Christmas arrangements are confirmed
People across the UK will be able to celebrate Christmas safely as part of newly announced arrangements for Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and England. The ‘four-nation plan’ will enable up to three different households to form a bubble over the festive season. Each of these Christmas bubbles will be able to meet at home, at a place of worship or at an outdoor public place, but they must not be extended to include further households at any stage. To support this and enable families and friends to form Christmas bubbles, travel restrictions between the four nations will be eased between the 23 and 27 of December. Restrictions around pubs, shops, cafes, restaurants and other hospitality businesses will need to remain in place to ensure that people can celebrate safely.
White Ribbon Day
As Bridgend County Borough Council marks White Ribbon Day (25 November), residents are being reminded that a wide range of local support is available to help victims of domestic abuse. Between April and September this year, the independent domestic violence adviser (IDVA) service supported 366 high-risk victims of domestic abuse compared to 253 during the same period last year. Meanwhile, Calan DVS offers domestic violence services including refuge, support in the community, crisis drop-in services, support for children and young people exposed to domestic violence and abuse. Between April and September, the service received 828 referrals compared to 664 last year. People can access support via the Calan DVS website or by calling 01656 766139, and information can also be found on the council’s emergency support webpage, by emailing [email protected] or by contacting the IDVA service via 01656 643643.
Counterfeit bank note warning
South Wales Police has had reports of counterfeit £5 bank notes being circulated in Bridgend County Borough. Retailers are being asked to remain extra vigilant in the lead up to Christmas, while the Bank of England has produced a poster at their website to helps businesses identify counterfeit bank notes. If you have any information about counterfeit bank notes or receive one, contact South Wales Police on 101 or email [email protected].
Update on Covid-19 cases in schools
New figures show that 37 per cent of schools in Bridgend County Borough are currently affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. In total, 28 pupils and eight members of staff have tested positive, with 1,413 pupils and 45 staff members currently in self-isolation across 22 schools. When pupils are required to self-isolate, virtual classrooms are in place as well as blended learning techniques, enabling them to continue to participate in lessons. Parents, carers and guardians are reminded of the importance of not sending children to school if they exhibit any symptoms of Covid-19 or have tested positive.
Face coverings at schools
Following updated guidance from Welsh Government, parents, guardians, carers and visitors attending all school premises in Bridgend County Borough should now wear a face covering, including at drop-off and collection areas in all schools. Secondary school staff and pupils in Year 7 and above are required to wear face coverings in all areas outside of the classroom, including in the school yard, at break times, lunch time and any other part of the day when pupils are congregating in those areas. This will not apply to pupils with exemptions, such as those with special educational needs or disabilities. Pupils in Year 7 and above should also continue to wear face coverings on dedicated school transport.
Maesteg Town Hall work progresses
Maesteg Town Hall is being restored and enhanced with a new glass atrium, studio theatre, cinema space, café, mezzanine bar, heritage centre and modern library. A new natural slate roof has been installed and a new stairway and lift are being built to ensure the hall is accessible to all. Inside, a number of original features have been revealed, including two ornate cast-iron columns which are being redecorated and original timber floorboards. In the former market space, workers have uncovered glazed tiles, terracotta brick quoins and the original stonework. Repairs are also under way in the clock tower. The council is working with Awen Cultural Trust and a number of key funders on the £7.9m project to secure the future of the historic building as a community hub.
Apply to the EU Settlement Scheme
EU citizens are being reminded that they must apply to the EU Settlement Scheme by 30 June 2021 if they want to continue to live, work, study and access services.
Improvement notice lifted
Domino’s Pizza at Parc Plaza, on Waterton Road in Bridgend, has made improvements after receiving a notice from enforcement officers on Saturday 21 November. The branch was served with the improvement notice after staff were found to be preparing food while not wearing face coverings. Concerns were also raised that social distancing was not being enforced. After the necessary changes were made, the notice was lifted on Tuesday.
Business Lockdown Fund
The Lockdown Non-Domestic Rate Grant has closed to applications, but Lockdown Discretionary Grants remain open until further notice. Hundreds of businesses across Bridgend County Borough have had applications for funding approved over the last few weeks as part of the Welsh Government’s Lockdown Business Fund. The grants are designed to support businesses that have faced operational and financial challenges caused by Covid-19 lockdown restrictions. To find out more, visit the business support webpage. As applications are dealt with on a first-come-first-served basis, please note that it may not be possible to appraise any submitted after the fund has been fully committed.
Appeal for pandemic blood donations
Did you know that only three per cent of the UK population donate blood? The Welsh Blood Service is visiting the Heronston Hotel in Bridgend on 1-2 December and is appealing for new donors. If you are fit and well, make a resolution to donate and help save lives this Christmas by booking an appointment.
Help make the council fit for the future
During the Covid-19 pandemic, the council has focused resources on providing essential services and protecting vulnerable residents. This has included the provision of food parcels during school holidays for pupils eligible for free school meals, ensuring that those who are homeless are kept safe as lockdown restrictions ease, offering council tax support for residents finding it difficult to pay council tax as a direct result of the pandemic, online and blended school learning and more. Which services do you think are most important for us to focus on as we recover from the pandemic? You can help make Bridgend County Borough fit for the future by completing an online survey.
Covid-19 update for Bridgend County Borough
In Bridgend County Borough:
- 3,676 total number of current positive cases to date.
- 43,653 total number of tests carried out to date.
- 272 new tests carried out in the county borough.
- 29 or 10.7 per cent new positive cases reported in the county borough.
Princess of Wales Hospital outbreak
- 205 cases of Covid-19 linked to the outbreak.
- 57 deaths linked to the Covid-19 outbreak.
Maesteg Community Hospital
- The Llynfi Ward is temporarily closed until January 2021 to enable a second ward to be created which will support the segregation of staff and patients and reduce the future risk of Covid-19 transmissions.
- Existing patients have discharged or transferred to alternative settings.
- Other services at the hospital are continuing as normal.
An interactive map at the Public Health Wales website now offers up-to-date details on the number of coronavirus cases in every community in Wales.
As the map is based around areas with an average of 7,000 people – called Middle Super Output Areas (MSOA) – some communities will have been grouped alongside others.
To view the map, visit the headline summary page at the Public Health Wales website, and select the option for ‘cases by MSOA’.
Before accessing emergency departments at hospitals across the CTM UHB region, people are being urged to consider whether their condition is classed as an emergency, or if it can be dealt with by using the NHS 111 Wales website, minor injury units, pharmacies and GP services.
The Ysbyty’r Seren field hospital on Bridgend industrial estate is operational and accepting patients from the Royal Glamorgan Hospital, Prince Charles Hospital and Princess of Wales Hospital.
The field hospital is designed to ensure the three main hospitals can support patients requiring more specialist care.
Patients admitted at Ysbyty’r Seren are being cared for and supported with their ongoing recovery from Covid-19 by a multi-disciplinary team of experts.
A helpline has been set up for anyone who has concerns relating to the Covid-19 outbreaks in CTM UHB.
Members of the public can call (01685) 726464 between 9am and 4.30pm (Mon – Fri) where a team will be ready to help.
- A rise in temperature
- A persistent new cough
- A change in your sense of taste or smell
Arranging a coronavirus test
A drive-through facility is available until further notice at the Bowls Hall car park of Bridgend Life Centre. To use this facility, you will need to book an appointment in advance by visiting the Welsh Government website
People should only attend if showing symptoms such as a high temperature, a new persistent cough or a loss or change in their sense of taste or smell.
You can find out more about alternative ways of arranging a free coronavirus test by visiting the Welsh Government website.
You can also view a set of frequently asked questions.