Hello there. Hope you’re feeling well today.I have in this blog chatted about Bridgend Council’s public service cuts. Well on Friday came a report in Wales Online that if they have to face further financial demands from the Welsh Government then they will “think the unthinkable” in terms of cuts in order to balance the books.

Now whoever is to blame for this situation is a matter for debate. And as I’ve said in the past Welsh Labour have managed Bridgend with arrogant incompetence. What is clear though is this. If one part of Welsh Labour (the council) blames another part of Welsh Labour (the national government) then Welsh Labour is responsible for the situation in Bridgend.

I suspect that Bridgend Labour Council are using the old trick of ramping up the worst possible situation so that if cuts still occur they will be less than what was originally proposed but still worse than previously. Still let’s assume that they completely Brigxit from reality.

The proposals include:

Closure Of The Bridgend Town Bus Station: I must admit to not having mentioned the bus station in the past and that was remiss of me. Because it’s quite exceptional. It’s modern, effiencient and impressive. If the town matched the bus station then Bridgend town would be an urban legend instead of an urban tragedy…….and the council would consider closing it down?…..insanity on the proportions of locking it up in a straight jacket in a padded cell.

Closing it down would also be a false economy. After all potential for people to come to Bridgend town and spend money would be reduced. And as we’ve chatted about time and time again Bridgend Town needs the money.

An impressive place

Closing Libraries:/Community Centres Which I would suspect be in relatively isolated areas. Thus depriving communtinites of knowledge, entertainment and help. Depriving children of more books to read, of the unemployed access to the internet. But hey. Labour is “for the many”

Closing nursery education for Three Year Olds/ Closing Daycare Centres For Adults With Learning Disabilities/Older People: You may remember previously in this blog I remarked that this year’s cuts from the council were designed to protect vuncerable people? Well that’s gone for the future apparently

Reduced Road Sweeping In The Town : Another false economy. Nothing attracts visitors to a town like litter.

And so it continues.

What it means is that Bridgend thanks to Welsh Labour could be reduced from madness to despair to desolation….for the many.

Now for reasons I won’t bore you with I spent most of Saturday morning in Bridgend Town. I thought my next proper visit wouldn’t be till September. But I’d forgotten about something so today I was there. Let’s begin with the four things I regularly visit.

The old Mcdonalds site: Machinery still there. No apparent change from my last visit. Nothing seems to have been built.

The Nolton Street Arcade: No change here either. Every shop in the arcade other than the two by Nolton street itself is empty.

Bridgend Indoor Market: No change re Christmas decorations. Still up there. Person I tried to get to help me on this said there was nothing he could do that I’ve not already done to try and get them taken down (in let’s face it July) but suggested to see what would happen when the new plan to revitalise the market comes into place. This I will do. Will wait to January and try again. (more about decorations in a moment).

Now the market had more occupancy than normal. But that was because there was a craft fair for the day so that there were temprorary stalls. Seemingly no change for the moment in the permanent state of the place.

With regard to the plan I’ve promised not to discuss this until September as I won’t step on the work of another blogger. What I will say is that it actually seems like a good plan to my unqualified eye. But with one major flaw. No plan, however good enough, will work if people are not attracted to come to the town. Hence the idea of closing the bus station down is not just a false economy, but simply mad.

Phones4U: Whilst yet to surpass the McDonalds record of seventeen years left to rot in the town centre after having closed down come September it will reach four years. Interestingly was able to take a picture of what it’s like inside.

Eerie

You can imagine on Halloween the ghosts of Phones4U salespeople trying to flog the latest oyster mobile at you or explaining the glories of 3G.

In terms of shops there doesn’t appear to be much of a change since the last time I was in the town. The vast swathes of empty shops are still there.

(As a quick aside in the public meeting with Leanne Wood I posted about a few weeks back there were people lamenting about the state of Pontypridd Town. I told them that compared to Bridgend Town Ponty was like the West End of London).

On the plus side I noticed that there was a branch of The Works there. This was significant because I cannot remember the last time (other than a seller of second hand tablets etc) a high street chain came to Bridgend since ASDA about five to seven years ago.

However there seems to be a rule in Bridgend Town that when one shop opens another closes.

An unpleasant surprise

This Café has been there since at least 2000 when we moved into the area. There were signs basically saying bailiffs came in to repossess the place.

And to show how sudden this was here’s a picture of it from the inside.

Sad

I was going to have breakfast there. As it happened I went to the Dragon Café in Nolton Street. Did a little reading.

Wish I Could Say I Liked The Book

So far Mr Williams has revealed himself as a fan of Empire and tolerant (though not approving of) a colour bar in drinking establishments. This is not going well.

Unlike the breakfast.

All this for £4.60

Best fry-up breakfast I’ve had in a while.

Now there was a classic car show in Bridgend Town. When I say ” Car Show ” I mean people parked old cars in some streets, made jokes about gaskets and were still cleaning their cars in case the odd speck of dust hit their vehicles. Still I get a passion is a passion and so prepare for car porn. Though looking at the cars that interested me I suspect I’m softcore.

Austin Wolseley

Morris Minor ….ahh
Bet this frightened criminals
I have this theory that Fords become interesting when they’re no longer in production

It is difficult to make a proper comment on the number of people who came yesterday to the town given the craft fair and the car show but perhaps two pictures might illustrate the problems it has. Around 11:30 at (I think) Wyndham Street . This is the picture of people on one side looking at the cars.

Popular

And this is the picture a few seconds later on the other side.

Says It All

One final thing you might have noticed that in the last two pictures there is bunting that’s actually across the town. It was put up for a World War Two VE party celebration they did in May. And it’s not been put down. Is this another Bridgend Labour Council cut? Put decorations up but don’t bother to take them down again? We’ll see in September.

Bridgend….thanks to Welsh Labour….misery for the many…not the few.

Until the next time.