Depute Chief Executives' Update: Issue 08/2021

Monday 26 April 2021

Dear All

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

It is International Workers’ Memorial Day later this week (Wednesday 28 April) when we remember all those who have lost their lives or become ill through work. We particularly remember those on the frontline during this Covid-19 pandemic and whilst we cannot hold our usual commemorative event, we’ll be issuing an Employee News later today to let you know how we will be recognising this important memorial day.

With the Scottish Parliamentary Elections on 6 May - just a week on Thursday, we have produced a short information video to walk you through what to expect when you turn up at your polling station to vote. Available on the election page of the Council website, please watch it to see the safety measures in place and how you can play your part. 

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 23 April. 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 in the new Technical Note section of the Council website.

Covid-19 Latest Update

We reach another milestone in the timeline to recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic today.  Scotland moves to protection Level 3, with the further easing of restrictions to allow non-essential shops, gyms, beauty salons and the hospitality sector to open. There are further details on what we can do in Level 3 on the Scottish Government website.

With schools now open and our move to protection Level 3, we will be reminding people that the community testing centre for those without Covid-19 symptoms remains available to those who live, work, visit or go to school in the wider Bishopbriggs area. Full details are available on our dedicated Community Asymptomatic Testing page on the Council website.

Time running out to get involved

East Dunbartonshire's Climate Conversation ends on Sunday 2 May 2021. The Council is required to set a corporate zero-emissions target and our Sustainability Policy Team is keen to hear your views on how we can make the necessary transition across all our functions - including buildings, fleet and day-to-day operations. You can join the conversation before 2 May by visiting the Employee Zone where there is more information and an internal survey. You can also visit the Climate Conversation webpage.

Work continues to provide business support

More than £21.8 million has been processed by the Council to help support businesses during the pandemic - 5,106 grants. That includes an additional 160 grants and £395,500 in just a fortnight (to 9 March 2021). Our teams have just issued Restart Grants as part of the Strategic Framework Business Fund, so the figure will continue to rise. For more information, visit the business support website.

Keep an eye out for local events

While Kirkintilloch Canal Festival will not be able to return in 2021, we are hopeful that smaller community events can be held when permissible. Ongoing and evolving restrictions around the Covid-19 pandemic mean it is not possible to plan or prepare for the annual festival - which involves a wide range of partners. However, keep an eye on the Council's social media and the festival website for news of community activity. Visit the News section of our website for more information.

Community Renewal Fund launched

Organisations are being invited to bid for a share of the new UK Community Renewal Fund. The scheme will provide £220 million to help prepare for the introduction of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund. The aim is to boost national recovery efforts following the Covid-19 pandemic and to provide funding for projects supporting people and places across the UK, growing local economies and helping communities. Potential applicants could include voluntary and community sector organisations, local education providers and umbrella business groups. If you know anyone who fits the bill, encourage them to visit the website and apply before 21 May 2021. For more information, visit the News section of our website.

Employee Wellbeing – Healthy Working Lives May News

With May beginning this coming weekend, here is a trail of some of the Healthy Working Lives initiatives. There will be a further Employee News on these with further details later this week:

National Walking Month (1 – 31 May)

To find out more about national walking month #walkthismay and help keep your daily walk fresh and interesting, visit the Living Street website. For ideas on places to walk, run or cycle in and around East Dunbartonshire visit the Travel and Transport section of the Council website. 

World Hand Hygiene Day (5 May) 

The annual ‘SAVE LIVES: Clean Your Hands’ campaign raises awareness of the importance of hand hygiene. Although this is aimed at the Health Care sector, in the current circumstances the campaign can support us all. For more information including videos and podcasts on hand hygiene visit the World Hand Hygiene Day page of the WHO website.

Sun Awareness Week (3 – 9 May)

We’ve seen lots of lovely sunshine this past week and ‘Sun Awareness Week’ takes place each year as part of the British Association of Dermatologists’ annual campaign to raise awareness of skin cancer. The campaign aims to raise awareness about the dangers of sunburn and excessive tanning, and to discourage people from using sunbeds. Visit the Sun Awareness Campaign webpage for more information and please remember to use sunscreen if you regularly spend time outdoors for work or recreation.

Deaf Awareness Week (3 - 9 May)

With 1 in 6 people in the UK either deaf or hard of hearing, the aim of Deaf Awareness Week is to promote social inclusion and raise awareness of the huge range of organisations that support deaf people and their family and friends.

Mental Health Awareness Week (10 - 16 May)

During this pandemic, many of us have experienced a mental health problem, or seen a loved one struggle. Access to the right information is vital if you are living with a mental health problem or supporting someone who is, and the Mind website is a great source of advice and support.

Support is also available through the Council’s Employee Assistance Programme – Time for Talking and on the Wellbeing page of our Employee Zone 

Other News

OPAL – East Dunbartonshire Information Line

OPAL is a free information service for people in East Dunbartonshire and has been providing a single point of contact for anyone needing additional care or support for many years.
The dedicated team provides: welfare and benefits advice; independent advocacy; volunteering opportunities; carer support; and power of attorney advice.

During the pandemic, OPAL has also been working closely with local volunteers to arrange shopping and prescription pick-ups and providing advice on financial support and foodbank referrals. If you or anyone you know would benefit from OPAL support, you can contact them on 0141 438 2347. For more information visit 

Light up Purple for Fibromyalgia

Our usual landmark buildings of William Patrick Library/Kirkintilloch Community Hub, Bearsden Community Hub and Milngavie Town Hall will light up purple to raise awareness of Fibromyalgia. Organised by Friends of Fibro United (the not for profit organisation for Fibromyalgia in Scotland), the #lightupforfibro campaign will be promoted on social media platforms. Find out more about it on this website International Fibromyalgia Day

Dates for your Diary

26 April    Next set of Covid restrictions due to be lifted
27 April    Deadline for registering for a proxy vote for 6 May election
28 April    International Workers’ Memorial Day
29 April    On Your Feet Britain see above in Healthy Working Lives update
5 May       World Hand Hygiene Day
6 May       Scottish Parliamentary Election
12 May     International Fibromyalgia Day

And finally…….

As always, our continued thanks to all of you – stay safe and keep well and we’ll be back in a fortnight (Monday 10 May) with the next DCE update.

Ann and Thomas