Depute Chief Executives' Update: Issue 13/2021

Dear All

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

Following last Tuesday’s Council meeting where the Unaudited Accounts for 2022/21 were considered, the Council is now formally in its Summer recess, with a full cycle of committee meetings recommencing in August. 

Now on to our usual news updates:

News from the Council

Covid-19 Community Asymptomatic Testing

Community testing for those without symptoms (asymptomatic testing) remains a key focus in managing Covid-19 and is available at the War Memorial Hall in Bishopbriggs for anyone who lives in, works in or visits East Dunbartonshire. No booking is required, just walk in, Monday to Friday from 10.30am-6pm.  The last test each day is 5.30pm as tests take half an hour to process.

You must not attend an asymptomatic testing centre if you have COVID-19 symptoms or have been identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive.  For more details, visit: https://www.eastdunbarton.gov.uk/residents/covid-19/covid-19-community-test-centre

Remember also, that the Scottish Government introduced ‘universal provision’ of rapid lateral flow test kits to everyone in Scotland.  These can be ordered from the UK Government website or picked up from a local venue.

COVID-19 Vaccinations

Just a reminder following Employee News 31 that there are opportunities available for anyone aged 18+ to register for their first coronavirus vaccination through the online self-registration portal. Alternatively, you can call the national helpline on 0800 030 8013 where you can complete the registration process and arrange for information to be sent to you via SMS.

There are also drop-in vaccination clinics being held for adults aged 18+ and details of your local drop-in clinics can be found by visiting this webpage: Registering for a coronavirus vaccine | The coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine (nhsinform.scot)

Anyone looking to rearrange their appointment for a first or second dose of the vaccine can do so here: Rearrange or opt-out of your vaccination appointment | The coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine (nhsinform.scot)

Top marks for Education Service

A recent report by Audit Scotland gave the Education Service a glowing end-of-term report. Their findings on the Council's performance in ‘Improving Outcomes for Young People through School Education’ were welcomed by Councillors. The comprehensive report looked at the progress made nationally and by individual councils and clearly emphasises that school education is not just about exam results, but also about improving children’s and young people’s health and wellbeing and supporting other outcomes such as vocational qualifications. Well done to everyone involved. You can read more details in our media release.

We bade farewell to Jacqui MacDonald, our long standing Chief Education Officer, in June. Jacqui postponed her departure last year to continue to lead the Education Service through the Covid-19 pandemic and we thank her for that and wish her a happy, peaceful retirement. Greg Bremner has been appointed as Interim Chief Education Officer and we wish him every success in the role.

Apprenticeship opportunities

The closing date for the latest Modern Apprenticeship opportunities is fast approaching. Applications for the 21 Modern Apprentices must be in by Wednesday 7 July. The successful candidates will join the workforce in the autumn. Remember to tell any young people you know who may be interested. There are Grad+ opportunities coming soon too. All details are on myjobscotland.

First set of average speed cameras in East Dunbartonshire

The first set of average speed cameras in East Dunbartonshire has been installed on Auchinairn Road in an attempt to cut speeds and improve road safety. Safety Cameras Scotland have installed three average speed cameras on a stretch of Auchinairn Road running from its junction with Graham Terrace to Crowhill Road following a spike in accidents related to speed. Average speed cameras aim to reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured by encouraging improved driver behaviour and speed limit compliance.

Chance to have your say on Bishopbriggs

Can you help to shape the future for Bishopbriggs town centre? Views are being sought to inform the Bishopbriggs Public Realm Plan - a key part of the Council's £34.88 million Place and Growth Programme, approved last year by the Glasgow City Region Cabinet. People and groups are being offered the chance to have their say until Sunday 15 August 2021. Visit the interactive webpage - www.eastdunbarton.gov.uk/BishopbriggsCityDeal - to get involved.

Climate for change

The views of more than 200 East Dunbartonshire residents who took part in the Council’s Climate Conversation are being used to inform our new Climate Action Plan. The Climate Conversation, which ran from 8 March to 2 May, was an early engagement exercise to assess local public opinion on climate change and related issues, including biodiversity loss. It was also a platform to discuss potential actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve resilience to the impacts of climate change. The Council noted the outcome of the Conversation at a recent meeting and agreed to move forward on the Climate Action Plan, and Local Heat and Energy Efficiency Strategy. The Council also endorsed the Glasgow City Region Adaptation Strategy & Action Plan. For more info, see the News section of our website.

Employee Wellbeing – Healthy Working Lives July News

Our programme of activity for Healthy Working Lives in July is being finalised and will be issued as an Employee News later this week.  As always, you’ll be able to see the programme of activity, once published, on the Healthy Working Lives page, in the Wellbeing section of the Employee Zone – our dedicated section of the Council website for all East Dunbartonshire Council employees. 

News from EDLC Trust

Libraries re-opening

Our much-loved libraries have been restoring services as well as introducing some new ones as part of a phased re-opening. The home delivery service has now been re-introduced to care facilities and library members who are unable to travel to their local library due to physical or health conditions. The popular Connect and Collect service – which was reintroduced in April – has now been extended to 8pm one evening per week in each library.

You can also now book a one hour computer session where printing, scanning and photocopying services can also be accessed. Members can book these sessions by calling the library or by using the new online booking system. Non-members can call to book a session. Available days and times are listed outside the library or online.

Chorus of approval for outdoor operas!

Outdoor entertainment is on the way - aiming to hit the right note with people of all ages by offering some of Gilbert & Sullivan's best-loved hits in the open air. Pop-up Operas will be performed at Huntershill Village, Bishopbriggs, courtesy of Scottish Opera, in conjunction with EDLC Trust. Audiences are being offered a choice of pint-sized versions of The Gondoliers or The Mikado on Wednesday 14 July. For more info, including ticket details, visit the News section of our website.

Other News

Thank You Day

It was Thank You Day yesterday (Sunday 4 July) – an opportunity for us all to acknowledge the efforts of organisations and communities in responding to the global Covid-19 pandemic. Whilst organised events were still not possible, we recognised this day in East Dunbartonshire through a short video acknowledging that fantastic efforts of our workforce (that’s all of you!) and all those in our communities for their efforts during the pandemic.  If you missed the video on social media, you can see it from the Thank You Day news release on our website.

Plastic Free July
There are many themed days and months throughout the year – but Plastic Free July is a fitting one to promote and ties in with our approach to a Climate Action Plan and endorsement of the City Region Climate Adaptation Strategy recently approved by Council (see above). We’re asked to say “no” to all single use plastic in July (and, of course, beyond that) as part of a global movement to find a solution to plastic pollution. Find out more on the Plastic Free July website.

Dates for your Diary

1-31 July       Plastic Free July
2 August       First Planning Board post-recess
12 August     First Committee Meeting post-recess (PNCA)
23 Sept          First Council post-recess

And finally…….

As always, our continued thanks to you all – stay safe and keep well.  For those of you having breaks over the next few weeks, have a great time, and here’s hoping the weather improves!  We’ll be back again on Monday 19 July with the next fortnightly DCE update.

Ann and Thomas