed in Cae Wallis Street, crews will move on to Bedford Road in Cefn Cribwr.


Maesteg Town hall project gathers pace

Construction work is continuing to progress on the £7.9m repair, restoration and extension of Maesteg Town Hall. The Grade II listed building is being returned to its former glory along with a new glass atrium, studio theatre and cinema space, café and mezzanine bar, heritage centre and modern library. Work undertaken so far includes a new natural slate roof across the main building, and the demolition of the porch and main entrance steps to make way for a new stairway and lift. The removal of 1970s laminate has revealed the auditorium’s original timber wall boards, which will be reinstated, while two cast-iron columns with ornate capitals have been discovered at the back of the auditorium. Lowering the stage to its original level has revealed original timber floorboards, skirting boards and radiators, and the clearance of the former market space has exposed glazed tiles, a previously unknown window, terracotta brick quoins and stonework. The council is working in partnership with Awen Cultural Trust and a number of key funders on the project, which is one of the biggest investments in Maesteg in decades.


Update on Porthcawl foodstore

The council is currently seeking bids from interested parties to develop a two-acre foodstore in Porthcawl on a site known locally as the Green. This forms part of the Salt Lake regeneration area, which is earmarked for residential, leisure, retail and commercial development as well as open space, car parking and active travel routes. The deadline for all formal bids is 12 noon on 2 December 2020, and more details can be obtained from the agent’s website,


Survey on coronavirus testing

Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board are asking people to complete a short survey covering their experiences of the coronavirus testing process which will be used to support efforts to deliver improvements. You can find out more and complete the survey at the health board website.


Support for unpaid carers

Carers Trust South East Wales are looking for people who may be acting as unpaid carers for a family member, friend or neighbour – for example, parents of children with a physical or learning disability, someone looking after a partner with dementia or a young person who is supporting a parent – to take part in a short survey and find out more about how what support and advice is available. Visit the Carers Trust website for more details.


Welsh Government grants available

The Lockdown Business Fund is open for applications and available to provide a wide range of financial support ranging from grants for retail, leisure and hospitality businesses to certain not-for-profit organisations and businesses in other sectors. The grants will be open until 5pm on 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.


Business Development Grant

A new Welsh Government grant which launched on Wednesday 28 October to help businesses fund development projects that will assist their recovery from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic has been suspended due to high demand. Applications are being processed for the Business Development Grant which forms part of phase three of the Economic Resilience Fund, and businesses should monitor the Business Wales Covid-19 Support for Business website and its social media channels for further support and updates.


Have your say on council’s budget

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.


Alert issued on salmonella

The Food Standards Agency has issued an alert and consumer advice after detecting salmonella at an egg-laying farm known to have sold eggs to two distribution centres for Aldi and Asda in Wales. Customers are being advised to ensure that they thoroughly cook any eggs they have purchased so that the egg yolks and whites are not runny. Doing this will eliminate any potential salmonella and avoid risk of illness.


Advice for vulnerable people who previously shielded

The Chief Medical Officer for Wales has written to all residents in Bridgend County Borough who were previously advised to shield during the coronavirus pandemic. While shielding ended in Wales on 16 August, the Shielding Patients List is being maintained in case there is a need to write to residents with any changes to the advice. If you are on the Shielding Patients List you should have received a copy of the letter in the post. You can also view and download the shielding letter. The letter contains advice on how to best protect yourself from coronavirus.


Remembrance events in Bridgend County Borough

Remembrance events will be marked in different ways across Bridgend County Borough for 2020. Many of the traditional local events organised by town and community councils will not be taking place this year because of the need to limit potential exposure to the coronavirus, maintain social distancing and avoid people from gathering in large numbers. Instead, residents have been encouraged to stand upon their doorstep at 11am on Sunday 8 November to mark the two-minute silence from home, and to watch televised broadcasts of national remembrance services. On behalf of the people of Bridgend County Borough, the council is working alongside Great Western Railway to arrange for a wreath to be transported to London Paddington where it will be included as part of a national display.


Guidance offered on remembrance events

Town and community councils have confirmed that while no public remembrance events will be taking place this year, some smaller ceremonies have been arranged. To find out more on what remembrance events are being held this year, please contact your local town or community council for further details.


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.