Cllr Sherelle Jago advised that from a Social Services perspective, safeguarding referrals have increased across the County Borough as children are accessing schools and childcare settings again. There is also an increase in domestic violence and support to carers.
MTCBC does not have any current issues with PPE – staff are all comfortable using the equipment that they have.
Regarding Education, all schools will reopen from the 1st September. There will be a phased return over two weeks and all children ill be back in school full-time from the 14th September. The initial two weeks will allow schools to meet new expectations in line with Government guidance.
The average school attendance across the County Borough has been 52.7% during the catch-up sessions within the small bubbles of pupils.
From a Neighbourhood Services perspective, all children’s playgrounds can re-open from the 20th July, all playgrounds in Merthyr Tydfil will be ready to re-open from the 27th July. This date is in line with most of our neighbouring authorities.
MTCBC is continuing to work with Welsh Government (WG) to deliver food parcels to those who have been told to shield until the 16th August. If residents are not entitled to the WG food packages, then County Councillors are organising food parcels for them.
MTCBC has been working on the response to the Kepak COVID-19 outbreak with Public Health Wales and Cwm Taf Morgannwg Health Board. The outbreak has been contained and managed.
Full Council meetings have not resumed yet, but formal Cabinet meetings have taken place virtually, and recording of these meetings will begin from the 15th July.
County Councillor Malcolm Colbran provided the following email report:
“Since 1st June 2020 I’ve attended three physical meetings of Greenfield School Governors where I’m Vice Chair.
I attended a virtual meeting of the MTCBC Licencing Committee and a briefing for Councillors on Schools reopening. As Vice Chair of the Planning Committee I’ve given input regarding Planning Applications being determined by the Chief Executive under temporary delegated powers granted to him in light of the Covid-19 situation.
As the MTCBC representative I’ve attended virtual meetings of the Glamorgan Archives Joint Management Committee, the Llywdcoed Crematorium Joint Management Committee. three meetings of the South Wales Fire & Rescue Authority and four of the Brecon Beacons National Park Authority.
I have regular virtual meetings with the Independent Councillor Group to keep updated with any Borough wide issues.
I’ve dealt with numerous issues raised by residents including reports of anti-social behaviour, off-road biking, fly-tipping, grass cutting, blocked culverts, rat infestation, pot holes, a Disabled Facilities Grant application and responded to requests from parents asking for information regarding the schools reopening.
I’ve engaged with local businesses to inform them of the financial support on offer during the current crisis including one unaware they were entitled to a £10,000 grant which they have now successfully applied for.
On Fridays I collect the FareShare food delivery, which BTCC are funding, from the Fir Tree Centre in Treharris and in conjunction with Cllr. Jago and community volunteers deliver food parcels. I regularly deliver prescriptions and go to the Supermarket for residents who are shielding.
On behalf of Bedlinog & Trelewis Community Action Group I’ve cut the grass at the entrance to the Manor View estate, the verge from Cath’s Farm Shop to the Caerphilly boundary, the junction of Gelligear & Shingrig Roads, around the Trelewis obelisk, Bontnewdd Terrace, between Beechcroft & Glynbargoed Close, the bank opposite Bedlinog Rec., opposite the garage in Bedlinog and Maes y Bedw bus stop.
I’ve also cut back undergrowth on the footpath from Cherry Tree Way to Field Street including the Red Steps and the wall on the main road as far as the end of Edwards Terrace, the steps from Stormtown to Trelewis Welfare Park, the green walking route from Commercial Street to Bedlinog School, the path and steps at the end of Woodlands, the paths across the Coop field from the Bedw Road bridge to Station Terrace & Chapel Street, the path from the Community Centre to Bedlinog Rec. and the path from Bethel Chapel to Bedlinog High Street. Cllr. Jago & I also cleared the front of Bedlinog Workies site.
Construction has started on the Shingrig Playground, something Cllr. Jago and myself have been working hard towards for the last three years”.