Depute Chief Executives' Update: Issue 10/2021

Monday 24 May 2021

Dear All

Welcome to our latest fortnightly update and as always, with East Dunbartonshire now in Level 2 of the Covid-19 recovery framework, enabling more restrictions to be lifted, we hope that you and your families are keeping safe and well. 

There was no fortnightly Covid-19 Service update in our last issue of this DCE update as a result of the Scottish Parliamentary Election, so a four week bumper edition of this was circulated to Councillors on Friday as a Technical Note. As our Technical Notes are now published on the website, you can read the full service update on the website.

News from the Council


Covid-19 Latest Update

As we mentioned in our introduction, East Dunbartonshire moved to Level 2 on Monday 17 May. This has further reduced restrictions on the hospitality sector and a wider range of recreational activities are also permitted. It is important to be aware that Glasgow City remains in level three with persistently high infection rates, and no-one should be travelling into Glasgow for non-essential purposes. Please see the ‘What you can do in the Levels’ page of the Scottish Government website for full details.

Community testing for those without symptoms (asymptomatic testing) remains a key focus of the Scottish Government in managing Covid-19. The Scottish Government introduced ‘universal provision’ of rapid lateral flow test kits to everyone in Scotland earlier this month, and these are available to be ordered from the UK Government website to be delivered directly to your home.

Community testing continues to be available at Auchinairn Community and Early Years Centre for all those who live, work, visit or go to school in the Bishopbriggs area. Full details, including a video of what to expect, are available on our dedicated Community Asymptomatic Testing page on the Council website. Rapid lateral flow self-testing kits are also available through our schools to all school based staff and to all secondary school students.


Let the fun commence

Two of our new Early Years Centres are now open and if you haven't already seen them on social media, have a look now at the amazing design and facilities inside. There are short walkthrough videos of Oakburn EYC which opened on 10 May and Lairdsland EYC which opened today. Thanks go to everyone involved in these projects. The Major Assets Project Team worked with our build partners during a really tough time for the construction industry to get the centres ready. Bearsden Early Years Centre is next to come on stream.


Making a splash

There are smiles all round at our three swimming pools as lessons have started back for almost 1,000 local youngsters. Staff are thrilled to be welcoming them back and have worked hard to put Covid management measures in place to ensure everyone is kept safe. Adult & Child lessons will be back as soon as possible too. Kids' lessons are full just now but please check the Trust website for updates if you're looking for a space.


PayByPhone launches in East Dunbartonshire

From today, it's possible to pay for parking in East Dunbartonshire Council charging car parks using your mobile phone. There are two ways to register for the new PaybyPhone service; download the app onto your mobile or register on the website and then you can pay via the PayByPhone app, via the paybyphone website, by calling 0330 400 7275 or by texting 65565.

The PayByPhone web page also provides further information and demonstration videos on how to use the app. PayByPhone have also developed a self-service support centre on their website. 

Support for the economy

Businesses, organisations and residents are being encouraged to check out the Economic Recovery Plan for East Dunbartonshire as efforts continue to help the area emerge from the shadow of the pandemic. The vital document includes work being undertaken by Council services and community planning partners - as well as a wealth of information and potential resources - to help mitigate the devastating effects of the coronavirus emergency.


Designs unveiled for Canniesburn Toll

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 and people are being invited to have their say. For more info, visit the News section of our website.


Join the Active Travel journey

People are being invited 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. Online discussion meetings are being held and there's an interactive map on our website for people to have a say and add ideas. For more info, visit the News section of our website.


Employee Wellbeing – Healthy Working Lives May News…….

Our May Healthy Working Lives promotions continue and are available in the Employee Zone of the website – and with June just around the corner, you can expect an Employee News on the June Healthy Working Lives initiatives ahead of next Tuesday.


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.


Other News

Mind over miles as stars embark on trek

Two Council colleagues are putting their best feet forward as they tackle the West Highland Way (and the Scottish weather) to raise funds for a great cause. Haseeb Akhtar and Andy Murray (no, not that one) will be hoping to take it all in their stride as they trek the 96 miles from Milngavie to Fort William over seven days (they started on Saturday 22 May). Haseeb (ICT Support Analyst) and Andy (Technician at Boclair Academy) are raising funds for Glasgow-based charity PEEK (Possibilities for Each and Every Kid). The pair are well on their way to smash their target of £1,500 - visit their JustGiving page to donate what you can. More info available on The Hub.


Walk a result for Milngavie

Milngavie has been recognised in the first-ever Scottish Walking Awards. Milngavie Business Improvement District has scooped the 2021 Business Walking Champion Award - recognition of the excellent work being carried out in the town centre, backed by the Council - in conjunction with traders, firms and local organisations. Visit Milngavie BID for more info.


Litter bit of community spirit goes a long way

People are pulling together to help ensure the Forth and Clyde Canal is kept shipshape in Kirkintilloch. Your Kirky has installed new litter bins and volunteers will keep them maintained, emptying them regularly and liaising with the Council to have the refuse picked up. St Ninian's High School has 'adopted' two of the bins and will support through litter-picks in the area, with the Council supplying equipment and bags. Visit the News section of our website for more info.


Consultation on Regent Gardens

People are being encouraged to have their say on proposed improvements at the heart of Kirkintilloch town centre. Your Kirky (aka Kirkintilloch Community Council) is again consulting with the community about the future of Regent Gardens. It has been working with the Council and consultants to create a concept design. Visit the consultation website for more info and the News section of our website.


Foster Care Fortnight (10-23 May)

We have been reminding people over the past fortnight that Fostering changes lives, one little moment at a time. If you have ever considered fostering but are unable to make a full-time commitment, short break fostering offers a chance for you to be part of the loving, supportive childhood that every child deserves.

There are approximately 3,800 foster families in Scotland but 500 more are desperately needed, including here in East Dunbartonshire. If you would like to find out more about fostering in East Dunbartonshire, or you know someone who is interested, you can reach the team by calling 0141 777 3003


Scottish Youth Parliament Elections

The hunt is on for the next crop of young people to stand for election to the Scottish Youth Parliament. MSYPs will be elected in November for a two year term. Anyone aged 16-24yrs can stand to be part of the democratically elected voice of Scottish young people. If you know anyone who might be interested, they need to express their interest by 30 June 2021. The SYP website has more information.


Dates for your Diary

24 May 2021   Pay by Phone introduced in East Dunbartonshire car parks
28 – 31 May    School long weekend Holiday (Friday, Monday)
4 June             Canniesburn Toll Improvements consultation closes
5 June             World Environment Day
6 June             Your Kirky Regent Gardens Consultation closes
30 June           Deadline for Expressions of Interest in Scottish Youth Parliament elections

And finally…….


As always, our continued thanks to you all – stay safe and keep well. Those of you with time off over the coming school holiday weekend, enjoy your break and we’ll be back again on Monday 7 June with the next fortnightly DCE update.

Ann and Thomas