Social distancing and alcohol warning
People waiting for takeaway food and drink are being urged to maintain social distancing and to not consume alcohol in Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) areas. PSPOs cover areas across the county including parts of Porthcawl, Bridgend town centre, Maesteg, Caerau and Pencoed. Drinking alcohol or carrying it in any open container in these areas is prohibited and failing to comply may mean arrest and a potential £1,000 fine. Notices have been placed in designated areas to remind people and officers from South Wales Police and the local authority will be conducting regular patrols.
Community testing under way
More than 100 people attended the first day of community testing at Kenfig Hill Rugby and Football Club on Wednesday. This included one resident who was unaware they were infected with Covid-19 and tested positive. Community testing is designed to identify people who are carrying coronavirus but have no symptoms and prevent them from unknowingly spreading the virus to their family, friends, neighbours, colleagues and more. The testing centre at Kenfig Hill is open until Tuesday 9 March for people aged 11 and over who live in the Cefn Cribwr, Pyle, Kenfig Hill and Cornelly areas and do not have symptoms. No booking is necessary and the walk-in centre is available between 9.30am-6.30pm Monday to Friday, and 10am-4pm on Saturdays and Sundays. For more information, visit the community testing webpage.
Community testing schedule
Community testing will move to Pencoed Social Club on Wednesday 10 March – Tuesday 16 March, Tondu Cricket Club on Wednesday 17 March – Tuesday 23 March, and a final location which is still being confirmed in Caerau on Wednesday 24 March – Wednesday 31 March. Visit the council’s website for more details.
Community testing in Evanstown and Gilfach Goch
Covid-19 community testing will be available this weekend at Gilfach Goch Day Centre for residents in Evanstown and Gilfach Goch who don’t have any symptoms. It is being run by Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council. The testing centre is at the day centre, 37-39 High Street, Gilfach Goch, CF39 8SS, from Saturday 6 March to Monday 8 March and then later in the month, from 15 March to 17 March. It is open from 9am to 7pm. Please visit the test centre before 6.30pm to get tested. For more information, visit www.rctcbc.gov.uk/masstesting.
Unpaid carers can now check their vaccine eligibility
Unpaid carers in Bridgend County Borough can now check if they are eligible for a Covid-19 vaccination, as part of priority group six, through an online form. Unpaid carers were put into group six under the latest guidance from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation. The guidance describes unpaid carers as: ‘Those who are eligible for a carer’s allowance, or those who are the sole or primary carer of an elderly or disabled person who is at increased risk of Covid-19 mortality and therefore clinically vulnerable. Those clinically vulnerable to Covid-19 include children with severe neuro-disabilities, those who are designated Clinically Extremely vulnerable, adults who have underlying health conditions and those who need care because of advanced age.’ Unpaid carers should fill in the vaccine eligibility form, and if the criteria is met, they will be sent an appointment letter, with the date and time of when they will have their first dose. The appointment will direct carers to a local vaccination centre where the vaccine will be administered. With the vaccinations only available at the centres, carers must complete the online form in order to receive an appointment. GP surgeries are not providing the vaccine to carers, so please avoid contacting them with enquiries. For more details or to fill in the form visit the Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board website.
Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board has revealed that more than 148,000 doses of coronavirus vaccine have been given out across the region. This is made up of 129,212 first doses and 18,805 second injections. In Bridgend County Borough, 43,356 vaccines have been administered. The health board aims to vaccinate everyone in priority groups 5 to 9, approximately 120,000 people, with at least their first dose by mid-April. It is asking care home residents and staff, people aged 70 and over, frontline health and social care workers, and the clinically extremely vulnerable who have not yet been invited for their vaccine to fill out a form at the Cwm Taf website so they can receive details of how to arrange an appointment. If you are unable to fill in the online form, call 01443 562264. This phone number is only for people in the top four priority groups who are yet to receive their first dose.
No limit to recycling for households
Residents are reminded that there is no limit to the amount of recycling they can put out for collection. All sorts of things can be recycled from plastic bottles, food tins and empty aerosol cans to cardboard, food waste, shampoo bottles and more. A two-bag waste rule has been in place for several years to reduce the amount of overall waste and encourage more recycling but there is no cap on the amount of recycling. Residents are thanked for their patience and understanding throughout the coronavirus pandemic and their continuing efforts to recycle their waste. For more information visit the council’s recycling webpage
Rail improvement works
Network Rail is carrying out improvement works on the Great Western main line this weekend, 6 and 7 March. Buses will replace trains between Port Talbot and Swansea for those taking essential journeys. London Paddington is also closed on Sunday 7 March as Network Rail upgrades the overhead electric lines to improve the reliability and performance of the railway. No trains will run to/from London Paddington, and most long-distance trains will terminate at Reading. For more details, visit the Great Western website.
Update on mobile coronavirus testing
Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board has confirmed the latest arrangements for mobile testing facilities for residents who have coronavirus symptoms. A drive-through mobile testing facility has opened today (Friday 5 March) at Bettws playing fields on Heol Richard Price (CF32 8SF). It is open daily from 9am until 5pm and booking is essential. The drive-through facility at the Halo Swimming Pool in Pyle closed yesterday (Thursday, 4 March). A walk-through testing facility remains at the Bowls Hall car park off Bridgend Life Centre (Angel Street, Bridgend CF31 4AH) from 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.
Business rates holiday extended
The rates holiday for the retail, leisure and hospitality sectors in Wales will be extended for a further 12 months, Welsh Government has announced. It will apply to businesses in those sectors with rateable values of up to £500,000, and charities, as well as charities and businesses in the leisure and hospitality sector with a rateable value of over £500,000. The relief package, in combination with the Small Business Rates Relief scheme will mean that more than 70,000 businesses across Wales will continue to pay no rates in 2021-22.
For more information, visit the council’s business rates webpage. Welsh Government has also confirmed that the Land Transaction Tax reduction period will be extended by a further three months to 30 June 2021.
Census letters on their way to residents
Census day is on March 21 and residents will soon receive a letter with an online code explaining how they can complete their form. Paper questionnaires will also be available if needed. Where it is safe to do so, local census support centres will be open to offer assistance for people who are not confident online, who don’t have a computer or need help completing on paper. The census, run by the Office for National Statistics, is a once-in-a-decade survey that gives the most accurate estimate of all the people and households in England and Wales. The results help to inform where billions of pounds of public funding is spent on services like transport, education and health. The census will include questions about your sex, age, work, health, education, household size and ethnicity. If your letter doesn’t arrive in the next couple of weeks, get in touch with the census contact centre on 0800 169 2021. For more information and advice about how to answer the questions and to find your nearest census support centre, visit census.gov.uk
More LGBT+ foster carers wanted
The council is once again supporting LGBT+ Adoption and Fostering Week 2021, which runs until Sunday 7 March. The campaign, led by UK charity New Family Social, works with adoption and fostering teams and LGBT+ people who are interested in exploring these routes to parenting. This year’s theme – ‘Build your family’ – aims to tackle some of the myths around adoption and fostering for LGBT+ people and is dedicated to explaining different parts of the assessment and approval process. To become an adopter or foster carer, you must be over the age of 21, have a spare room in your home, not have any cautions or convictions against children and have a commitment towards keeping children and young people safe. For further information, contact Bridgend Foster Care on 01656 642674 or visit: www.bridgend.gov.uk/fostering. For adoption enquiries, contact Western Bay Adoption Service on 0300 365 2222 or visit: www.westernbayadoption.org.
Active travel consultation
Residents are invited to have their say on proposed new active travel routes for pedestrians and cyclists. The first phase of the consultation was launched in December and more than 900 people responded, with 3,099 contributions received about barriers faced when walking and cycling for everyday journeys. The comments have been used to create draft route plans showing existing and proposed future active travel routes. A second phase consultation has now been launched to allow residents to have their say on whether the routes are more likely to help them get around their local areas as a pedestrian or cyclist, and to state what other improvements they would like to see. The consultation is available until Sunday 4 April. You can view the draft map and have your say at our active travel routes consultation webpage, and find out more about active travel at the council’s webpage.
Residents urged to check benefits
Welsh Government has launched the ‘Claim What’s Yours’ campaign to ensure residents are aware of any benefits they may be entitled to. According to recent research, thousands of people in Wales are believed to not be claiming the likes of pension credit, housing benefit, income support and disability benefits. If you are unsure what benefits you may be entitled to, Advicelink Cymru offers free and confidential advice on subjects such as welfare benefits, debt, employment, education, housing, immigration and discrimination. You can call them free on 0808 250 5700, Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm.
Free Instagram workshop for retailers
Town centre businesses in Bridgend County Borough can take part in a free Instagram webinar to help them market and showcase their products and services. The live online workshop, provided by the council and Bridgend Business Forum, will be held on Tuesday 30 March at 12.30pm and lasts two hours. The webinar follows the successful Digital Christmas Festival and feedback from retailers who said they would like social media channels used more to support their businesses and town centre. Booking is essential – email [email protected] for more details.