Depute Chief Executives' Update: Issue 03/2021

Dear All

Welcome to our latest fortnightly update – as always, we hope that you and your families are keeping safe and well as the current lockdown continues.

As it is February, which is LGBT+ History Month, the rainbow flag is flying proudly at our HQ in Kirkintilloch and will remain there for the whole month in recognition of this and in support of our LGBT+ Community.

Our two mass vaccination centres in East Dunbartonshire – at Allander Leisure Centre in Bearsden and Kirkintilloch Leisure Centre – have continued to operate effectively over the past fortnight with great positive feedback from those who have attended. Many thanks again to everyone involved in establishing these centres and supporting their effective operation. A Vaccination Centre page on the Council website provides information on travel and transport and ‘what to expect’ videos of the two centres.

News from the Council.....

Fortnightly Service Updates

Our fortnightly Service Updates cover all services and teams across the Council and the HSCP to highlight to Elected Members all of the work that's ongoing.

The latest Service Update was issued to Elected Members on Friday 12 February and you can find it on the Employee Zone on the Council's website:

Coronavirus (COVID-19) - Service Update - 12 February 2021

Covid-19 Latest Update

Covid-19 testing is being rolled out across more of our workforce as part of the extended measures to manage and reduce the spread of the virus. 

There are a number of pages in our Employee Zone on the Council website to support employee testing and with usual guides for those undertaking regular tests:

Testing and vaccination for HSCP employees

Covid-19 testing for employees
Covid-19 testing in schools and early years centres

Whilst children in P1–P3 and some senior stage secondary pupils are due to return to school a week today (Monday 22 February), Stay at Home guidance remains in place across the country and the next Scottish Government review of Covid-19 measures is due tomorrow (Tuesday 16 February). We’ll keep you updated on any changes in guidance in an Employee News following that review.

Very different Fairtrade Fortnight on the menu

East Dunbartonshire Fairtrade Steering Group is encouraging everyone to continue to play their part in keeping COVID-19 at bay, while supporting efforts to ensure farmers overseas receive fairer prices and the resources needed to tackle climate change. This year Fairtrade Fortnight runs from 22 February to 7 March and, while no physical events can take place, you can get involved by visiting the Fairtrade website. You can also visit our news page for more info.

Work continues to support businesses

Our teams continue to provide vital support to East Dunbartonshire businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. Between November 2020 and 5 February 2021, we processed 1,999 grants - totalling £4,486,750. An additional 481 grants and £1,975,000 were paid out in one week alone (to 5 Feb). Meanwhile, the Council's Discretionary Business Fund will open for applications on Wednesday 17 February - aimed at providing a one-off grant of £3,000 to those ineligible for other forms of Scottish Government business grant support introduced since 1 October 2020. Visit our dedicated business support page for info.

Historic environment consultation extended

Consultation has been extended to allow people additional time to comment on planning protections for important areas of East Dunbartonshire. Representations can now be made on the Historic Environment Designations Review up to 31 May 2021. Visit the consultation page to get involved.

Meet Safety Sam, our new recruit

The Child Protection Team has a new mascot called Safety Sam, designed by Skye from Lairdsland Primary. The team worked with pupils to remind them that there is always someone to turn to if they don't feel safe and that they should never feel alone even when things are closed and they are stuck at home. As part of that, they ran a competition asking the children to design a Child Protection Superhero which could be whatever they liked so long as it was kind, listens to your worries and helps you to talk if you're scared, sad, angry or hurting. Take a look at Skye's winning design and the runners-up.

Please remember if you are worried about something you have seen or heard that could mean a child or young person is being abused or neglected, make that call! Ring 0141 777 3000 during office hours or 0300 343 1505 (out of hours). Or you can call the Police on 101 at any time.

Employee Wellbeing – Healthy Working Lives February News

Financial Wellbeing - Why talk money?

Talking openly about money is vitally important for our health, wealth and relationships. The effect of Covid-19 has made it more important than ever to start conversations about money to help with your financial wellness. Scotwest Credit Union has some useful online engagement sessions on YouTube along with helpful updates in their monthly newsletters available on the HUB.

Healthy Eating - Eating a healthy, balanced diet is an important part of maintaining good health, and can help you feel your best. 

This means eating a wide variety of foods in the right proportions, and consuming the right amount of food and drink to achieve and maintain a healthy body weight. For more information visit the NHS eat well webpage.

Physical Activity - Regular physical activity is a good way to manage and lower stress levels and boost mood

Keeping up with a workout routine might be even more important now. To kick start your health why not sign up to the NHS Better Health Campaign - further information can be found on the NHS Better Health webpage or try some of the free live facebook classes provided by EDLC Leisure.

Further information can be found in the Healthy Working Lives section of the website Employee Zone.

Other News.....

Pupils to contribute to a green recovery from COVID-19

Green fingered youngsters in East Dunbartonshire will soon be helping to reduce local carbon emissions by growing food and plants, thanks to funding from the Scottish Government’s Community Climate Asset Fund (CCAF).

The following schools and early years centre received more than £38k between them: Mosshead Primary in Bearsden; Balmuildy Primary in Bishopbriggs; Craigdhu Primary in Milngavie; Gartconner Primary and Gartconner Early Years Centre in Kirkintilloch; and Holy Trinity Primary in Kirkintilloch.

The funding will be used to provide food and plant growing equipment and when the schools and early years centre welcome back all children, the young learners will be growing their own food and learning about tackling climate change. Find out more in our media release on the Council website.

Can you help to power COP26?

Not to be outdone by our local youngsters doing their bit to address climate change, there is still time for anyone interested in the global climate conference later this year to volunteer their services. The UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) will take place in Glasgow from 1-12 November 2021 and applications for this unique opportunity are open until 31 March. Visit the UKCOP volunteer web page for full details on the opportunities and application process.

Dates for your Diary……

And finally….

Our continued thanks to all of you - stay safe and keep well. We’ll provide the latest Covid-19 Update in an Employee News later this week following Tuesday’s review and we’ll be back in a fortnight with the next DCE update.

Ann and Thomas