Posted on: Monday 30 March 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, with the most recent additions at the top:
Emergency childcare for key workers
Emergency childcare for key workers (defined as being National Health Service, emergency services, childcare, prison service and social care workers) has been made available over the weekend of Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 March. Successful applicants have all been contacted – if you have not been contacted, your application was unsuccessful. The council is also making limited emergency childcare available during the school week starting Monday 30 March, and over the Easter break between Saturday 4 and Sunday 19 April (inclusive). All eligible key worker parents, including those who have applied previously, must apply (even if they have previously applied) for this latest round of provision. The council continues to advise parents to keep their children at home unless absolutely necessary.
Food poverty scheme
More than £44,000 funding is being directed towards a grant scheme designed to tackle food poverty associated with the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic. Administrated on the council’s behalf by the Bridgend Association of Voluntary Organisations, the scheme will enable food banks and other charities throughout the area to purchase food, fridges, freezers, cooking equipment and specialist training such as food handling qualifications for volunteers. The funding can also be used to establish social supermarkets, community cafes, lunch clubs, food bank hubs and more.
Lifeguard cover suspended
RNLI lifeguard patrols at beaches in Bridgend county borough have been suspended until further notice. Coney Beach, Rest Bay, Pink Bay and Trecco Bay are usually patrolled and monitored by the RNLI’s seasonal beach lifeguarding service. The RNLI has said with the government telling people to stay at home to keep safe from the spread of coronavirus, it is immediately pausing the roll-out of lifeguard patrols onto beaches. It means there will be no lifeguard service during the Easter period.
Waste and recycling
The general waste and recycling collection services are operating as normal. While the missed / bulk collections and delivery of bags were temporarily suspended earlier this week, they are currently back up and running, although this may be subject to change at short notice. The garden waste collection has been temporarily postponed - any resident wishing to receive a full refund in the meantime will be able to do so. To ensure Kier can continue to offer a county borough-wide service, the two-bag waste limit still applies. The three community recycling centres in the county borough have closed until further notice.
Bridgend Register Office is closed. 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 Gov.uk website or by calling 0300 123 1837.
Fixed penalty notices
Residents breaching new rules on life brought in to tackle the coronavirus outbreak risk a £60 fine. Fines rise to £120 for second and subsequent offences – and if individuals refuse to comply they could be arrested. A fixed penalty notice for a first offence falls to £30 if paid within 14 days. Early this week, the government announced people can only leave home for shopping for groceries or essentials, any medical need, travelling to and from work if it is absolutely necessary and you cannot work from home, and one form of exercise per day. No one can leave their house without a ‘reasonable excuse’, and people cannot gather in groups of more than two in a public space except for limited circumstances.
Advice for the self-employed
We are currently awaiting advice from the UK Government on aid for the self-employed. As soon as we have it, we will update our website and social media. Please do not call our customer service centre at this time because we are unfortunately unable to help until we receive government guidance on how the grant will be administered.
WhatsApp coronavirus information
The UK Government has launched a new free-to-use service on WhatsApp to provide official, trustworthy and timely information and advice about the coronavirus. The service will provide information on topics such as coronavirus prevention and symptoms, the latest number of cases in the UK, advice on staying at home, travel advice and myth-busting. To use the service, add 07860 064422 in your phone contacts and then message the word ‘hi’ in a WhatsApp message to get started.
Details of which Bridgend Foodbanks are open and how to access them are available on the Bridgend Foodbank website with updates posted on social media.
The Rhiw shopping arcade in Bridgend town centre has confirmed that it is now closed until further notice. Along with all parks and playgrounds in Bridgend county borough, Maesteg Welfare Park is also closed.
Information on what to do if your MOT is due
If your MOT is due and you are wondering how the social distancing measures affect you, learn more on the government's MOT and coronavirus guidance page.
People who are interested in volunteering to help during the Covid-19 outbreak can do so by contacting the Bridgend Association of Voluntary Organisations (BAVO) where they will be matched to a role according to their skills, interests and experience. Free training will be provided along with DBS checks where necessary – visit the BAVO website for more information
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, contact the recruitment team on 01656 643205 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.