Bus services to increase
From Tuesday, September 1, First Cymru Buses Ltd are reinstating and increasing a number of bus services across the county borough. Services being reinstated include Service No. 64 (Bridgend to Talbot Green) and Service No. 71 (Bridgend to Cymmer), as well as the full route on Service No. 65 (Bridgend to Talbot Green, via Heol-y-Cyw). Meanwhile there will be an increase in frequency in services such as Service No. 63 (Bridgend to Porthcawl), Service No. 72 (Bridgend to Blaengarw), Service No. 74 (Bridgend to Nantymoel), Service No. 76 (Bridgend to Bettws) and Service No. X1 (Bridgend to Swansea). For full details of service frequency and timetables visit the First Cymru Bridgend, Maesteg and Porthcawl Services webpage
Number of mourners allowed at funerals to increase
From Tuesday, September 1, the number of mourners permitted to attend funeral services at Coychurch Crematorium and council-maintained cemeteries in the county borough will increase from 20 to 30. The council imposed restrictions on the number of mourners in line with guidelines across the UK at the end of March to prevent the spread of coronavirus between mourners, clergy, funeral directors and crematorium staff. Up to a total of 30 mourners will also be able to attend a graveside funeral service as long as social distancing measures are strictly observed throughout the open air ceremony.
Watersports Centre reopens
The Watersports Centre in Rest Bay, Porthcawl, which includes the surf school and café has reopened after repairs were undertaken to the roof, damaged during Storm Francis on Tuesday.
Charity grants totalling £680k issued
Almost 70 small charities within the retail, leisure and hospitality sector in Bridgend county borough have received a total of £680,000 between them from a Welsh Government business rates support grant to help them respond to the financial challenges of Covid-19. So far, the council has awarded a total of 68 grants of £10,000 each. The grant scheme is aimed at small charities which have properties within the retail, leisure and hospitality sector with a rateable value of £12,000 or less, including charity-run shops, sports premises and community centres. The scheme closed to new applications on June 30. Applications were restricted to a maximum of two properties within the county borough area, but were not available to organisations that had already received a £10,000 grant from the Economic Resilience Fund.
Give Blood at the Maesteg HALO Sports Centre
The Welsh Blood Service which relies entirely on voluntary donors to maintain supplies to Welsh hospitals needs to collect over 350 donations of blood every day. Anyone aged between 17 and 66, who weighs over 7st 12lbs (50kg), who is healthy and not subject to certain medical exclusions can volunteer to become a blood donor. You can give blood in Maesteg on Monday, September 7 and Tuesday, September 8 at Maesteg HALO Sports Centre where the Welsh Blood Service will be setting up a clinic. To book appointment visit the Welsh Blood Service website.
Care home indoor visits
The council is working closely with care homes as they finalise arrangements and contact families as more routine indoor visits are reintroduced. It follows a Welsh Government announcement they could resume if conditions continue to allow it. Visits to care homes were restricted by the government in March as a response to the coronavirus pandemic, helping to protect people living at the homes, staff and visitors. With many homes run by independent care providers, each home is set up very differently and arrangements are likely to be different across care homes so we encourage families and friends to speak to the homes directly for information on if, and how, visits will be managed.
Social distancing message
Ahead of the bank holiday weekend, please remember that while gatherings of up to 30 people are now permitted outdoors, you should continue to maintain physical and social distancing from people outside your household, or extended household if you have formed one. Younger children do not need to rigidly follow the advice to stay 2 metres apart when doing so. There are some very limited circumstances where gatherings of over 30 people are permitted. For example, supervised recreation for children is a legitimate purpose for gatherings of more than 30 people. This includes childcare provision and summer camps. For more details visit the Welsh Government’s frequently asked questions on coronavirus regulations.
Schools prepare to welcome pupils back
In September, the reopening of schools will be carried out in phases and will begin with the return of teachers and staff on 1 September. From 1-3 September schools will make the necessary preparations for pupils to return to school and no pupils will attend on these days. On Friday 4 September, priority year groups will start to return to school. Individual schools will directly advise parents/carers which pupils should attend on Friday 4 September and also between 7–9 September. All schools will be open as normal to all pupils from 10 September. To help prepare parents, carers, guardians and pupils as they return to school, a set of frequently asked questions have been published on the council website covering information ranging from uniforms and school dinners to transport and health and safety. To access the frequently asked questions visit the council website.
Site investigation work in Brackla
Investigation work is being undertaken into a site at Brackla Hill with a view to the relocation and extension of a Welsh-medium primary school. The site investigation on council-owned land off Brackla Way is part of an ongoing feasibility study into whether Ysgol Gymraeg Bro Ogwr could be relocated from its existing location in Princess Way, Brackla, to the new site and extended. Once the feasibility study is complete, a report will go before cabinet which will then be considered before any further decision is taken.
A step-down facility which opened in a former care home in Brynmenyn to support the safe care of older adults during the coronavirus pandemic has now closed with the last patient leaving on August 26. Abergarw Manor which is owned by the Caron Group was refurbished to provide a number of additional beds to support the Princess of Wales Hospital during the peak of the pandemic. The facility was run as a partnership between Bridgend County Borough Council, Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board and third sector services such as Age Connect. It benefitted from community support and received a significant number of donations when it opened.
Free parking to continue
Council-maintained town centre car parks will be free to use for another month, now continuing throughout September. In Bridgend town centre, it is available at the Rhiw and Brackla Street multi storeys as well as the open air car park behind Wilkinsons. In Porthcawl, it is available at the Hillsboro and John Street car parks. Furthermore, from October 1 until March 31, the first three hours will then be free in the Rhiw car park in Bridgend. And in John Street car park, Porthcawl, parking will be free between midday and 3pm from October 1 until March 31.
Free school meal food parcels extension
Food parcels for pupils eligible for free school meals will continue to be delivered up until September 4 due to the phased return of pupils to school. Due to the bank holiday on Monday August 31 deliveries will be taking place one day later than normal for all areas. The food parcels which started at the end of April replaced the packed lunch provision that was put in place when schools closed in March. Around 5,000 food parcels are delivered each week to homes across the county borough. They include a variety of fresh fruit and vegetables, pasta, sauces and tinned food.
Bank Holiday waste and recycling collections changes
Due to the bank holiday, there will be no waste and recycling collections on Monday 31 August. Collections will be one day later until Saturday 5 September. With more people at home due to the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic, please support the crews by making sure that cars are parked with enough room for collection vehicles to get through.
Last chance for ‘Eat Out’ scheme
The last day of the national ‘Eat Out To Help Out’ scheme will be 31 August. Designed to provide heavy discounts on food and non-alcoholic drinks, the offer applies to all food and non-alcoholic drinks which are consumed on the premises on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. The scheme aims to support restaurants, pubs and cafes by offering up to 50 percent off the cost of a meal and features a maximum discount per person of £10. To support the scheme, a restaurant finder has been launched at the Gov.uk website which uses a postcode locater to list all of the participating businesses within five miles of an address. For more information, visit the Eat Out to Help Out page at Gov.uk
Helping to keep people safe
If you suspect that a friend, family member or neighbour is at risk of abuse, don’t delay – call the council’s safeguarding team on 01656 642477 for adults and 01656 642320 for children. You can also call 01443 743665 if out-of-hours, and if you suspect a person is at immediate risk of harm, call 999. Find out more about emergency support at the council’s website.
Contacting the council
The Customer Service Centre at the Civic Offices in Angel Street, Bridgend remains closed to the public. Residents are asked to use the online My Account and Oggie webchat facilities, or to email email@example.com or call 01656 643643.