Depute Chief Executives' Update: Issue 20/2021

Tuesday 19 October 2021

Dear All

Welcome to our latest Depute Chief Executive Update - as always, I hope that you and your families are safe and well, and those of you taking time off during the October week school holiday last week had a great break. 

It is less than two weeks until the COP26 UN Climate Change Conference begins in Glasgow and many of our teams have been involved in the planning for this significant international event that will see over 100,000 visitors coming to Glasgow city centre for the conference itself and the wide range of activities taking place around it. Thanks to those of you who expressed an interest in the COP26 volunteering opportunities we shared in Employee News issue 42 these are being progressed and further details will be provided once they are available.

COP26 will have an impact on traffic and travel and anyone needing to journey to and from the city centre in the lead up to and during the conference is encouraged to plan ahead, leave the car behind but be aware that public transport may be busier than usual. Up-to-date information is being posted in the COP26 section of the Get Ready Glasgow website, which includes dedicated information on traffic and travel

Now on with our usual news updates from the past couple of weeks:

News from the Council

Keep Safe, Keep Testing

Our community testing facility at the War Memorial Hall in Bishopbriggs is still available for anyone living, working or visiting East Dunbartonshire to get tested if they do not have symptoms. Community testing remains effective in breaking transmission of COVID-19 and opening hours are now 9.30am to 5.00pm with the last test at 4.30pm.

Our mobile testing bus returns to operation next week, from Monday 25 October, in Milngavie Precinct.  You can see all our testing information, including the bus timetable, on our community testing web page.

Please remember that if you do have symptoms you must not visit community testing sites, you should self-isolate and book a PCR test through NHS inform.

Wear Red Day

This Friday (22 October) we are supporting the Show Racism the Red Card charity’s 'Wear Red Day' by lighting a number of Council venues red. And you can wear red that day to show your support. Show Racism the Red Card is the UK's largest anti-racism and anti-discrimination charity, promoting the key message that there is no place for racism or discrimination in our society. To support the work of the charity, you can text ‘Red’ to 70470 to donate £1. Texts cost the standard rate, plus donation. For more information, check out the News section of our website or visit www.theredcard.org

‘A Series of Dreams’ at Lillie Art Gallery

If you've not been back to the Lillie Art Gallery since it reopened, then this is the time to return. Renowned Scottish artist and designer Jimmy Cosgrove is exhibiting there until Thursday 28 October. You will see work derived from people, places and travel, in particular, the West of Scotland – including Arran and Ayrshire. Read more about Cosgrove and his work, then why not drop into the exhibition before the end of the month?

Coming soon - Parents Portal!

If you have children at Lenzie Meadow, Lairdsland, Lennoxtown or Millersneuk Primaries or at Lenzie Academy then you are about to be introduced to a brand new parents portal. It launches on Monday 1 November and is a new and improved way for schools and families to stay in touch. It will enable online payments (cashless catering), absence reporting and so much more. Look out for information from the school and keep an eye on school/Council websites and social media for details of how to register. These schools are part of a pilot project with plans to roll the portal out to others over time.

Helping local businesses

Grants worth more than £28.2 million have been processed by the Council to help support East Dunbartonshire businesses through the COVID-19 pandemic. A number of services were involved in administering support, designed to help the local economy weather unprecedented disruption and to protect jobs. Since 1 April 2020, the Council has issued 6,917 grants to local businesses - a total of £28,267,075 (as of 24 September 2021). Visit the news section of our website for more information.

Employee Wellbeing - Healthy Working Lives news for October

The October Healthy Working Lives Update is published on the Employee Zone of the website (in the Wellbeing section).

Remember there is a wealth of information and support in the Wellbeing section of the Employee Zone, including details of our Employee Assistance Programme.

Other News

COP26 - COSLA Exhibition Stand (UK Green Zone)

COSLA will host an exhibition stand in the UK Green Zone, Glasgow Science Centre on 11 November where East Dunbartonshire Council will be represented.

It will visually demonstrate the work of Scottish Local Authorities and act as a hub for Scottish councils and others to network and learn about Scottish Local Government.

You are invited to visit this stand during the conference to meet and discuss local government and climate change with international colleagues and public delegates. If you would like to use the space for a more specific reason, please contact douglas@cosla.gov.uk.

The full Green Zone programme and registration can be accessed at https://ukcop26.org/the-conference/green-zone-programme-of-events/

Pilgrimage to COP26

Sunday 17 October saw the start of a large scale pilgrimage to the COP26 event in Glasgow. The pilgrims are due to arrive in Kirkintilloch on Thursday 28 October after completing their journey along The John Muir Way from Dunbar.
The walkers, from a wide range of cultural, community and interfaith organisations, will then set off from the town on Friday 29 October to follow the St Ninian’s Way from Kirkintilloch to Glasgow, which is hosting the COP26 UN climate talks.
The Pilgrimage is open to anyone who would like to join the walk, for all or part of the journey. Follow the action on social media: #PilgrimageForCOP26

Tick Survey

Following one of the worst years for reported tick bites, researchers at Glasgow University’s Medical Research Unit (MRC) are asking East Dunbartonshire residents to help them carry out a #CitizenScience project to map locations where ticks are prevalent.

We may be into Autumn, but ticks are present year round and mild, wet weather makes them stick around longer. If you find a tick you can submit the location to help the team build an understanding of the highest risk areas. Tweet it to the team at @VirusesTickCVR or email them at cvr-viruses-tick@glasgow.ac.uk 

Dates for your Diary

1-31 October            Black History Month
1-31 October            Breast Cancer Awareness Month
1-31 October            International Walk to School Month
22 October               Show Racism the Red Card – wear red day
28 October               Special Council Meeting
31 Oct–12 Nov        COP26 Glasgow – UN Climate Change Conference

As always, my continued thanks to you all – stay safe and keep well. The next fortnightly DCE Update will be on Monday 1 November.

Ann