County borough reaches vaccination milestone
The latest figures from Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board have revealed that over 100,000 people are now fully vaccinated against coronavirus in Bridgend county borough. A total of 100,165 people have received their second dose of the Covid-19 vaccine with over 205,000 in the county borough now having had at least their first jab. Anyone aged 16 and over who has not had their first dose can walk into a Covid-19 Vaccination Centre to receive it. With no prior booking required, the walk-in appointments are available at community vaccination centres within the region. Anyone who wishes to take advantage of the first dose walk-in appointment will need to bring along a form of ID such as a passport, drivers licence or a utility bill for proof of address. This includes Ravens Court in Bridgend town centre (CF31 4AP) where the walk-in appointments are available between 9.15am and 4.30pm. Details of other vaccination centres in the region are available on the health board’s website which is updated weekly.
How you can help the Afghan Refugee Scheme
The council is continuing to work with the Bridgend Association of Voluntary Organisations (BAVO) to determine how best volunteers can help support the Afghan refugee scheme. As part of the council’s commitment to the national Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy, up to three families will be provided with safe homes and support. Designed to provide safe, secure accommodation for interpreters and other personnel who have worked with the UK in Afghanistan, the programme recognises the service of those who have supported the British Forces, and reflects both their work and the risks they now face following recent events within the country. Because the number of people may be relatively small, there is currently no requirement for items to be donated and donations are not required at this stage. However, any individual or organisation interested in helping is asked to visit the BAVO website which has further details on what may be required.
Covid testing recommended for secondary school pupils
With the new school year starting, it is recommended that all secondary school pupils undertake lateral flow testing before their first day back. Many pupils will already have lateral flow tests at home, having used them before schools broke up in July. However, for all new Year 7 pupils who would not have been able to access stocks in schools previously, and any other pupils who have run out of supplies, it is recommended that parents, carers, or pupils, collect the tests from either local testing sites, local pharmacies or order them online for home delivery. Lateral flow tests are only for people who do not have coronavirus symptoms. Pupils are recommended to take two lateral flow tests, three days apart during the week leading up to their first day back. Schools will continue to provide lateral flow tests during term-time. For more details visit the council website.
Council launches new Welsh Language Strategy
The council has published a new Welsh Language Strategy for 2021-2026. The new strategy was implemented earlier this week as part of the council’s requirements under the Welsh Language Standards. The local authority has to produce a five-year strategy and an annual report to outline how it has complied with the standards, progress made towards objectives, and how, in collaboration with partners, it has promoted and facilitated the use of the Welsh language more widely in the county borough. Within the county borough, there are plans for four new childcare hubs in Blackmill, Bettws, Bridgend and Porthcawl as part of a £2.6m investment into Welsh-medium education. The local authority is also exploring options for delivering the Cabinet’s commitment to develop Welsh-medium primary provision in Porthcawl and there are plans to expand the capacity at the Welsh-medium primary school Ysgol Y Ferch O’r Sgêr.
Active travel consultation
A public consultation has been launched on a draft Active Travel Network Map which will determine the future of walking and cycling routes across Bridgend county borough. The consultation allows residents to have their say on future routes, existing routes and related facilities in their area. It follows a consultation that was launched earlier this year which sought the public’s view on how cycling and walking provision in the county borough could be improved. Over 1,000 people participated in the consultation and the council, alongside Welsh Government and Sustrans, carefully considered all the comments and have produced a draft Active Travel Network Map. As a result, an additional 176km of routes were added to the map now being consulted on. The consultation will run for 12 weeks and can be found by following this link.
Mobile testing arrangements
Mobile testing facilities remain available at Porthcawl RFC (CF36 3DH) from 9am-5pm, seven days a week. The site includes both a drive-through testing facility with booking required and a walk-in option for which booking is not required. A drive-through testing centre is also available at Coity and Litchard Community Centre (CF31 1PA) from 9am-5pm and booking is essential. Meanwhile, a walk-through testing centre at the Bowls Hall car park in Angel Street, Bridgend (CF31 4AH) is available between 2pm-8pm, and booking remains essential for this site. You can arrange appointments by visiting the Welsh Government website or calling 119. If you have hearing or speech difficulties, you can call 18001119 as an alternative. For more details visit the council website.
Transport for Wales Concessionary Travel Card Portal undergoing essential maintenance
The Transport for Wales Concessionary Travel Card Portal will be undergoing some essential maintenance and will be unavailable from the 6 September to the 13 September. Transport for Wales apologises for any inconvenience this may cause. You’ll be able to apply for a Welsh Concessionary Travel Card and access your account once the maintenance has finished on Monday 13 September. If you’ve applied before 6 September 2021, the maintenance won’t affect your application, but you’ll be unable to check its progress while the site is offline. If you need to contact Transport for Wales urgently, please email email@example.com or phone 0300 303 4240. Please be aware that they’re receiving more calls than usual at the moment. You can also find out more about the Welsh Concessionary scheme here.
Have your say on new youth hub plans
Young people still have time to share their thoughts on plans for a new youth hub in Bridgend town centre. Initial plans involve a multi-purpose facility at Evergreen Hall, next to the council’s Civic Offices. Run in partnership between the local authority’s Youth Development, 16 plus and Youth Justice Services, activities offered onsite will range from training and classes for young people aged 11 to 25 years old, and youth club provision a couple of weekday evenings for all young people in the local community that want to attend. Young people have been invited to have their say on what they would like to see at the youth club. To have your say, just fill out a short survey on the council website by the end of September.
Help and support available for 16 to 24 year olds who have finished school and college
Got your results and don’t know what to do next? The Inspire 2 Work programme can help by providing 121 support and advice from qualified youth workers, free professional CV development, support to complete applications for college or work, access to free online training, interview skills / work experience / confidence building and much more. Get in touch via the team’s online chat or contact them by calling 01656 815146 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Recruitment drive launched for social care workers
A new recruitment drive has been launched for social care workers in a bid to help meet the increasing need for care and support enabling people to be as independent, and as well as they can be, in their own homes. Within Bridgend County Borough, the local authority is looking to recruit social care workers and support workers in a variety of areas, from home care and reablement teams to young people’s services. To find out what jobs are available or to apply, just visit the council website. The recruitment drive links in with a national campaign currently being run by Welsh Government and Social Care Wales, aimed at promoting the benefits of working in care and encouraging people to apply for roles within the sector. For jobs across Wales, visit the WeCare Wales website or find out more via @WeCareWales on Twitter or Facebook.
Over 155,000 tonnes recycled in four years
Bridgend County Borough has recycled the equivalent weight of 26,000 African bush elephants in waste over the last four years. Between 2017 and 2021, over 155,000 tonnes of waste was recycled. The county borough has one of the highest recycling rates in Wales and now recycles over 69 per cent of waste – up from 46 per cent in 2010. Over the four-year period, almost 32,000 tonnes of food waste has been recycled, just over 26,000 tonnes of paper and card recycled and 17,500 tonnes of glass waste. Meanwhile, 12,000 tonnes of plastic waste has been recycled, 7,700 tonnes of metal waste and 3,700 tonnes of electrical waste. And a new contract with Derwen Recycling Ltd is now putting even more emphasis on recycling with items placed in public litter bins across the county borough being recycled.
Apprentices join Western Breakwater project
Knights Brown have welcomed four apprentices to their team who will work on the continuing refurbishment of Porthcawl’s iconic Western Breakwater. Work got underway earlier this year on the £6.4m scheme that will help defend Porthcawl from flooding and any potential future rise in sea levels. A temporary causeway is currently under construction at the base of the breakwater which is made up of 6,000 tonnes of imported ‘rock armour’. This will allow repairs to be undertaken on the wave-side revetment. As part of their commitment to providing employment and training opportunities, Knights Brown have recently welcomed four local apprentices to the team with two living in Porthcawl and Bridgend, and two from Swansea.