Welcome to our latest fortnightly update – it’s hard to believe it’s March already, but at least that means that Spring is nearly here. As always, we hope that you and your families are keeping safe and well as the current lockdown continues and I’m sure we all welcome the news that we could see Covid-19 stay at home restrictions begin to be lifted next month, if current trends continue.
The Council agreed its Budget for 2021/22 at the end of last week (Thursday 25 February), and we’ll issue an Employee News later today to share the headlines, key decisions and provide you with copies of the Budget speeches.
Now on to our regular news updates:
News from the Council…….
Fortnightly Service Updates
The latest fortnightly Service Update was issued to Elected Members on Friday 26 February. As always, it covers all services and teams across the Council and the HSCP to highlight to Elected Members all of the work that's ongoing. You can find this latest edition on the Employee Zone on the Council's website:
Covid-19 Latest Update
In the Scottish Government announcement last week (Tuesday 23 February) there was an indication of when changes to the current stay at home guidance might be able to take place. There will be a further statement tomorrow (Tuesday 2 March) to confirm if more children will be able to return to primary and secondary school from 15 March. The Scottish Government website has a news release on their latest Covid-19 update and details of the latest Coronavirus (Covid-19) Strategic Framework Update.
Parental Employment Support Project
The Parental Employment Support project is here to support parents who are working, including East Dunbartonshire employees, to maximise their household income and help reach new employment goals. Support is being offered with job searching, application and interviews as well as training. In addition we offer health support, money advice including benefits and childcare, confidence building and motivational support. Some eligibility criteria applies. To find out more speak to an advisor on 0141 777 3082 or email email@example.com
Employer Recruitment Incentive
East Dunbartonshire Council is offering a new enhanced Employer Recruitment Incentive to support local businesses create jobs for young people. The initiative is part of the Scottish Government's Young Persons Guarantee and aims to support eligible individuals into sustainable new jobs.
The scheme can provide up to £7000 towards the costs of employing a young person for 12 months. If you know of any companies that may be interested there is information available on the adult learning and employability page of our website or, for enquiries about the initiative, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Your views could make a world of a difference...
People are being asked to help zero in on harmful carbon emissions and combat climate change. The Council is preparing to launch the Climate Conversation to foster a productive atmosphere for wide-ranging discussion, ideas and engagement - potentially shaping policies that will affect local lives for generations to come. It's the first stage in the preparation of a new Climate Action Plan which will set a net zero target for the Council and the whole of East Dunbartonshire. As well as providing a route map, it will also include actions to help us adapt to the effects of current climate change. The Climate Conversation will be held between 8 March and 2 May 2021 - www.eastdunbarton.gov.uk/CAP (from 8 March).
More than £19.2 million paid in grants support
Grants worth over £19.2 million have now been processed by our teams to help support East Dunbartonshire businesses through the COVID-19 pandemic. The Council and Business Gateway East Dunbartonshire continue to receive applications, calls and queries from a wide range of local firms and enterprises. In the space of just three weeks we allocated £3,297,875 - 1,132 grants - supporting local businesses, traders and job providers. During the pandemic, we have processed 4,064 grants - worth £19,265,340 (as of 19 February 2021). More information is available on our dedicated business support webpage.
Employee Wellbeing – Healthy Working Lives March News…….
The Healthy Working Lives page in the Wellbeing section of our website Employee Zone includes information on all the initiatives running throughout March to support our health and wellbeing. These include links to the from the NHS Every Mind Matters website and support to stop smoking which is available on the NHS Inform website and Quit Your Way Scotland webpage, tying in with the national No Smoking day on 10 March. Watch out for an Employee News this week with further details on these and more health and wellbeing matters.
Voting safely at the Scottish Parliamentary Elections
On Thursday 6 May 2021 we'll go to the polls to have our say on who represents us in the Scottish Parliament so make sure you're registered. The easiest way is online at the UK Government Register to Vote page.
There are a number of ways to have your say in the election - you can vote in person, by post, or by proxy. At polling stations you can expect many of the measures you’ve become used to, such as hand sanitiser, floor markings and face masks. If you prefer to vote by post, you can apply now. It’s easy! Find out how on the Electoral Commission website. You can find out about voting by proxy there too.
Different flavour for Fairtrade Fortnight
A very different Fairtrade Fortnight is currently ongoing until 7 March 2021 and people are being asked to support where possible. While no physical events can take place, you can get involved by visiting the website and continuing to support efforts to ensure farmers overseas receive fairer prices and the resources needed to tackle climate change.
Dates for your Diary…….
1-7 March Final week of Fairtrade Fortnight
3 March UN World Wildlife Day
4 March Keep Safe Awareness Day
4 March World Book Day
8 March International Women’s Day
10 March No Smoking Day
17 March Next meeting of East Dunbartonshire Council
18 March Global Recycling Day
20 March First day of Spring
Our continued thanks to all of you - stay safe and keep well and we’ll be back in a fortnight with the next DCE update.
Ann and Thomas