Spot lockdown checks
Spot checks are being carried out on premises throughout Bridgend County Borough to ensure that pandemic regulations are being met. Working alongside South Wales Police and the Health and Safety Executive, officers from the Shared Regulatory Service are offering advice in the first instance, with further enforcement carried out where necessary. To date, one fixed penalty notice has been issued to a single business for failing to comply with closure requirements in accordance with the Health Protection (Coronavirus) (Wales) Regulations 2020.
Reporting coronavirus concerns
The council has issued a reminder on what people can do when lockdown requirements are not being met. Premises and businesses where illegal activity is taking place or where social distancing restrictions are not being observed can all be reported to the local council and the police, as can places of worship, crematoriums or community centres which are open for any reason other than to facilitate a funeral. Police should be contacted with regard to restrictions on movement and gatherings, and you can also contact Natural Resources Wales, councils and parks authorities regarding entry onto public paths or land which has been closed. The Health and Safety Executive should be contacted regarding concerns about a lack of social distancing in the workplace – For more information, visit the Shared Regulatory Services website.
Investment in roads
Council workers are taking advantage of the county borough’s empty roads to carry out resurfacing work on well-used parts of the local highways network. With safe working procedures in place, the work will cover Porthcawl Road in North Cornelly, the A4064 Abergarw link road and the B4280 Heol Spencer / Pant Hirwaun road. Part of the council’s ongoing investment in road infrastructure, the work will be carried out in stages over the next few weeks and diversions, temporary traffic systems and signage will all be in use.
Business funding reaches £22.4m
With 1,764 applications from local firms processed to date, business grant funding issued by Bridgend County Borough Council has topped more than £22.4m. The support, which is part of Welsh Government’s Covid-19 business support package, is being made available to businesses who are eligible for small business rates relief in Wales and who occupy premises with a rateable value of £12,000 or less. It also includes those who fall under small business rates relief but who do not currently pay business rates, and retail, leisure or hospitality businesses with a rateable value of £12,001 to £51,000. Applications can be made by completing the online form.
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, visit the job pages at the council’s website.
Garw and Ogmore volunteers
The Bridgend Association of Voluntary Organisations (BAVO) need volunteers in the Garw and Ogmore valleys who can befriend and check on the welfare of residents, go shopping for those who need it, take patients home from hospital, collect prescriptions or help out in community kitchens and foodbanks. Anyone interested in helping to volunteer can register online at the BAVO website, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01656 810400.
Watch out for wildlife
Don’t forget that you can spot, record and report wildlife and wildflowers while observing the strict regulations around social distancing. Whether it is part of your daily exercise or simply by observing what you can see out of your window, you can spot evidence that starlings are returning, blackthorn trees are blossoming, celandines are flowering, hedgehogs are out of hibernation and more. Help on identifying flowers and wildlife is available online from sites such as the Woodland Trust, Botanical Keys, the RSPB or the Natural History Museum, and you can submit all of your lockdown wildlife sightings to the South East Wales Biodiversity Records Centre.