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01 05 20 Covid-19 update

As the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic continues, Bridgend County Borough Council is continuing to focus its resources on providing essential services and protecting vulnerable residents. The following information provides a summary of latest developments.

Dogs on beaches

This year’s annual restriction on allowing dogs at Rest Bay, Town Beach, Coney Beach and Trecco Bay will be in place from 1 May to 30 September 2020. Given the need to stay at home as much as possible during the Covid-19 coronavirus, to only undertake essential travel and with the potential lifting of lockdown requirements in the months ahead, the council has decided not to adjust the by-laws preventing dogs from being exercised on these beaches. Dogs continue to be welcome for walks all year round at Sker Beach and Newton Beach, and owners are being reminded to always dispose of dog waste responsibly.

Council adopts Real Living Wage

Bridgend County Borough Council is marking International Workers’ Day (1 May) with a commitment towards introducing the Real Living Wage for staff who are on lower grades. An independently-set figure which is determined by the Living Wage Foundation, the Real Living Wage is separate to both the statutory minimum and national wage in that businesses can choose to adopt it voluntarily. It uses factors such as what goods and services a typical household needs in order to calculate a realistic hourly rate of pay. The move will mean that council staff who are on the lowest pay grades in the current financial year of 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021 will receive a Real Living Wage rate of £9.30 an hour. Current rates for the minimum and national wage are £8.20 for people aged under 25, and £8.72 for people aged 25 and over.

Pandemic information on your phone

For official, trustworthy and timely information and advice about the coronavirus, you can sign up to a free WhatsApp service - add 07860 064422 to your phone contacts and message the word ‘hi’ in a WhatsApp message to get started.

Plans for rates relief

Bridgend County Borough Council is working to implement Welsh Government plans for a new Expanded Retail, Leisure and Hospitality Relief Scheme designed to support eligible businesses during the Covid-19 pandemic. Under the scheme, businesses which qualified for High Street relief in 2019/20 will have their rates bills amended so that they can receive 100 per cent relief for the current financial year. Businesses in the retail, leisure and hospitality sector that have been eligible for a grant will also be automatically awarded the 100 per cent expanded relief. Any business that becomes liable for business rates during the year, such as a new occupier, will be issued with application forms to confirm eligibility.

Help for carers

Anyone who acts as a carer for a relative, neighbour or friend can access help and support during the coronavirus pandemic. The Carers Wellbeing Service is operating a 24/7 helpline which is pointing people towards additional community resources. The council’s website offers information and links on accessing support and keeping yourself safe during, with links to latest advice ranging from finances to improving and maintaining physical and emotional wellbeing. To help spread awareness of this support, Carers Development officer Kathy Proudfoot has recorded a video message which you can view at the Facebook page of the Carers Trust South East Wales. The video, which is one of several produced by the Carers Trust, outlines available support while detailing Kathy’s own experiences as a carer. For more information, visit the council’s carers page or the Carers Trust South East Wales website. You can also call the Bridgend Carers Wellbeing Service 24/7 helpline on 01656 336969.

Social care opportunities

More people are being sought to help support the county borough’s most vulnerable residents. A number of employment opportunities are available, and anyone who has previously worked in social care or who has transferable skills is invited to apply. A fast-tracked application process and rapid refresher training course are available. To apply or find out more, visit the job pages at 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 or call 01656 643643.

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