More coronavirus restrictions relaxed
Welsh Government has confirmed further changes to coronavirus restrictions in Wales. From Monday 3 May, gyms, fitness facilities, leisure centres, spas and swimming pools can reopen, and two households will also be able to form bubbles and have contact indoors. Organised children’s indoor activities such as parent and baby/toddler groups can recommence along with sporting, cultural and wider recreational groups and clubs. Organised indoor activities for adults can also restart for up to 15 people, including exercise classes and swimming lessons, and community centres can reopen. Please note that children’s birthday parties and wider gatherings of families and friends in private homes are still not allowed.
Leisure centres set to reopen
Halo-run leisure centres in Bridgend County Borough are preparing to reopen next week. With public swimming, gym facilities and indoor group exercises available for adults from Monday 3 May, gymnastics and swimming lessons for children will restart on the week commencing 10 May. However, please note that the pool at Bridgend Life Centre is currently closed for the next few weeks to enable a refurbishment of the changing rooms. All sessions must be pre-booked and as part of the measures, people are asked to bring a mask or face covering with them to the centre which must be worn in reception and around the building, but not during exercise. People should also arrive already dressed for their chosen activity, with swimming or training kits worn under clothing. Halo staff will be carrying out regular cleaning and disinfection regimes throughout the day and between sessions, and users are also asked to clean each piece of equipment before and after use. For more details or to make a booking, visit the Halo website.
Bank Holiday recycling and waste collections
With no recycling or waste collections on Monday 3 May, collections will be one day later than usual up until Saturday 8 May. Seasonal garden waste recycling collections are available, while community recycling centres have reverted to summer opening hours (8.30am-7pm Monday to Friday, 8:30am-5pm on weekends). Please be aware that gates may shut up to twenty minutes early to accommodate cars that are already on site.
Extra temporary toilets for Porthcawl
The council is working with Porthcawl Town Council to help provide temporary additional toilet facilities. With many cafes, pubs and restaurants not fully open yet due to Welsh Government coronavirus restrictions, a reduced number of toilets are available under the local authority’s comfort scheme. Temporary toilets are now available at Griffin Park Community Centre as well as the sports pavilion at Rest Bay Playing Fields with both facilities open 10am-4pm, seven days a week. From this weekend, the Hi-Tide Inn in Mackworth Road will also open its toilets to residents and visitors. These facilities are likely to only be open for a few weeks as further restrictions are eased. Further temporary toilets, including disabled facilities, are being planned and will be in place until the end of June. Meanwhile, public toilets with disabled access remain available at John Street and the Rest Bay Watersports Centre.
Could you be a Welcome steward?
There’s still time to apply for a special role this summer. As part of its support for the post-pandemic visitor economy, the council is recruiting people who can act as visitor stewards to welcome people to Porthcawl and local town centres. The role will involve offering advice and information on nearby attractions and amenities, and answering questions on public transport, car parking, beach safety, public toilets and more. Applicants should be willing to work weekends and outdoors in various locations across the county borough. Further details are available at the jobs page on the council website. The closing date is Tuesday 4 May and applicants will be shortlisted on Monday 10 May.
112,000 residents receive vaccinations
More than 112,000 residents have now received vaccinations against Covid-19 as work continues to target adults aged 40-49 within priority group 10. Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board has confirmed that appointment letters have been issued to all people within this age group, and that the age range for people who wish to apply to receive reserve vaccinations at short notice has also been extended to cover residents who are 25 and over. The offer is available to residents who can attend an appointment within an hour’s notice, and ensures that leftover vaccinations do not go to waste due to no-shows and cancelations. A form has been made available at the Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board website which people can fill in to be added to a reserve list.
Rescheduling a vaccination appointment
To ensure that Covid-19 vaccines are not wasted because of people not turning up, the Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board website now enables you to reschedule or cancel an appointment online – please visit the health board website to find out more.
Latest mobile testing arrangements
Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board has confirmed that the drive-through mobile testing facility for residents who have symptoms of Covid-19 will remain in Pyle until Sunday 2 May before moving to Maesteg. Testing is currently available at the Halo Swimming Pool on Marshfield Avenue (CF33 6RP) from 9am-5pm. From Monday 3 May, the facility will reopen in Maesteg at the site of the former Revlon / Cosi factory off Oakwood Drive (CF34 8TS) between 9am-5pm. Booking for both sites is essential – visit the Welsh Government website or call 119. If you have hearing or speech difficulties, call 18001119.
The walk-through testing facility at the Bowls Hall car park of Bridgend Life Centre (CF31 4AH) is also available daily between 2pm-8pm for people with symptoms of Covid-19. Anyone displaying a persistent dry cough, high temperature or change in their sense of taste of smell should self-isolate and arrange to have a test as soon as possible. An online symptoms checker is available at the NHS 111 Wales website, and booking for the facility is also essential.
Ordering Covid-19 tests online
Volunteers and residents who are unable to work from home can order a free lateral flow self-test kit to be delivered directly to them. Self-tests are also available to collect from the Bowls Centre Car Park in Bridgend between 8am-1pm, seven days a week, with no appointment necessary. Each person can collect or receive up to 14 kits for twice-weekly testing, with each result recorded on the UK Government portal. For more information or to order a test kit, visit Welsh Government’s lateral flow Covid-19 testing webpage
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 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.
Last chance for social services review
A survey is enabling residents who have requested social services advice or assistance to share their experiences. Care Inspectorate Wales (CIW) is checking how well the service supports adults, carers, children and families. To take part, visit CIW’s assurance survey before the end of today (Friday 30 April).
Rent discounts to continue
The council has extended its concessionary rent scheme for market traders and occupiers of small industrial units until 31 May 2021. The 50 per cent discount forms part of a phased series of concessionary rent rates originally introduced to support small and medium-sized businesses as they reopened following the initial pandemic lockdown. Having already received a 75 per cent reduction in August and a 50 per cent reduction in September, traders were set to benefit from a 25 per cent reduction in October. Instead, the council agreed to extend the 50 per cent reduction, and to regularly review it throughout the remainder of the pandemic. It will be reviewed again at the end of May.
Grand Pavilion to showcase local artists
Between May and August 2021, several local artists will have their work displayed at the Grand Pavilion in Porthcawl as part of an ongoing Promenade Poster Exhibition. Awen Cultural Trust is offering artists the chance to have their work displayed in the seafront building’s windows and external poster boards. The Promenade Poster Exhibitions project, which is supported by Arts Council Wales, has received submissions from both emerging and established freelance artists in Wales – visit the Grand Pavilion in Porthcawl to view their work.
Virtual library tours
Awen Cultural Trust has launched a new 360° virtual tour of local libraries to reassure customers that it is safe to return. The interactive tour, which features Aberkenfig, Betws, Bridgend, Maesteg, Pencoed, Porthcawl, Pyle and Sarn libraries and the Books on Wheels home delivery service, is available to access from the new Awen Libraries website. It enables users to travel through each of the library spaces by touching the screen of their digital device or using the arrow keys on a computer keyboard. There are videos embedded into each of the tours to give more information on topics such as how to download e-books, how to carry out family and local history research, where to book IT and study spaces, how to use self-service machines and more. To take the tour, visit www.awen-libraries.com