Porthcawl Covid-19 outbreak

A total of 335 children are isolating at home following an outbreak of Covid-19 in the Porthcawl area. West Park Primary has confirmed that four members of staff and 22 pupils have tested positive. As a result, 267 pupils and 68 siblings who are in shared bubbles are receiving online lessons at home. The outbreak has mainly affected pupils in Year One, Nursery, Reception, Year Two and Year Three. Parents and carers are advised to remain alert and book a test immediately if their children develop a new, continuous cough, a high temperature or a change to their sense of smell or taste. A walk-in mobile testing facility is open at the Awel-Y-Mor Community Centre in Hutchwns Terrace (CF36 5TP), between 9am and 6pm daily, with no appointment needed. Bridgend County Borough Council is working closely with Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board and Public Health Wales, and the outbreak is being monitored. To find out more, visit the NHS Wales website.

 

Guidance updated for care home visits

Welsh Government has updated its guidance on visits to care homes, with the restriction on overall visitor numbers being lifted from this week. Up to two people can visit a resident indoors at the same time – they no longer need to be designated visitors. Those wishing to visit relatives and friends at care homes in Bridgend County Borough are advised that they should get in contact with the home before visiting to check what arrangements are in place. Visitors will be required to take a lateral flow test and return a negative results before being allowed to enter. Face coverings must be worn when entering the home, and visitors should follow all rules on social distancing and hand hygiene. For more information about the new guidance, visit the Welsh Government website.

 

Kier portal maintenance

Residents are advised that Kier’s portal website has been unavailable from 6pm today (Wednesday 26 May) until Thursday morning due to an upgrade to the system. Anyone trying to access the portal within that time will see an error message displayed.

 

Bridgend town centre traffic order still in place

Bridgend County Borough Council has confirmed that Bridgend town centre’s traffic order remains in place, and that no changes have been made to it since the pandemic lockdown. Under the terms of the order, which was introduced when the town centre was pedestrianised, vehicular access for purposes such as deliveries and loading is only possible before 10am and after 6pm. Between those times, the town centre is a pedestrian precinct and it is an offence for non-exempt vehicles to enter it. To support disabled drivers, a number of dedicated parking bays have been made available around the edges of the pedestrianised area, and the Shopmobility service is in the process of being reintroduced. Vehicular access and disabled parking formed part of the recent consultation for the town centre masterplan, which the council will be looking at in closer detail.

 

Extra support for local school

A local school judged by Estyn as requiring ‘special measures’ is making progress and is continuing to receive support from Bridgend County Borough Council and Central South Consortium. Ogmore Vale Primary was placed in special measures in 2019 after an inspection found leadership and management at the school was unsatisfactory and in need of urgent improvement. With a new senior leadership team in place, the school has been working to address the actions required by Estyn, and as part of this, an interim executive board has been created. Designed to help the school progress, the board will provide the support necessary for the school to be able to drive forward improvement. With Welsh Government approval in place, the board will commence on 28 May 2021 and is likely to be in place for a year.

 

Work to improve recycling rates

Education and enforcement officers have been working with residents and Valleys to Coast to address issues with waste and recycling across Bridgend County Borough. By working with housing officers in four areas over the past 18 months, they have improved access to kerbside recycling facilities and collections for residents. This has led to a drop in the amount of unrecyclable waste now being collected and a cleaner environment for the local community. The areas targeted include Jubilee Crescent in Sarn, Oakwood Estate in Maesteg, Heol Dwyrain in Bridgend, and Pil Y Cynffig in North Cornelly. For more information about what you can recycle, visit the council’s website.

 

Increase in bus services

From Sunday 30 May 2021, First Cymru Buses Ltd is increasing the frequency of services on its bus network across the county borough, to coincide with the easing of Covid-19 restrictions. For more information about services, visit the First Bus website.

 

Coastwatch team celebrate milestone

Porthcawl National Coastwatch Institution (NCI) is celebrating its anniversary five years after Bridgend County Borough Council handed over the keys to the Old Pilot’s Lookout Tower. Since opening in May 2016, the crew has expanded to 36 volunteers who keep the station operational seven days a week. The station started out with basic equipment but is now equipped with modern technology in the snug 3.5-metre wide tower. Heritage Lottery Funding, together with contributions from the local authority, Cadw and the NCI helped to restore the grade two-listed building, which was built in around 1860, through the Porthcawl Townscape Heritage Initiative. The team has logged more than 30,000 voluntary watch hours, dealt with 284 logged incidents, 113 requiring RNLI Lifeboat assistance, and a further 539 monitored or minor issues. Porthcawl NCI is self-funded, with donations coming from the local community.

 

Work to improve recycling rates

Education and enforcement officers have been working with residents and Valleys to Coast to address issues with waste and recycling across Bridgend County Borough. By working with housing officers in four areas over the past 18 months, they have improved access to kerbside recycling facilities and collections for residents. This has led to a drop in the amount of unrecyclable waste now being collected and a cleaner environment for the local community. The areas targeted include Jubilee Crescent in Sarn, Oakwood Estate in Maesteg, Heol Dwyrain in Bridgend, and Pil Y Cynffig in North Cornelly. For more information about what you can recycle, visit the council’s website.

 

Free school meal parcel deliveries

All pupils who are entitled to free school meals will receive a food parcel for the half term holiday next week. Due to the bank holiday on Monday 31 May, deliveries will take place a day later than usual. Anyone who has previously opted out of school holiday provision will not receive a food parcel unless they email fsmcovid19@bridgend.gov.uk to reinstate it. Parcels will be delivered to the home addresses of all eligible pupils. For more information, visit the council’s website.

 

Help shape Welsh language strategy

Bridgend County Borough Council is inviting people to have their say on its draft Welsh language strategy for 2021-2026. The results will be used to inform the council’s final Welsh language strategy, which will be implemented in September 2021. The consultation runs until 18 June 2021 and is available in English and Welsh. To take part, visit the council website.

 

Vaccination update

Latest figures have confirmed that nearly 136,000 doses of coronavirus vaccine have been given to residents in Bridgend County Borough. As part of the ‘nobody left behind’ strategy, Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board is holding extra clinics for people aged over 40 who have not yet had their first dose or do not have a vaccine appointment. They are also continuing to provide first doses of the vaccine to people in the 18-39 age group, are completing second dose vaccinations for people aged 65 and over, and are in the process of vaccinating 16-64 year olds who have underlying health conditions. For more information, visit the Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board website.

 

Covid-19 testing facilities remain available

Coronavirus testing remains available for residents who have one of the three main symptoms. If you have a high temperature, new continuous cough, or loss or change to your sense of smell or taste, you must book a test as soon as possible and self-isolate at home. A drive-through testing facility is available daily at the site of the former Revlon / Cosi factory off Oakwood Drive in Maesteg (CF34 8TS) between 9am and 5pm. A walk-through testing facility is also available at the Bowls Hall car park of Bridgend Life Centre (CF31 4AH) between 2pm and 8pm. Booking is essential at the Welsh Government website or by calling 119 – if you have hearing or speech difficulties, you can call 18001119.

 

Using a self-test kit

Unpaid carers, volunteers and residents who are unable to work from home and are not already taking part in regular asymptomatic testing can access rapid Covid-19 self-test kits. With no appointments necessary, lateral flow tests can be collected from the Bowls Hall testing site daily between 8am and 1pm. They can also be ordered at the Covid-19 testing webpage. All results should be recorded on the UK Government portal and if positive, you should self-isolate immediately and book a Covid test (PCR test) within 24 hours by calling 119, visiting the Welsh Government website or via the NHS Covid-19 app.

 

EU Settlement Scheme deadline approaching

EU citizens living in Bridgend County Borough must apply to the EU Settlement Scheme by 30 June, 2021 to keep living and working in the UK. Those who were resident in the UK by 31 December 2020 should apply without delay. Applications are free – to check if you need to apply, visit the UK Government’s EU Settlement Scheme webpage. For more information, visit the council’s webpage.

 

Over 18s can apply for reserve list

Cwm Taf Bro Morgannwg University Health Board has opened up the vaccination reserve list to include people aged 18 and over. You can apply to be on the reserve list if you are aged between 18–49, live in the health board area or are registered with a local GP, and can make yourself available at short notice for an appointment at a community vaccination centre. To find out more, visit the Cwm Taf website.

 

Free car parking offer extended

Bridgend County Borough Council has confirmed that free parking at several council-maintained town centre car parks will be extended until the end of August. The offer means drivers can park for free for up to three hours at the Rhiw multi-storey car park in Bridgend town centre, and between noon and 3pm at the John Street car park in Porthcawl. Free parking remains available at the Llynfi Road multi-storey in Maesteg and at the Penprysg Road car park in Pencoed.

 

Blood donation sessions

Residents aged over 17 and under 66 who are generally fit and well can make a difference and save lives by giving blood. There are appointments available at the Heronston Hotel in Bridgend on 7, 8, 9, 24 and 25 June. For more information, visit the Welsh Blood Service website.