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Covid-19 update 15 05 2020

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.

Pandemic post office closure avoided

Bridgend County Borough Council is working alongside the Post Office to ensure that the community of Maesteg does not lose its town centre postal service during the pandemic. Due to issues with the building lease, the current post office in Talbot Street will close at the end of May and make a temporary move into one of the units at the outdoor market next to the bus station. The current post office service is co-located alongside the Royal Mail offices in Talbot Street, opposite the town hall. Its last day of operation at that location will be Friday, May 29 - a new permanent site is being sought.

Essential use of recycling centres

The council is reminding residents that when its recycling centres at Tythegston, Maesteg and Brynmenyn reopen on Tuesday 26 May, they can only be used for essential trips, and all items and materials must be sorted before entering a site. Only one person will be allowed to get out of the car to dispose of waste at the sites, and because staff will not be able to help unload or move items from cars due to social distancing requirements, it will be important to only bring waste that one person can carry safely. People are also being asked to consider whether waste can be stored at home until lockdown restrictions have been lifted, or disposed of using the bulky waste collection service.

Traffic management for recycling sites

Ahead of the planned reopening of recycling sites, the council is implementing traffic management arrangements to help people access the sites safely, but drivers are being warned to expect long queues. To help cut down on waiting times and manage the number of vehicles using the sites, an odds-and-even car number plate system is being put in place following successful trials in other parts of the UK. This will divide access between cars where the last number of the number plate is even, and those where it is odd. Full details and a schedule outlining when drivers can use the sites will be made available at the council website.

Business support climbs to £26.7m

Business grant funding issued by Bridgend County Borough Council has now reached £26.7m. The support is available for businesses that are eligible for small business rates relief in Wales and who occupy premises with a rateable value of £12,000 or less. It also includes those who fall under small business rates relief but who do not currently pay business rates, and retail, leisure or hospitality businesses with a rateable value of £12,001 to £51,000. Applications can be made by completing the online form.

Final reminder on carer support

The deadline for applying for emergency grants in support of unpaid carers affected by the Covid-19 coronavirus crisis expires on Monday 18 May 2020. It provides up to £300 to help cover costs incurred as a result of the ongoing pandemic. Applications must be completed by midday Monday 18 May 2020, and application forms are available at the Carers Trust South East Wales website.

No charges for car parking

The council is reminding residents that charges have been removed from all of its car parks until further notice to support people who need to make essential journeys to buy food or medicine. Please note that they should only be used for essential trips during the outbreak, and that multi-storeys and the Salt Lake and Rest Bay car parks remain closed to all visitors.

Registering deaths

To register a death during the pandemic outbreak, funeral directors can do so via telephone. All ceremonies have been cancelled until further notice, and appointments to register new births have been suspended with no penalties for not registering within 42 days (you can still claim child benefit). Replacement certificates can be obtained from the website or by calling 0300 123 1837.

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.                                          

Covid-19 testing capacity increased

Cwm Taf Morgannwg Health Board has increased its Covid-19 testing capacity and is now offering it to people who are supporting someone who is shielding as well as those who are key workers or who live with key workers.  If you meet the criteria, you can request a testing appointment by calling 01656 752993 (lines open 7 days a week, 9am-5pm). Those eligible for testing include health and care key workers, including domiciliary care and agency workers, as well as staff working for police, fire and rescue, local councils, Welsh Water, power companies and the prison service. Other key workers who can take part include those working in education, childcare and other public sector staff, people living in the same household as key workers, and people who are in close contact with those who are ‘shielding’, i.e. household members or informal carers, including people picking up shopping or prescriptions. To be tested, you must have symptoms of Covid-19 which include a fever of 37.8 degrees or higher, a new or continuous cough, new onset of influenza-like illness including muscle ache and tiredness, cold-like symptoms (including headache, runny nose, or sore eyes not consistent with hay fever), and a loss of sense of taste or smell.

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