Coronavirus (COVID-19) Latest information

Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The number of cases of Coronavirus (Covid-19) continues to increase. The council continues to follow official advice from key agencies such as Welsh Government and Public Health Wales.

The Government has introduced strict new measures to fight the virus and the latest Government advice can be found here   https://gov.wales/full-guidance-staying-home-and-away-others’

Information is being updated regularly, and we would encourage all our residents to keep up to date with the latest advice and guidance to help keep one another safe and well. You can find this from the following websites:

The Council is working closely with partners to focus on its priorities and to continue to look after our vulnerable residents.

Any disruption to Council Services as a result of Coronavirus (COVID-19) will be updated on this page as necessary and also on our social media accounts.

Please note that our Council buildings are now closed to the public. We will inform you when this changes.

 

 

Social Media

Our social media accounts to follow are:

  • Facebook – @blaenaugwentcbc
  • Twitter -  @BlaenauGwentCBC

Supporting our Community

Public Access to Council Buildings

With immediate effect and until further notice, there will be no public access to any Council buildings. Our 24 hour secure Internet payments service is available for online payments.

For any other help and advice please call us on 01495 311556.

For Council Tax advice or help please call 01495 355212 or 01495 356010.

For Benefit advice or help please call 01495 353398.

Closure of Leisure Businesses, Footpaths and Access Land

Blaenau Gwent CBC Public Rights of Way network remains open for the public to use. This will remain under review and may change if areas are identified where groups of people are congregating and actively ignoring measures set out by the Government.

We ask that all members of the public follow the requirements for social distancing and utilise their local routes rather then travel to the countryside unnecessarily. Many footpaths and bridleways cross private land, working farms and in some cases are close to private homes. Please keep to the paths, keep your distance from landowners and continue to follow the restrictions and measures which are in place to protect you and others. 

All path closure notices will be published online and notices posted on site under The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Closure of Leisure Businesses, Footpaths and Access Land) (Wales) Regulations 2020.

If you still require further clarity on the information provided please call Chris Engel, Team Manager Natural Environment; Tel :01495 355545  Mobile 07866856118.

Parks and Open Spaces

Blaenau Gwent Council and all councils in Gwent have decided to close all council owned parks, open spaces and outdoor play facilities to residents with immediate effect.

This is in line with the Welsh Government’s announcement to close all national parks and caravan parks, campsites, tourist hotspots and popular beauty spots to visitors. 
               
The aim is to reduce public gatherings and unnecessary travel in order to stop the rapid spread of coronavirus overloading the NHS.

People need to take personal responsibility themselves in order to protect others.

Beaufort Common in Ebbw Vale is closed to the public.

Last Updated:  10.06am| 24.03.2020

Leisure Services ( information from Aneurin Leisure Trust)

Aneurin Leisure Trust Closures

All Aneurin Leisure Trust managed sites are closed.

This includes:

  • Sports Centres
  • Adult Education Centres
  • Libraries
  • Bryn Bach Park Visitor Centre & Golf Course
  • Bedwellty House

Direct debit membership and swim school payments have been frozen.

Please follow Aneurin Leisure Trust on social media - Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to - keep updated with developments and for specific details regarding individual sites within Aneurin Leisure Trust. 

 

Business Advice

Advice for Businesses in Blaenau Gwent

The Health Protection (Coronavirus Restrictions) (Wales) Regulations 2020 introduced the requirement for certain businesses to close. Closure of the businesses lasts until a further direction is given by the Welsh Ministers allowing them to re-open.

Businesses and premises that breach the Regulations will be subject to fixed penalty notices incurring immediate financial penalties, prohibition notices forcing them to close, and potentially unlimited fines.

Please see a full list here  

Help with Business Rates

Further information about the support we can offer to companies in Blaenau Gwent can be found here under the Business pages of our website. https://www.blaenau-gwent.gov.uk/en/business/blaenau-gwent-cbc-business-community-covid-19-updates/

For any further detailed advice please visit the Blaenau Gwent Business Hub website.

Last updated 14.30pm | 27.03.2020

 

 

Waste and Recycling

Kerbside waste & recycling services are continuing as normal. This includes green waste collections.

Bulky Waste collections are being suspended. We will continue to collect where the service has already been paid for, however no new bookings for this service will be taken.

Local Recycling Centre

The Council’s New Vale Household Waste Recycling Centre located on Waun-y-Pound Industrial Estate, Ebbw Vale is closed to the public with immediate effect and until further notice. 

This action is in response to the most recent social distancing measures announced by the Government to contain Covid19 virus and reduce pressure on the NHS.

We ask everyone to continue to use their kerbside waste collections as normal and please recycle all that you can.

Waste Disposal Advice to Householders self-isolating for Coronavirus

If your household is self-isolating having identified symptoms of the Coronavirus, any household waste you accumulate in the 3 days (72 hours) before your normal day/date of collection will need to be set aside to be put out on the next collection date.

  • This is to minimise the risk of infection to others.
  • This does not represent any additional risk to yourselves.
  • Please place all personal waste, such as used tissues and disposable cleaning cloths securely in a plastic bag or bin liner.
  • This plastic bag should then be placed in another plastic bag and securely tied.

New Commercial Recycling Service Roll Out Delayed

  • Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we have no option but to delay the launch new trade recycling service
  • Customers will continue with the current co-mingled service using the same bins and bag arrangements
  • Customers who used the blue & clear recycling bags please continue to use these and call the service desk to arrange deliveries of more bags if you need more (01495 311556)
  • Billing will continue at the 2019/20 rates temporarily until we are able to launch the new service
  • Please go ahead and fill in the paperwork that you have received for the new service so that we are able to progress the 2020/21 service as quickly and efficiently as possible as soon as circumstances allow.


Funeral Attendance

Funeral Attendance Statement from Gwent Local Resilience Forum

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 Coronavirus outbreak and in line with government restrictions, it is necessary to limit the number of people in any public space and ensure necessary social distancing. These unprecedented circumstances mean that during times of bereavement and mourning, it is not possible to manage a safe and dignified funeral unless strict guidelines are followed and adhered to.

In light of current restrictions on people gathering, it is unfortunate but necessary to limit the number of people in attendance at a funeral.

With immediate effect, only the following people are authorised to attend a graveside funeral or funeral at a crematorium: 

- A maximum of five (5) members of the immediate family of the deceased
- Minister or officiate for the ceremony/service
- Funeral director

This applies for any funerals, memorial services and gatherings at any cemetery within the five local authority areas of Gwent and the Gwent Crematorium.

This decision has not been taken lightly but is necessary for the safety, health and consideration of the local and wider community. It is essential to continue to follow this practice until further government advice is given.

Last Updated 09.19am | 25.03.2020

Schools

Schools in Blaenau Gwent are closed. A small number of sites remain open and are being used as childcare hubs for the children of identified key workers and those working on the Covid-19 emergency. We are also providing packed lunches for collection for those pupils that require them.

For the latest Welsh Government information on coronavirus (COVID-19) and Education please follow the link to the Welsh Government website below:

https://gov.wales/education-coronavirus

There is also more information available on our dedicated Covid-19 Education Information page.

For the Latest Important Information* - https://www.blaenau-gwent.gov.uk/en/resident/emergencies-crime-prevention/coronavirus-covid-19-latest-education-information/  

WG Update 26.03.2020 - Covid 19 Education, Childcare & Work Based Learning Update


Latest Welsh Government Information

Welsh Government is publishing regular updates and guidance and the latest information is below.

https://gov.wales/5-things-you-need-know-sending-your-children-school-or-childcare-coronavirus
https://gov.wales/written-statement-eligibility-ongoing-provision-children-who-are-vulnerable-or-whose-parents-are
https://gov.wales/how-schools-will-work-during-coronavirus-pandemic
https://gov.wales/coronavirus-and-childcare-provision
https://hwb.gov.wales/zones/online-safety/
https://gov.wales/coronavirus

 Last Updated 12.01pm | 26.03.2020

Early Years Services

Important information for Childcare settings / pre-school children/ parents and carers issued by Education Wales. Please follow the link for more information https://www.blaenau-gwent.gov.uk/en/resident/health-wellbeing-social-care/support-for-children-families/education-and-childcare-coronavirus/ 

Welsh Government - 5 Steps you need to know before sending your children to school or childcare (Coronavirus)

https://gov.wales/5-things-you-need-know-sending-your-children-school-or-childcare-coronavirus

Last Updated:  10.33am | 23.03.2020

Street Cleansing

Street cleansing services are currently suspended to allow the redeployment of staff into other services.

Last Updated 12.01pm | 26.03.2020

Vulnerable people

  • Cwrt Mytton - operating as normal but closed to non-essential visitors
  • Augusta House - closed to planned respite but available to support emergency situations from Monday 23rd March 20
  • Home Care - operating as normal but care calls are being prioritised based on critical levels of care and support only including Extra Care and Emergency Care at Home.
  • Community Options - all buildings are closed to visitors but where appropriate staff are supporting priority citizens in their own homes as an alternative support.
  • Supported Living Service - operating as normal but closed to non-essential visitors

We are continuing to look after our most vulnerable people and home care and domiciliary services are continuing. If you have particular concerns about a vulnerable person please contact us on 01495 311556.


COVID-19 (Coronavirus) ‘Call To Action’ Volunteers Needed In Blaenau Gwent
 
GAVO are encouraging people who are not at risk themselves and are not experiencing any symptoms, to register to support individuals who are at risk and required to self-isolate, communities, groups, voluntary and Third Sector organisations, the NHS as well as other Public and Statutory services and wherever else the need may be.
 

Age Cymru is offering a free check-in-and-chat telephone service for anyone 70 or over who lives alone, to provide reassurances, answer basic queries and link people to local services and support during the Coronavirus outbreak.

All you have to do call the Age Cymru Advice Number on 08000 223 444 or email enquiries@agecymru.org.uk to register for a call.

Last Updated:  10.16am| 23.03.2020

Blue Badge

All Blue Badge applications can be found online at https://www.gov.uk/apply-blue-badge

Last Updated 10.00am | 23.03.2020

Council Tax

Public Access to Council Buildings
With immediate effect and until further notice, there will be no public access to any Council buildings. Our 24 hour secure Internet payments service is available for online payments.
For any other help and advice please call us on 01495 311556.

Last Updated: 21:40pm 23 March 2020

In order to limit contact where possible we will be encouraging residents to use online or telephone methods. View your Council Tax account, pay by Direct Debit, check your band and switch to paperless billing by using our online service https://www.blaenau-gwent.gov.uk/en/resident/council-tax/council-tax-online/

Housing

Housing advice: coronavirus (COVID-19)

Many people are worried about Coronavirus (COVID-19) and how it could affect their housing. Use the information below to help work out what COVID-19 means for you. You can also check the Shelter Cymru website for more detailed information https://sheltercymru.org.uk/get-advice/coronavirus/

HOUSING ADVICE CENTRE - BLAENAU GWENT 

https://www.blaenaugwenthomes.org.uk/LatestNews

In light of the current situation we have had to close the Housing Advice Centre. If you need any housing assistance, please contact the following numbers:

Housing Register

07971493453
07971314701

Homlessness 

07970176467
07870528250
07854368590

Cwmcrachen Site

07971493453 (Repairs)
07854367028 (Housing Management)

Disability Facilities Grants 

07846103921
07581533438

All Other Queries

01495 311556

Last Updated 11.24am | 26.03.2020

Housing Benefits

In order to limit contact where possible we will be encouraging residents to use online or telephone methods. Appointments will only be used where it is essential.

We can now accept Housing Benefits and Council Tax Reduction online here https://www.blaenau-gwent.gov.uk/en/resident/housing-benefit/benefits-online/

Last Updated 2.00PM | 24.03.2020

Meals on Wheels

This service continues to operate.

Last Updated 10.00am | 24.03.2020

Registration of births, deaths, marriages and civil partnerships

During the current coronavirus outbreak, alternative arrangements have been made for registration services provided by Blaenau Gwent registrars.

Death registration will take priority.

For Birth and Death registration, please call 01495 353372 or e-mail registrars@blaenau-gwent.gov.uk.

In accordance with the announcement made by the Prime Minister on the 23rd March 2020, all Weddings and Civil Partnerships are cancelled until further notice.

If you have any urgent, marriage or civil partnership query please call 01495 353371 or e-mail elaine.williams@blaenau-gwent.gov.uk

Last Updated:  14.00pm | 24.03.2020

 

 

Civic Centre Payments

Council buildings are now closed to the public. There are other ways to pay Council tax, for more information go to - https://www.blaenau-gwent.gov.uk/en/resident/council-tax/pay-your-council-tax/

Council Meetings

All committee meetings (Full Council, Executive Committee, Audit Committee and Scrutiny committees) are suspended until further notice.

Trading Standards

Fraudsters are increasingly targeting the public and organisations with emails, texts, ‘phone calls and WhatsApp messages offering advice and treatment for the coronavirus, as well as setting up fake websites selling products and offering ‘cures’.

Our Covid-19 Trading Standards page has some good advice - https://www.blaenau-gwent.gov.uk/en/resident/trading-standards/trading-standards-covid-19-scams/