Latest news from Bridgend County Borough

Croesty Primary school closes after staff test positive for Covid-19

Croesty Primary School has closed temporarily after a member of staff tested positive for Covid-19.

Croesty Primary School in Pencoed was closed on Friday  and will be closed for at least the first part of next week due to several staff having to self-isolate.

The Council’s Cabinet Member for Education, Cllr Charles Smith said: “With several staff self-isolating it unfortunately means there are not enough members of staff to keep the school open.

“The school has informed parents and carers of the situation, and teachers at the school have set out work for the children to access digitally while at home.

“The school will reopen as soon as it can.”


Major new changes for Bridgend town centre

A public consultation is being launched over Bridgend County Borough Council’s ambitious plans for Bridgend town centre. Featuring proposals such as a new square, moving Bridgend College into the town centre, transforming derelict and empty buildings into new shops and housing, improving vehicle access, relocating the police station, constructing an enhanced new railway station entrance  and more, the Bridgend Town Centre Masterplan aims to deliver a series of major improvements over the next 10 years. The consultation will be live between Monday, 7 December, 2020 and Monday, 1 March, 2021. For more information, visit the councils’ consultations webpage.


Make a young person’s Christmas

This year’s Santa Appeal has been launched, with residents urged to help those who may not otherwise receive a gift on Christmas morning. Residents can donate via Brynteg Comprehensive School’s GoFundMe page to help Year 9 pupils purchase presents. Due to coronavirus restrictions, gifts are only being accepted at Brackla Tabernacle Church on Friday, 11 December, between 9am and 5pm. The appeal supports children and young people from newborn to 25 years old. Any donated gifts do not need to be wrapped as the team of volunteers will sort them into appropriate age groups. All items need to be new and in their original packaging.


Vaccine news welcomed

Bridgend County Borough Council’s leader Huw David has welcomed the news that the Pfizer Biontech Covid-19 vaccine has been given the go-ahead and will soon be administered to people across Wales, starting with those aged 80 and over, care home staff and residents, and those working within health and social care. The council is working with health colleagues to provide suitable vaccination venues and more news will be released soon. Those in the priority groups will receive an invitation from their employer or health board. Residents are urged to wait to be invited and not ask their pharmacist or GP. For more information, visit Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board’s webpage about the vaccine.


School term to end as planned

All schools in Bridgend county borough will close on Friday, 18 December, as planned to ensure the continuity of learning for pupils. Sixth form students will have their last day to physically attend school on Friday, 11 December but secondary schools will provide online learning for them until the end of term. The decision has been made after discussions with Welsh Government, and representations from schools and unions. The council thanks all parents, carers and school staff for their ongoing support. All staff, local authority officers and elected members continue to do everything possible to prioritise the safety and educational needs of children.


Drive-in panto and festive films

A drive-in pantomime is on its way to Porthcawl to spread some festive cheer… oh yes it is! The pre-recorded performance of Peter Pan, featuring Owen Money, will be shown on a big screen at the Hi-Tide car park in Porthcawl in the run up to Christmas. There will also be a chance to watch some festive films on the big screen with drive-in viewings of classics like Home Alone, A Muppets Christmas Carol and Polar Express. The events, which are being run by the Firefly Cinema Club, will have Covid-19 safety rules in place. For more information, visit the Firefly Cinema Club website.


Freelance Fund closing

Time is running out to apply for a £2,500 grant from the Welsh Government’s cultural freelance fund. Phase three of the fund to support freelancers in the cultural and creative sectors across Wales who are facing financial challenges as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak will close at 5pm on Monday, 7 December, 2020. Individuals in the sub sectors of arts, creative industries, arts and heritage events, culture and heritage, whose work has direct creative and cultural outcomes, can apply. Those who wish to apply should check their eligibility using the Business Wales Cultural Recovery Fund Grant checker.

Those who are eligible can apply through the council’s business support webpage.


Football clubs sign playing fields lease

Rest Bay Sports, which represents FC Porthcawl and Porthcawl United, has taken on the responsibility for Rest Bay Playing Fields in Porthcawl. It has taken over the self-management of the playing fields and pavilion under a renewable five-year lease as part of the county borough-wide community asset transfer programme. Bridgend County Borough Council has allocated the company just over £45,000 towards the cost of redeveloping the pavilion and a further £10,000 for pitch maintenance equipment. The clubs intend to transform the outdated pavilion by extending and refurbishing the first floor level, providing an elevated balcony overlooking the playing field.


Last chance to help make the council fit for the future

Time is running out for residents to have their say in Bridgend County Borough Council’s annual budget consultation. As part of the consultation, which runs until Sunday, 13 December, residents can help shape the council’s spending priorities for the coming year. The survey, which you can fill in online, includes the response to coronavirus, as well as health and wellbeing, business and the local economy, council tax levels and customer access to civic offices. Feedback from residents will be used to inform the medium-term financial strategy for 2021/22 – 2024/25.


Businesses urged to ensure they are prepared for Brexit

For businesses and citizens, there will be new rules from January 1, 2021, as the Brexit transition period ends. The UK Government has set up an online checker questionnaire for businesses. To find out what you need to do to prepare your business during the transition period visit the UK Government website. Business Wales offers a single point of contact for businesses and entrepreneurs to advice and support from public, private and voluntary sectors. For further information visit the Brexit Portal or call 0300 060 3000. Meanwhile, 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.


Mobile testing in the county borough

A drive-through mobile testing facility is available at the site of the former Revlon/Cosi factory off Oakwood Drive, Maesteg (CF34 9TS). It is open between 9am-4pm, including weekends. To use the facility, you need to book an appointment in advance at the Welsh Government website. Residents should only attend if showing symptoms of coronavirus such as a high temperature, a new persistent cough, or a loss or change in sense of taste or smell. Work on developing a long-term testing facility for the county borough is ongoing – look out for more details soon.


Free car parking this Christmas

Shoppers, visitors and traders across Bridgend County Borough will be able to take advantage of free car parking this Christmas. Starting on Saturday 5 December, in Bridgend parking will be free after 10am at the council-run Rhiw and Cheapside multi-storeys, the car park behind Wilkinsons, at Tremains Road and at Tondu Road. In Porthcawl, it will be free after 10am at John Street and at Hillsboro Place. Provided by Bridgend County Borough Council as part of its ongoing support for traders during the coronavirus pandemic, the free parking will be available until Thursday 31 December and joins the free facilities that are already available at Maesteg and Pencoed.


Committee updated on Sir Thomas Picton links

The Equalities committee of Bridgend County Borough Council has received an update on work which is considering the area’s historical links with the controversial Governor of Trinidad, Sir Thomas Picton. The work follows national protests held as part of the Black Lives Matter movement. With eight streets linked to the name Picton in Bridgend county borough, the report identifies two potential sources – Sir Thomas and Lieutenant-Colonel Thomas Picton-Turberville, who was a former owner of Ewenny Priory. The council has commissioned Glamorgan Archives to carry out work to confirm how the streets were named. A final report will be delivered early next year.


Digital Christmas is underway

With festive events on hold due to Covid-19 restrictions, the Digital Christmas Festival is underway in Bridgend County Borough. Running until the New Year, the festival website and special app gives businesses in Bridgend, Porthcawl and Maesteg town centres the chance to advertise for free, and features promotional offers, vouchers, a loyalty card scheme and more. Visit the Digital Christmas website to find out more.


Support for young people

The council’s youth support service has launched an online chat service where young people aged between 11 and 25 can access expert advice and support on issues such as housing, developing life skills, health and well-being, education, employment, rights issues and more. Youth support workers are available to chat between 2pm – 8pm, Monday to Friday – you can access the service online, call 01656 815146 or email [email protected] for more information.