Shielding scheme to end
Welsh Government has confirmed that the shielding scheme which has covered 130,000 vulnerable people in Wales during the pandemic will officially end on 16 August. In Bridgend County Borough, the shielding scheme has contacted and supported more than 6,000 people, 400 of whom have also received a Welsh Government food parcel. In coming weeks, council staff will be contacting the most vulnerable people in the scheme to provide information and advice on where to go for support, if required, in the future.
Last day for emergency childcare support
Today (17 July) marks the final day of the emergency childcare which has been provided over the last three months to ensure key workers can continue to attend their jobs and keep vital services running. Provision for children aged up to four who are not in full-time school will continue to be provided until 17 August via the summer holiday coronavirus childcare assistance scheme, and work is also underway to support summer break provision for vulnerable children. The council and its partners would like to thank everyone who has supported the provision of emergency childcare for key workers during the pandemic.
Community centres can plan to reopen
Welsh Government has confirmed that from 20 July, community centres across Wales can start planning to reopen for emergency use or essential functions as long as they can meet safety requirements in relation to both the environment and proposed activities. In Bridgend County Borough, the council is working closely with the Bridgend Association of Voluntary Organisations to help make relevant groups and users aware of these new responsibilities – more information will be available soon.
Keeping shoppers and businesses safe
The council is liaising closely with businesses in Talbot Street, Maesteg over temporary changes where barriers and street markings have been trialled to help keep people safe and shops open. Following feedback from traders and after monitoring the situation closely, the council is amending the layout, introducing new signage and removing the barriers, which will also make more parking spaces available. Following this pilot scheme, the temporary changes will now be introduced at other key locations in the county borough to help keep people safe and shops open for business.
Further changes at recycling centres
In line with latest pandemic advice, Kier and the council have agreed new changes at community recycling centres to help improve waiting times and make it easier for residents to dispose of waste. From 18 July, up to two people will be able to get out of a vehicle once it has accessed the site to dispose of waste and recycling. At the Tythegston site, the maximum number of vehicles allowed access at any one time will increase to four. Please note that waste should still be pre-sorted, and that some queuing will still be necessary.
Don’t forget that you can check which foodbanks are open and how they can be accessed by visiting the Bridgend Foodbank website or checking their social media pages.
Support for older people
Bridgend County Care and Repair is continuing to offer a free ‘helping hand’ service for older people while they are self-isolating and unable to pick up food, medicine and other essential items. To find out more, call 01656 646755 or visit www.careandrepair.org.uk
Apply for share of £4m Be Active fund
Sport Wales is inviting clubs to apply for grants of between £300 and £50,000 to support ongoing costs and encourage greater participation, growth and improvement. The new initiative is in addition to the council’s own Bridgend Sports Support Fund, which is providing clubs with grants of up to £1,000, and the recent decision to waive fees for the 2019-20 season. The council is also providing clubs that are developing asset transfers with additional support such as pitch, green and wicket surveys, drainage improvements, capital grants to purchase maintenance equipment for green spaces and more. Full details about the Be Active Wales Fund is available at www.sport.wales/beactivewalesfund
New format for daily updates
As lockdown conditions around the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic continue to ease, the daily news update provided by Bridgend County Borough Council is moving to a bi-weekly format. Starting next week, updates will be published on Wednesdays and Fridays until further notice. We hope you have found the daily updates useful while the pandemic has been in full effect.