PLACE, NEIGHBOURHOOD & CORPORATE ASSETS: SERVICE UPDATES: Friday 12 February 2021
Assets & Facilities
In line with the current lock down restrictions, cleaning staff including day cleaners are operating across all schools and Early Years sites and catering staff are working on a rotational basis providing hot lunches. Following the day cleaning recruitment exercise in December, 14 employees have commenced and a further recruitment exercise is underway to fill the remaining eight vacant positions. An additional recruitment exercise is underway to fill vacant FM cleaning, catering and Janitorial positions across the Education and Corporate estate. Cashless Catering is currently being implemented on a phased approach in Primary schools with twenty six schools now operating the cashless catering system. The full roll out of this system will be completed by 12th February 2021. The next stage of this project is to upgrade the existing cashless catering system in all Secondary schools and new build Primary schools, which will commence mid February. The pre-order system is operational in Secondary schools which allows pupils to pre-order lunches from mobile phones and view orders and balance.
The current programme of Gas safety inspections are ongoing and we continue to make progress in reducing the backlog of inspections resulting from the current pandemic. The courts have issued some warrants to access properties which are overdue on their inspections and service visits have taken place yesterday and today 9th & 10th. Further warrants are being issued tomorrow (11th) and we will seek additional warrants as required as we continue to arrange visits in the coming weeks to further reduce the backlog. Void repairs are ongoing with good progress being made on completing properties and we are engaging with one of our contractors to assist in carrying out works in order to further reduce the backlog as we continue to try and significantly reduce the number of void properties. We continue to carry out emergency and essential reactive repairs with the minor works element of the Care & Repair service still on hold at this time. Aids & Adaptation works continue and the Smoke and Heat detector installation programme remains active across the estate. Kitchen, Bathroom, Heating and Roofing replacement programmes remain on hold and will restart as soon as is practicable and safe to do so. Progression and completion of work across the Education portfolio continues including larger scale refurbishment works. We have been actively involved in assisting with the set up of vaccination centres across East Dunbartonshire and we have worked closely with various parties to ensure the seamless process of setting up centres for the roll out of mass vaccinations. We are assisting in the survey and setting up of polling stations for the upcoming elections and this will continue over the coming weeks.
Assets & Estates
Projects at Southbank House / KHCC and the Oakburn Early Years Centre are all in their final stages of snagging and handover is currently anticipated imminently. Construction continues at Lairdsland and Bearsden Early Years facilities. Productivity across each site continues to be impacted by the pandemic and the programme impact of this in particular continues to be monitored closely by the Major Asset projects team.
Construction continues to progress well at Boclair Academy and Allander Leisure and Day Care Centre. Construction of the Kirkintilloch Community Sports Complex is scheduled to commence shortly, subject to the agreement of final contractual terms. Design and cost development continues to progress for the ASN project and the Stage 1 Report will be provided to Council in February 2021.
The Estates Management team continue to develop and manage servicing and maintenance contracts across the Estate, with a priority on regulatory compliance and building safety, and this work progresses on a continual basis. The team also continue to deliver a repairs services across the full estate with a current focus on priority issues within the Education estate.
In the non-operational (commercial) estate, the team continue to support both new and existing SME businesses with their property requirements, including the renewal of leases, coordinating repairs and sourcing premises. Support continues to be offered where necessary to tenants through rent deferrals and referrals to the business support team.
The Asset Management team continue to deliver a range of capital projects across the property estate. Work remains in progress at Lenzie Academy (3G Pitch Installation) and Hilton Depot (Drying Room / Canteen Refurb) and design work is underway to progress various projects within the School Estate Refurbishment Programme.
The team continue to deliver a range of capital projects across the Housing portfolio, including external rendering of properties in Waterside, window replacement and electrical rewire to void properties. Preparations are underway to re-commence kitchens and bathroom installations later in 2021 with colleagues in Property Maintenance when safe and appropriate to do so, roof replacement to mixed tenure properties and external wall insulation. This will be subject to the lifting of construction industry restrictions which currently prohibit non-emergency works within houses.
Housing New Build
Construction has re-started following the Christmas break at the former TJH site, Kirkintilloch and continues to progress well. Final contractual negotiations remain underway ahead of the construction of new affordable housing at the former Lairdsland Primary School site, Kirkintilloch; Blackthorn Grove, Lenzie and the Loaning, Kirkintilloch which is anticipated to start in March 2021.
The revised Strategic Housing Investment Plan (2021-26) and a corresponding update to the Council's Affordable Housing Investment Programme (2021-26) has been drafted and will be subject to a Report to Council in February 2021.
Homelessness & Prevention
The Homelessness & Prevention Team continue to work remotely and are taking homelessness applications over the telephone and/or video link. Homelessness numbers in the area continue to be low. There are currently 343 applicants on the homelessness list; 75 are under offer for settled accommodation (269 awaiting offer).
Recently there has been an increase in requests for assistance; to ensure advice is given quickly to those most in need, an additional slot has been added each day the appointment diary.
Temporary Accommodation Officers continue to work alongside the void team, ensuring appropriate temporary accommodation is available. 25 void properties are currently being prepared by the voids team/housing officers to move families into. There are currently no households in B&B. Our First Stop facility, Canal Project and Ravenswood Projects are at full capacity.
The Housing Support Service is currently supporting 64 households and are working with key partners to ensure support is provided where appropriate. Households moving to settled accommodation have reported delays re Scottish Welfare Fund Applications being assessed/processed. This is causing delay for households moving into their settled homes and has been raised with appropriate partners.
During 2020/21 our Lead Tenancy Officer has supported 28 households to move to settled accommodation in the private sector. This has significantly reduced the applicants waiting time on the homelessness list, reduced homelessness numbers and helped reduce pressure on temporary accommodation provision.
As part of the Scottish Governments COVID19 vaccination programme, most of our housing support providers and members of the homelessness team have received their first vaccinations.
The Housing Operations Team continues to work closely with Property Maintenance with the aim of reducing the back-log of void properties as quickly as possible. 19 properties have been signed up since the start of January and it is anticipated that a further 10 properties will be returned 'fit to let' this week, allowing viewings to be arranged. In total, 145 new tenancies have been created this financial year. In addition, 52 applicants from the Council's housing list have accepted tenancies with Housing Associations in the area as a result of the nominations agreements in place.
The team continues to work jointly with Legal Services, Police Scotland and the Community Safety Team to deal with anti-social behaviour and noise complaints, carrying out 7 SSST conversions over the last 2 weeks, as a means to try and resolve on-going anti social issues of a more serious nature.
The Rents Team continue to engage with tenants to ensure rental income is being maximised. Advice and support is offered to tenants whose circumstances have changed as a result of the pandemic, or are struggling to pay their rent. There continue however to be tenants who do not pay and/or engage and the service is now issuing 1st and 2nd reminder letters to these tenants. There are no current court actions for rent arrears taking place, as we cannot carry out any evictions until at least March 2021. The rents team continue to support and assist as many tenants as they can with UC claims/verifications, DHP claims, putting affordable agreements in place and also referring to CAB where required, to ensure that income is maximised. Current rent arrears are £1,304,836 (week 44), this is an increase of £175k at same week as last year.
Work is currently progressing with the next issue of the Taking Part newsletter, due to be issued in early April. The next online TPWG meeting will be held on 11 March 2021.
Systems and Policy
The Housing Service is looking at options to expand the team, to ensure there are resources in place to take forward the implementation of the new IHMS system and assist with the ARC, along with progressing the annual assurance statement - and overall performance monitoring. New policies on the horizon involve log burners, garden structural permissions and looking at an asset management strategy, as well as continuing the review of current policy and procedures, to ensure they are in line with legislation and new practices. The new Local Housing Strategy is due next year and the team will be reviewing and working on this throughout 2021, once we have the result of the HNDA3. The team is also looking to gather as much real time information across the housing sector and publish this on the Council website, ensuring that the public have access to our performance information in line with the annual assurance statement.
Land Planning & Development
Planning Applications and Building Standards
The Planning Service is currently operating as close to normal services as possible. In accordance with the relevant risk assessment planning and enforcement site visits are continuing to take place under the current local and national restrictions. Building Standards is also currently operating as close to normal services as possible. Similar to Planning, site visits are continuing to take place in accordance with the relevant risk assessment for those properties and sites only where suitable alternative evidence is not appropriate.
Monthly updates are now to be provided to the Scottish Government Building Standards Division to help monitor performance of Building Standards at a national level.
Both the Planning Applications and Building Standards teams continues to receive the number of applications expected by this point in the financial year.
In the absence of a Planning Board meeting the Planning Service will prepare and issue a Technical Note for circulation to Members. The Technical Note will contain details of delegated planning decisions, appeals and other matters.
The Councils planning service are currently considering a planning application for an Additional Support Needs School at land at Waterside Road in Kirkintilloch. The application is a major development and considered to be significantly contrary to the development plan.
Plans are currently being developed for a Planning Pre-Determination Hearing =and the Service has written to interested parties to give them the opportunity of being heard at the hearing.
Land Planning and Sustainability Policy and GIS
The Council’s Local Development Plan 2 was approved at August Council and consultation took place between October 2020 and 15 January 2021. Over 2000 representations have been received and officers are logging these in order to acknowledge them and will begin analysis and drafting of the Council’s response. Future updates will provide more details on this process. Officers are also working on planning guidance, the historic environment designations review, which is currently being consulted on following a LDP Working Party, and site specific projects such as Kirkintilloch Gateway.
The East Dunbartonshire Economic Recovery Plan was reported to Council on 1 October 2020. The Plan draws together actions across the Council and those being progressed by economic partners as part of delivery of Local Outcome 1. It is a live document, reflecting the ongoing nature of the public health and economic crisis and data will continue to be analysed alongside undertaking consultation. Consultation took place between 2 – 30 November 2020 on the economic impacts of COVID-19 and the Economic Recovery Plan. 242 responses were received which are being analysed. Work has commenced on initial project planning for a Circular Economy Strategy.
A Draft Parking Management Plan is currently being worked on by officers ahead of it being presented to the Transport Working Group for discussion. Work has commenced on initial project planning for the next Active Travel Strategy, which replace the 2015-20 Strategy. These are two of a number of actions in the Local Transport Strategy, approved in March 2020, which is currently being progressed by the Land Planning Policy Team in conjunction with other Services.
Work is progressing well on the Scottish Government funded Local Heat and Energy Efficiency Pilot Project with virtual work to assess the potential for improvements on properties in the Milngavie and Bearsden areas to improve energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions now under way. The recommendations from the project will inform the development of the Council’s approach to tackling climate change which will be reported to PNCA Committee in due course. The Council’s Climate Change Public Bodies Duties annual report was submitted to the Scottish Government by the November deadline and indicates that the Council’s 44% carbon reduction target for 2019/20 has been achieved. A report proposing a 49% carbon reduction target for 2020/21 will shortly be reported to PNCA Committee, along with proposals for the preparation of a new Climate Action Plan.
This will set a new zero direct carbon emissions target for the Council, linking to new Regulations that require the Council to report the date by which it will achieve zero direct emissions, and how the Council will align its spending plans and use of resources to achieve its emissions reduction targets.
Consultation on the draft Glasgow City Region Climate Adaptation Strategy, prepared by Climate Ready Clyde in partnership with East Dunbartonshire Council and other partners, closed on December 24th. The Strategy is now being finalised and an Action Plan prepared. The finalised Strategy and Action Plan will be reported to Council this spring.
Work on the Council’s other key Land Planning and Sustainability Strategies and Plans is ongoing. This includes ongoing policy development, continuation with consultation using electronic methods and plans and strategies being presented to Council for approval.
Work progresses well for a number of key projects that the GIS team are leading on and supporting. With the completion of the Local Development Plan 2 project, the team are creating a web application that will allow officers in shared services to accurately plot and analyse safe walking routes for school placement requests, due to be completed by March. This web application will utilise Ordnance Survey products such as OS Highways, Pathways and Place names, which will then be configured as required by the . The team are also collaborating with Glasgow City Council, the Digital Office and the NHS to create a Covid-19 case tracker. This will show real time cases of Covid-19, recorded by the NHS within the East Dunbartonshire boundary. This is due to be completed by the middle of February. The team are also planning a programme of work that will ensure the accuracy of address data with the Scottish Assessors Association and other key stakeholders. This is to support the issuing and recording of postal ballot votes for the upcoming May elections. Finally, the team are continuing to liaise with the Planning, Building Standards and Validation officers to ensure that any issues with the IDOX application are resolved swiftly.
The City Deal core team is now fully resources with 3 dedicated Officers and a Team Leader. Additional resource across the Council is being put in place to progress the projects. Officers continue to engage with partners across the City Region on the Council’s developing City Deal project, including landowners, SPT and GCC and First Bus.
Work on the outline business case has been delayed due to the ongoing impact of Covid-19, but progress is being made in relation to: procurement of consulting services in support of the Outline Business Case (OBC); programming of the individual projects and work relating to the OBC and work on early economic impacts forecasting (as required under the funding approval). Consultants have been appointed to commence work on the Bishopbriggs Public Ream Plan. The inception meeting took place on 28th January 2021.
Regeneration & Town Centres
The team are working towards delivering a range of projects despite the ongoing impacts of Covid-19 including those approved at the Council meeting on the 1st October. Project activity and progress is being maintained via virtual meetings and electronic communication.
The team are pleased to report that the new Antonine Wall Play Park in Peel Park Kirkintilloch is scheduled to be completed for early February. Designs are being developed for phase 2 of the Milngavie Public Realm project. The project will mirror the phase 1 design which created an attractive gateway to the start of the West Highland Way and will be managed by the Milngavie BID with support from the team as required. Officers continue to develop a project brief and plan in partnership with Land Planning Policy and landowners which aims to create a new Kirkintilloch Gateway Masterplan aimed at encouraging regeneration of the site. Work to identify and apply for external funding is ongoing to support both Council and community led projects as required and an update will be presented to an upcoming PNCA Committee. Work continues supporting a number of local groups and organisations to deliver Scotland’s Towns Partnership “Love Local” fund projects which will help town centres and local businesses adapt to and recover from the impacts of Covid-19.
As of Friday 5th February 1,221 temporary closure grants (up to 415 per month) and 158 business restriction grants (up to 79 per month) for a total of £1,621,750 were paid out by the Council. Also paid were 390 Top Up grants (£2,520,000) and 230 Taxi grants (345,000). That is a total of 1,999 grants for a total value of £4,486,750. That's an additional 481 grants and £1,975,000 in one week.
The Council’s Business support during the coronavirus emergency webpage continues to be kept up to date and the team are still experiencing high volumes and calls and e-mail enquiries.
Funding is being made available by the Scottish Government for local authorities to provide support for eligible businesses. The overall aim of this fund is to mitigate the short-term financial challenges being experienced by businesses adversely impacted by restrictions and regulations introduced since October 2020 to control the spread of COVID-19. Officers are currently developing a grant programme which will use this funding to support small businesses within the East Dunbartonshire area and expect it to be launched later this month.
Traffic & Transport
Works have commenced at Mugdock Road Car Park, Milngavie for the electric vehicle charging hub. Three new rapid chargers will be installed over the coming weeks adding to the existing EV charger.
Installation of seven Real Time Passenger Information (RTPI) units are ongoing on Milngavie Road, Bearsden, as well as three replacement shelters. The rollout of RTPI will continue into Milngavie Town Centre as part of the 2021/22 Capital Programme.
The team are working with colleagues in Greenspace and Rangers at Mugdock Country Park to deliver path improvement projects throughout the authority including:
- Langfaulds Path
- Kilmardinny Loch
- Cairnhill Woods Path.
With the increase in cycling throughout 2020 schools are seeing a huge rise in need for cycle and scooter parking. The team are installing additional shelters at six schools by March 2021. A new cycle shelter design competition will be launched at Balmuildy and Milngavie Primary Schools and implemented by Easter 2021.
The team’s iBike Officers are working with colleagues in Outdoor Education on the roll out of led rides and led walks following the planned phased return to schools on Monday 22 February.
Design work continues on the Canniesburn Toll Improvement Project which aims to improve the function of Canniesburn Toll for pedestrians and cyclists making travelling by these modes safer in the immediate vicinity of this roundabout. The project also aims to improve the flow of traffic and reduce journey times with the introduction of traffic signals.
The team continue to work on the A803 Signal Optimisation Project funded by the Bus Priority Rapid Deployment Fund (BPRDF).
The team have now completed their 2021/22 funding applications with over £1m of external sustainable transport funding expected in the coming year.
The Waste Service continues to deliver a full range of services at present however the recent poor weather has proved a challenge, with some delays to collections for some residents. The team have worked throughout this period and have targeted resources in order to catch up on missed or inaccessible locations due to the severe weather.
Dry Recycling Collection and Food Waste Collection
Collections are operating normally for residents with increased recycling tonnage being identified.
Green Waste Collection
The service is currently stood down for winter. This service will recommence again in March.
Bulky Collections (Special Uplifts)
The Waste team continue to deliver the Special uplift service with demand remaining consistent over the period. The front line crews continue to be deployed daily to meet this need and are managing to deliver this service within the standard timescales for the majority of collections. Some delays can however be experienced where there is a requirement to deploy a tail lift vehicle to uplift very large items such as sofas which cannot be uplifted by the standard refuse truck.
The service continues to work through requests for replacement bins as resources allow, with priority given to residual bin deliveries.
Mavis Valley Recycling Centre
The household waste recycling centre remains open and operational at this time and demand continues to be managed in line with current restrictions. Following a recent monitoring audit at this site, it was established that despite the Government advise on essential travel only, the recycling centre continues accommodate around 70 vehicles per hour. Officers continue to check customer details on entry and have required to refuse visitors attending the site from outwith the council area.
Clyde Valley Household Waste Transfer Station
The new facility is now operational and accepting the Council's residual waste for bulking and onward transfer to Viridor Clyde Valley's site at Bargeddie for treatment and processing.
The service continues to manage the legal operation of the Councils fleet including compliance with the Goods Vehicle Operators licence, Drivers hours’ management and maintenance regimes. Officers continue to progress work on the fleet replacement Capital Programme for the coming financial year, with recent orders placed for 7 new Multi Purpose Roads Maintenance / Carriageway Gritting trucks due for delivery later in the year. Work is also taking place in order to de-fleet and dispose of outgoing fleet assets in line with the replacement programme.
The fleet workshops based at the Hilton depot continue to service and maintain all front line Operational fleet vehicles and plant on a rotational shift basis. The recent severe weather has placed additional strain on the fleet resources with the focus on keeping essential fleet in operation. The team continue to prioritise work based on available staff and the greatest needs in order to deliver through these challenging times.
The transport team continue to support colleagues in Education and Facilities Management for ASN School Transport and meal deliveries across the Authority. The team also continue to manage vehicle and plant hire activities, supporting front line services, in addition to managing the Councils Triscan Fuel Management and Masternaut Telematics systems across the Councils operations.
Place & Community Planning
The new Covid-19 strain identified at the end of 2020 is prevalent with increasing incidence within the community, and therefore all associated work continues to create a significant demand for Environmental Health Officers. The team are working with Education colleagues to deliver contact tracing within schools in liaison with health board colleagues through local Problem Assessment Groups (PAG’s) and Incident Management Teams (IMT’s). We are also being advised of clusters within occupational settings that require to be investigated to ensure the adequate mitigation measures are being put in place by businesses to prevent virus transmission. To this end, the service takes part in additional meetings with Health Board colleagues to agree investigation plans.
The East Dunbartonshire Council area is currently placed in Level 4 of the tiered strategy within The Health Protection (Coronavirus) (Restrictions and Requirements) (Local Levels) (Scotland) Regulations as amended. This means that all hospitality premises, non-essential shops and services, accommodation and leisure services amongst others are required to close and the public advised to remain at home unless to leave for essential purposes.
Environmental Health's programme of pro-active visits to retail and takeaway premises to assess Coronavirus mitigations is underway and other visits are taking place to respond to serious Covid-related complaints. The team have received many requests from local businesses for advice on what the tier system means for their operation. Other routine service requests such as food complaints continue to be received. The team are sampling foods from local businesses to assist in national monitoring surveys to ensure safety, composition and labelling requirements are adhered to. The importance of food safety and food standards compliance continues to be significant during the course of a wider public health pandemic.
Away from business regulation, officers in Environmental Health continue to deal with other environmental regulation and public health in terms of Air Quality, Contaminated Land and numerous noise, odour, smoke and dampness service complaints. The team are also assessing relevant incoming planning applications and providing comment for planning colleagues on environmental public health considerations to be accounted for.
The EU Exit Deal and its implications continue to be monitored, as there are implications to the import and export of food products. Furthermore, Food Standards Scotland has given advance notice of the expectation for the Official Food Control Recovery Plan to be implemented by Councils. This is likely to generate very significant extra work over early 2021 with the presumption that inspection programmes can begin in summer.
As a result of level 4 restrictions and amendments to regulations early January, then non-essential retail including close contact services such as hairdressers, beauticians and aesthetics providers required to close along with gyms, indoor visitor attractions, ski slopes and home improvement showrooms. The loopholes in the Regulations relating to an exemption for homeware and hardware retailers had also been closed.
The Trading Standards team continues to receive a number of enquiries from local businesses about whether they can trade and the methods they can use to trade. In particular, the team have received enquiries from non-essential businesses regarding click and collect. Trading Standards Officers will continue to monitor compliance and take appropriate action in cases of non-compliance.
Trading Standards Officers continue to provide individually tailored advice and guidance to all non-food businesses on the new Covid regulations and Scottish Government guidance. Officers are also dealing with complaints regarding compliance with the legislation from both the public and businesses. Officers continue to receive enquiries from businesses who work within people's homes and traders who operate from their own home. Trading Standards Officers continue to monitor fitness and exercise operators.
Further, there has been an increase in the workload in the areas of scam prevention, product safety, fair trading, metrology and petroleum. Unfortunately there has been surge in the number of Coronavirus scams circulating via email, Facebook and text messages. These scams are wide ranging and some examples include advising you are a priority group due to family genetics or that you need to confirm your NHS vaccine appointment, all of which involve clicking on a link which then asks for a payment and/or personal details. Working with the Corporate Communications team Trading Standards are posting regular warnings on social media to alert residents.
Having now exited the EU, Trading Standards anticipate an increased workload in relation to the many changes which will impact on their remit. Officers will continue to receive training regarding changes to Trading Standards legislation brought in by the withdrawal agreement. Officers have undertaken e-learning courses on the changes to Trading Standards legislation, including fair trading, e-commerce, metrology, product safety, animal health, and cross-border matters in advance of the changes which are now in place. Enquiries are received from importers looking for advice on the new requirements and duties placed on them.
The Team's Fair Trading Officers have continued to provide advice to consumers and traders in relation to contractual disputes. Many of these instances have arisen as a consequence of the coronavirus restrictions impacting on performance of contracts, particularly home improvement complaints. The current situation presents additional challenges when mediating between businesses and consumers to satisfactorily resolve complaints.
Licensing Advisers are continuing to deal with routine licensing consultations, complaints and enquiries.
Community Safety Team
The Community Safety Team continues to deliver a range of essential, emergency and ongoing work. Service delivery activities have been tailored and prioritised to coincide with the requirements of the level 4 Covid restrictions and lock down measures which are currently in place across East Dunbartonshire.
Investigation of instances of fly-tipping continue to feature heavily and officers have been working closely with colleagues in Police Scotland to take robust enforcement action in relation to a number of offences. Throughout the course of the pandemic the team has deployed a number of mobile CCTV cameras in known fly-tipping hotspots for the purposes of helping to tackle this on-going problematic issue. Additional camera deployment has been somewhat restricted over the last few weeks owing to the latest set of lock down measures, but additional deployment will be considered wherever relevant as soon as restrictions ease in order to assist with offence detection and support the valuable enforcement work being carried out by the Community Safety Officers in relation to fly-tipping issues.
Control of Dog matters continue to be investigated and an essential pest control service has also been delivered for residents on an on-going basis since the start of the original lock down in March. In terms of pest control, a number permanent bait visits have recently been recommenced and carried out in instances where they have been necessary to support the Council's on-going public health response in relation to the Coronavirus pandemic (e.g. at the mass vaccination centres in Kirkintilloch and Milngavie).
For Community Wardens on-street enforcement for parking offences recommenced in the middle of August 2020. Charging and enforcement in off-street car parks then recommenced 14 September 2020.
During the current period of restrictions, the focus for the Community Wardens in relation to decriminalised parking enforcement has largely been centred upon our town centre areas, but due to increasing complaints for a number of our Primary Schools (which are still open albeit in a reduced capacity) we will be ensuring that patrols are carried out at these schools during drop off and pick up times over coming weeks. On the DPE front, interviews have recently been held for new Parking Wardens and 4 successful candidates will now join the team and commence duties with the Council towards the end of the financial year.
Essential patrols in relation to environmental incivility breaches as well as antisocial behaviour and youth disorder patrols in and around identified issue areas have also continued. Complaints in relation to the issue of dog fouling have increased significantly in a number of areas throughout EDC over recent months and an increased number of targeted patrols (including plain clothes patrols) have therefore been delivered in these areas in order to tackle the problem and Fixed Penalty Notices have been issued to a number of offenders. Officers have also been working with colleagues in Corporate Communications as well as Greenspace on a number of eye catching leaflets and an animated video and are hoping to have these launched in the coming weeks.
The team continues to provide a remote service in terms of neighbour complaints/disputes, providing advice by phone and email and liaising regularly with colleagues in other services including Housing, Social Work and Police Scotland. As part of this the team will continue to carry out antisocial behaviour visits in the most serious of cases in order to tackle the significant increase in the number of complaints that have been received in recent months - however, alternatives means are being utilised wherever possible with face to face visits only being carried out where absolutely essential.
A number of mobile CCTV cameras continue to be deployed across the Council area to try and help tackle ongoing issues in terms of antisocial behaviour as well as more serious criminal offences. These cameras have been deployed in conjunction and agreement with colleagues in Police Scotland. Whilst new camera deployment has recently been hampered to some extent by the nature of current restrictions, work in this area is continuing with priority being given to the more serious / essential cases. There has been an significant increase it the amount of antisocial behaviour in our communities during the course of the Covid pandemic - we are therefore delighted that a replacement Antisocial Behaviour Investigator has now started with the team following a recent recruitment process.
The Community Grant Scheme Round 2 (2021-21) has now closed with 38 applications received by the deadline. Officers are assessing applications against the scoring criteria set out in the Grant Scheme Guidance, to make recommendations to the Grant Advisory Committee and ultimately CPP Board. The process for Round 2 was again online and we asked projects to focus their efforts on meeting needs of East Dunbartonshire residents, particularly regarding the ongoing pandemic.
Officers continue to develop actions relating to outcomes in our Local Outcomes Improvement (LOIP), via online engagement with community groups and partners / individuals during lockdown. EDVA also works in the community and has strong links. Various policies continue to be updated according to regulations and guidance.
Our Resettlement Officer continues to offer full-time support to our Refugee families e.g. providing access to essential services.
Roads & Environment
New item this fortnight is working with Scottish Water to shore up water and sewage mains at Auchenhowie Road. The masonry wall has been eroded by the river and there is a danger the pipes could buckle.
Officers will investigate reports of suspicious activity at Wester Gartshore Footbridge, where it has been reported that someone in Hi-Viz has stolen some of the barrier.
Drainage and Flood Prevention
Part of the Strathkelvin Way alongside the River Glazert has been undermined. This area is to form part of the river restoration works. Warning fences have been installed until a long term solution can be implemented.
The newly appointed Drainage Officer now in post, meaning the team now has no vacancies.
Drainage upgrades proceeding on Kirkintilloch Road, Bishopbriggs at Park Road and Asda.
Remedial works at Bencloich Burn, Bencloich Road, Lennoxtown ongoing.
Golf View, Bearsden - new fencing has been installed to keep out the public until the landscaping is complete.
Inspections to monitor the quality of road works associated with developments are still taking place.
The team keeps up to date with notifications on the road works register.
Procurement exercises are underway for a traffic calming gateway project at Milton of Campsie, a traffic survey contract and a lining contract.
There is regular liaison with Police Scotland Traffic Management department.
Continuing with identifying and refurbishment of lining/signing on the road network, continuing to respond to Legal Services on licensing applications and processing dropped kerb and disabled bay applications.
This is in addition to the usual tasks of responding to planning applications, FOI requests and customer enquiries.
Streetscene Operations are currently assisting with footway gritting as part of the winter maintenance programme and undertaking the following tasks:-
- Litter routes/Street cleansing, including removal of waste from bottle banks and fly tipping
- Pitch Lining
- Clearing Culverts
- Ploughing of Cemetery paths
- Assisting in cemetery duties
- Play Park inspections
- Winter squad continue with gritting of schools, Covid vaccination centres, cemeteries as well as assisting with litter/fly tipping
Streetscene Technical Support
- Drainage works completed at North Woods, Lenzie Moss to alleviate flooding of paths
- Countryside Rangers have carried out adhoc repairs to Lenzie Moss boardwalk
- Woodland works at Kilmardinny ongoing
- Lennox Park play area upgrade ongoing
- The team also continue to respond to open space, tree and cemeteries enquiries on a daily basis, together with planning application consultations.
Mugdock Country Park
The Council has been advised of the sad news of the passing of Cllr Graham Lambie, a long standing member of the Park Joint Committee. Our condolences will be issued to Stirling Council and Cllr Lambie’s family.
- Lockdown restrictions continue at Mugdock Country Park with offices, Visitor Centre and toilets closed. Most businesses have also now closed with the exception of the Stables Tearoom which is selling takeaway refreshments through a hatch;
- Carparks, paths have been ploughed and gritted when necessary as has the approach road to the Park;
- Some work is being carried out in the Maintenance Yard to improve layout and signage;
- Work is continuing on the updated Mugdock website and on developing on-line shopping facilities;
- Work continuing on the Walled Garden to realign paths and make steps at the Bandstand more secure.
Roads Network Operations
In line with current restrictions the Roads Network Team will continue, on a rota basis, to carry out essential road safety repairs where social distancing can be maintained, including reports of road defects across the network. Our Winter Maintenance operations are ongoing with some altered processes to ensure social distancing can be maintained. In response to the recent weather drivers have been out treating our primary routes a number of times, moving onto the treatment of our secondary's are primary routes are cleared. All roads and car parks within the area have now been treated. The team will continue our snow clearing operations until such times as the weather eases. Upon easing of the weather conditions teams will be redirected to completing and safety defects that have arisen as a result of the weather. In addition we respond to any reported emergency issues reported across the network through the full 24/7 period.
To assist colleagues in Education and the Facilities Management team with outside learning within our Schools the Roads team have developed treatment plans for all School playgrounds which will be treated throughout the winter season by Streetscene seasonal personnel and School site coordinators. This action will be done in line with Footway Gritting Operations to ensure a consistent approach is taken. Despite the current lockdown, the Streetscene seasonal staff continue to treat these areas to ensure the safety of and staff and key worker children still attending school over this period.
The team is continuing to weekend support colleagues in Waste with the operation of Mavis Valley Transfer Station, providing traffic management to assist with the control of vehicles accessing the site.
With the opening of both the Mass and Targeted COVID Vaccination Centres at Milngavie and Kirkintilloch Town Halls, roads operatives have been supporting with the supply of marshalling and additional gritting operations to ensure safe access is maintained to these centres. Through collaborations with Greenspace, additional gritting measures have been put in place to ensure those attending appointments can do so safely.
Roads Inspectors continue to carry out all statutory safety inspection routes as well as investigating issues reported across the road network. As operations by utility companies have now increased the inspectors along with the Utility technician have commenced inspections of their operations as required. Inspectors and technician are now continuing to review and process and permit applications submitted to the Roads authority.
The lighting technical team continues to work on ongoing tasks suited to home based working such as processing inventory records, updating and data cleansing. Officers have returned to site inspection duties and are liaising with developers to carry out site inspection and testing of new developments and progressing any new adoptions. Christmas Light installation works have commenced with installation progressing. The team is also responded to any planning applications which have been received.
The Roads Network Team is continuing to review Risk Assessment and Safe Working Practises in response to the Government guidance and are actively working towards increasing activities to allow a return to the Capital Resurfacing programme when welfare and vehicle issues are resolved.
EDUCATION, PEOPLE & BUSINESS: SERVICE UPDATES: Friday 12 February 2021
The announcement of a proposed phased reopening of schools by Scottish Government provided details of the year groups who would return from week beginning 22 February. This will be confirmed by the First Minister on 16 February. It is planned that the following children will return to school from week beginning 22 February:
- Full time return for early years; Primary 1 to 3;
- Part time return for senior phase pupils to complete practical work that cannot be done at home.
It is also anticipated that there will be provision for more vulnerable children with additional support needs to attend school.
Three sets of guidance are due to be issued on Friday 12 February; these will provide information on mitigation measures; testing and advice on technical and operational issues. Once these are received the central team will work with Health and Safety to update the guidance to schools. There will be engagement and support provided to head teachers and managers. There will also be on-going engagement with the trade unions both teaching and non teaching.
Primary schools are likely to see an increase in the number of children of key workers, who require a place in school, as more staff are required in schools and early years as they reopen more fully. It will be challenging for schools to manage the provision – in school for all of Primary 1 to 3; vulnerable and key worker provision for Primary 4 to 7 and remote learning for Primary 4 to 7, who are at home.
In secondary schools, the main issue will be the requirement for pupils to physically distance as well as the timetabling required to provide in school provision for some aspects of practical subjects. There is also the issue of school transport and physical distancing requirements.
The provision of remote learning is progressing well. All schools are implementing self-evaluation processes and working collaboratively to share good practice. The Quality Improvement Team are supporting this work to ensure that there is high quality provision across all schools. There have been meetings held with Parent Council Chairs and the feedback was very positive. It is clear that the development of digital learning has been excellent with parents commenting very positively on the progress made since the last lockdown. All schools now provide live interaction with pupils as part of the remote learning provision.
Schools are reporting that they are providing a high level of support to families. There are regular phone calls to parents and support and advice is offered. This can include advice from Family Learning Assistants or Educational Psychologists. There is close partnership working with health and social work.
The arrangements for the National Qualifications are still being reviewed by the SQA. The date for submitting the estimated grades has been extended to 18 June; this will give a few more weeks for the moderation and assessment process to be concluded. However the biggest concern is ensuring that pupils have completed sufficient course work and the assessments to inform the process. The assessments need to be done in school to ensure they are valid and reliable. There will be a focus on moderation within the local authority in ensuring a robust process is in place to validate the professional judgements of teachers. The Quality Improvement Officer is working with secondary schools to implement moderation procedures in line with the guidance from the SQA.
The asymptomatic testing of school staff and senior pupils is being implemented and this will support the reopening of schools. The vaccination of staff, who provide personal care to children with complex health needs, is being implemented. This is in line with the vaccination of health and social care workers.
The Procurement Team continues to support tender and contract requirements across all services with significant workstreams around major assets, Property Maintenance contracts and other needs across services such as Education, Housing, Business & Digital Change Projects, and Roads. Renewal and award of various contracts continue with various key ICT system requirements being progressed at this time.
The team continues to monitor supply chains for PPE stocks and other critical supplies. The operating arrangements and support to services have been updated for all services to ensure sufficient supplies and emergency procedures where required. PPE demand is monitored from the Stores location, and is managed/facilitated by the Procurement team.
Procurement are also currently supporting key work streams, these include Mass Vaccinations, Scottish Parliament Election, City Deal, the new Integrated Housing Management System, Transport Service arrangements, Remote Digital Solutions for Education and Supplier/Partner provider support in line with COSLA guidance. Business Grants, School Clothing Grants, Education Trip repayments, Early Years grants, Care providers additional funding requests, etc continue to be processed via the Procurement Support team to support Scottish Government payment requirements.
End of year processes for invoices and payments are currently being reviewed and resources aligned to support the increased demand on the Service.
The team continue to process Free School Meal Payments for the period of School closures and are supporting ongoing applications in line with Scottish Government Guidance. Payments (£20 per week per child) up to the 26th February 2021 will be paid by 12th February.
Financial tracking of costs for Free School Meals, Hardship and Isolation Payments is ongoing, and associated Grant claims to Scottish Government are being monitored.
Health & Safety
The Health and Safety Team continues with the review of risk assessment recommendations and COSHH assessments for the Roads department holding regular meetings with Team Leaders.
Compliance site visits to schools, council operational and domestic properties assure compliance with several health and safety regulations and improve working practices in construction and gas.
Other council premises site visits have taken place to support adequate ventilation requirements and suggest recommendations to Assets and Estates Team as well as site visits to Mugdock Park and Old Aisle cemetery, where the Team has delivered internal training following a review of tasks. Waste services have also been supported by the health and safety manager in reviewing the risk assessment for the service and other services as well. Health and safety toolbox talks are continued to be developed and delivered to support operational services including COVID-19 training
The Health & Safety Manager has supported the set up, risk assessment and final checks for our vaccination sites as well as site visits to elections premises, risk assessment and all preparations to support a safe election. Support has also been provided to Education with the safe set up and dispensing of testing kits for Staff and senior pupils.
Work continues supporting HR team with Individual Risk Assessments and Occupational Health request as well as DSE workplace and home self-assessments to support home workers.
Support continues in responding to queries via the Health and Safety inbox, health and safety accident and incident recording, investigations and task based risk assessments. The Health & Safety Manager continues to investigate positive cases of COVID-19 in council workplaces.
The health surveillance provision is well underway for restarting clinics and capture all services requiring it. A new scoping exercise has been finalised with HAVS taking priority. This includes individual risk assessments and analysis of vibration in tools and their effect on employees.
Social Work Commissioning Team
Planning & Development team continues to support the HSCP and commissioned services including Care Homes, Care at Home and Third Sector organisations – essentially ensuring that throughout the recent Stay at Home Regulations, services are safe, flexible and responsive to changing needs and are sustainable in the longer term.
Planning & Development continues to have an integral role in the HSCP’s daily Adult Social Care Oversight Group. The group, whose membership includes Public Health and Care Inspectorate, has responsibility for providing assurance across key service areas including care homes, care at home, supported living and day care. This includes daily update reports/analysis, service and financial monitoring, compliance, supporting providers/market management. A key priority over the coming months is the roll out of the C-19 vaccination and testing across care homes and community based services. The team has recently implemented a weekly return to help monitor the status and impact of staff testing and vaccinations across services and provides weekly update reports to the Oversight group.
Planning & Development continues to monitor providers Business Continuity Plans and intervenes if/where required to help mitigate service continuity risks. Provider’s business continuity plans are regularly reviewed, and updated and aligned to the HSCP’s overarching BC Plan. The HSCP’s Local Resilience Management Team (LRMT) meets fortnightly to review resilience planning, surveillance and reporting across all HSCP / commissioned services
Planning & Development will be facilitating a Provider Forum with Care Homes this week to update on plans to carry out further Assurance visits (clinical /social ) across all homes in line with recent government requirements. The purpose of the visits is to seek assurances that each home is complying with infection control and PPE measures and the health & well-being of residents maintained. The visits are in the context of being supportive to care homes and are not a replacement for the Care Inspectorates statutory inspection role.
Planning & Development continues to support Social Care Sustainability Payments & Care Home Occupancy payments for providers who, as a direct result of Covid-19, have incurred additional costs relating to infection control, PPE and/or losses due to reduced occupancy. The Scottish Government has recently published updated guidance. All approved claims are captured within the HSCP’s Mobilisation Plan and thereafter, providers submit invoices to P&D team for recording and payment purposes.
Human Resources & Organisational Development
The team supported the resourcing arrangements for the COVID Mass Vaccination Sites with the preparation of correspondence, FAQ’s as well as specific guidance as required.
Trades Unions engagement on a weekly basis has been focused on strategic issues such as targeted vaccination updates, workforce vaccine programme, weekly testing processes as well as risk assessment and required actions to respond to strategic issues in the Stay At Home regulations.
Engagement continues with Managers on the support for Individual Risk Assessments based on Stay At Home regulations and Scottish Government advice. The response and review will continue to be monitored throughout this time.
Work continues in relation to trend analysis for consideration of impact on Services due to implementation of Stay at Home Regulations and any preparedness in addition to regular statistical updates.
Absence analysis and support continues with priority focus within HSCP. Detailed scrutiny of the absence performance across all services continues with engagement taking place to understand required support and actions for improvement. Work continues to prepare and launch winter wellbeing information and will be available on the Employee Zone. Updates will continue to be made as required. The team continues to receive daily calls on COVID reporting for various circumstances. The implementation of a 7 day cover rota remains in place. Advice and guidance to employees and managers on COVID related issues and absences continue to be supported by the HR & OD teams.
Work continues to enhance the Employee Zone pages with updates and additions to the Wellbeing page to reflect Healthy Working Lives campaigns going forward in February and March.
The Business Partnering team continues to provide support and advice in relation to resourcing and recruitment campaigns during this time and the processes to undertake the necessary checks.
Key policy work is nearing conclusion on the review of contract templates for new starts and internal appointments going forward and preparation of key communications in relation to EU Exit for the workforce.
Business & Digital Change Team
The Business & Digital Change Team continue to lead the delivery of a range of multi-disciplinary projects across the organisation.
Working collaboratively with colleagues across the sector, we have now initiated a project to lead our transition from analogue to digital telecare for the East Dunbartonshire Health and Social Care Partnership. External funding has been awarded from the Scottish Government’s Technology Enabled Care Programme to recruit a dedicated Project Lead to manage delivery and this post is currently out for recruitment.
The Temporary Restrictions Fund opened to applicants on the 4th February. The team are leading the administration of grant payments (£119k) which will support childcare providers in the private, voluntary and not-for profit sectors, including out-of-school care providers. This will help to mitigate the loss of private income incurred to comply with current public health guidance in response to COVID-19 across East Dunbartonshire.
The team continues to support the responses to schools based on technology required to support Home Learning. Close working with ICT and Education support continues.
Business Systems are progressing a number of key system upgrades including upgrading the Council’s financial systems to provide additional capacity for onboarding future Education accounting workload following the retiral of SEEMIS Education financial modules. The team have also completed an annual Council Tax upgrade and are working towards upgrading the HR Payroll system to ensure continued compliance into the new financial year.
Legal & Democratic Services
The team continues to support the Council’s COVID-19 civil contingencies response, supporting command structures at Council, local, regional and national level. Work is still progressing on the recovery phase, lessons learned and in support of Test and Protect, however the changing circumstances are such that response activity is increasing. In addition, members of the Team continue to attend meetings of LARGS in support of these matters and are working across the network to look at concurrency issues through a series of thematic sessions. These sessions seek to share development work and good practice in relation to issues that all Councils are having to revisit with a “COVID-lens” e.g. the impact of COVID on existing civil contingency arrangements for bad weather and other business as usual civil contingency events. As part of this, the Team is reviewing the Council’s current civil contingency arrangements to identify necessary changes or supplementary requirements in light of COVID-19. This is challenging in light of the changing environment in terms of the trajectory of infection rates and has to be flexible enough to adapt to developing circumstances e.g. the recent local lockdown and increasing national restrictions.
In addition to the above, work is continuing on support for the most recent recurrence of COVID. Regular meetings are taking place both locally and at a Greater Glasgow & Clyde LRP level to look at current issues and also future planning e.g. dealing with additional deaths so that there robust plans in place which can be activated if necessary. In addition the Team is supporting colleagues in dealing with assistance for those isolating due to Test and Protect and more generally in response to current restrictions and other impacts of the increasing infection rates. Further, officers are finalising alternative rest centre preparations to ensure that the temporary centre is COVID compliant eg which accommodate physical distancing and dedicated rooms for those isolating and/or shielding and fully stocked and ready for use.
Recently, the Team has taken up a lead role in planning for both mass vaccinations and community testing within East Dunbartonshire. This work continues at pace given recent announcements and both centres (Kirkintilloch Leisure Centre and Allander Leisure Centre) opened on 1st February. Initially they operated from 8.30am to 4.30pm but the internal layout and workforce arrangements were structured to allow this to be scaled up as required and both centres were operating increased volume and hours during this current weeks. It is likely that volument and hours will ebb and flow as new cohorts are introduced and supplies increase. Discussions with colleagues in NHS GG&C and other local authorities continue to take place in order that centres are able to provide vaccinations as planned. Feedback to date has been positive and colleagues in the Leisure Trust are managing the throughput of vaccines efficiently and without any significant queues or delays.
Similarly, the Team is leading on planning for community asymptomatic testing across East Dunbartonshire. This is where the Council is required to set up a testing facility in communities where there is a significant spike in infection rates and/or where there are persistently higher than average rates. These centres will be used to test those who are asymptomatic and are intended to identify where individuals have COVID-19 in order that they can quickly self-isolate and contact tracing can be triggered. Detailed planning is ongoing and for a venue for a fixed ATS facility has been identified. This can, if necessary, be supplemented by home testing and mobile testing units as appropriate.
In the last week, the team has been engaging with Scottish Government in relation to the identification of sites for walk in symptomatic testing in East Dunbartonshire. These discussions are at an early stage and more information will be provided as this develops.
The Team continues to be involved in the strategic management of Registration Services at a local and regional level to inform the national picture regarding the management of additional deaths during this pandemic and working with partners to support a Greater Glasgow & Clyde-wide response. The registration of births and marriages/civil partnerships continues to be supported by colleagues in Legal Services and significant progress has been made to address the backlog of birth registrations. In addition, the Team is feeding into discussions at a regional and national level, which seek to embed some aspects of the move to remote/online registration where possible and practical to do so. The Team continues to monitor the national position and infection rates so that additional resources can be deployed if necessary and plans for cover over the holidays are being finalised.
Wedding and Civil Partnership ceremonies continue to take place at 21 Southbank Road for now. In addition, the Team continues to closely monitor the ever developing situation around restrictions and what they mean for ceremonies and receptions. This will be continuously under review in light of changing restrictions.
As at 10 February 2021, 86 Births and 237 deaths were registered, and 4 marriages were registered by Registration Services.
Notwithstanding the pause in some of the workstreams around Care for People and Shielding, the Team continues to work to support governance matters and civil contingencies input in relation to Outbreak Management & concurrency issues as more services are “switched back on”, and is supporting colleagues in Place and Community Planning in these efforts locally and nationally. This area of work increased in the few weeks following Christmas, but is starting to subside again as infection rates start to fall. In addition, the Team continues to participate in work to capture the events of the last few months from a civil contingencies perspective, as part of ongoing local, regional and national “lessons learned” exercises.
On top of the above, there are other emerging civil contingency concerns in relation to which the Team is participating in various local and regional awareness and planning meetings including the review of strategic infrastructure and fulfilment of the “All Risks” approach to the various concurrent risks across the country.
Members will be aware that work has commenced on preparations for the Scottish Parliament Election scheduled for May 2021. This planning also requires additional attention as a “COVID-lens” is applied to conventional election workstreams on a local and national basis. The work plan for this includes a review of the layout of all polling places and the arrangements for counting votes. A small multi service team is working on the detailed planning including site visits to polling places in order to work out safe layouts and directions of travel through the polling stations. Contingency plans will be prepared which anticipate a resurgence in the virus and measures put in place to secure the availability of the core election team. All aspects of the process and arrangements will be subject to robust risk assessments in order to protect employees, voters and candidates.
The Team continues to work on the further development of remote video meetings to support the Council’s governance arrangements and decision-making. A proposed cycle for January to June 2021 was prepared and approved by Council on 17th December, however Members will be aware that most meetings up to the end of March have been stood down due to the resurgence of COVID-19 infection rates and the consequent lockdown. Notwithstanding, Council meetings will take place and quasi judicial boards where there is urgent business. The Legal & Democratic Services Management Team is examining the best use of available resources to accommodate this important area of work while sustaining our support for Covid response [particularly planning for Community asymptomatic Testing and Mass Vaccinations], and extensive additional preparations for the Scottish Parliament Elections. A further calendar of meetings for 2021/22 is also in initial stages of preparation and is expected to be submitted to Council in April.
The team continues to support to services in relation to information management, data protection and data sharing, which are critical in these circumstances and has supported various services in the ongoing development and amendment of Privacy Notices and Privacy Impact Assessments for new workstreams and the establishment of information sharing agreements and protocols which assist the Council in its work to protect some of the most vulnerable residents. In addition to supporting the Council’s postal mail services, the Team remains busy with print activity in support of schools and Committee cycles. In addition to the foregoing, the Team is working with in relation to the classification and preservation of information generated by the Council’s response to the COVID pandemic.
SMT Support & Members Support Teams
The SMT Support team is working with the CMT and SMT to assist in the re-introduction of services across portfolios and continue to support other areas of the wider service and beyond as required. The Team continues to support the CMT, SMT and Departmental Management Teams with processes for remote meetings, production of Committee Reports and Elected Member Technical Notes. The Members Support Team also continues to support Elected Members.
Many of the Legal Services team’s resources continue to be dedicated to assisting Major Assets in the negotiation and conclusion of the Council’s capital projects and attentions are now focused on the negotiation of contracts and ancillary arrangements for the new Allander, Boclair Academy and Kirkintilloch Community Sports Hub projects. Due to the nature of these contracts (in terms of complexity, scale and value) these are particularly time and resource intensive. One of the main issues with existing and planned contracts is how they deal with the allocation of the responsibility for risks to the projects presented by not only Covid-19 but also the UK’s exit from the EU. This requires sophisticated contract drafting and intense negotiations with contractors in order to ensure that the Council is protected but also that the best commercial terms are reached and the projects remain affordable. The recent developments in the pandemic have made an impact on the construction industry and, as a result, the Council’s projects. This has resulted in these contracts becoming more difficult and taking longer to conclude. Complex negotiations and drafting are required in order to protect the Council’s commercial position and programme but also to ensure the long term sustainability of the pool of contractors. Separately, whilst full details of the impact of the UK’s exit from the EU upon labour, materials and exchange rates emerge, delicate drafting is required to future-proof the Council’s interests in these projects.
In tandem with this, the team is also guiding the Housing Service in respect of delivery of its many capital projects and in the recommencement of open market purchases and shared equity buy-backs to increase the provision of affordable housing within East Dunbartonshire.
The team is also assisting with the initial contracts required for the City Region City Deal project with the recruitment of a team to support this well underway.
Further resource continues to be dedicated to interpreting, assessing and, where necessary, protecting the Council from the impact of the pandemic and the EU exit on its legal interests. In tandem with this the team endeavours to ensure that any potential benefits to the Council are optimised. One particularly busy area of work continues to be in relation to the many grant offers which the Council is receiving. Each grant comes with its own terms and conditions which the team assesses and then advises the relevant service in relation to any potential risks or performance/reporting requirements. This work can often be challenging - whilst the terms and conditions are not overly complex, the volume and increasingly short turnaround times within which the grant has to be accepted in order for the Council to access funds can at times impact on other work.
The team also works closely with the procurement team in ensuring procurement processes are complying with the changing law in this area and that the flexibilities offered by Government guidance are appropriately used. This also involves the drafting and documentation of contracts with suppliers of goods, works and services to the Council and the contractual clauses on the risk to the delivery of contracts caused by Covid-19 and the EU exit have to be tailored to fit the individual nature and circumstances of each contract. At the moment the team is assisting with some urgent procurements which have some complicated features and, as such, need detailed legal advice to ensure compliance and minimisation of risk.
The team is also playing a key role in the project team appointed to deliver a new Integrated Housing Management System for the Housing Service. The market for such systems is such that procurement of this project is complex and requires a high degree of legal project management and support. Coupled with this is the drafting and negotiation of bespoke IT terms and conditions to ensure that the system delivers as required.
The team negotiates, drafts and concludes the majority of contracts that the Council enters into for supplies, goods and services. A particular highlight at the moment is the contract for the new Committee Management system. The team is further assisting the Education service in respect of the implementation of new software to facilitate new approaches to learning and teaching both within the Council’s schools and remotely, as well as contracts for the integration of new IT systems and upgrades which apply Council-wide.
The team has also been supporting the Council where required in terms of the legal and property requirements for the roll out of mass vaccinations and testing.
On top of this, the Commercial team is endeavouring to carrying out its “business as usual” activities where required in support of a Council priority. These include land transactions and commercial agreements, which seek to improve the Council’s commercial position. The team has also been involved in many data sharing and IT agreements, including licences to other partnering local authorities in respect of applications developed by the ICT team for education purposes.
In respect of litigation, at present the team is usually representing the Council’s interests by way of virtual hearings. There are, however, some matters which necessitate team members physically appearing in court. Current ongoing actions in court relate to housing, social work, licensing and employment matters. The team also continues to support the Council’s services in the management of various complex matters, which are currently at the pre-litigation stage, in an effort to mitigate effects on the Council. In addition, the team is currently preparing for a public inquiry in relation to a compulsory purchase order. This is the first compulsory purchase order that has been promoted by the Council in some time and the team, having limited previous experience of the process, is navigating it ably.
A significant amount of work is dedicated to the running of quasi judicial boards. In conjunction with colleagues in Democratic Services, virtual meetings of the Planning Local Review Body, the Licensing Boards and the Civic Government Appeals Board are now talking place, albeit that they are temporarily paused. However, during this period the team is still busy with dealing with applications, renewals and queries from application/agents. There is also a Special Civic Government Appeals Board scheduled for this month to deal with an urgent and high risk matter.
The team continues to provide close support to colleagues in social work in respect of sensitive and important matters involving children, families and vulnerable adults some of which are particularly pressing at the current time. These often require court appearances with very short notice. The number of referrals and matters requiring legal support has significantly increased during the pandemic and is requiring increased support from the Litigation & Licensing Team. In addition, the Service has supported social work colleagues in collating and assessing information in respect of a major Inquiry.
The team is gearing up for the return of heritable court business in terms of actions suspended at the point of lockdown in March and other matters which have arisen since. There is, however, one complex and important heritable court matter that is being allowed to proceed due to its serious nature and the team are acting on the Council’s behalf to ensure the best outcome for the many different parties involved.
The team is also representing the Council’s interests in respect of various employment issues, including disputes that have made their way to tribunal.
As always, the team provides strategic advice and support to its colleagues in other services on the full range of legal issues currently and normally facing the Council. At the moment, that is particularly complex and resource intensive.
As always and due to the nature of the work of the team, there are many matters which the team is working on which are confidential and sensitive and further detailed information cannot be given on these.
Resources in Legal Services have been depleted recently and the sharp increase in demand for its services has put significant pressure on the team. In addition to existing projects, the team will be required to support the delivery of the City Region City Deal project. This has necessitated investment in the team in the form of a substantial recruitment exercise to fill a variety of new and existing roles. That process is well underway and members of the Legal Services management team are spending significant time in shortleeting and interviewing in order to make the correct appointments as quickly as possible, taking into account notice periods etc. The first two new members of the team have now joined , including a new Team Leader for the Litigation and Licensing team, with others to join in the coming weeks. The intention is that by Spring 2021 the team will be much better resourced to be able to continue to support the Council through the projects and challenges which lie ahead.
Customer & Business Support Services
Corporate Performance & Research
The Corporate Performance & Research Team is supporting data collation and quality assurance for performance reporting including the preparation and submission of statutory returns and local performance indicators as well as wider data analysis across Council services and HSCP social care services and ongoing reporting requirements. This period this includes the annual Social Work staffing return and data collation and analysis in relation to target areas for Covid-19 messaging. Quality assurance improvements and data cleansing activity also continues to ensure accurate data and confidence in data returns. Engagement continues with National Records Scotland in preparation for the next census, now due to take place in 2022 with planning underway and a communications plan in development for engagement with the East Dunbartonshire public.
Thee Public Performance Report (PPR) 2019/20 is being finalised to incorporate LGBF data for 2019/20 ahead of design and publication. In line with our local developed approach this will incorporate case studies to highlight good practice and the PPR is aligned to the key LOIP principles and themes.
Work is continuing to support performance reporting for 2020/21 and agree timescales for committee approval ahead of recess in June 2021 and planning for BIPS and performance reporting for 2021/22 is also underway for consideration by Council ahead of the new financial year. Work will also continue in the coming months to develop the corporate performance aspirations highlighted in the strategic review of strategic planning and performance that was presented to Council on 17 December as part of the report on Prioritising our Services, Prioritising our Resources. Work is also progressing on the Council’s insurance renewals.
The Communications Team continues to provide 24/7 communications support for emergencies and essential out of hours messaging. Communications support and advice is provided across all Council services the East Dunbartonshire HSCP and EDLC Trust to ensure customers are aware of service delivery arrangements, highlighting changes if required across all channels to ensure maximum reach of message. Internal communications have continued to focus on ensuring the workforce is aware of the latest guidance and the continuing review of risk assessments and workplace Covid-19 measures in line with updated guidance to ensure the safety of all employees and sharing the Public Health and Scottish Government guidance as this is updated and renewed.
Engagement also continues with Regional Resilience Partners, CoSLA and UK and Scottish Government Departments to co-ordinate consistent communications around Covid-19 and EU Exit messaging and communications planning around mass vaccination and mass community testing.
In the past fortnight, a total of 15 media enquiries were received and responded to and 5 media releases were issues resulting in positive coverage online and print media for the Council. Media releases past fortnight have been on: Funding secured for the Twechar Outdoor Pursuits and Education Centre,
Communications support for the development of the mass vaccination centres in East Dunbartonshire supported their effective opening at the start of the month and both media and social media messaging has continued to encourage all those invited to attend for vaccination, in line with agreed priorities, to do so.
Social Media messaging remains a key focus and effective channel for engaging with East Dunbartonshire communities. On twitter there were 263 posts in the last period with a reach of 2.43 million, consistent with previous fortnights. The highest reaching posts on twitter this past fortnight were the green fingered youngsters supporting the green Covid-19 recovery, flying the Rainbow flag at Council HQ for LGBT+ History Month and the mass vaccination centre information:
On Facebook there were 263 posts and 651k reach over the past fortnight and the highest reaching posts with most interactions were the new Twechar project, the impact of the adverse weather on waste collections and awareness raising of our mass vaccination centres:
The website continues to be updated daily and new pages created to meet service and messaging requirements. New forms online forms and associated web pages have been created for the latest rounds of business support grants launched by Scottish Government and administered locally.
The Emergency Response Centre continues to provide customer support 24/7 for the hour care alarm service, CCTV monitoring and emergency communication across services out of hours as required.
The wider Customer Services team continues to respond to changing priorities and fluctuating numbers of daily enquiries, predominantly in response to local and national measures in relation to Covid-19. Call volumes and remain stable with calls in relation to vaccination being signposted to the national helpline, NHS Inform and the dedicated Council webpage with details on transport and travel to centres. Customer service resources continue to be deployed flexibly across the channels with greatest demand and call waiting times are continually monitored.
Customer Service delivery continues primarily through digital and phone channels in line with current guidance with a strict appointment-only based approach for the necessary face to face elements required for licensing at Bearsden Community Hub, which continues to work effectively for the final checking of original documents ahead of issuing of plates/licences.
Registration services (delivered by Customer Services Agents/Assistant Registrars) continue to provide 5-day service delivery during the Covid-19 Recovery phase, in line with current guidance. Death registrations continue to be delivered remotely through telephone appointments from Kirkintilloch Community Hub. Birth registrations are being undertaken in real time with a preliminary telephone appointment prior to a face to face appointment for the final stage and signing of the register. A strict appointment system is also in place for marriage paperwork submission. Ceremonies are being delivered at the former Registration Office on Southbank Road which has been risk assessed and appropriately signed for those attending. Ceremonies are in strict compliance with current lockdown guidance and maximum numbers permitted.
The Shared Services Team continue to provide critical support across a range of Council Services in both the pandemic response and business as usual. The team are providing support through the National Assistance Helpline which provides support to shielders, vulnerable and those asked to self-isolate by Test & Protect. We are now extending the support to residents who have difficulty travelling for their vaccinations. Our Early Years team are currently calculating the bills for all our users to account for the closure and to prepare for the centres reopening. The Education team are supporting the Primary 1 enrolment and placing requests process. The General team are looking at the implications for Blue Badges processes due to the criteria changes in the benefits systems. The Social Work team continue to process all referrals for social work, including Homecare.
The Transport team are collating the transport requirements for academic year 2021/22 which will be passed to our colleagues in procurement by the middle of February. The Homecare and Residential Teams are updating Carefirst with variations to packages in conjunction with colleagues in Social Work. Our Childcare payments team are reviewing the process for invoices as they are moving onto the iprocurement system.
Revenues and Benefits
The Scottish Welfare Fund continues to cope with unprecedented demand on the services we deliver, particularly crisis grants. The ‘Self-Isolation Support Grant’ eligibility criteria is changing from 16th February which will increase the volume of claims for the team to process. We continue to prioritise this area to support vulnerable residents.
All other areas of the service continue to see higher than normal levels of work. Non Domestic Rates caseloads reflect the pressures facing businesses around the country and we are working through the cases raised after the issuing of first recovery letters. We are working with colleagues in Business Gateway on all the various Scottish Government grants to support businesses during the current period. The Benefits team are still seeing high levels of applications, particularly for Council Tax Reduction.
We remain on target to complete the initial Housing Benefit Accuracy Awards programme by the end of February 2021. Despite the increases we are continuing to meet our performance objectives in this area. Council Tax has a high volume of correspondence which is being processed by date order. We have sent our second summary warrant to the courts, once it is signed we anticipate a positive impact on our collection levels.
We continue to issue Debtors’ invoices and the recovery process is ongoing. The Sheriff Officers are contacting clients in attempts to get payment arrangements reinstated where possible.
The preparations have started for the year end work including booking our time slot with the printers for issuing bills. We are now ready to complete council tax annual billing testing next week with our live run scheduled for week commencing 1st March.
The ICT Team continue to provide support across all areas of the Council including those working from home. Our Education team continue to support additional requests for devices for pupils who require specific device types for individual subjects such as Computing. They have been preparing for migration to the latest version of Windows by upgrading underlying ICT infrastructure. The team have also completed configuration of servers for the new Early Years centres. The team liaised with colleagues in major assets to resolve an issue with Lenzie Academy when a contractor cut the Virgin Media cable supplying the school broadband.
The team have issued the remaining devices in stock for pupils and have placed orders for an additional 300 devices to satisfy the demand for devices for pupils at home. We continue to issue monitors to staff in conjunction with Health and Safety colleagues to assist working from home. The team has been supporting the next phase of Cashless Catering roll out with support for installation and go live. We continue to support major assets with the installation of infrastructure in Southbank and the 3 new Early Years Centres.
Cyber Security is of increasing importance to all organisations and we continue to mitigate the risks through a number of measures including our patching programme. We have updated the patching of our servers and continue to roll out patches to all laptops. The team have implemented additional security measures within the Education network which improves our Internet security for the schools. We have worked with colleagues in Corporate Communications to alert colleagues to the dangers faced by employees from hackers and phone scammers.
Finance & Audit
Work continues on a number of business as usual activities as previously reported to Elected Members. These efforts continuing throughout our teams. Significant work is ongoing to support payments, grants and systems developments to support the ongoing Council efforts.
Having previously moved into Tier 4 the Council is now managing new Lockdown arrangements. The Finance Team continues to engage with services to track the impact of these arrangements and the attributable costs. This work will inform future discussions about funding with new announcement on funding. Otherwise the process of business grants administrations continues to be challenging to manage with new forms of funding requiring administration and the development of guidance. This continues to increase the workload of all supporting teams with enhanced financial monitoring being required. With work ongoing in relation to a number of additional grants it will be necessary for the Council’s internal audit team to validate and consult on new control processes.
The Council’s Chief Finance Officer continues to work with COSLA and the Directors of Finance to represent the best interests of Local Government and the Council as efforts increasingly turn to budget setting and year end outturn. Work is also ongoing to review the requirements, guidance and notifications required to put in place a number of additional fiscal flexibilities to assist the Council as part of its future financial planning. The team is actively working with COSLA to inform the Scottish Government budget process making representations in a number of core areas for future funding.
The team continues to work on maintaining and improving the Council's financial systems and controls. The focus of this work may change with the potential for new processes to be developed following recent announcement. The technical team continue to provide support to the business support teams and revenues benefits teams in discharging associated grants to business and individuals. This includes the development of guidance, completion of returns and sharing VAT advice on national issues. A number of new grants, reporting requirements and other policy initiative continue to ensure that the work of the team continues at a pace and to support other teams within the Council.
The team continue to support the development of expenditure expectations in relation to Covid and tracking the various income streams to establish whether this funding is additional to support the anticipated financial gap or in the form of a grant to offset new, additional and required expenditure. Period 8 monitoring is now being finalised and will likely be reported via a technical note in the near future.
With new restrictions in place following the Tier 4 and Lockdown announcement further engagement with all services will now be required and projections of year end spend updated accordingly. Work is ongoing to develop previous reports to provide clarity of the Council’s overall financial position despite the challenging circumstances which continue to change and new funding announced. This work has now been consolidated into a single tracker and circulated to Executive Officers to ensure good governance and to aid reporting. In addition the team is starting to compile more detailed expectations and documentation in relation to the 2021/22 budget with benchmarking information being collated between all 32 Councils as well as through external economic advice. This is being applied within the Council’s financial model to provide initial expectations of future financial gaps albeit this remains at a very high level given the variability within the economy.
The Revenue Team are completing draft papers for the Council’s Revenue Budget for 2021/22.
Treasury, Capital & Housing
The team is now focused on the impacts of Tier 4 and Lockdown restrictions on the Council’s cash flow including the impact of any intended borrowing decisions with Capital works continuing to slow. The treasury team continue to monitor cash flow closely due to the increased financial transactions due to Covid ensuring that there is liquidity for all Council activities. This including putting in place the new controls and procedures for paying the daily isolation grants and also the opening of our new bank account to enable enhanced cashless catering processes at our schools. The team are engaging with Treasury advisors to determine the impact of potential fiscal flexibilities and the application of these in future years.
The Capital & Housing Team is now completed all audit requests and are now working on completing various year end returns for Scottish Government, Capital Budgets and the submission of our City Deal claim. The team is completing Capital & Housing budgets for 2021/22 for inclusion on the Council’s agenda on the 25 February.
Internal Audit and Fraud
Internal Audit have continued to work on audits included in the original audit plan for the year including Corporate Health and Safety, the Highways Code, Control Self Assessments and School Funds (Education) and the team is also seeking to finalise the last of the audits that were commenced pre-Covid. Appeals have been received from some businesses whose applications for the Strategic Framework Business Fund were rejected and Internal Audit are again providing an appeals service which has required the rescheduling of some audits. The Team and the audit plan remains flexible, whilst recognising the need to review adequate evidence for the Chief Internal Auditor's annual opinion. The Team is also providing support to transitional the operation process for reviewing HSCP provider additional cost claims based on the previous work undertaken by Internal Audit.
The Internal Audit Team are also progressing the recruitment of resources to the vacant Auditor post with an offer now being made and accepted. This recruitment will assist with the additional audit work now being required as new operational, control and governance processes are implemented to react to the Council’s approach to Covid-19.
The Corporate Fraud Team continue to investigate various reports of fraud and undertake vetting on all applications received for business grants, licences, housing, and school places. Corporate Fraud is also liaising with the relevant services and undertaking preparatory work in respect of submission of data for the forthcoming National Fraud Initiative data matching exercise.
HEALTH AND SOCIAL CARE PARTNERSHIP (COUNCIL DELEGATED SERVICES): SERVICE UPDATES: Friday 12 February 2021
HSCP Business Continuity & Recovery / Transition Planning
All departmental and overarching Business Continuity Plans continue to be in place. A Covid-19 annex to the HSCP Business Continuity Plan provides more detailed information on essential service prioritisation approach, team consolidation plans, public protection arrangements, arrangements to support and sustain commissioned services, arrangement for sustaining staff capacity and communications. These business continuity frameworks will continue to be updated in response to presenting and projected pressures and developing guidance. Local resilience planning, surveillance and reporting continue to be undertaken through the HSCP’s fortnightly Local Resilience Management Team. Virtual management team meetings are also well established. At present active consideration is being given to applying risk rating to service delivery as a result of the workforce impact of infection, the resumption of shielding, and general sickness absence. As transmission rates have increased again since December and in response to Scottish Government correspondence on the matter, the HSCP Board has established temporary revisions to normal business processes from its meeting on 21 January, in order to reduce the duration of meetings, with a reduced focus.
Performance and activity reports continue to be prepared for consideration by the HSCP Board as normal. These provide indications of service activity and outcome impacts as a result of Covid-19 across HSCP functions and services, as well as reporting on normal business activity and performance. A Quarter 2 performance (July to Sept 2020) report was considered by the HSCP Board at its meeting in January 2020. An updated risk assessment was also presented for consideration at that meeting.
In line with the Council’s COVID-19 Strategic & Operational Planning, an HSCP Transition and Recovery Plan has also been developed, with a focus on service remobilisation wherever safe and possible to do so. This will be updated iteratively in line with Scotland’s Strategic Framework and the development of more detailed guidance. The HSCP is also linking with the Council and NHSGGC on ensuring consistent decision-making and communication on service prioritisation and transition planning.
The targeted Covid-19 vaccination arrangements for high risk groups has completed its first phase, with second vaccinations due to commence in March. All care home residents that were clinically fit to receive their vaccine and consented to it have now been vaccinated. It is anticipated that second vaccinations will commence for care home residents from w/c 15 February and be complete by 1st March. The HSCP has supported GP practices in the delivery of vaccinations to the over 80s,those aged 75 to 79 and the clinically vulnerable (shielding). These were delivered across two main sites at Kirkintilloch and Milngavie Town Halls, in addition to GP surgeries.
Arrangements for personal protective equipment (PPE) continue to be in place for all services that require it.
Public protection work, which includes child and adult protection, drug and alcohol services, and a range of justice services, continues to be prioritised. Protection referrals are exceeding pre Covid rates.
The Public Protection Chief Officers Group (COG) continues its more frequent meetings, but with an agenda focussed primarily on key areas of risk, but with an increasing return to business items. The Public Protection Leadership Group established at the outset of our Covid-19 response has continued to meet fortnightly and reports directly to COG. This ensures management oversight of all operational matters and statistics relating to Public Protection. This group has included work to support early release of prisoners in collaboration with Housing services.
Practices and processes for protection functions are updated in line with revised national guidance and the Coronavirus (Scotland) Act 2020. A specific public protection covid-19 risk register has also been developed to support ongoing work. Items of concern are noted and escalated to COG.
Service Delivery Impacts
Most social care services continue to be delivered on a business as usual basis e.g. statutory assessment and supervision services, care at home and residential care, During the first wave, a number of services were suspended or reduced in line with social distancing requirements such as day services, group work, overnight residential respite and Unpaid Work. Many of these fall into the category of congregate services, which has been the subject of separate Elected Member Technical Notes and direct correspondence with service users and families. A number of these services are now resuming, or have already resumed, working on a revised and much reduced capacity basis, including Kelvinbank Resource Centre. The service has been working to provide alternative forms of support where possible.
A weekly report is prepared to highlight delivery status across all HSCP essential services, staff availability levels and operational team contingency arrangements.
On 3 November, the Scottish Government published an Adult Social Care Winter Preparedness Plan. This plan sets out the measures already in place that must be retained and those that the Scottish Government believes need to be introduced across the adult social care sector, to respond to the expected pressures over winter. This plan has significant impact for the HSCP and Council delegated services. A local action plan is in place to take this forward, which sits alongside the NHS winter plan.
Assessment and Case Management
Social Work assessment and care management referrals reduced sharply during the early stages of lockdown in the Spring, similar to the reduction in referrals to NHS services. Referrals returned to pre-Covid levels and assessment activity increased significantly during the summer, but the second wave has impacted once again on referral and activity numbers, albeit less than during the first wave. This is not a reflection of operational capacity, but a reduction in presentations. Numbers of East Dunbartonshire residents going to and being admitted to hospital is beginning to flatten after a period of steep growth in December and January. Pressures remain much higher than normal however with delayed discharges being a significant pressure, largely due to challenges in moving people to appropriate long term care settings which are closed for Covid reasons. The main Social Work Assessment and Care Management Teams continue to deliver their statutory services, mostly working from home, with physically distant customer contact wherever possible.
Contact and Monitoring is being maintained through digital mechanisms and phone calls wherever possible, whilst fulfilling the requirements of statutory orders and public protection requirements, although in line with Scottish Government guidance face to face contacts for the most vulnerable and at risk has been increased.
The Persons at Risk Database (PARD) that was been established to identify HSCP service users requiring ongoing contact during the Covid-19 response time period continues to be actively used. Numbers on the PARD remain static at around 5700 people. Those who do not receive a direct and ongoing care package e.g. home care, are contacted on a frequency that is defined by the assessed level of risk to their welfare and levels of need.
All of the Council’s in-house social care services continue to operate. Our day services are operating on a very limited basis only, for a small number of individuals with particularly complex needs. The Outlook and Outreach services operate an emergency response to families and individuals in crisis. The oversight of all day services, including those delivered by 3rd and independent sector partners are monitored via the HSCP Registered Care Services Oversight Group which has input from public health and the care inspectorate.
Staffing pressures have been felt within some in-house services due to Covid-19 infection management procedures, particularly since December. The Care at Home service and learning disability supported living services have been most affected, with contingency arrangements being escalated to ensure priority cover and service continuity. Joint working with trade union colleagues has been very positive in responding to issues on the ground.
A pan NHSGGC group on day services has been convened, led by the ED Interim CO, and has produced a document setting out the shared and collective approach to day services over the winter period.
Testing for Social Care Staff
There continues to be access to testing for all social care staff who are symptomatic and regular weekly testing is now being rolled out to all social care and social work services who support at risk adults and children. This is in addition to the testing that has been rolled out to all care home residents and staff (services for older people and others such as mental health and learning disability services) where an outbreak is confirmed or suspected. The national testing strategy continues to develop and we continue to respond to any new requirements this brings. In addition, vaccination opportunities have been rolled out in line with Scottish Government prioritisation.
Support to Care Homes
A high level of support continues to be provided to care homes. Enhanced clinical support from the HSCP is routinely provided 5 days a week and over the weekend where this is required. In line with Scottish Government requirements the HSCP has in place a daily safety ‘huddle’ to oversee the position of each local care home. Following publication of the national social care winter plan this group’s remit has expanded to cover all registered care services as described above, with an action plan in place to take forward these provisions.
No care homes in our area are currently subject to either a Large Scale Investigation under the Adult Support and Protection (Scotland) Act 2007 or Enforcement Action by the Care Inspectorate. A number of homes have experienced Covid outbreaks since December and currently one in our area is classed as having an active outbreak (at 10 Feb). Appropriate support is being provided.
Support to Home Care
The Care at Home service continues to be increasingly busy, with a noticeable trend towards referrals for more complex and staff intensive care inputs. Challenges of caring for Covid-positive customers has been a feature recently but all required PPE and support for safe use of this continues to be in place. The staffing impact of the Test and Trace system is beginning to be felt across the service and business continuity plans are being refreshed to support effective responses should this become a significant challenge. Weekly testing for our care at home workfare is now in place.