Depute Chief Executives' Update: Issue 09/2021

Monday 10 May 2021

Dear All

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

As you all know, last Thursday 6 May was the Scottish Parliamentary Election and we begin this update with our huge thanks to all of you involved in the safe and successful delivery of the election here in East Dunbartonshire. It was a very different and extended election experience this year, with polling on 6 May and then counting for the constituency MSP taking place on Friday 7 May and for the regional list votes on Saturday 8 May. 

A significant amount of work takes place to deliver an election with months of planning and preparation. There were additional requirements this year to plan for the anticipated increase in postal voting and implementing Covid-19 measures across our Polling Places and Count Venue. From our core election team in Legal and Democratic services, to those involved in setting up, staffing and co-ordinating the operation of our election office, our Polling Places and our Count Venue – we could not have delivered this year’s election without you. 

Huge numbers of you are involved in an election. It is a major logistics exercise to ensure that everything is in the right place at the right time and that everyone knows what they are doing, where and when they are doing it and the importance of the role they are undertaking.  With the added element of the Covid-19 pandemic very much still with us it has truly been a sterling effort to ensure that polling and counting were safe and efficient and our thanks and appreciation go out to each and every one of you who contributed to and were part of this fantastic extended team.

The Scottish Parliamentary Election Results Page on our Council website has all the details of the Strathkelvin and Bearsden Constituency MSP results and the voting from Strathkelvin and Bearsden for the West of Scotland regional list.

With the elections predominating last week and the huge numbers involved in their delivery, there is no fortnightly service update for this edition – the next service update will be issued on Friday 21 May and we’ll include that in our next DCE update on Monday 24 May.

Now on to our regular news updates:

News from the Council…….

Covid-19 Latest Update

We remain in Covid-19 protection Level 3 with non-essential shops, gyms, beauty salons and the hospitality sector able to open.  Full details on what we can do in Level 3 are available on the Scottish Government website. The next scheduled milestone in the roadmap to recovery is a potential move to Level 2 from Monday 17 May. A statement on this is anticipated from Scottish Government tomorrow (Tuesday 11 May) and updates will be communicated in the usual way through Employee News.

Community testing for those without symptoms remains a key focus of the Scottish Government in managing Covid-19 and community testing remains available to those who live, work, visit or go to school in the wider Bishopbriggs area at Auchinairn Community and Early Years Centre. Full details are available on our dedicated Community Asymptomatic Testing page on the Council website. 

Rapid lateral flow self-testing kits are available through our schools to all school-based staff and to all secondary school students. In addition to this, universal provision of rapid lateral flow testing has been introduced in Scotland, which means that anyone can access lateral flow tests and these can be ordered from the UK Government website and delivered directly to your home.

On the money...
More than £26.5 million in grant funding has now been processed by the Council to help support businesses during the pandemic - an incredible 5,730 grants. That includes an additional 624 grants and £4,662,035 in three weeks alone (to 30 April 2021). Visit our dedicated support webpage for the latest links and opportunities.

Canniesburn Toll engagement
Public engagement is being held on improvements at Canniesburn Toll in Bearsden. The Council is seeking views on plans to enhance the area for motorists, pedestrians and cyclists. Concept designs have been drafted for the Canniesburn Toll Improvement Project and people are being invited to view the concept designs and have their say by visiting the website before 4 June.

Join the journey...
People are being offered the chance to put their ideas in motion as part of the Active Travel Discussion - taking place between 11 May and 28 September 2021. To help more local residents benefit from keeping active as part of everyday journeys and exercise, the Council is preparing to draft a new Active Travel Strategy for East Dunbartonshire. Views are sought on the local travel network and potential improvements. There's an interactive map on our website (active from tomorrow - Tuesday) for people to have a say and add ideas, as well as more information.

Employee Wellbeing – Healthy Working Lives May News…….

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.

Mental Health Awareness Week (10 - 16 May)

This week is Mental Health Awareness week. 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, which is well worth a visit.

Other News…….

Light up Purple for Fibromyalgia – Wednesday 12 May
Our usual landmark buildings of William Patrick Library/Kirkintilloch Community Hub, Bearsden Community Hub and Milngavie Town Hall will light purple to raise awareness of Fibromyalgia. Organised by Friends of Fibro United (the not-for-profit organization for Fibromyalgia in Scotland), the #lightupforfibro campaign will be promoted on social media platforms and can be followed on the Friends of Fibro United’s facebook page.

International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia – Monday 17 May
This international day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia is celebrated each year on 17 May and is a worldwide celebration of sexual and gender diversities. The Rainbow Flag will be flown at our Southbank Marina Council Headquarters on Monday 17 May in recognition of this day.

Dates for your Diary…….

1-31 May         National Walking Month
10 May            Foster Care Fortnight
10 – 16 May    Mental Health Awareness Week
11 May            Active Travel consultation begins
12 May            International Fibromyalgia Day
17 May            International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia and Biphobia
28 – 31 May    School long weekend Holiday (Friday, Monday)

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 24 May) with the next DCE update.

Ann and Thomas