‘Track and trace’ launches in Wales
The Test, Trace, Protect service is now live across the Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board region, and all residents and key workers who are showing symptoms of the coronavirus are being urged to apply for a test. Designed to help people access support and contain the spread of the virus, the service works by tracing people who have been in close contact with individuals who have tested positive, ensuring that they have support, and then tracing those who might have been in contact with in turn. The aim is to stay one step ahead of the virus and help combat its spread while making sure that people are receiving all the help they need. For more information, please visit www.bridgend.gov.uk/coronavirus
Fees waived for sports clubs
Football and rugby clubs in Bridgend County Borough will not have to pay hire charges for using outdoor sports facilities for the 2019-20 season. The council’s decision takes account of both the exceptional circumstances around the Covid-19 crisis and the continued commitment of sports clubs and town and community councils to complete community asset transfers of outdoor facilities. In April, the council announced a package of additional support to help progress transfers, including pitch, green and wicket surveys and specific funding for building, pitch/drainage improvements and capital grants to enable clubs to purchase maintenance equipment for green spaces. This is in addition to the reconfiguration of the council’s £75,000 Bridgend Sports Support Fund – part of the CAT process – to provide immediate financial aid to local sports clubs during the coronavirus outbreak.
Visiting a recycling centre
People who are planning an essential trip to a community recycling centre are being reminded to check the ‘odds and evens’ number plate schedule at the council website to make sure they are selecting the right day for access, and to take not of traffic management arrangements for each of the sites.
New advice on shielding
The Chief Medical Officer has advised that those who are shielding can start to take unlimited exercise outdoors as long as social distancing rules and hand hygiene practise are strictly observed. You can also meet with people from other households, again as long as you maintain social distancing, and do not go into their houses or share food with them. All previous shielding advice remains in effect – do not go shopping or attend work outside of home, and continue to have food and medicine delivered to you. Residents who are shielding will receive a letter before 15 June setting out the next steps. For further information on shielding guidance, please contact the council on 01656 643643 and press option one.
Second phase business funding
Welsh Government has confirmed the next phase of Economic Resilience Funding will begin later this month. An eligibility checker will be available by mid-June to give businesses time to prepare their applications. The next phase of the fund will provide access to the remaining £100m of the £300m which has already been approved and allocated to support micro-businesses, small and medium-sized enterprises and large businesses throughout Wales. Phase two will also update the micro-scheme to provide access for limited companies who are not V.A.T. registered – more details soon.
Clarification offered on business support
With £27.5m awarded to more than 2,200 businesses so far, the council has responded to claims that some traders are receiving financial support faster than others. Because the council already holds up-to-date information on around 300 businesses, some grants have been paid automatically without the need for new evidence. Some applications have also been easier to process than others based on factors such as whether all of the accompanying evidence has been provided or whether the verification process has required greater in-depth analysis. All applications have been subject to the same rules and regulations required by Welsh Government, which also require the Head of Finance (Section 151 officer) to act as final decision makers for the application process.
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.