Latest news from Bridgend County Borough – 16 April

Support for town centre retailers

Bridgend County Borough Council is offering a range of measures to support businesses and help keep shoppers safe as retailers reopen. On Monday, the latest easing of Covid-19 pandemic restrictions came into force, which led to a marked increase in footfall in town centres. A total of 15,327 people visited Bridgend town centre on Monday April 12, a 325.6% increase from the previous Monday. In Maesteg, there was a rise of 183.2% to 2,911 and visitors to Porthcawl rose by 13% to 8,120. To support the reopening of non-essential retail, the council has been working with chambers of trade to distribute hand sanitiser to businesses. Social distance markers and signage are on display and shops have been told how to download posters to help customers understand the rules in place. To mark the reopening, colourful bunting has gone up in Bridgend, Maesteg and Porthcawl.

Vaccine reserve list extended

Residents of Bridgend County Borough aged between 35 and 39 can now apply to receive a Covid-19 vaccination at short notice. The offer, which is available to people who can attend an appointment within an hour, has been set up to ensure vaccinations do not go to waste. A form is available at the Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board website which people can fill in to be added to the list. The move will not affect vaccines for residents in priority groups one to nine, with the health board confident everyone in these groups will have been offered at least one dose by the end of this week. To date, more than 89,000 Bridgend County Borough residents have received a vaccination.

 Reschedule your vaccine appointment online

Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board has launched a webpage for residents to reschedule or cancel their vaccination appointment. It has been created following feedback from people who said it could sometimes be difficult to get through on the phone. Residents are encouraged to do all they can to make their appointment but if you are unable to, please let the health board know so it can be offered to someone else and ensure no vaccine is wasted. To change your appointment, visit the health board’s website.                                                                                                                  

Covid-19 tests for people unable to work from home

Free rapid Covid-19 self-testing kits are being offered to people who can’t work from home and their households. The twice-weekly asymptomatic tests are available to collect from the Bowls Centre car park in Bridgend between 8am and 1pm, seven days a week. No appointment is needed. After collecting the tests, people need to take the test home to use it, they’re not done at the test centre. Lateral flow tests are currently offered to NHS and social care workers, teachers and childcare providers, learners from Years 7 and above, and workplaces with 10 or more employees registered under the workplace testing programme, and they should continue to access their tests as they do now. Every afternoon the Bowls Centre Car Park site will close at 1pm for a deep clean and then re-open for symptomatic PCR testing between 2pm and 8pm each day. The tests are easy to use and can give results in 30 minutes.

Competition inspires youngsters to get active

More than 1,200 young people across the county borough laced up their trainers last month to take part in a ‘mile a day’ challenge organised by Bridgend’s Young Ambassadors. The Young Ambassadors programme sees secondary school pupils working with Bridgend County Borough Council’s Active Young People’s department to promote sport and physical activity to support their health and wellbeing. To encourage children aged three to 18 to get out during lockdown, the Young Ambassadors challenged them to walk or run a mile every day in March. More than 1,200 young people signed up with the chance to enter a prize draw for an Apple watch or a bike. The overall winners were Phoebe Liana Jones, Tomos Norbury, Dan Grandl and Alexander Hodge, and all participants received a certificate. Eight Young Ambassadors oversaw the whole process, setting up a website and social media channels, and secured sponsorship from local business KKSolutions.

Anyone can attend community testing

Anyone who is aged 11+, does not have Covid-19 symptoms and who is not self-isolating can take advantage of free community testing facilities in Bridgend County Borough. Testing is currently taking place at the Evergreen Hall in Angel Street, Bridgend (CF31 4AD) until Tuesday 20 April. The walk-in centre is available between 9.30am-6.30pm Monday to Friday, and 10am-4pm on Saturdays and Sundays. So far, the second phase of community testing has seen around 100 people tested without any positive Covid-19 results. Because it is possible for people who have been vaccinated to still carry the virus, the testing includes residents who may have already undergone a test or who have received a dose of the vaccine. For more information, visit the council’s community testing page.

Mobile coronavirus testing

Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board’s mobile testing facility for residents with coronavirus symptoms is available at the Halo Swimming Pool on Marshfield Avenue in Pyle (CF33 6RP) for drive-through appointments between 9am-5pm. Booking is essential and can be arranged by visiting the Welsh Government website or calling 119. People with hearing or speech difficulties can call 18001119. A walk-through testing facility is available between 2pm-8pm at the Bowls Hall car park off Bridgend Life Centre (CF31 4AH). Booking for this facility is also essential.

Graduate programme launched

Bridgend County Borough Council’s new graduate programme is now open for applications. The two-year programme starts in September and will see two graduates appointed to roles in digital transformation and planning. The successful candidates will gain a broad set of skills, experiences and attributes by undertaking placements in key areas while working with a senior manager as their mentor and gaining a Project Management Level 4 qualification. The programme aims to attract high-calibre graduates with the potential to develop into future senior managers in local government. They will be offered the opportunity to play a key role either in our digital transformation programme, being able to implement improvements across the council, or the planning service which includes development management, transportation, regeneration and economic development. Both roles will provide on the job training and support, and a competitive salary. Visit the council’s website for more details about the vacancies. The closing date for applications is 17 May.

Vote registration deadline

The deadline to apply to vote in the Senedd and Police and Crime Commissioner elections, and the local authority by-election in Nantymoel on 6 May is approaching. You must register by 11.59pm on Monday 19 April 2021 to be able to cast your ballot. You can register at If you are already registered and want to vote by post, you must submit a postal vote application form to your local Electoral Registration Office before 5pm on Tuesday 20 April. Application forms need to be sent to Electoral Registration Officer, Bridgend County Borough Council, Electoral Services, Chief Executive’s Directorate, Civic Offices, Angel Street, CF31 4WB. You can download an application form at Young people aged 14 and 15 are now able to register to vote and 16 and 17-year-olds can now vote in Welsh Parliament (Senedd) elections. Teenagers can find out everything they need to know about registering and voting on the Electoral Commission website.

Free town centre parking

To support traders, free parking will remain available until the end of May at two council-maintained town centre car parks. During the pandemic, drivers have been able to park for free for the first three hours at the Rhiw multi-storey car park in Bridgend, and between noon and 3pm at John Street in Porthcawl. This will now continue until May 31. Free parking is also available at the Llynfi Road multi-storey in Maesteg and both the Penprysg Road car park and Heol Y Groes car park in Pencoed.

Environmental action plan consultation

Residents who visit or live/work in the Upper Garw Valley can help shape an environmental action plan for the area. The plan, which is a joint project between the council’s Rural Development Team and Garw Valley Community Council, will broadly cover the area between Blaengarw and upper Pontycymer. It aims to make the most of the natural assets that already exist, make improvements where they are needed and showcase the area as a visitor destination. The consultation is open until Monday 26 April – visit the Upper Garw Valley Environmental Action Plan survey webpage to take part. An online workshop is also being held on Monday 26 April if you would like to discuss your views further. To join it, email [email protected].


Social services review

Residents who have requested social services advice or assistance from Bridgend County Borough Council are being encouraged to take part in a survey to share their experiences. Care Inspectorate Wales (CIW) is carrying out an assurance check to review how well the service continues to help adults, carers, children and families, and its plans for the future. It will focus on how well the council delivers services and supports people to keep themselves safe and promote their own well-being. Inspectors are not checking up on residents and participants do not have to share any personal information. The findings will be shared with the council to help shape any improvements that are needed. Visit CIW’s assurance survey to take part before the 30 April deadline.