As the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic continues, Bridgend County Borough Council is continuing to focus its resources on providing essential services and protecting vulnerable residents. These are the latest developments:

Emergency childcare for key workers

A limited amount of emergency childcare for key workers will be available over the weekend of Saturday 28 March and Sunday 29 March, during the school week starting Monday 30 March, and over the Easter break between Saturday 4 April and Sunday 19 April (inclusive). Emergency childcare is available to key workers for the ​National Health Service, emergency services, childcare and social care workers. All eligible key worker parents, including those who have applied previously, must apply (even if they have previously applied) for this latest round of provision. The council continues to advise parents to keep their children at home unless absolutely necessary.

Garden waste collections

The garden waste collection service has temporarily ceased after the composting contractor confirmed it is unable to process local authority garden waste during the outbreak. The service has been temporarily postponed and will be reviewed as the outbreak develops in the hope that it can be restarted. Any resident wishing to receive a full refund in the meantime will be able to do so.

PPE appeal

The council is asking firms across Bridgend County Borough to give their unwanted personal protective equipment (PPE) to help social care and school staff who are providing emergency childcare during the outbreak. Masks, nitrile blue gloves and plastic aprons are in short supply and urgently needed by frontline staff. Anyone who can help is asked to contact the council by emailing Covid19@bridgend.gov.uk

Cemeteries and Coychurch Crematorium

Council-run cemeteries are open, but graveside funerals have been restricted to a maximum of 10 close family members in order to reduce the risk of exposure. Similar arrangements are also in place at Coychurch Crematorium.

Volunteers wanted

People who are interested in volunteering to help during the Covid-19 outbreak can do so by contacting the Bridgend Association of Voluntary Organisations (BAVO) where they will be matched to a role according to their skills, interests and experience. Free training will be provided along with DBS checks where necessary – visit the BAVO website for more information

Social care opportunities

More people are being sought to help support the county borough’s most vulnerable residents. A number of employment opportunities are available, and anyone who has previously worked in social care or who has transferable skills is invited to apply. A fast-tracked application process and rapid refresher training course are available. To apply or find out more, contact the recruitment team on 01656 643205 or email recruitment@bridgend.gov.uk

Local markets

All stalls at Bridgend Indoor Market have now closed. At Maesteg Market, Andrew Garner Butchers and Carmarthenshire Dairy Foods are currently open, but are reviewing the situation daily. To support stallholders and other small and medium-sized enterprises in the county borough, the council is continuing to provide a rent-free period for the next three months.

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 talktous@bridgend.gov.uk or call 01656 643643.

Support for businesses

Welsh Government has published details of its support package for businesses listed on the business rates register. It includes a year-long business rates holiday for retail, leisure and hospitality businesses in Wales with a rateable value under £500,000, grants of £25,000 for businesses in these sectors with a rateable value of between £12,001 and £51,000, a £10,000 grant to all businesses with a rateable value of £12,000 or less who are eligible for Small Business Rates Relief, and more. For further details or to make an application, use the online form at the council website.

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