Temporary closures for vaccination centres
Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board has confirmed a two-week closure for all of its Covid-19 vaccination centres, including the one in Bridgend County Borough, due to anticipated supply issues. The move, which will coincide with the health board achieving its aim of vaccinating everyone in the top four priority groups, will allow centres to be prepared for phase two of the programme while residents continue to receive the vaccine via GP surgeries and mobile vaccination teams. The health board has also confirmed an additional vaccination centre will be established at Maesteg Sports Centre to join the existing facility at the Ravens Court building in Bridgend. Latest statistics show that all care home residents, 90% of people aged 80 and over, 87% of people aged 75 and over, 85% of all care home workers, 83% aged 70 and over, 82% of health care workers, 76% of social care workers, and 57% of high-risk adults aged under 70 have received a dose of the coronavirus vaccine.
Advice for people in priority vaccination groups
Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board is asking people in one of the top four priority vaccination groups who are yet to receive an appointment to contact them. Care home residents and staff, people aged 80 and over, frontline health and social care workers, people aged 75 and over, and people who are aged 70 and over and clinically extremely vulnerable can make sure they do not miss out on their vaccinations by filling in an online form at the Cwm Taf website. This asks people to identify which priority group they belong to, and to submit contact information so they can receive details of how to arrange an appointment. Please remember that the vaccine is free – remain alert for scammers, and report any suspicious behaviour.
We’re getting ready for Census 2021 in March
Households across Bridgend County Borough will soon be asked to take part in Census 2021. The census is a once-in-a-decade survey run by the Office for National Statistics which provides a snapshot of modern society, and gives the most accurate estimate of all the people and households in Wales. Census 2021 will be the first run predominantly online, with households receiving a letter with a unique access code, allowing you to complete the questionnaire on your computers, phones or tablets. Information from the census will help decide how services such as doctors’ surgeries, schools and transport routes are planned and funded in the local area. Census day will be on 21 March, but households will soon receive letters with online codes explaining how they can take part. The census will include questions about your sex, age, work, health, education, household size and ethnicity. Paper questionnaires will be available on request – find out more at the Census 2021 website.
Council removes offensive graffiti
Swift action has been taken to remove offensive graffiti which appeared on a wall in Sarn. The wall was daubed with a message saying ‘Thank you NHS and key workers’, but was altered to feature an offensive swear word. Residents were quick to inform the council and the Cleaner Streets team removed the offending phrase. The wall has now been painted over, and the council is speaking to local organisations to see if a new tribute can be placed there.
Free parking available in town centres
Free parking is still available at two council-maintained car parks to support essential traders. Running until the end of March, the first three hours of parking are free for those using the Rhiw multi-storey car park in Bridgend while at the John Street car park in Porthcawl, free parking is offered between noon and 3pm. Free parking is also available at the Llynfi Road multi-storey in Maesteg and the Penprysg Road car park in Pencoed. The council is also developing plans to encourage the safe return of shoppers to town centres when restrictions are eased and all businesses are allowed to reopen. For more information, visit the council’s car parks webpage.
The SME Brexit Support Fund
The UK Government has announced a £20 million SME Brexit Support Fund to help small and medium-sized businesses with changes to trade rules with the EU. The fund could help businesses new to importing or exporting with training or professional advice. For more information visit the UK Government website.
Improvement works at Heol Mostyn junction
Roadworks will be carried out at the Heol Mostyn junction of the A48 to improve access to the Village Farm Industrial Estate in Pyle, where a new community recycling centre is being built. Bridgend County Borough Council is in the process of appointing a contractor for the project, with construction work planned to start in March or April and completion anticipated in summer 2021. The works include resurfacing the carriageway, created a dedicated lane for turning into and out of Heol Mostyn, and a new traffic island and traffic signals. The highways improvements are an important part of the plans for the new community recycling centre and are designed to ease congestion and improve the flow of traffic. The new centre will be more modern, easier to access and have more vehicle capacity and bypass lanes to allow better movement on site. There will be 24 bays and on-site queuing capacity for up to 72 cars at a time.
Additional support for cultural freelancers
Freelancers who have already received funding from Welsh Government’s Cultural Recovery Fund will receive an additional £2,500 to support them through this extended period of coronavirus restrictions. In total, the Cultural Recovery Fund has provided £63m to help sustain the arts and creative sector. Freelancers who have previously received support will receive a self-declaration letter, which they will need to respond to for the funding to be released. The fund is not be open to new applications but anyone who missed out on funding originally can apply for the Local Discretionary Grant. More details are available on the Business Wales website.
Pupils in virtual race to Six Nations stadiums
Pupils and staff at Coleg Cymunedol y Dderwen (CCYD) and Bryntirion Comprehensive are going head to head with three other South Wales schools in a virtual race to the Six Nations stadiums. Years 7 and 8, as well as school staff, are competing in the Race to the Stadiums competition. They are clocking up kilometres by running, walking, cycling, rowing, and even skateboarding and scootering, with the aim of covering the distance between the Principality Stadium and the other five venues by the start of the February half term break. So far at Bryntirion, 45 Year 7 pupils, 35 Year 8 pupils and 60 staff have taken part and as of Monday 8 February had recorded 2,522km, taking them to the Aviva Stadium in Dublin, Murrayfield in Edinburgh, Twickenham in London and the Stade de France in Paris with just Stadio Olimpico in Rome left to reach. At CCYD, 50 staff, 90 Year 7 and 75 Year 8 pupils are taking part and had covered 2,022km by Monday, meaning they’ve also reached the Stade de France.
Mobile coronavirus testing unit update
Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board’s drive-through mobile testing facility will remain at the Halo Swimming Pool on Marshfield Avenue in Pyle (CF33 6RP) until Thursday 18 February. It is open daily from 9am-4pm and booking is essential. A walk-through testing facility remains in place at the Bowls Hall car park off Bridgend Life Centre in Angel Street, Bridgend (CF31 4AH). The facility is available 8am-8pm, seven days a week, and booking is also essential. To arrange an appointment, visit the Welsh Government website or call 119. People with hearing or speech difficulties can book an appointment by calling 18001119.
Young carers consultation
Young carers are invited to share their views about Bridgend County Borough Council’s Young Carers ID card at an online event. The consultation, which will last for about an hour and a half, will ask young carers for their opinions, which will help inform improvements to the scheme. Support will be provided by the Young Carers and Young Adult Carer support projects during the meetings. Those who take part will receive a voucher to spend on themselves and their family. If you would like to take part, phone Kathy Proudfoot on 01656 643228 or email [email protected]
Council celebrates LGBTQ+ History Month
Bridgend County Borough Council is working alongside other local authorities under the ‘Proud Councils’ banner to promote equality and celebrate diversity within local communities. The scheme brings together local authorities across South Wales in a visible and unified way to demonstrate support, promote equality and reassure LGBTQ+ communities that we are committed towards equality, opportunity and inclusion. Visit the council’s website for a look at how LGBTQ+ History Month is being marked in Bridgend County Borough.
Rest Bay car park closed
The car park at Rest Bay in Porthcawl is closed after a rise in the number of people driving to the coast to go for a walk or undertake exercise. Alert level four restrictions are still in place across Wales and spot checks underway by South Wales Police, the Rest Bay car park joins similar closures at Bedford Park and the privately-owned Newton Beach car park. People are reminded that all exercise should begin and end at the doorstep, and should not involve driving to another location. Other council-maintained car parks will remain open but will be monitored for compliance.
Free PPE for taxi drivers
Taxi and private hire vehicle drivers in Bridgend County Borough are being offered free PPE to help keep them safe against the spread of Covid-19. The scheme provides licensed drivers with six months’ worth of cleaning and hygiene products. The packs are worth more than £73 each, including free postage, and are designed to ensure vehicles are as safe as possible for both drivers and passengers. To find out more and apply to the scheme, visit the We Are Lyreco website by 5 March 2021.
New information for EU travellers
Now that the UK has left the EU, new rules apply for those travelling for essential purposes or planning a trip after Covid-19 restrictions are lifted, there are new rules in place. If you’re travelling with goods for your own use, you can now declare them online. For more information, visit the UK Government’s webpage. New rules also apply to bringing commercial goods under £1,500 into the UK and travelling to or from the UK with £/€10,000 or more in cash.
Support for young people during lockdown
Youth workers from Bridgend County Borough Council are available to provide expert advice and support for young people aged 11-25. The WhatsUpp Bridgend Youth Support Scheme can help you with school work, housing issues, well-being, family worries and more, and is also available if you are just feeling lonely or bored during lockdown – find out more at the council website.