Latest news from Bridgend County Borough – 12 December

Top three spot for coronavirus

Health and council officials are appealing to residents to double their efforts in fighting the spread of coronavirus after latest statistics confirmed that Bridgend County Borough is now the third highest place in Wales for positive cases. Local positive cases have trebled in size with 1,100 new cases in less than 10 days. With Covid-19 infection rates rising steeply across the country, Welsh Government has warned that a further national lockdown may be necessary if the figures do not fall. Visit the coronavirus page at the council website for more details and guidance.


School closures confirmed

Welsh Government has announced that all secondary schools, including sixth forms, will close after 11 December and move to online learning only from Monday 14 December. In Bridgend County Borough, all infant, junior, primary and special schools (including The Bridge) will remain open until Wednesday 16 December before moving to online learning for the rest of the week. Some schools may need to close prior to this if it proves to be necessary in order to keep pupils, teachers and staff safe. Visit the Welsh Government website to find out more.


Mobile testing facilities

Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board’s mobile coronavirus testing facility will remain in Maesteg after a large rise in the number of positive cases in the Llynfi Valley. The facility, based at the former Revlon/Cosi factory site off Oakwood Drive (CF34 8TS), will continue to be available between 9am-4pm for seven days a week until 17 December, but appointments must be booked in advance by visiting the Welsh Government website or by calling 191. A new, long-term local testing facility is being established in the Bowls Hall car park of Bridgend Recreation Centre. It will initially be subject to phased opening times before moving to a regular schedule of 8am-8pm, seven days a week – more details soon.


Third time lucky for newlyweds

A couple who had their wedding plans cancelled twice due to coronavirus restrictions have tied the knot at Bridgend Register Office. Lee and Kimberley Donne, who live in Kenfig Hill, were due to be married on 11 April at a hotel but had to postpone because of the first national lockdown. They rescheduled for October but when their chosen venue was stuck in a local lockdown, they had to find a new location. Staff at Bridgend Register Office stepped in to help and the pair were married there in front of 20 guests on 23 October after just two weeks of planning. The couple have praised staff, saying they went “above and beyond” to make the day special. For more information about getting married at Bridgend Register Office, visit the council’s website.


Takeaways make improvements

Roger’s Takeaway and Cantonese Takeaway, both on New Road, Porthcawl, have made improvements after being given Premises Improvement Notices for failing to ensure staff were wearing face coverings. Shared Regulatory Services officers issued the notices after visiting on Saturday, 5 December. The notices were terminated on Tuesday after officers found the necessary improvements had been made. Enforcement officers continue to visit premises across the county borough to make sure they are taking all reasonable measures to minimise the spread of Covid-19.


Self-isolation period reduced

Welsh Government has confirmed that the period of time for people who need to self-isolate or quarantine was reduced from 14 days to 10 from Thursday 10 December. This will apply to those who have tested positive for Covid-19 or have had close contact with a person who has tested positive, and travellers returning from non-exempt countries. The new advice also applies to those with symptoms of Covid-19 who are waiting for a test result, or who have not been tested and do not require hospital treatment. You can check your symptoms on the NHS 111 Wales website.


Self-isolation payments extended

Welsh Government’s £500 self-isolation payment scheme is being extended to include parents and carers of children who have been asked to self-isolate. Local parents on low incomes who are unable to work because they are looking after children who cannot go to school or their normal childcare setting are able to claim financial support. Strict eligibility criteria applies, and full details can be found at the council’s website. The new form will be available on the website from Monday 14 December.


Budget consultation deadline this weekend

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.


Have your say on Bridgend town centre

Public consultation is underway on 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 major improvements over the next 10 years. The consultation is live until 1 March 2021 – for more information, visit the councils’ consultations webpage.


Homelessness services in Bridgend County Borough

A homelessness application can be made to the Housing Solutions team 24/7, 365 days a year. Residents are advised to get in touch if they think they are at risk of homelessness. The council will assess housing and support needs and advise about available options. Call 01656 643643 or visit for more details.


Digital Christmas is underway

Between now and the New year, the Digital Christmas Festival website and special app is featuring promotional offers, vouchers, a loyalty card scheme and more – for further details, visit the Digital Christmas website.


Free car parking this Christmas

Shoppers, visitors and traders across Bridgend County Borough can take advantage of free car parking this Christmas. In Bridgend, parking is 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 is 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 pandemic, the free parking will be available until Thursday 31 December and joins the free facilities already available at Maesteg and Pencoed.


Drive-in panto and festive films

A drive-in pantomime is on its way to Porthcawl to spread some festive cheer. 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.