Agenda item

To receive announcements from:

(i) Mayor (or person presiding)

(ii) Members of the Cabinet

(iii) Chief Executive



The mayor’s announcements were as follows:


I hope members enjoyed the recent Platinum Jubilee bank holiday, and that you all saw the well-deserved honour which was bestowed upon our council leader shortly before the celebrations took place.


I’m referring, of course, to the Order of the British Empire which has been presented to Councillor Huw David.


Councillor David was nominated for this award by the Welsh Local Government Association.


It was presented in recognition of the strong leadership that he has consistently demonstrated throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, both for the local authority and as the WLGA’s Presiding Officer and Health and Social Services Spokesperson.


The OBE further acknowledges all of the hard work, enthusiasm and commitment that he has dedicated towards serving the local community, particularly during one of the most challenging periods we have ever faced in local government.


In commenting upon the award, Councillor David himself recognised how it reflects the efforts of everyone who has worked throughout the pandemic to ensure that services have been able to continue, and that vulnerable people have been able to receive essential care and support.


This is, of course, an exceptional achievement, and I am sure that members will want to join me in extending our warmest congratulations to Councillor David.


I am pleased to announce that it has been a very busy start to this Mayoral term.


The mayor’s office is receiving several requests for support which is great and perhaps is indicative of life returning to some form of normality after the pandemic.


A selection of events I have attended include Bridgend College Fashion Show held in Cardiff.


This was a first for me, but an incredible experience to see creativity, talent, and hard work from students with an amazing talent.


Bridgend College can be very proud of the dynamic and successful creative arts department which supports students to flourish in whatever pathways they decide to pursue.


Can I thank my host for the evening Viv Buckley a member of staff?


The enthusiasm and commitment to develop the College not only through creative arts but with other subject matters throughout the county Borough is clearly palpable.


 I joined the Bridgend Pernicious Anaemia Society where I met with some wonderful people who are experiencing extreme health difficulties in trying to negotiate life with a vitamin B12 deficiency.


The event was certainly inspiring where I was able to learn about not only the day-to-day difficulties that people must endure but the pioneering work that is being undertaken to support them.


Could I thank Karyl and Martyn Hooper once again for the invitation and their hospitality at the event.


Over the Queens Jubilee weekend, I was delighted to present commemorative coins to children at the Phillip Squire Community Centre at Coytrahen to celebrate The Platinum Jubilee of Her Majesty the Queen.


The was an incredible event that involved the whole community coming together like many others to celebrate this incredible occasion.


Some 30 to 40 children received a commemorative coin which was some achievement for all those involved in arranging the event.


Congratulations to Mel James and all the team for putting on this event.


On Friday 10th June I was honoured and privileged to unveil a painting at the Princess of Wales hospital Bridgend. The event was reported that evening on ITN news.


The painting was commissioned by the Bridgend Disabled Random Act of Kindness Association in recognition of the incredible work hospital staff do to support the citizens of Bridgend and beyond.


It was very good to meet NHS staff, The Hospitals Executive, and the Chair of the Health Board.


The painting and plaque can be found in the corridor near to the main entrance and depicts the legendry Florence Nightingale with one of our current hospital staff members Sophie.


It was humbling to listen to Sophie’s experiences of working as a nurse at the time of the pandemic. I am sure the whole chamber will join me in thanking all NHS staff and Mr Tom Weaver for arranging this special occasion. 



Last weekend, I attended the Pen y Fai folk Dancing 5oth Anniversary Dinner at the Heronston Hotel.  


I was joined at the event by Cllr Tim Wood and his consort who were representing Bridgend Town Council.


It was a pleasure to experience the Welsh culture of dance, tradition, and friendship.


And yes, Cllr Wood and I joined many others in trying to negotiate the many intricate moves of traditional folk dancing on the dance floor.


Not for the feint hearted, but very enjoyable.


A very special event.


Thank you to everyone at Dawnswyr Gwerin PENYFAI.


Could I take this opportunity to thank the Deputy Mayor Cllr William Kendall and his consort for attending the Variety Show for Ukraine at the Heol y Cyw Welfare Hall that same weekend.


This event clashed with my commitment at the Heronston Hotel.


I understand that the evening was enjoyed by all, and funds raised will be donated to the Ukraine Disaster Fund.


Thank you to all those who organised this event.


And finally


I look forward to attending the Unsung Heroes Award Ceremony this coming Friday evening at the Grand Pavilion Porthcawl.




Announcements by the Deputy Leader:



We recently marked Carers Week in Bridgend County Borough with a series of events designed to highlight what support is available for local residents.


As an annual national campaign, Carers Week aims to raise awareness of caring issues, highlight the challenges that paid and unpaid carers face on a daily basis, and recognise their value to families and communities throughout the UK.


By definition, a carer can be any age, and is someone who supports a family member, partner or friend who cannot otherwise manage on their own.


We believe that there are approximately 18,000 adult carers and 2,000 young carers that we know about in Bridgend County Borough, although there are likely to be many more, most of whom will be juggling their caring responsibilities with work, education or family life.


If you are aware of someone who acts within a paid or unpaid caring capacity within your ward, members can help by ensuring they are aware that support and advice is available.


You can find out more about this and also full details on how Carers Week was marked by visiting the websites of the council, the Care Collective or the Bridgend Carers Centre.


Thank you.



Announcements by the Cabinet Member Resources:


Members may wish to remind their constituents of the need to remain vigilant for scams designed to convince householders to part with cash or hand over confidential information that could be used against them.


The criminals behind these scams were forced to become more creative at the height of the pandemic lockdown, and we are continuing to receive complaints and reports from concerned residents.


One of the most common scams involves a phone call advising householders that they are owed a refund on their council tax payments.


The scammers go on to ask for confidential bank account details in order to arrange for the rebate to be paid, but victims of this scam subsequently find that their bank accounts have been raided.


Similar scams exist in a variety of forms, and we also receive complaint from people who have been offered fake refunds on their water, electricity or gas bills.


Don’t forget that Bridgend County Borough Council will never phone a householder out of the blue to ask them for their bank account details over the telephone.


Anyone who feels they may have fallen victim to such a scam should contact their bank immediately, and report it to police by calling 101.


More advice on protecting yourself against scams is available at the Shared Regulatory Services website.


Thank you.


Announcements by the Cabinet Member Regeneration:



Following the recent news that Rest Bay, Trecco Bay and Porthcawl Marina have all retained their prestigious Blue Flag awards, it is great to see that RNLI lifeguards are patrolling the local coastline once more.


The lifeguards have returned to Rest Bay along with a new initiative which enables visitors to scan a QR code to receive up to date information designed to make their trip to the beach even safer.


They already provide daily patrols at Coney Beach, Sandy Bay and Trecco Bay between 10am-6pm.


These patrols are jointly funded by Bridgend County Borough Council and Parkdean Resorts, with the RNLI covering additional costs through their national and local fundraising activities.


The RLNI will also be at the marina from 9am this Sunday to offer free lessons on maintaining personal lifejackets and demonstrate how to check for wear and tear, replace gas bottles and more.


Huge crowds are expected to visit the coast once more this summer, so it is good to know that the RLNI will be keeping a watchful eye.


Thank you.


Announcements by the Cabinet Member Communities:


I’d like to draw members’ attention towards a new consultation which was launched earlier this week, and which I hope you will help encourage your constituents to take part in.


The Bridgend 2030 Net Zero Carbon Strategy is asking people for their views on issues ranging from decarbonisation and climate change to the council’s commitments and proposed initiatives for reducing the area’s carbon footprint.


Bridgend County Borough Council declared its own climate emergency in June 2020 and set up a Climate Emergency Response programme to commit to the Net Zero 2030 target as an organisation. 


As you know, our target is to achieve Net Zero Carbon status by 2030, and receiving people’s views and ideas on how we can work towards this is an important part of the overall process.


We want this to be a partnership that everyone has a stake in, so I hope that you will help to make people aware.


The consultation will be live until 30 August 2022 and people can take part by visiting the council website, or contacting the Consultation team to request an alternative format.


Thank you.


Announcements by the Cabinet Member Education:


Members may be interested to know that preparations are underway for rolling out the new National Plan for Music Education to schools across Bridgend County Borough this autumn.


This Welsh Government initiative aims to ensure that no child will miss out on musical tuition or activities due to a lack of financial means.


Thanks to the support of the Bridgend Music Service, local children aged from three to sixteen will be able to benefit from the scheme from September 2022 onwards.


Music can play an important role in both increasing a child’s confidence and supporting their general health and well-being.


This initiative will also help to protect local arts and culture in the county borough, and I hope that it will encourage young people to develop a greater interest in music while making it easier for them to try out different instruments that they may otherwise not have had access to.


Thank you.


Announcements by the Cabinet Member Education:


I am sure that members will be aware that the war in Ukraine has now been taking place for one hundred and twelve days, and that more than fifteen million people have been displaced.


As Bridgend County Borough Council is one of many local authorities who are playing their part in supporting the UK Government’s ‘Homes For Ukraine’ scheme, I thought members may appreciate an update on the current position.


In brief, a corporate working group has been established to oversee our response, and has established processes to ensure that we are meeting all of the scheme’s expectations.


Taff Housing has been commissioned to support the local implementation of the scheme as refugees leave the established Welsh ‘welcome centres’.


They are recruiting a new team who can provide additional resource and deliver wrap-around support for families and hosts.


In the interim, we are meeting needs by utilising the skills of existing council staff who already provide support to Syrian and Afghan refugees.


So far, 64 local households have applied to the Home Office to act as hosts.


Out of more than 180 visa applications, 116 have been approved by the Home Office, and 65 are still awaiting approval.


A total of 59 Ukrainians have already arrived in Bridgend County Borough and are receiving full support, and we anticipate that this figure will soon rise to 64.


We also believe that the area could potentially attract a further 117 refugees in coming weeks and months.


Work is underway to identify new hosts who can support the initiative further, and so far, around 100 have been sourced and contacted.


To date, we have received interest from 18 hosts who are now in the process of completing property and background checks, and one offer has already been made.


Together with other participating councils, we are continuing to enquire about what the arrangements will be for supporting longer-term accommodation needs.


Currently, host arrangements are short-term in nature, and the ‘thank you’ payments last only 12 months.


We are still waiting to receive formal funding instructions from the Home Office or from Welsh Government, and are also seeking clarification over a number of ongoing operational issues.


These range from confirmation around health screening actions to establishing how we receive details on the needs of refugees who arrive via the Family Visa route.


Like all councils, we are facing huge demands upon both our housing and homelessness services, and must take a number of additional wider pressures into consideration, too.


Nevertheless, officers are investing a great deal of hard work into ensuring that we can offer our support to refugees of the conflict, and I am sure that members will want to extend their thanks and appreciation for this.


I will of course bring you further updates as the situation develops further.


Thank you.