As always, we hope you are keeping well and sorry for the slight delay in getting this to you.
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 4 December and you can find it on the Employee Zone on the Council's website:
Positive Performance Recognised in Annual Audit Report
Audit Scotland has recognised East Dunbartonshire Council's positive work during 2019/20 in its Annual Audit Report - including consideration of the Council’s Best Value arrangements regarding governance and transparency, performance, and fairness and equality. The document was presented to a Special Meeting of the Council on 19 November with the 2019/20 financial statements receiving an unqualified auditor's report. You can see the highlights of the findings in this news release:
Christmas Shopping in East Dunbartonshire
With East Dunbartonshire still in Level 4 for coronavirus restrictions there has been no Christmas light switch on events, however, the lights are on to make our town centres festive. With free parking on Saturdays in December we are all being encouraged to support local businesses where possible when Christmas shopping, within the Level 4 restrictions. Many local businesses have introduced click and collect or online/delivery options. This news release has more details:
News from our Services...
Phase 2 of the Devices for Pupils Programme
In the coming weeks we will have completed the second phase of our Laptop and Wi-Fi scheme, ensuring eligible pupils across East Dunbartonshire have access to digital devices for online home learning during the pandemic. When complete, we will have delivered over 1900 digital devices, comprising of laptops, Chromebooks and iPads, and around 300 Wi-Fi connectivity devices.
The roll out of devices is about equity of opportunity and ensuring there are no barriers to learning for any pupils in East Dunbartonshire. The scheme has been funded by the Council and through the Scottish Government’s offer of a grant for purchase of digital devices and connectivity to tackle digital exclusion amongst children and young people.
Stay safe this festive season with the latest Elf and Safety guide
This year’s Christmas Elf & Safety Advice booklet has been updated and is now available on the Employee Zone of the Council's website.
The Healthy Working Lives Team, made up of Council and Health and Social Care employees, produces this booklet annually and it’s packed full of practical information and advice on all things festive. This year’s version is particularly different, reflecting the impact of COVID and providing additional web links to access guidance. https://www.eastdunbarton.gov.uk/employee-zone/health-and-safety/health-and-safety-campaigns
Feel free to share with your friends and family to help us all have a safe and enjoyable Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year.
Giving Santa a helping hand
Caring colleagues are once again giving Santa a helping hand to ensure that the disadvantaged in East Dunbartonshire aren't forgotten this Christmas. For many years, the Community Support Team (CST) within Social Work (Children & Families) have been gratefully collecting festive donations from colleagues, organisations and the wider public for vulnerable youngsters, families and groups.
The Children & Families Christmas Project, co-ordinated by Frances McGuire (Social Work Assistant in the CST), is supported by Criminal Justice and other Council/HSCP teams, as well as local organisations, businesses, churches, third-sector partners and Glasgow's Spirit of Christmas.
The aim is to help ensure every child in East Dunbartonshire has something to celebrate at Christmas. That could mean a present, food parcel or voucher for fresh produce. Recipients include children and young people, families, homeless units, care-experienced young people and small local community groups.
Despite the coronavirus restrictions, there has been overwhelming support, as well as offers of assistance - including businesses within Eastside Industrial Estate in Kilsyth Road, Kirkintilloch - and your help would be greatly appreciated.
If anyone would like to make a donation, there is a drop-off point within the Regent Centre in Kirkintilloch (just outside Tesco on the upper floor). Donations can be made until 18 December. For more information, contact email@example.com or call 0141 777 3000. If you would like to make a financial contribution, please see below.
Cash for Kids
Usually more than 300 children in our area benefit from the Cash for Kids campaign every year - with families receiving a £25-per-child donation, which helps with gifts or food. This year, due to a lack of fundraising opportunities, the same level of support is not available, so a GoFundMe campaign has been set up by Senior Social Worker Pauline Shaw.
In a heart-warming show of solidarity, more than £1,200 has already been raised, converted into supermarket vouchers and donated to the Children & Families Christmas Project. These will be distributed as part of the wider project (as detailed above) - helping to make Christmas a little more special for local children.
Please visit https://www.gofundme.com/f/ed-cash-4-kidsnot-2020 to make a donation.
Can you help create a climate for change?
Climate Ready Clyde is developing Glasgow City Region's first Climate Adaptation Strategy, with support from the Council. People are being asked to give their views on the vital draft plan before 5pm on 24 December. We're also helping to support online consultation sessions, with the latest taking place on 9 and 16 December. You can access the draft strategy, accompanying environmental report and further info - and have your say - by visiting http://climatereadyclyde.org.uk/our-adaptation-strategy-and-action-plan
Keeping cosy this winter
Jack Frost has really got his skates on this year, with temperatures starting to fall. If you're looking for advice on saving energy, keeping warm at home, renewable energy, greener travel, cutting water waste and more, you can call Home Energy Scotland free on 0808 808 2282. They offer free and impartial advice, funded by the Scottish Government, and are committed to keeping you warm. You can also visit https://www.homeenergyscotland.org/
Rainbow of Hope
A colourful tribute to community and hope has been created in Kirkintilloch town centre - thanks to pupil power!
Youngsters from eight local schools have joined forces with Your Kirky - aka Kirkintilloch Community Council - to create a Rainbow of Hope in the town's Regent Gardens. The tribute - set to remain in place until next spring/summer - is made up of small stones, each one given a technicolour dream-coat of paint by budding artists from Holy Trinity, Lairdsland, Holy Family, Merkland, Hillhead, Oxgang, Gartconner and Harestanes schools. For more info on the project - which has been supported by a number of Council teams - visit https://www.eastdunbarton.gov.uk/news/pupil-power-helps-create-colourful-symbol-hope-town-centre
And check out Your Kirky's Facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/yourkirky - for a lovely video on the Rainbow of Hope.
With the positive news last week that the first Covid-19 vaccine is now available, we will keep you all posted on the vaccination plans in East Dunbartonshire once they have been finalised. In the meantime thank you all once again for your efforts and we hope you and your families stay safe and well.
Ann and Thomas
8 December 2020