Covid-19 update from Bridgend County Borough – 7 July 2019

Ineos cite pandemic link

Car manufacturer Ineos Automotive has stated that delays caused by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic in the company’s plans for developing a Bridgend production facility has enabled it to consider an alternative site which recently become available in France. Bridgend County Borough Council has expressed its disappointment and concern at the announcement, and has urged Welsh Government and UK Government to confirm what action they will be taking to encourage new investment, create new employment, safeguard existing jobs and ensure the long-term economic well-being of the county borough. The council has also urged Ineos to demonstrate their support as a British firm by backing British workers and continuing to progress the plans for developing a new facility at Bridgend.

Rent-free extension for traders

Traders who have not had to pay to use premises owned by Bridgend County Borough Council for the last three months are set to benefit from an extra month of free rent. While the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic has been in effect, the local authority has not charged small or medium-sized enterprises for renting council premises such as stalls at Bridgend Indoor Market or Maesteg Outdoor Market, industrial starter units and more. The rent-free period represents an additional business support package from the council of more than £200,000 and follows the free parking which is currently available at many car parks, financial support grants of more than £28m, free start-back training, free ‘sneeze-guard’ equipment and more. Further transitional phases will now be considered as businesses begin to reopen.

Shop local, shop safe

Residents are being reminded to look out for window stickers and certificates indicating that businesses have completed free online training on how to keep their customers safe from exposure to the coronavirus. With around 300 businesses taking part, participating traders are displaying certificates and window-stickers to demonstrate that they have completed the training, and are promoting the fact on social media using the tags #ShopLocal, #ShopSafe.


Emergency support grants for carers

Emergency grants of up to £300 are available to support eligible carers aged 16 and over who provide unpaid care for a friend or family member in Bridgend County Borough. The grant helps to cover costs incurred as a result of the ongoing Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic for things like purchasing food and essential household items, carrying out emergency home repairs that cannot wait for lockdown restrictions to be lifted, paying for transport costs on essential journeys, or buying a laptop, tablet, software, mobile phone, data allowance and more. The deadline for applications is by midday on Thursday 9 July and you can apply online at the Carers Trust South East Wales website.


Love it, don’t trash it

Council workers have been taking advantage of quieter streets during lockdown to erect new signs designed by local children as part of the ‘Love it, Don’t Trash It!’ campaign. The signs have been designed by Mynydd Cynffig Primary pupil Mazie-May following a 12-week project in Cornelly, Pyle, Kenfig Hill and Cefn Cribwr. Mazie-May’s design, which features the slogan ‘stop dropping, start picking’, has been placed on signage fixed to lamp posts and bins throughout the area, and will also feature on a flyer which is being delivered to local households. The campaign – a joint collaboration between the council, Keep Wales Tidy, SeaQuest and the Corneli, Cefn Cribwr and Pyle community councils – has previously targeted schools in Porthcawl, and is now moving on to Brackla with plans in place to target schools in the Ogmore Valley next year.


Helping young people during the pandemic

A free service is enabling young people in Bridgend County Borough to chat online with the council’s youth support team during the pandemic. Children, teenagers and young adults aged 11–25 who live locally can use the service to access help with issues ranging from housing and advice on work-related training to one-to-one emotional wellbeing sessions or even if they are just feeling lonely and bored. You can access the service and find out more about how the council is supporting young people at the Bridgend Youth Support pages of the council’s website.