Latest update on coronavirus restrictions
Adults living alone, including single parents, in areas under local restrictions will be able to form a temporary bubble with another household in their local area under the new rules coming into force tomorrow (3 October). The change is designed to help protect people living alone from the risk of experiencing loneliness and isolation and will enable to them to meet other people indoors. The rule of six will apply to these new single people household bubbles.
Welsh Government is also looking at strengthening enforcement powers for local authorities to fine people who organise house parties and restrict drinking in public areas in order to prevent people from gathering in large numbers – look out for more news soon.
Mobile testing unit temporarily suspended
We have been advised by the Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board the mobile testing unit at the Bowls Hall car park of Bridgend Life Centre is currently closed. The closure is only temporary – as soon as it is set up again, we will let you know. If you develop a new continuous cough, a high temperature or a loss of / change in your normal sense of smell or taste, you must self-isolate immediately and apply to have a coronavirus test. If you are unsure, the NHS website offers a coronavirus symptoms checker.To apply for a Covid-19 test, visit https://gov.wales/apply-coronavirus-covid-19-test Alternatively, apply online for a home testing kit or by phoning the free number 119.
Free car parking offer
Visitors to Bridgend and Porthcawl can benefit from extended free car parking throughout the autumn and winter months. Between now and 31 March 2021, the first three hours will be free at the Rhiw multi-storey in Bridgend town centre, and free between 12pm-3pm at the John Street car park in Porthcawl. With free parking already available at Maesteg and Pencoed, the offer is being provided by Bridgend County Borough Council to support traders and local businesses.
Elvis fans thanked for keeping Porthcawl safe
Bridgend County Borough Council and South Wales Police have thanked Elvis fans for helping to keep Porthcawl safe by not travelling to the town and gathering in large numbers. Leader Huw David said: “Many people were disappointed after this year’s Elvis Festival had to be cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic, especially after booking their accommodation and making arrangements to travel into Porthcawl for the event. Concerns were high that people might decide to make a weekend of it anyway, and that large numbers would gather in the town to drink, celebrate and relax.” Chief Superintendent Dorian Lloyd added: “Bridgend County Borough Council and South Wales Police would like to thank everyone who listened to common sense and chose to keep themselves and others safe instead. Compliance with Covid-19 rules and restrictions have generally been very good across Bridgend County Borough. We want to acknowledge this, and to thank the public for the restraint, compliance and general support that they are continuing to demonstrate throughout the ongoing pandemic.”
Update on Royal Glamorgan Hospital
Temporary service restrictions remain in place at the Royal Glamorgan Hospital in Llantrisant, Rhondda Cynon Taf following a Covid-19 outbreak within the hospital which has seen 89 cases and 10 deaths. Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board has published a list of Frequently Asked Questions on the service restrictions which includes information on the suspension of elective surgery, the diversion of emergency admissions and 999 patients to other hospitals such as the Princess of Wales in Bridgend and more. Mental health services and the paediatric wards remain open, and a Monday-Friday helpline is available on 01685 726464 between. 9am-4.30pm. To support efforts at the Royal Glamorgan, the Ysbyty’r Seren field hospital on the Bridgend Industrial Estate will open on Thursday 8 October to provide care for coronavirus-free patients who are medically fit for discharge, but who still require some care needs.
Changes to popular bus service
First Cymru have confirmed a number of changes to the 63 service which runs from Bridgend to Porthcawl and back via Cefn Cribwr, Pyle and North Cornelly. The changes, which have been made to take account of coronavirus restrictions on passenger numbers, will begin on Monday 5 October and can be viewed in full at the First Cymru website.
Social distancing at Bridgend bus station
People waiting to catch the bus outside the bays of Bridgend Bus Station are being urged to observe social distancing and keep two metres apart to minimise the risk of coronavirus. The council is working with bus operators on a number of options to support this and help keep people safe, including an extension of temporary operating hours.
Visiting cafes, pubs, bars and restaurants
Residents are being reminded about pandemic arrangements when visiting pubs, bars and restaurants. The new table-only service means that customers must order, consume and pay for food and drink, including alcohol, at their table. Face coverings must be worn when entering, leaving or visiting the toilets, and alcohol sales must stop at 10pm. Customers must provide contact details so the Test, Trace, Protect service can contact them in the event of a coronavirus outbreak being linked to the venue. Live performances and dancing are not permitted, but televisions, recorded music and quizzes are allowed if kept at background level and avoiding the need for people to raise their voices. To ensure regulations are being met to help minimise the risk of exposure to coronavirus, Bridgend County Borough Council’s enforcement officers are continuing to visit a range of premises – please ensure you follow these rules and help to keep yourself and others safe during the pandemic.
New £7m cultural and creative fund
A new £7m fund will launch on Monday 5 October to support cultural and creative freelancers facing financial challenges as a result of the pandemic. Individuals can apply for a £2,500 grant and are asked to check their eligibility before the application process opens by visiting the Eligibility Checker for the Cultural Recovery Fund. The fund will be open to freelancers in the sub-sectors of arts, creative industries, arts and heritage events, culture and heritage, whose work has direct creative and cultural outcomes. Eligibility criteria applies, and further information is available at the Freelancer Fund guidance webpage along with a set of frequently asked questions.
New five-year plan for social services
A new five-year service improvement plan has been approved for social services at Bridgend County Borough Council. Covering areas such as developing accommodation and placement opportunities for children and young people, supporting the development of new community health and well-being centres, investing in community-based services which provide a wider range of mental health services, and continuing to develop a range of housing accommodation, the Social Services and Wellbeing Directorate Five Year Service Delivery Plan (2020-2025) covers both adult and children social care and builds on the council’s previous 10-year commissioning strategy. You can find out more at www.bridgend.gov.uk
New careers in social care
Interest in careers within social care have soared as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. People from a wide range of different backgrounds have found new work supporting the county borough’s most vulnerable residents, while others who have previously worked in this area have also come forward to offer their skills and experience.
With a fast-tracked application process and rapid refresher training course available, the council is keen to hear from anyone who might be interested in finding out more. Further details are available at the job pages on the council’s website.
Contacting the council
The Customer Service Centre at the Civic Offices in Angel Street, Bridgend remains closed to the public. Residents are asked to use the online My Account and Oggie webchat facilities, or to email email@example.com or call 01656 643643.