Welcome to our latest fortnightly update and as always, we hope that you and your families are keeping safe and well. Hopefully you've been able to enjoy the lovely sunshine of the last week or so.
Can't believe it's June already and almost time for the school holidays. It's set to be a busy month ahead of the Council's summer recess.
News from the Council
Fortnightly Service Update
The latest fortnightly Service Update was issued to Elected Members on Friday 4 June. As always, it covers all services and teams across the Council and the HSCP to highlight to Elected Members all of the work that's ongoing. You can find this latest edition in the new Technical Note section of the Council website.
Covid-19 Latest Update
East Dunbartonshire remains in Level 2 for now and we continue to be asked to do our bit and follow the guidance. Please go to the ‘What you can do in the Levels’ page of the Scottish Government website for a reminder.
Community testing for those without symptoms (asymptomatic testing) remains a key focus of the Scottish Government in managing Covid-19. From today (Monday 7 June), Covid-19 asymptomatic testing is available at the War Memorial Hall (Balmuildy Road, Bishopbriggs, G64 3BX) for anyone who lives in, works in or visits East Dunbartonshire? No booking, just walk in, Mon-Fri, 10.30am-6pm (last test 5.30pm). Do not attend if you have COVID-19 symptoms. Visit https://www.eastdunbarton.gov.uk/residents/covid-19/covid-19-community-test-centre for more details.
Remember that the Scottish Government introduced ‘universal provision’ of rapid lateral flow test kits to everyone in Scotland last month which can be ordered from the UK Government website or picked up from a local venue.
For people with symptoms, there is a new testing centre in the car park at Milngavie Station. It's not for asymptomatic testing - PCR tests must be booked in advance at www.nhsinform.scot/test-and-protect or by calling 119. You should only book a test if you have coronavirus symptoms (a high temperature, a new and continuous cough or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste) or have been instructed to do so by a clinician or NHS contact tracer. Visit https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-uk-government-covid-testing-site-opens-in-milngavie
Tree-mendous news for Glasgow City Region
Over the next decade, 10 trees for every man, woman and child in Glasgow City Region will be planted as part of a new urban ‘forest’ to tackle climate change. The ambitious planting pledge lies at the heart of the new Clyde Climate Forest, which is part of the Glasgow & Clyde Valley Green Network, and will breathe new life across the eight local authority areas in the region - including East Dunbartonshire. Visit the news section of our website for more information.
Zeroing in on climate change
The first phase of Scotland’s domestic climate change campaign - ‘Let’s Do Net Zero’ - is underway, aiming to raise awareness of the twin crises of climate change and nature loss, and to encourage people across Scotland to come together and take action. The Council is responding to the challenge by preparing a Climate Action Plan (CAP). For more information, visit our website.
Gift card scheme for East Dunbartonshire
The Council is backing the Scotland Loves Local Gift Card - a new initiative from Scotland’s Towns Partnership - aimed at encouraging shoppers to spend money locally, supporting local businesses as they begin to emerge from the shadow of the pandemic. The card will be localised for East Dunbartonshire, with a national launch taking place soon. Members of the Place, Neighbourhood & Corporate Assets Committee have agreed to support the scheme for at least the next year, with officers reviewing uptake and impact. Visit https://lovelocal.scot/giftcard/ for more information and keep an eye on the Council's website/social media for updates.
TES School Awards 2021 – English Teacher of the Year Nominee
Jonny Stone, an English teacher from St Ninian’s High School, is in the running for English Teacher of the Year at the TES School Awards 2021. Jonny has been at St Ninian’s for four years and works closely with pupils in the school’s Language and Communication Resource, building strong relationships with those who find interaction difficult. His innovative ideas and personalised techniques have helped to break down barriers, benefiting the whole school. Jonny goes above and beyond to cultivate an atmosphere of trust and inclusion; he has established an equalities group at the school and, in collaboration with young people, he is liaising with Education Scotland to address the needs of all pupils to ensure they have a safe space in which to learn.
Jonny is a firm favourite with both pupils and colleagues at St Ninian’s HS and is one of only eight teachers or teams nominated for this prestigious UK award. Winners will be announced at an online event on Friday 25 June – we wish him the very best of luck! You can find out more about Jonny’s nomination on the Council website.
Anyone for tennis?
This is the kind of smashing offer from EDLC that we like to make a racquet about.
If you're looking for a family activity to keep everyone occupied over the summer holidays or simply keen to try your hand at tennis then East Dunbartonshire Leisure & Culture Trust has an offer you will love. At the moment, you can net half price tennis and free equipment hire at Huntershill Sports Hub and Kirkintilloch Leisure Centre on their five all weather tennis courts.
However, due to phenomenal demand, the offer has been extended until Sunday 8 August to allow all budding Andy Murrays to serve up a storm on the courts over the summer holidays. Bookings must be made in advance by calling Huntershill Community Sports Hub on 0141 777 3061 or Kirkintilloch Leisure Centre on 0141 578 8222.
Bee-rilliant project for pollinators
The Council has been working with Buglife Scotland on a bee-rilliant project to create, enhance and restore pollinator habitat. The work was undertaken as part of the Central Scotland B-Lines project, funded by NatureScot and the Green Action Trust. The project has created new spaces for bees, butterflies and other pollinating insects that will boost local pollinator populations and provide attractive wild spaces for local people to enjoy. Wildflower grassland has been created at sites in Kirkintilloch and Milton of Campsie, and spring bulbs have been planted to provide a boost of nectar and pollen, and colour in early spring.
In addition to planting wildflowers for pollinators to feed on, the project has created new nesting sites for bees: a bee bank has been created at Hillhead Community Centre in Kirkintilloch. You can find out more about Scotland’s bees and how to create a bee bank at home by visiting www.buglife.org.uk
East Dunbartonshire is stunning
The Council is supporting the second phase of the award-wining Scotland is Stunning – Let’s Keep It That Way litter prevention campaign. First launched last year to coincide with tourism re-opening in Scotland, the campaign by Zero Waste Scotland, in partnership with the Scottish Government and Keep Scotland Beautiful, aims to raise awareness of the harm done by littering, encouraging Scots to change their habits by taking their litter home or binning it.
Scotland is Stunning – Let’s Keep It That Way aims to encourage people in East Dunbartonshire who are eager to go out and enjoy Scotland’s natural beauty and wildlife to bin their litter or take it home with them. The Council will be supporting the campaign on our social media channels and we'll also be producing localised posters for our towns and villages urging people to take responsibility for their own rubbish by either binning it or taking it home.
Employee Wellbeing – Healthy Working Lives June News
World Blood Donor Day (14 June) #GiveBlood
Each year countries around the world celebrate World Blood Donor Day (WBDD). The event serves to raise awareness of the need for safe blood and blood products and to thank voluntary, unpaid blood donors for their life-saving gifts of blood. Safe blood and blood products and their transfusion are a critical aspect of care and public health. This year the slogan is ‘Give blood and keep the world beating’. The message highlights the essential contribution blood donors make to keeping the world pulsating by saving lives and improving others’ health. It reinforces the global call for more people all over the world to donate blood regularly and contribute to better health. To find out more visit the World Health Organization website: https://www.who.int/campaigns/world-blood-donor-day
To get involved or find out more about blood donation visit the NHS Blood Donation website: https://www.blood.co.uk/
Men’s Health Week (15-20 June)
From 15 – 20 June the world celebrates Men’s Health Week. This is a time to raise awareness of health issues that affect men disproportionately and encourage men to become aware of problems they many have or may develop and to gain the courage to do something about it. If you are a man that wants to do more, or a woman who wants to support a man in your life then help spread the word – the more we promote men’s health, the more men will feel it’s okay to talk about their health issues. You can access more information from your own mobile device on the Men’s Health Forum website: www.menshealthforum.org.uk (at the moment the site is not supported by the EDC firewall).
Cervical Screening Awareness Week (15-21 June)
Did you know cervical screening (a smear test) looks for HPV, the human papillomavirus? If you don’t know what it is, you are far from alone. Cervical Screening Awareness Week aims to help reduce confusion about HPV, de-mystify cervical screening results and shout about the importance of cervical screening. The aim is to make every woman and person with a cervix to know where they can get information and support about cervical screening.
Why not get involved with Steps for Jo’s this June and walk, jog or run 220,000 steps for the 220,000 women and people with a cervix diagnosed with cervical cell changes every year. Visit Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust website: https://www.jostrust.org.uk/get-involved/campaign/cervical-screening-awareness-week
Support is also available through the EDC Employee Assistance Programme – Time for Talking on the hub.
Wellbeing information is available on the Wellbeing page of our Employee Zone:
Further information can be found in the Healthy Working Lives section of the Employee Zone website
Dates for your Diary
14 June Blood Donor Day
17 June World Clean Air Day 2021
17 June Meeting of East Dunbartonshire Council
26 June Armed Forced Day 2021
29 June Final meeting of East Dunbartonshire Council before recess
30 June Deadline for Expressions of Interest in Scottish Youth Parliament elections
As always, our continued thanks to you all – stay safe and keep well and we’ll be back again on Monday 21 June with the next fortnightly DCE update.
Ann and Thomas