Agenda item

To receive announcements by the Leader


The recent industrial action by the National Education Union resulted in the closure of 23 primary schools, eight secondary schools and two special schools in Bridgend County Borough.


A further 16 primary schools and one special school were only partially open as a result of the industrial action. In total, nine primaries and one secondary school remained open as normal.


The strike marked the first of four planned days of industrial action, with further disruption to services likely to affect schools on Tuesday 14 February, and Wednesday 15 to Thursday 16 March.


On each strike day, schools make a decision on whether they can stay open or not based upon factors such as staff supervision levels, risk assessments, safeguarding and more.


While all schools will aim to inform parents about potential closures at least three working days before any industrial action takes place, some schools may make a decision to remain open or to close on the day of the proposed strike.


If a school has decided to close in advance, pupils who are eligible for free school meals are given a packed lunch the day before the proposed strike.


If a headteacher decides to close a school prior to lunchtime on the day of the strike, eligible pupils will receive a packed lunch to take home with them. 


Unless a school has decided to close prior to the day of planned industrial action, school transport for eligible pupils will continue to run as normal.


However, in the event that a school or year group is forced to close due to staff supervision levels, a responsible adult such as a parent or carer should collect children from primary or additional needs schools. 


Pupils, parents and carers are being kept up to date on latest developments around the industrial action, and schools are liaising with them closely to make sure that everyone is informed.


While the industrial action is underway, the ongoing welfare of local children will remain our top priority.


In other news, members may want to let their constituents know that Bridgend Register Office will host an open day on Saturday 18 February


Since its move into new premises here at the Civic Offices in July 2020, the Register Office has hosted more than 500 ceremonies ranging from weddings, civil partnerships and vow renewals to naming and commitment events.


It has also hosted citizenship ceremonies featuring the High Sheriff of Mid Glamorgan, representatives of the Lord Lieutenant and the Mayor of Bridgend.


The register office now offers a state of the art ceremony room, Swit Pen-y-Bont, which can host up to 50 guests, as well as a purpose-built garden area where people can take photographs to mark their happy event.


At the open day, staff will be available to show people around the new facilities and answer any questions that they may have about the register office and its work, what the booking process is and more.


The event will run from 10am to 1pm, and the facilities are fully accessible for people with disabilities.


I hope that members will let their constituents know about the open day, and that it is of interest.


Finally, I’d like to make members aware of the services that are offered through the Repair Café Wales organisation.


Designed to stop repairable household items from being thrown out or going to landfill, the service enables people to have broken or damaged items fixed and repaired - all for free.


The repair service covers items ranging from clothes, household electrics and technological goods to children’s toys, bicycles, furniture and woodworking.


It offers training and advice to local communities and aims to encourage people to repair and recycle.


With a network of around 50 workshops spread throughout Wales, the organisation regularly advertises a series of pop-up repair events, but I am delighted to confirm that we have a local branch based here within the county borough.


Maesteg Repair Café was established by members of the Menshed project with support from BAVO and Repair Café Wales in January last year.


Based at the Old Court House, they were the first one of their kind to set up in the county borough and have gone from strength to strength with some highly positive and very moving testimonials from the people making use of their services.


I am sure members will agree that with the ongoing cost of living crisis, a service such as this is more valuable than ever.


More information is available at the Repair café website, and also from BAVO.