Porthcawl prepares for Elvis-mania
Final preparations are underway ahead of this weekend’s Porthcawl Elvis Festival. Amid warnings that coronavirus has not gone away and remains prevalent, visitors are being encouraged to take all precautions and to celebrate the event responsibly. Attendees should also undertake lateral flow tests, which can be ordered online or collected from participating pharmacies, and should stay away if they test positive. With an Elvis-themed park run set to take place on Saturday morning, road closures and temporary diversions will be in place for the whole of the two-day festival, and the Cymru Coaster open-top bus and Porthcawl land train will not be in operation. Additional waste containers are being placed along the seafront and in the busiest public areas, and the council’s Cleaner Streets Team will be working throughout the weekend.
Budget consultation opens
Residents in Bridgend County Borough are invited to have their say on the council’s spending priorities over the coming year. This year’s consultation, which opened on Monday, asks people to consider a longer-term vision for the county borough covering everything from council tax levels and parking charges to schools and regeneration projects. It also asks for the views of residents on how they think the council could best support local business, tourism and the economy. The consultation ends on 14 November and you can complete it at the council website. To request a hard copy, email [email protected], call 01656 643664 or write to Civic Offices, Angel Street, Bridgend, CF31 4WB.
Recycle Week 2021
Bridgend County Borough Council is backing a nationwide movement to make Wales the number one recycling nation in the world. Recycle Week is the largest annual recycling campaign and is now in its 18th year. Over the past few years, recycling in the county borough has soared and we are now recycling 69 per cent of our waste – up from just 46 per cent in 2010 – and are one of the highest-performing areas in the UK. To learn more about the campaign, visit the Wales Recycles website and join the conversation on social media using #RecycleWeek and #BeMightyRecycle.
Bus driver shortage affects some services
Public transport users are being encouraged to check in advance in case services have been affected by a national shortage of qualified drivers. Public transport companies are reporting that some services are running less frequently due to problems such as drivers moving on to post-lockdown jobs driving heavy goods vehicles, a backlog in processing new applications and delays in delivering training for newly qualified staff. Among the affected routes are the number 64 and number 65 services between Bridgend and Talbot Green, both of which are currently running every two hours instead of every hour, and the number 63 Bridgend to Porthcawl service, which is running every half-hour instead of every 20 minutes. Moves are underway to resolve the issue and you can find more information on both service availability and driver recruitment at the NatGroup, First Cymru and Stagecoach websites.
Home-to-school transport arrangements
Bridgend County Borough Council is working with home-to-school travel providers to ensure that services can continue despite the national shortage of bus drivers. The impact of the shortage has so far been minimal, but in the event of any changes, the authority and schools will seek to provide alternative transport arrangements, and will contact parents as a matter of urgency.
Have your say on Welsh education
A consultation will launch later this month on Bridgend County Borough Council’s draft Welsh in Education Strategic Plan. The plan outlines the local authority’s Welsh-medium education vision for the next 10 years and covers targets for increasing the provision of Welsh-medium education in the county borough, improving the standards of that education and improving the teaching of Welsh within English-medium schools. The consultation will launch on 27 September and will run for 12 weeks. The outcome will then be reported back to Cabinet before being submitted to Welsh Government in January 2022. The 10 year plan will begin on 1 September 2022.
Creating low-carbon communities
Bridgend County Borough Council has launched a Low Carbon Communities Initiative to look at whether locally generated renewable electricity produced using solar power could be shared between local homes. The Welsh Government-funded scheme will provide a small number of test homes in South Cornelly with solar panels and solar-based ventilation systems. Some houses will also have batteries installed for power storage. Residents in South Cornelly who may be interested in taking part are invited to attend an information session at the Village Green (off Greenacres) between 2pm-6pm on Friday 24 September and 10am-2pm on Saturday 25 September. Mopre details are available at the council website, and you can also email [email protected] or [email protected] to find out more.
Date set for ‘smacking ban’
Parents, guardians and carers are reminded that physical punishment for children is set to become illegal in Wales. The law change will come into effect on 21 March 2022 and will see all types of physical punishment for children – such as smacking, hitting, slapping or shaking – made illegal. Anyone who physically punishes a child from that date risks being arrested, charged with assault and gaining a criminal record. More information about the ban can be found on the Welsh Government website. Bridgend County Borough Council also offers a wide range of support and advice to parents and families which can be found on the local authority’s website.
Could you be a foster carer?
Foster Wales have launched a new campaign in a bid to increase the number of foster parents needed to help keep children in their local area. To find out more about local authority fostering in Bridgend county borough, visit https://bridgend.fosterwales.gov.wales.
Covid vaccine passport latest
From 11 October, people will need to display a NHS Covid-19 pass and demonstrate they are fully vaccinated against coronavirus in order to enter a nightclub or attend an indoor or outdoor organised event. With the Welsh infection rate increasing and admissions to hospital rising every week, the move is one of several that has been announced to help control the spread of coronavirus. The requirement to show an NHS Covid-19 pass will apply to anyone who is aged 18 and over who wishes to enter a nightclub or attend an indoor non-seated event for more than 500 people, outdoor non-seated events with more than 4,000 in attendance, or any setting or event featuring more than 10,000 people. People who are fully vaccinated can download the NHS Covid-19 pass for free to securely prove or share their vaccine status, or to demonstrate that they have received a negative lateral flow test result within the last 72 hours.
Vaccination booster campaign underway
Welsh Government’ vaccination booster campaign is underway, with frontline NHS staff and people living and working in care homes as well as people aged over 50 and those with underlying health conditions first in line. Vaccinations for children aged 12 to 15 also starts this will. They will initially be offered one dose of the Pfizer vaccine. Welsh Government is also be stepping up awareness and enforcement around existing measures intended to keep people safe, such as the wearing of face coverings on public transport and in shops and other indoor public places.
Join the cleaner streets team
Vacancies are available to join the council’s Cleaner Streets team with roles ranging from general cleansing operatives to sweeper drivers. Anyone who is interested in finding out more can visit the Pertemps Agency for further details.
Sign up for ‘feel good’ sessions
‘Feel Good for Life’ sessions will begin at Ogmore Vale Life Centre on 4 October to support people experiencing dementia, loneliness and depression. Taking place every Monday except during school holidays between 2.15pm-3.15pm, participants are encouraged to stay on and make new friends while undertaking other activities until 4pm, and carers are also welcome to attend. All participants must register before taking part – visit the Halo website for more details.
Wanted – more people to work in social care
The council, Welsh Government and Social Care Wales have launched a new video encouraging more people to work in the social care sector. The WeCare Wales website features jobs across Wales, and you can find out more on Twitter or Facebook. Local roles are available across areas such as home care, reablement, young people’s services and more. Visit the council website or the authority’s Facebook and Twitter pages to find out more.
Anyone aged 16 and over who has not yet received their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine and adults who had their first shot more than eight weeks ago but are overdue for their second vaccine can now walk in to any community vaccination centre without an appointment. This includes Ravens Court in Bridgend town centre (CF31 4AP) where the walk-in appointments are available between 9.15am and 4.30pm. You will need to bring along a form of ID such as a passport, drivers licence or a utility bill for proof of address. Details of other vaccination centres in the region are available on the health board website.
Mobile testing arrangements
Free mobile testing for anyone who is experiencing symptoms of Covid-19 remains available in Bridgend County Borough. Testing is available at the former Revlon site in Maesteg (CF34 9TS) from 9am to 5pm all week, including Saturday and Sunday. This site incorporates both a drive-through testing facility, which must be booked in advance, and a walk-in option where no booking is required. Drive-through testing is also available at Coity and Litchard Community Centre (CF31 1PA) from 9am-5pm, and at the walk-through facility based at the Bowls Hall car park in Angel Street, Bridgend (CF31 4AH) which is available between 8am-8pm – booking for both of these sites is essential. You can arrange appointments by visiting the Welsh Government website or by calling 119 (18001119 for people with hearing or speech difficulties).