Garden waste collections to end on Friday

This year’s garden waste collection service across Bridgend county borough is set to end on Friday, November 13.  Despite some disruption to collections at the start of the Covid-19 outbreak, the service saw a rise in the number of households registered.  A new contractor took over the collections at the beginning of May after the previous contractor ceased trading because of the impact of the pandemic on their business.  The number of residents using the service increased by more than 300, with waste collected from a total of 5,133 households who registered this year. The monthly average amount of garden waste collected in the months that the service ran rose by 4% when compared to 2019.  Bridgend County Borough Council’s Deputy Leader Councillor Hywel Williams said: “I’d like to thank those residents who took part in the garden waste collection service this year and thank them for their patience during the disruption to collections in the spring. I’m delighted to see that the number of households using the service increased this year.  “Bridgend County Borough Council’s waste partners Kier will now write to all residents who are registered to let them know when the registration process will be open for next year.”

Cabinet to receive report on energy efficiency programme

The Cabinet of Bridgend County Borough Council will meet next week to receive a report on the effectiveness of the Arbed 1 national domestic energy efficiency programme.  The work, which was launched by Welsh Government to reduce carbon emissions and cut fuel bills for more than 6,000 homes across Wales, was carried out between 2011 – 2013 by a range of contractors on behalf of local councils, social landlords and energy firms.  In Bridgend County Borough, Green Renewable Wales Ltd was commissioned by the council to undertake work which included replacing boilers and providing insulation for lofts and internal and external walls.  Since the Arbed 1 programme was completed, the council has received numerous complaints regarding the work that was undertaken, and commissioned an independent report to evaluate how the scheme had met the objectives set out by Welsh Government.  Cabinet will now meet to receive the findings of the independent report at 2.30pm on Tuesday 17 November.  Find out more at www.bridgend.gov.uk

Cabinet to discuss extension to Valleys Regional Park host role

Bridgend County Borough Council’s cabinet is set to discuss the extension of its role as host of the Valleys Regional Park until June 2023.  The Valleys Regional Park promotes the natural and cultural heritage of the South Wales Valleys with the aim of developing a regional commitment to co-ordinated promotion and management of the landscape.  It also seeks to help people to re-connect to the Valleys landscape for their wellbeing, so it becomes a place for exercise, work, relaxation and nature, as well as for arts and heritage, and for education; and ensure the landscape underpins a resilient local economy, supporting businesses, community enterprise and the development of skills and learning.  Made up of the council leaders of the 13 local authorities within the region, the regional partnership’s board covers an area from Carmarthenshire in the west to Pontypool in the east and Bridgend in the south to Merthyr Tydfil in the north.  The Valleys Regional Park board has requested Bridgend County Borough Council remains as host until June 2023. A report to the council’s cabinet, to be discussed at its meeting on November 17, recommends that the proposal is approved.  In its role, the council hosts a dedicated small team that works with public, private and third sector organisations across the region to develop the partnership. If the extension is approved, the council will look at new ways of working to develop options for the long-term governance, operating model and funding mechanism for the Valleys Regional Park.  Funding currently comes from the Welsh Government Ministerial Taskforce for the South Wales Valleys who announced the creation of the Valleys Regional Park in 2018. Additional funding has now been secured through the European Social Fund via the Welsh European Funding Office and the Welsh Government.  In addition to promoting the Valleys as a destination, the Valleys Regional Park encourages partners to work towards best practice in landscape management to help improve biodiversity.  The Valleys Regional Park works with 11 Discovery Gateway sites including Bryngarw Country Park and Parc Slip in Bridgend, as well as Blaenavon World Heritage Centre, Caerphilly Castle and Cyfarthfa Park in Merthyr, amongst others.  A new Valleys Regional Park website was launched in the summer and includes a map of the region with information about the Discovery Gateway sites.

Listed building consent course for owners of historic landmarks

Owners of historic buildings in Bridgend county borough are being urged to sign up for a new course about carrying out work on listed buildings.  The online course, which is next scheduled to run on Friday, November 27 and again on Friday, February 5, offers a step-by-step guide to making changes to historic homes.  Participants will be taken through the whole process, including what information needs to be submitted and why, choosing an agent, what goes on behind the scenes once the application is in the hands of the built heritage officer, and what to do once they have been informed of the decision.  The course, which is being run by Carmarthenshire County Council, will be held from 9.30am until 4.30pm. It costs £45 and you can sign up on the Tywi Centre website.  Bridgend county borough has a rich and varied heritage with 373 listed buildings and 16 conservation areas. The conservation and design team has been involved in targeted grant schemes including the Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI) programme, which has seen 65 historic buildings repaired and restored in Maesteg, Bridgend and Porthcawl.  More than £4.5m has been awarded in THI grant aid, supporting 38 local businesses and bringing 14 vacant buildings back into use.

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