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Bridgend Town Council Community Newsletter

In March 2021 Bridgend Town Council issued the first edition of its new community newsletter. The aim of this newsletter is to keep local residents informed about Town Council projects and services, familiarise you with your local Councillors and provide useful information about your local area. 

Hard copies of the newsletter have been posted to residents and digital copies in English and Welsh can be accessed using the links below:

Bridgend Town Council Newsletter Edition 1 - English

Bridgend Town Council Newsletter Edition 1 - Welsh 

Bridgend Town Council Community Survey

Bridgend Town Council would like to find out how residents feel about the services and facilities it provides. Your opinions are extremely important and will help inform Council decisions and ensure that Town Council resources are allocated to the things that matter to you the most. Please use the link below to complete the survey:

Bridgend Town Council Community Survey - March 2021

New Bridgend Town Mayor & Deputy Mayor

At a remote meeting of Bridgend Town Council on Monday 25th January 2021, Cllr Steven Bletsoe was appointed as the new Mayor of Bridgend Town Council.

Cllr Bletsoe has appointed his wife, Cllr Freya Bletsoe as Mayoress and will be supported by the new Deputy Mayor, Cllr Tim Wood.

Cllr Bletsoe has taken over the Mayoral role from Cllr Alan Wathan. The Town Council would like to thank Cllr Wathan for his support and dedication throughout his extended time as Mayor during the pandemic.

At the Council meeting, Cllr Bletsoe thanked Members of Bridgend Town Council for appointing him as their Chair and Mayor of Bridgend Town and pledged:

To the residents of Bridgend, I promise to undertake all of my civic responsibilities to the best of my abilities at all times, representing you when required to do so”

Unfortunately, due to Covid-19, the usual ceremonial handing over of the Chains of Office could not take place, however the Declaration of Acceptance of Office was made publicly during the remote meeting.

Bridgend Town Centre - Remembrance Sunday 2020

It is with much regret that due to the ongoing situation with the Covid-19 pandemic and the risk to public health, the Remembrance parade and service will not take place at the Bridgend War Memorial on Remembrance Sunday.

Bridgend Town Council recognise that this will be disappointing for those that wish to attend a service, however it will ensure that military flags are flown at the War Memorial over Remembrance weekend and the Mayor of Bridgend Town Council, Cllr Alan Wathan, will lay a wreath on behalf of local residents.

The Mayor of Bridgend Town, Cllr. Alan Wathan said “The Town Council is committed to honouring the Armed Forces and remembering those that sacrificed their lives to serve their country but unfortunately due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it is not safe to hold a large public gathering this year.”

The Town Council would like to encourage local residents to commemorate Remembrance Sunday by watching the televised National Remembrance service and observing the two minute silence either on their doorstep or within the safety of their own home. By doing this and not attending a public place you can keep yourself and others safe, and help stop the spread of coronavirus.

For those wishing to lay a wreath, the gates of the War Memorial will be open from 9am – 4pm to allow organisations and the public to lay wreaths throughout the day.

The public are advised to adhere to social distancing regulations at the War Memorial and are discouraged from laying wreaths between 10.45am - 11.15am to avoid a large crowd congregating around the War Memorial at 11am.

Press Release: Bridgend Town Centre - Remembrance Sunday 2020 PDF

Nominate a local business for a Bridgend Town Council Business Award

Bridgend Town Council is looking for nominations for their new Business Awards Scheme for 2020.

Bridgend has a diverse range of successful businesses and the Town Council has created a new annual business awards scheme to acknowledge the positive contributions made towards community life from businesses operating within the three Town Council wards of Morfa, Oldcastle and Newcastle. 

Anyone can nominate a business for one or more awards in the following categories:

  1. Best Shop Front Award
  2. Best Customer Service Award
  3. Disability Awareness Award*

    *This award is in conjunction with the Bridgend Coalition of Disabled People and Heronsbridge School.
  4. The Best New Business Award
  5. The Business Community Award
  6.  The E-Commerce Award

Nominations for the 2020 awards are open and the closing date for nominations is 31st March 2020.

Download a BTC Business Awards Nomination Form. Completed forms can be emailed to bridgend.tc@bridgend.gov.uk or posted to Bridgend Town Council, Carnegie House, Wyndham Street, Bridgend, CF31 1EF.

A judging panel has been appointed by the BTC Regeneration Advisory Committee and awards will presented to the winners at a presentation evening on the evening of the full Town Council meeting on 20th April 2020.

PRESS RELEASE - 21st January 2020

Bridgend Town Council to purchase additional premises

Bridgend Town Council has grown significantly over the past five years and now delivers a wide range of services, projects and events to meet local needs and improve the life of residents in the local community.

The Town Council moved to the former Public Library building, now renamed ‘Carnegie House’ in Wyndham Street, Bridgend, in January 2014. The ground floor of the building is an Arts and Culture Centre delivering a varied programme of activities, classes and events, whilst the first floor accommodates the Town Council Chamber, meeting room and staff office.

The Town Council now employs 15 members of staff to fulfil its statutory duties and deliver the services it provides.

The development of Carnegie House has been highly successful and has helped the economic wellbeing of Bridgend Town Centre. Due to the growth of the Council and the increasing demand for art, culture and heritage events and activities, it is apparent that the space available at Carnegie House is not enough.

Bridgend Town Council is committed to continuing to support local residents and is therefore planning to purchase additional premises to protect and improve community facilities and extend its current services.

Currently, in addition to the business of Council and running Carnegie House Arts and Culture Centre, Bridgend Town Council manages five allotment sites, provides 28 Dog Waste bins and a weekly dog waste collection service, supplies and maintains the Town Centre summer floral displays and undertakes outdoor maintenance, tree planting and landscaping projects within the wards.

The Town Council installs and/or maintains a wide range of street furniture including litter bins, memorial benches, picnic benches, bus shelters, notice boards and telephone kiosks within its wards.

The Town Council is the custodian of the Town Centre War Memorial, Randall Memorial and Ruhamah Burial Ground. It is also the custodian of a lease for Evergreen Hall at Angel Street adjacent to the Civic Offices, which is a community facility for older people.

Evergreen Hall provides a range of activities, classes and clubs to enrich the lives of older and vulnerable people in Bridgend. The facility provides an environment to nurture relationships between generations, keeps people active, brings friends together and promotes a sense of wellbeing.

In recent years, the Town Council has taken responsibility for organising the annual Remembrance Parades and Services at the Town Centre War Memorial and has also delivered the Heritage Walkway Project to remember the significant part that Bridgend played during World War Two.

In addition to this, the Town Council provides and supports activities that benefit the Town Centre economy. This includes provision of the Christmas illuminations and a Christmas grotto at Carnegie House as well as organising and funding free large-scale town centre events such as the hugely successful 'Wartime Bridgend' and 'Bridgend Light Festival'.

Why do we need additional premises?

Due to the growth of the Council and the popularity of the Carnegie House arts, culture and heritage programme, demand currently exceeds what can be delivered in the space available.  In addition to this, due to access restrictions and lack of parking facilities at Evergreen Hall, there is a need to find alternative premises for the Evergreen Hall users.

Bridgend Town Council initiatives and partnerships for 2020 involve providing a facility for the Evergreen Hall charity to continue accommodating older residents in Bridgend, relocating the staff office from Carnegie House to a new premises, developing a new Heritage Space on the first floor of Carnegie House and funding and promotion of new public toilet facilities in the Rhiw Market. In addition to this, the purchase of additional premises will allow the Town Council to be responsive to future possibilities of land and functions being transferred from BCBC to BTC. The Town Council are committed to assist local sports clubs in Newbridge Fields to continue their vital work with people of all ages in sporting and wellbeing activities.

Bridgend Town Council are pursuing an opportunity to purchase the Ty'r Ardd building in Sunnyside subject to the cabinet approval of Bridgend County Borough Council. This building offers substantial accommodation at ground level with large grounds and suitable parking facilities for users. Ty’r Ardd meets the needs of the Town Council and Evergreen Hall users in many respects and for these reasons, Bridgend Town Council has resolved to purchase the property.

The Ty’r Ardd building will be used for multiple purposes including the relocation of the Evergreen Hall facility for older people, the delivery of Town Council services and meetings, activities for the local community and room hire for charities and organisations.

The purchase of the Ty’r Ardd property by Bridgend Town Council will also ensure that the building is retained for community use for future generations.

The traffic and parking for the new use of Ty’r Ardd is anticipated to remain substantially, as was, during the period when Ty’r Ardd was a Day Centre and as the Births Deaths and Marriages Registrar’s Office.

The purchase of Ty’r Ardd will also enable the Town Council to release space at Carnegie House, in the Town Centre, to expand the popular Arts and Cultural programme and explore options for a Heritage/Museum Space, which could benefit residents, local tourism, trading footfall and additional attractions on an all year-round basis.

 

-          ENDS -

For more information about this Press Release, please contact Leanne Edwards, Town Clerk, Bridgend Town Council on 01656 815 757.

Notice of Casual Vacancies

Pursuant to Section 87(2) of the Local Government Act 1972, and the Local Elections (Parishes and Communities) Rules 2006. Notice is given that two casual vacancies exist in the office of Councillor for the Bridgend Town Council - one vacancy in the Oldcastle ward and one vacancy in the Newcastle ward. Please see links to vacancy notices below for full details.

Notice of Casual Vacancy for the Oldcastle Ward

Notice of Casual Vacany for the Newcastle Ward

Mayor & Deputy Mayor for 2019-20

At an extraordinary meeting of Bridgend Town Council on Tuesday 4th June 2019, Councillor Alan Wathan was appointed Mayor of Bridgend Town Council.  The Mayor declared that his Consort would be Mrs Marlene Wathan. Councillor Steven Bletsoe was appointed Deputy Mayor and declared that his Consort would be Councillor Freya Bletsoe.

The role of Mayor is still important– even in the 21st century. The origins of the role are to be found following the Norman Conquest in the 11th Century. The power of the Mayor has diminished through the centuries; however the office continues to have a central part to play within modern councils and modern society and part of this role is as a result of the tradition it inherits.

Prior to the 12th century the choice of Mayor was in reality very restricted but today‘s Mayors can and do come from any class, gender or ethnic background. The new diversity reflects the more open and democratic society we now live in.

The Mayor is the Chairman of the Council and is the representative of the Town on civic matters. The Mayor, if present, presides over full Town Council meetings and makes sure the meetings are used as a forum for debate concerning matters which affect the local community.

Councillor Wathan said “ I would like to thank Bridgend Town Council for their trust and I will carry out my duties with impartiality, integrity and honesty”

 

Mayor & Deputy Mayor for 2019-20

Cllr. Alan Wathan has been elected as Mayor for the year 2019-20 and chose Mrs Wathan as Mayoress.

Cllr. Steven Bletsoe has been elected as Deputy Mayor for the year 2019-20.

Co-option of Youth Members to Town Council

Bridgend Town Council has determined to co-opt two Youth Members onto the Town Council; the positions will be non-voting.

The co-opted Youth Members will be drawn from those young people, over 16, who reside within the three Town Wards of Morfa, Oldcastle and Newcastle; See maps below for our ward boundaries.

Map of Bridgend Town Council Ward Boundaries - Oldcastle

Map of Bridgend Town Council Ward Boundaries - Newcastle and Morfa

Please see document below for full background details of the co-option and how to apply.

Youth Co-option:

Bridgend Town Council has determined to co-opt two Youth Members onto the Town Council; the two positions are non -voting.

The co-opted Youth Members will be drawn from those young people, over 16, who live within the three Town Wards of Morfa, Oldcastle and Newcastle (see map of ward boundaries).

The co-option will run until the end of this academic year.

Background Information

Bridgend Town Council is an elected body of 19 councillors of all political persuasions who meet monthly on the third Monday at 7pm to discuss matters primarily of local Bridgend Town importance – but sometimes can include discussions on issues which are at regional or national importance.

Once elected – usually every 4-5 years, the Council has traditionally tried to leave “political” views to one side and act collectively in the interests of the residents of the Bridgend Town area.

Naturally, based in a commercial area, - we take a view on all matters that affect our Town Centre where we welcome many visitors and shoppers from near and far; - but equally take an interest in residential areas, local schools and community organisations that have an impact and a contribution to local community life.

Our meetings are open to the public and press who are entitled to record and report on anything that may be said in debate.

Council is headed by an annually elected Mayor from the members; and various committees make up the full total of the business of the Council – all of whom report monthly or periodically to the full Council so that all members are aware of decisions taken or projects suggested as part of Council life.

Council tries to reflect all the local views of the residents as they see them, but it may well be that due to the ages and experience of members, the ideas and views of younger people are sometimes overlooked or not always considered in determinations.

As a Council we simply need to hear the views of the younger generation - hence our invitation to young people who are not currently entitled to a vote at elections to express their points of view.

This experience on offer will hope to show the difference between full County Borough Council – namely BCBC based in Bridgend – and Town and Community Councils that have a much more local basis and can sometimes deal with issues that crop up and be more speedily resolved for the benefit of local residents.

We hope this brief outline of the situation will help you decide the way forward, but our Town Clerk, Nigel Kinsey , would be delighted to speak with you on any matter before you might decide to consider applying.

We feel that this is a great opportunity for those young people interested in local politics and issues and will give a first- hand insight into how local councils operate.

How to Apply

If you would like to become a co-opted Youth Member of Bridgend Town Council, please send a letter expressing your interest, outlining your background and why you are interested in becoming a Youth Member of the Town Council.

Applications to be sent to the Town Clerk, at the above address, or by e-mail to bridgend.tc@bridgend.gov.uk

The successful applicants will be notified of the Town Council’s decision following the receipt and consideration by Members of all applications.

Arts Hub at Carnegie House:

Bridgend Town Council relocated to the old library building on Wyndham Street in January 2014. The building was erected in 1907 with a grant of £2000 from the Carnegie Trust and to pay tribute to the past, the building has been renamed Carnegie House/Ty Carnegie. The 1st floor of the building accommodates Bridgend Town Council Chamber and staff office, whilst the ground floor and small galleria area on the 1st floor are designated for an Arts and Cultural Hub.

The aim of Carnegie House Arts & Culture Hub is to provide a high standard of Art and Cultural events and activities. This will include a programme of professional art and cultural events as well as community activities that encourage local people to get involved in the arts in all its different aspects. Uses of the venue could include live performance, arts classes, workshops, musical events and exhibitions.