Lockdown funding for local businesses
Local businesses are receiving almost £7.7m in lockdown funding support after Welsh Government provided grant support for traders during the two-week ‘firebreak’ lockdown. With more than 1,861 applications received for non-domestic and discretionary lockdown grants, council staff have been working to process them as quickly and as efficiently as possible within the 30 day limit set by Welsh Government. For more information about the funding guidance visit the Welsh Government website, or to find out what lockdown funding has been made available visit the Bridgend County Borough Council business support webpage.
Mobile testing moves to Maesteg and Porthcawl
Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board has confirmed where coronavirus testing facilities will be located in Bridgend County Borough next week. Between 9–16 November, a drive-through facility will be available at the site of the former Revlon / Cosi factory off Oakwood Drive in Maesteg. To use this facility, which will be drive-through only, you will need to book an appointment in advance by visiting the Welsh Government website. A walk-in mobile testing centre will also continue to be available until 11 November at Porthcawl’s Grand Pavilion. No appointments are required to use this walk-in service. The current drive-through testing facility based at Coytrahen Community Centre will be available over the weekend, closing at 5pm on Sunday 8 November. This must also be booked in advance using the Welsh Government website. All of the mobile testing facilities are available between 9am-5pm, seven days a week. To find out more about the alternative ways in which you can obtain a Covid-19 test, visit the coronavirus page at the Welsh Government website or call 119.
Community recycling centres to reopen
The community recycling centres will reopen as normal on Monday 9 November between 9am-4pm, and the Sidings recycling shop at the Maesteg site will be available on Tuesday 10 November. In the event that there is a high demand for the centres, we are asking residents to only make essential trips. Please do not take waste to a site that you could otherwise recycle as part of the weekly kerbside collection. There is no limit on how much recycling you can put out, and you can always order additional recycling containers from the council website.
Work on Maesteg Community Hospital
Following recent coronavirus cases at Maesteg Community Hospital, Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board has announced that the Llynfi Ward will be temporarily closed until January 2021 to enable improvement works to be carried out. When it reopens, it will feature a second ward which will support the segregation of staff and patients and reduce the future risk of Covid-19 transmissions. To allow the work to go ahead, existing patients will discharge or transfer to alternative settings where their individual needs will be looked after, and staff will be temporarily redeployed to care for patients at Ysbyty’r Seren field hospital. Other services which are delivered at Maesteg Community Hospital, including outpatient services, will continue during this time.
Council extends rent discount to support local traders
Bridgend County Borough Council has agreed to support local traders who are using council-owned premises by extending a 50 per cent concessionary rent rate for an extra three months. The discount, which will be in place between 1 November 2020 and 31 January 2021, forms part of a phased series of concessionary rent rates originally introduced by the council during the summer to support small and medium-sized businesses in reopening after the initial pandemic lockdown. Having already received a 75 per cent reduction in August and a 50 per cent reduction in September, traders were set to benefit from a 25 per cent reduction in October. However, a decision to extend the 50 per cent reduction by another month due to national developments in the pandemic has now been extended into 2021.
High demand for Cultural Freelancer Grant
Due to high demand, the Cultural Freelancer Grant has been suspended to allow the huge number of received applications to be processed. Launched in early October, the fund is for freelancers whose work has direct creative and cultural outcomes in the sub-sectors of arts, creative industries, arts and heritage events, culture and heritage. If the fund reopens for applications, further announcements will be made.
Council to open for calls at weekend
From Saturday 7 November, council staff will be available on the weekends as well as during normal working hours while the pandemic remains in effect. Residents who need support with issues such as shopping, prescription collections, loneliness, emergency social service issues and more can contact the council on 01656 643643 (select option 0), 8:30am to 5pm Monday to Thursday, 8:30am to 4:30pm on Fridays, and 10am to 4pm on both Saturday and Sunday. Visit the council website to find out more.
Have your say on council’s budget
Residents in Bridgend County Borough are being asked to help shape the local authority’s spending priorities over the coming year with the council’s annual budget consultation. This year’s consultation is focused on the longer-term vision for the county borough following the Covid-19 pandemic. The survey covers areas such as the pandemic response, businesses and the local economy, health and well-being, council tax levels, customer access to the civic offices and more. Responses will be used to inform the medium term financial strategy for 2021/22 – 2024/25, and residents have until 13 December to take part – you can do so by visiting the council website or requesting a hard copy by emailing [email protected], calling 01656 643664 or writing to the Consultation Team, Civic Offices, Angel Street, Bridgend CF31 4WB. Easy-read, large print and youth versions are available.
Remembrance events will be marked in different ways across Bridgend County Borough for 2020. Many of the traditional local events organised by town and community councils will not be taking place this year because of the need to limit potential exposure to the coronavirus, maintain social distancing and avoid people from gathering in large numbers. Instead, residents have been encouraged to stand upon their doorstep at 11am on Sunday 8 November to mark the two-minute silence from home, and to watch televised broadcasts of national remembrance services. On behalf of the people of Bridgend County Borough, the council is working alongside Great Western Railway to arrange for a wreath to be transported to London Paddington where it will be included as part of a national display.
Guidance offered on remembrance events
Town and community councils have confirmed that while no public remembrance events will be taking place this year, some smaller ceremonies have been arranged. To find out more on what remembrance events are being held this year, please contact your local town or community council for further details.