Support for small charities and more
Bridgend County Borough Council is ready to implement a new £10,000 Welsh Government business support grant scheme aimed at charity-run shops, sports premises and community centres. The scheme will be available to eligible organisations which have properties within the retail, leisure and hospitality sector with a rateable value of £12,000 or less. The funding is being provided to help them respond to the financial challenges of the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic. Applications will be restricted to a maximum of two properties within the county borough area, and it will not be available to organisations that have already received a £10,000 grant from the Economic Resilience Fund (ERF). Organisations who have received less than £10,000 in ERF funding can still apply, but the amount will have to be deducted from the small charities grant. The scheme will be launched as soon as final guidance from Welsh Government is in place – look out for more details soon.
School opening reminder
With national news headlines covering plans for pupils to return to school in England, parents and guardians of school-age children in Wales are being reminded that this does not apply here. Welsh Government is continuing to develop its own plans for a phased return which will prioritise the safety of pupils, teachers and staff while looking after their mental, emotional and physical well-being. Once further details of how the reopening plans will be implemented are known, the council will work with schools and partners to ensure that a safe, seamless transition can take place.
‘No show’ emergency childcare
Offers of emergency childcare support will be withdrawn for families who book places at local hubs but do not show up. Thousands of in-demand places are being taken by children aged between four and 11, and hundreds of staff are volunteering to provide care and support. If places are booked but go unused, staff volunteers have to be sent home, and the places go to waste at a cost to the council.
Food parcel deliveries
The council is continuing to deliver food parcels containing breakfast and lunch for up to five days at a time to children who are eligible for free school meals. To ensure that deliveries can be made, it is essential to inform the council of any recent change of address, and to also make sure that you are at home to receive the pre-arranged deliveries.
Recycling site traffic management
Drivers are advised that traffic management will be in place when recycling centres reopen for essential visits only on Tuesday 26 May. At Tythegston, access will be available to vehicles travelling in from the A48, but there will be no site access from the A4106 Bridgend Road. At Brynmenyn, a diversion will direct vehicles to approach the site on George Thomas Avenue by driving and queuing along St Theodore’s Way and Chilcott Avenue. Access to the site at Maesteg will be normal with no further changes necessary. At each site, only cars will be allowed access, and until further notice, vans, trailers and 4×4 crew cab vehicles will not be allowed in, nor will the permit scheme be available. Only a few cars will be let in to the sites at a time, so potentially long queues must be expected.
Help for carers
Anyone who acts as a carer for a relative, neighbour or friend can access support during the coronavirus pandemic. The council’s website offers information on accessing support and keeping yourself safe, with links to advice ranging from finances to improving and maintaining physical and emotional wellbeing. You can view a video at the Facebook page of the Carers Trust South East Wales outlining what support is available, or visit the council’s carers page or Carers Trust South East Wales website for more details. You can also call the Bridgend Carers Wellbeing Service 24/7 helpline on 01656 336969.