Monthly Performance Report
On this page you will find information on:
- Assets and Facilities
- Customer and Business Support Services
- East Dunbartonshire Leisure and Culture Trust
- Finance & Audit
- Health and Social Care Partnership
- Land Planning and Development
- Legal and Democratic Services
- Neighbourhood Services
- Organisational Transformation
- Place and Community Planning
- Roads and Environment
Voids performance has dropped in July to 80.5% from 87% in June and is below our target of 85%. There has been a significant increase in the number of properties received requiring high-cost complex repairs which has impacted on the turnaround times. Staff absence has also negatively impacted on performance for the month.
Property Maintenance have achieved our target of 100% for Gas Servicing in July with 320 properties serviced in the month. We continue to achieve our target each month and we are confident this will continue throughout the remainder of the year.
Kitchen, Bathroom, Heating and Roofing upgrade programmes are ongoing, and progress continues in carrying out reactive and refurbishment works across the education and non-housing stock, with decoration works ongoing across the school estate.
The rollout of the new FM structure is nearing conclusion and employee displacement meetings are continuing with the aim of securing suitable alternative positions for displaced employees. Recruitment of all vacant positions is on-going and continues during the summer period. Planning is underway for a further recruitment exercise at the Canal Festival, this will involve a recruitment stall to advertise vacant posts and career opportunities.
A revised Primary, Secondary and Nursery school menu was implemented in May following a review of responses from the catering consultation exercise. Feedback from stakeholders was received following implementation of the menu and a further review has been carried out and a revised menu will be released at the start of the new term in August. A review of responses to the catering consultation was carried out to identify schools which received negative comments to set questions and actions plan created. Engagement with Team Leaders will commence at the start of the new term in August to ensure plans are implemented to improve the uptake in those schools.
The uptake of free school meals in Primary and Secondary schools for the month of July is not reported due to the school holiday period. The Service continues to work with suppliers to source alternative food products, ensuring the menu complies with the revised regulations and meets all nutritional standards.
The service was awarded the Food For Life Served Here Bronze Award in December and we continue to work with the Soil Association to achieve the Silver award status.
The Estates service has robust measures in place to monitor performance with regards gas safety compliance across the Operational Estate. Officers continue to progress reactive repairs across the Education and Operational Estate on a daily basis, with over 150-200 repairs processed on average every month through Property Maintenance or our external contractors. Phase 1 of the Defibrillator project commenced with defibrillators being installed across all Education premises for the beginning of the new term.
The Quality Assurance team continue to inspect cleaning standards across the educational estate, with over 40 assets inspected and reports produced monthly.
Estates Management continue to market vacant premises within the non-operational estate. At present the non-operational estate is over 95% occupied.
Officers continue to progress disposals with colleagues in Legal Services to ensure that capital receipts are delivered and ongoing liabilities i.e. non-domestic rates, utilities, security etc are reduced.
Development & Investment
The Service continues to progress a wide range of capital projects both in pre-construction and construction phases. Good progress continues to be made in delivering Phase 2 of the Allander Leisure Centre (est. completion November 2023).
Projects at Balmuildy, Milngavie and Bearsden Primary Schools are all progressing towards planning applications. Following Council approval in December, a feasibility review into the development of a new-build replacement primary school and community facilities on the Westerton Hall site, incorporating a new Westerton Primary School, and an assessment of the feasibility of a new-build school on the existing site, is now underway and will report back to Council later in the year. The project at Twechar Canalside, forming a new Community Outdoor Pursuits Centre and affordable housing development, continues to progress through the pre-construction phase. Pre-construction surveys were undertaken across all sites during Summer 2023. Initial works have commenced at Lennoxtown High Park from early August 2023, with completion anticipated by end February 2024.
Development proposals for the next phase of the Council’s Affordable Housing Investment Programme (comprising up to 11 sites across the area) are nearing completion of RIBA Stage 3, with a Stage 1 Report due for consideration by Council later in 2023.
Capital projects across the Council’s existing Affordable Housing stock, including kitchen and bathroom replacement, roof replacement, external wall insulation projects and central heating replacement continue to progress across the area, as have a wide range of projects across the operational estate, including the roof replacement at Craigdhu Primary School. The project to install additional classroom capacity at Bishopbriggs Academy through the installation of two modular classrooms was complete by the start of the school term in August 2023.
The Service continues to develop the next phase of a building decarbonisation strategy for the school estate, operational estate and for the existing affordable housing stock, with a variety of surveys, pilot projects and further feasibility reviews planned throughout the financial year and due to inform the next update to the Council’s Corporate Asset Management Plan and Strategic Housing Investment Plan in 2024/25.
Health & Safety
The main focus in July has been on CDM 2015 compliance with the team holding a CDM training session with our insurers Gallagher & Basset to provide officers with the knowledge and understanding of their CDM responsibilities within their role. The team also focused on CDM compliant document submissions to site inspections for Assets & Facilities projects, Place and Business Development and Traffic and Transport as many works were undertaken by our contractors for repair, scheduled maintenance, removals, upgrades, renovations and new premises and outdoor spaces.
The H&S advisors have been inspecting depots and offices used within the Roads and Environment service including cemeteries to support a thorough health and safety review of operations and supporting Streetscene and Greenspace with risk assessment, method statements and COSHH assessments review.
Training during the month of July was focused on induction training for Voids & Capital operatives, H&S toolbox talks and UFAS and Fire Extinguisher training, this remaining a priority for this month and the next.
The team provided health and safety knowledge and support to EDLCT, Facilities Management, Fleet and the events officer for the Kirkintilloch Canal Festival, which we have been attending as part of the SAG.
Health Surveillance programme continues with Tier 3 HAVS appointments, questionnaires and a review of the REACTEC system used by Roads and Environment, organised by the service, with external partners providing training and new equipment for measuring data.
The Fire Safety Team continue to carry out Fire Risk Assessments (FSRAs) as per scheduled programme and cooperating with other services in response to FSRA queries and general fire safety guidance requests including writing emergency evacuation plans. The UFAS process has now been firmly added to the audit process.
The team provided feedback to the Fire Service and Assets contractors regarding compartmentation work to be undertaken at John St House.
The Health and Safety Team as a corporate service undertakes incident report investigations and recording of safety and health data throughout council services, including RIDDOR, following PDCA cycle, where continuous improvement is sought in all council operations.
Key Achievements / Areas of Focus
- Achieved 100% compliance for Gas Servicing with focus on this continuing going forward.
- Kitchen, Bathroom, Central Heating and Roofing upgrade programmes ongoing with positive feedback being received from tenants across all contracts.
- Continue to monitor and improve void turnaround times with a view to maintaining and exceeding our performance target.
- Assess and improve functionality of Total Mobile and the integration with Servitor to enable a more streamlined and efficient service. Continue to monitor and increase levels of performance in non-emergency reactive repairs.
- Improve communications with customers and stakeholders to ensure the highest level of service delivery.
- Continue to utilise robust reporting mechanisms for enhanced performance and service delivery.
- Continue to carry out the installation of Smoke & Heat alarms for tenants and residents in East Dunbartonshire.
- Progress decoration works across school estate.
- 100% of Operational Assets requiring a Gas Safety check within the year’s anniversary of the previous check are completed.
- Schedule in the upcoming Gas Safety Checks, which are required during August and September with contractors.
- Conclude the installation of the defibrillators across the Council’s School and Operational Estate.
- Implement new processes on the back of the UFAS Guidance change imposed by the SFRS.
- Continued progress in the delivery of capital works in the Council’s existing Affordable Housing estate, including kitchen/bathroom replacement.
- Improve uptake of nutritious school meals.
- Improve communications with customers and stakeholders to ensure the highest level of service delivery.
- Reduce FM overtime.
- Progress recruitment exercises to fill identified vacant FM positions.
Communications & Engagement
Key areas of focus in July for the Communications & Engagement Team included the presentations and supporting communications for the inaugural Provost’s Community Champion Awards and communications in preparation for the three World Cycling Championships road races passing through East Dunbartonshire on 6, 12 and 13 August. A quieter month for media relations given Council recess, there were 7 media releases issued (22 in June), nine photocalls (eight in June), and five media enquiries (19 in June) received over the month. All releases are on the Council website news section and the local and national regional coverage achieved equated to an equivalent advertising value of £2.6k. Social media posts continued to generate good interaction across a range of themes. The top posts for engagement on Facebook in June were in relation to features on the Provost’s Community Champion winners and proposals for a new play area in Waterside. Top Twitter posts were in relation to a road traffic accident at Canniesburn Toll leading to road closures, posts encouraging people to be prepared and be aware of the UCI cycling championships events in the area and the 50-year anniversary of the Leisuredrome in Bishopbriggs. Most watched videos on both YouTube and Facebook were about the return of the Canal Festival.
In July 2023, the Corporate Performance and Research team continued to fulfil required duties in relation to reporting of performance and risk management at a corporate level and provision of service level data and statistical support. The team also continues to ensure the Council has adequate insurance arrangements in place, acting as a point of escalation for any claims made. All business-as-usual work was completed within agreed timescales.
Throughout July the Customer Services team continued to deliver customer services across all channels. A challenging month for Agent turnover meant the call response time target was unable to be met, however it improved in the later stages of the month and is back on track for August. Training of new recruits and refresher training for all Agents continues to be a priority focus. In the 24/7 ERC, preparation for the migration from analogue to digital phone lines continues, including significant data cleansing. A total of 129 direct messages through social media were received and actioned (80 Facebook, 13 Twitter, 36 Instagram) and a total of 106 direct messages were sent (92 Facebook, 3 Twitter and 11 Instagram). There was a significant decrease in Twitter direct engagement, which will continue to be monitored and may coincide with the renaming of Twitter as X. Face to face appointment demands, including registration appointments, continued to be met in the four Community Hubs.
Revenues & Benefits
The Revenues and Benefits team have continued to process Council Tax and Benefits services and administration of the Scottish Welfare Fund. The team supported Shared Services in the preparation for this year’s Free School Meal and School Clothing Grant applications. The team are beginning to see benefits of the new Document Management System including increased electronic communication, reduced paper and postage, and improved management information.
The Shared Services team continue to provide support across all Council services. The Education team opened the application process for Free School Meals and Clothing Grants. The Letting Team started allocating lets to groups through the annual application process. The General Team invoiced all Canal Festival customers and payment reminders sent, where required, to ensure we receive their payments prior to the festival in August. The Homecare Team continue to support a new initiative from the Planning & Commissioning Team processing variations in addition to their normal workload.
The ICT Services team continue to support the Council’s information technology systems and services to ensure high availability and performance in line with agreed service levels. The Team resolved over 2600 tickets in July and dealt with over 400 telephone calls. ICT continue to support the migration of services to Microsoft 365 in partnership with the Business and Digital Change Team. The team continued preparations to move Shared Mailboxes to Microsoft M365. The ICT Security team continue to monitor the estate and perimeter defences alongside ongoing improvements to ensure that our systems and data are protected.
Key Achievements / Areas of Focus
Communications & Engagement
- Design of Doors Open Day 2023 brochure and poster, press release and social media.
- Communications celebrating Leisuredrome’s 50th Anniversary, including online competition, photocall, press release, social media and video.
- Co-ordinated launch of the Provost’s Pentathlon including photocall, press release, social media, design, donation page and website update.
- Provost’s Community Champion Award presentations (photography, website social media).
- Four public surveys on plans for local play parks (surveys, design graphics and social media).
- Design of information board for the Milngavie Precinct Clock repairs.
- Continued communications related to the UCI World Cycling Championships including community engagement event in Lennoxtown, website updates, social media and attendance at official partner meetings.
- Collation of 2022/23 LGBF Performance Indicators for submission to the Improvement Service.
- Validation of Census Data for National Records of Scotland in advance of forthcoming publication (September).
- Fees and Charges research exercise continued in relation to informing future budget setting.
- Preparation of revised transformation reporting Dashboards on Pentana on behalf of the Business & Digital Change team.
- Continued assistance provided to the Business & Digital Change team in relation to the rollout of Fusion.
- Validation of SOURCE files undertaken on behalf of Public Health Scotland in advance of data publication.
- Preparation of the annual Local Government Framework Benchmarking report for Council for post-recess.
- Recruitment of new agents and ongoing training for new starts and refresher training
- Continued CCTV monitoring in the ERC and participation in the project to replace CCTV infrastructure and monitoring equipment
- Continuing with Netcall telephony upgrade to improve call handling and performance management and in readiness for new Netcall CRM
- Contributing to the CRM replacement project to deliver a new and improved customer relationship management system that will enhance efficiency and service delivery.
- Contributing to the Analogue to Digital project for call response handling in ERC.
Revenues and Benefits
- The team issued:
- 2300 Council Tax bills,1700 reminders, 1800 Benefits notifications and 2400 Summary Warrants.
- Over 400 Non-Domestic Rates bills.
- Almost 300 crisis grants and community care grants were awarded under the Scottish Welfare Fund.
- The team received and dealt with 1650 documents for Council Tax queries and reduction and 850 for benefits.
- The team dealt with 2700 telephone enquiries.
- All 126 probationer & permanent supply teacher badges were saved, printed and sorted into envelopes for each school in preparation for posting prior to the new academic year in August 2023.
- The Residential Team added over 100 service agreements to Carefirst for clients moving into care homes or for supported living services within their own homes. Letters have been issued to all clients after the annual reassessment process. The team continue to see a large number of requests for public funding for clients who have fallen below the threshold of £32750
- The Homecare Team added over 250 service agreements to Carefirst for clients receiving a homecare service or a direct payment.
- The Transport Team completed Round 1 of the ASN transport procurement and were waiting on confirmation of round 2. A 3rd round of tenders will be required due to late requests for transport.
- The Direct Payment Audit Team - 15 standard direct payment audits finalised for clients receiving self-direct support.
- The EMA Team completed 79 of the 110 Education Maintenance Applications received in July.
- ICT Services are working closely with the Business and Digital Change Team to implement M365. This includes:
- Migration of users telephones to M365 including Homecare colleagues.
- Preparation for the migration of Shared Mailboxes to Outlook
- The Infrastructure Team completed the roll out of Wide Area Network bandwidth improvements in 7 Secondary Schools and Woodland View.
- The Infrastructure Team started the installation of ICT equipment at the new ASN school, Woodland View.
- The ICT Security team reviewed the outcome of the PSN Health Check and implemented remediation actions.
With the continuation of the Free access scheme and the poorer weather during July the three Centres remained busy.
For period 4 there were 23,741 visits in person and digital usage was 46,077, totalling 69,818. This represents 114% of the overall target for the period.
Both targets continue to exceed expectations despite the 3% and 2% increase applied to visits in person and digital usage, respectively which, at time of setting, seemed a realistic challenge, given the position at the time.
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For period 4 there were 1,555 visits in person and digital usage was 4,565, totalling 6,120. This represents 182% of the overall target for the period.
As with the library service, despite an increase of 3% on last year’s outturn figures, the service continues to perform well above target. Digital engagement continues to rise; most notably searches of the newly developed online collections catalogue which saw 1,969 searches alone.
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The Summer Holiday programme was well attended this month with 745 children booked into a range of sports and activities.
Many summer camps were fully booked before the start of this year’s Summer Holiday Programme with limited spaces available for August activities. Over 160 children attended football camps, 83 took part in Multi-sports camps and a further 124 tumbled into gymnastics camps!
Over 200 children attended summer splash courses, this enabled many of them to be placed on more advanced classes in the term time Learn to Swim programme. A further 36 individuals had 1 to 1 lessons and over the summer, double the amount compared to last year and we re-introduced some taster camps for diving, water safety/junior lifesaving and water polo.
Sports Development coaches also assisted with the delivery of this year’s snack & play programme in 6 primary schools in partnership with Education.
Key Achievements / Areas of Focus
Leisure Centres showing growth in DD membership both in standard members and EDC Free Access Scheme members.
KLC - Centre ran an NPLQ course in Period 4 which was full and went well. The Gym continued to stay fairly busy despite the holiday period.
ALC – The old Allander Leisure Centre was demolished and the construction of the new sports drome commenced.
LD – The Leisuredrome celebrated 50 years on 12 July 2023. An online competition took place with EDC Comms arranging some PR across social and the EDC website.
There has been a significant benefit from the recent recruitment to fill key roles in the Children & Families team, bringing them to almost full strength, resulting in more sessions encouraging families to visit independently. The cost-of-living crisis may also be continuing to have an impact, with residents taking advantage of the numerous free services offered by Libraries.
The Service made good progress against priorities in the Business Improvement Plan (BIP) 2023-2026. There is no performance indicator data for July because schools were closed.
Key Achievements and Areas of Focus
The Education Leadership Team finalised strategic planning for 2023/24 including the Education Service calendar and reports for the Education Committee. A key area of focus will be to finalise working groups to lead on improvement actions in the BIP next session.
School Planning and Improvement
- The new Woodland View School is complete and ready to open in August 2023. The key area of focus will be to support children, young people and staff to settle into their new state-of-the-art school.
- Landscaping at the new Boclair Academy is now complete, giving young people and staff full access to the site.
- The statutory consultation on the relocation on the Secondary Wellbeing Support Service (SWSS) is making good progress. Education Scotland will confirm dates for stakeholder consultation in mid-August.
- Late placing request appeal hearings were held. A future report on all placing requests will be shared with the Education Committee.
Early Years and Supporting Families
- Snack and Play provision operated over the Summer break across 6 primary school hubs. 373 applications were received.
- ASN Playschemes operated for three weeks during the summer break, with 45 applications being received for Campsie View and 61 applications for Merkland.
- A key area of focus will be to evaluate Snack and Play and ASN Playsheme provision and to include findings in the HGIOS report for August.
Primary, Secondary and Special Schools
- The Quality Improvement Team analysed and moderated Standards and Quality Reports and School Improvement Plans. All schools will be given feedback on strengths, next steps and offers of support from the link Quality Improvement Officer. The Quality Improvement Team will finalise the Career-Long Professional Learning (CLPL) calendar for Early Years, Primary and Secondary teachers and practitioners.
- The Strategic Equity Funding lead officer created a new electronic tool to support secondary Head Teachers, curriculum leads and officers to analyse exam results. This will ensure that targeted interventions are identified for pupils across the senior phase. A key area of focus will be to analyse SQA exam results and to support young people when results are received.
- Collaboration with Health partners continued over the summer period to review the Sexual Health, Relationships and Parenthood (SHRP) education policy.
- A working group of Quality Improvement Officers, Head Teachers and Professional and partners drafted a framework to support schools with Relationships, Behaviour and Learning. The draft has been reviewed by a range of stakeholders including Trade Unions and Education Scotland. The final draft of the framework will be shared with the Education Committee.
- The Central Education Team participated in mandatory child protection training to update knowledge and awareness of safeguarding children and young people at risk of harm, focusing on specific roles and responsibilities within the Education Service. Almost all evaluations agreed the aim of the session was fully met with positive comments and useful feedback given on identifying development needs and next steps. A key area of focus will be further input on Inter-Agency Referral Discussions (IRD) and the new multi-agency Team Around the Child (TAC) procedures.
Skills for Life, Learning and Work
- Youth services facilitated a summer programme for targeted secondary school aged young people. 318 young people attended.
- The programme included drop-in sessions where young people took part in a range of activities including arts and crafts, cooking, music and sports. A summer programme was also developed for Merkland school pupils with 29 young people attending.
- The Positive Achievements programme delivered 20 outdoor activity days which were offered to all secondary schools and included orienteering, tubing and a youth driving experience.
- Feedback from parents/ carers and young people was very positive e.g. “Thanks for everything. One parent noted “its been the best summer” and “ it has had such a positive impact and gave him structure to his day”.
The month of July saw the Finance Team progressing work on systems with a focus on the Oracle Fusion General Ledger replacement.
The Council continues to deliver against an ambitious capital programme supported largely by borrowing. Where this remains the case, the Council continues to plan to incur increasing revenue costs through servicing this debt.
Internal Audit have been focussing on progressing the 2023/24 audit plan, with audits for the Council and the HSCP underway. Recently completed audits include Education School Funds and a consultancy note on Waste Payments. Work nearing completion includes Glasgow City Region City Deal and HSCP Workforce Planning.
The Corporate Fraud Team have been focusing on reviewing the final National Fraud Initiative matches which been received. Investigations are also being undertaken as a result of referrals received and vetting of applications continues for services such as Housing, Education, Licensing and Estates to secure the gateways by preventing fraud or error entering the system.
Key Achievements / Areas of Focus
- The Oracle Fusion General Ledger system replacement is continuing to be progressed, with Workstream Leads across Finance and Corporate Procurement liaising with the external implementation partners who are supporting the project. The Project Board has identified Data Cleansing as a key piece of work which will be supported in the coming months.
- As part of 2023/24 budget monitoring, actual spend and projected outturn has been reviewed against budget as at period 3 (June 2023) in preparation for this being reported to committee.
- A key area of focus will be responding to external audit queries on the accounts.
- Recruitment into vacant posts is ongoing, with a vacancy at the Accountant level.
- The Treasury team continue to monitor cash flow closely, ensuring that there is liquidity for all Council activities. Additional borrowing continues to be taken in line with the Council's capital programme expenditure.
- Work has continued on the 2023/24 Internal Audit Plan, with work progressing across a number of Council and HSCP services.
- Internal Audit have provided support for the new external auditors, Mazars, providing key contacts and access to previous audit work to minimise the burden of scrutiny and duplication.
- Corporate Fraud are investigating allegations received, focusing on suspected fraud or error within Education, Housing and Revenues Services and on National Fraud Initiative matches.
The HSCP and its staff continue to work hard to ensure quality delivery of the Council’s operational delivery of statutory social work services, which are integrated with NHS services under the strategic governance of the Health and Social Care Partnership (HSCP) Board. Service quality and outcomes associated with these specific social work services are the main focus of this report with particular reference to three identified performance indicators in accordance with East Dunbartonshire Councils strategic approach to business improvement planning.
The wider objective is that improved customer and organisational outcomes can be achieved through successful integrated planning and collaborative delivery of health and social care functions, under single management, with a combined budget, working to a single set of outcomes and operating to a single Strategic Plan. The impact and performance of all of these integrated health and social care services overall are reported on a quarterly and annual basis to the HSCP Board and through agreed representation and reporting arrangements, to the Council.
During July 2023, the HSCP has performed on or above target on all of its identified performance indicators. Work is ongoing on implementing the 2023-24 Annual Delivery Plan actions.
Key Achievements / Areas of Focus
- National House Project annual report highlighted the East Dunbartonshire House Project animation video in relation to young people getting into their first homes.
- Launch of the Carers Strategy and Short Break Statement 2023-26
- Promotional activity in support of:
- Alcohol Awareness Week
- National research into residential rehabilitation for people using drugs in Scotland
- Volunteers for the Patient Carers and Service User group membership
- Weigh to Go service for young people with a BMI of 25 or more to encourage sustainable change through healthy eating and exercise
- Smoking cessation
- World Breastfeeding Week
Areas of Focus:
Children and Criminal Justice Services:
- Respond to the “Children at Risk of Harm” joint inspection outcomes.
- Supporting Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children to begin their recovery and live in safety in nurturing placements in East Dunbartonshire.
- Work is ongoing to redress the balance of care by reviewing out of authority placements and continuing the Foster Carer recruitment campaign.
- Continue to develop as a Trauma Informed organisation
- Update and implement new Child Protection Procedures
- Ongoing implementation of Children’s House Project model, Year 3
- Continue to develop tier 1 and tier 2 service for Children for children and young people with mental health challenges
- Continue to ensure that we provide Self Directed Support training to Social Work and Health practitioners to instil confidence and knowledge about the options amongst the workforce.
- Continue to implement our Digital Health and Care Actions, seeking to link traditional telecare with telehealth monitoring and technology enabled care. Aiming to maximise the experience of remote technology and implement the Analogue to Digital Telecare Transformation by 2024.
- Continue to optimise opportunities for people to remain living at home, active and independent in their community, to support the ongoing shift in the balance of care away from residential or nursing care in a care home until it is essential to meet the outcomes of the individual and/or to manage risk. Numbers of people being admitted to long term care are not yet returned to pre-pandemic levels but are rising, as is the complexity of those being supported in the community.
- Continue to respond to the needs of carers, enabling them to continue their caring role and enjoy a life of their own, as equal partners in care.
- Continuing to provide multi-disciplinary intensive, support and assurance for all care homes and other registered care services across adult services in the area in line with refreshed Scottish government guidance and direction.
- Continue to pursue achievement of compliance with target timescales for adult protection cases.
- Taking forward the Allander Resource Centre - Learning Disability day services –Development of community based services, employability, volunteering and community based model of support.
- Implement the 23/24 actions of the Social Support for Older People Strategy and associated commissioning delivery plan.
- Refresh HSCP Learning/Intellectual Disability Strategy
- Delivery of Medically Assisted Treatment Standards, (MAT Standards) 6 -10.
- Review of in-house accommodation-based support services for adults with Learning Disability.
- Development of a recruitment strategy for ED HSCP and wider Social Care workforce in East Dunbartonshire.
- Continue delivery of a range of measures to support staff wellbeing and support options.
- Continue to pursue options for the engagement and involvement of local people and individuals in service development and design.
The Housing Service is made up of 4 teams: Estates, Rents, Strategy & Systems and Homelessness & Prevention.
There are currently 62 members of staff working within these teams.
Housing manages 3825 social rented properties; 3773 of these are mainstream accommodation and 52 are used for Homeless Temporary Accommodation. The service also manages 66 Lead Tenancies which are rented from either private landlords (46) or Housing Associations (20), to assist with accommodating homeless households.
At present, the Housing list for East Dunbartonshire has 2192 applications, made up of the following:
General Waiting list 1530 applicants waiting (28 currently on offer)
(Applicants who have somewhere to stay i.e., they are owner occupiers, a tenant of a private let, stay care of family etc. This queue allows the applicant to choose which area, house type etc they would like to move to).
Transfer waiting list 426 applicants (23 currently on offer)
(Council or Housing Association tenants who are looking to move to another Council or Housing Association property, either for a different size, or, for a different area. This queue allows the tenant to choose which area, house type etc. they would like to move to).
Priority waiting list 211 applicants (33 currently on offer)
(Applicants who have no accommodation or will have nowhere to stay within the next 2 months. This queue does not allow the applicant to choose area or house type).
Priority waiting list 11 applicants (2 currently on offer)
(Applicants who are unable to remain in their current home due to their medical condition. This queue allows the applicant to choose which area, house type etc. they would like to move to).
Within the last month, 20 properties have been let or re-let; 17 mainstream, 2 HRH-HRA (temporary accommodation changed to mainstream) and 1 buy back (bought from open market).
19 were general need properties and 1 was sheltered.
They were let to the following queues:
- 5 were let to applicants on the transfer queue.
- 3 were let to applicants on the general waiting list queue.
- 12 were let to applicants on the priority homeless queue.
Key Achievements / Areas of Focus
Strategy & Systems
- The new IHMS implementation is well underway, with functional testing progressing in all modules. User Acceptance Testing (UAT) training has been delayed due to additional functional testing; we are hoping to have this more on track by the end of August.
- New Systems Officers are assisting with the data cleansing of the current Saffron IT system to ensure a smooth transition when migrating to the new system, while also assisting with day-to-day processing of direct debits and the set-up of rent accounts.
- Performance Monitoring Officers are completing monthly performance statistics and continue to update Smartsheet with new dashboards and sheets for Officers to work from.
- Work is continuing on the Digital Telecare switch and the Project Board continue to ensure the successful transition of analogue telecare to digital telecare throughout the sheltered complexes.
- Allocations policy review has been initiated and an action plan has been put together, detailing key milestones in reviewing this intricate policy.
- The CHR review is now complete, and the queue has reduced by 1100 applicants.
- The Housing Estates Adviser is working closely with the sheltered wardens and concierge to ensure a robust service is provided to tenants and residents.
Areas of focus
- IHMS – User Acceptance Testing progression.
- Performance monthly monitoring.
Housing Operations – Estates
- 16 new anti-social cases received.
- 9 open anti-social cases resolved.
- 4 nominations sent to Registered Social Landlords to be considered for allocation to their stock.
- Percentage of tenancies refused was 28%. This is a decrease from 37% in June.
- Monthly Housing Liaison meeting attended to discuss cases with Social Work, Antisocial Team and Police Scotland.
- Monthly meeting with Police Scotland and Community Safety to discuss more serious anti-social cases.
- Monthly attendance at East Dunbartonshire Hoarding & Self-Neglect Working Group.
Areas of focus
- Void rent loss has increased, joint working with the void and rewire/asbestos teams continues.
- Percentage of tenancy sustainment was 92%, which is a decrease from 94% in June.
- Involvement in internal audit on management of housing dampness and mould.
- Identify training needs and hold quarterly sessions for reviewing policies and procedures with team.
Housing Operations – Rents and Tenant Participation
- 9 tenants assisted and successfully awarded payment from Hardship Fund towards rent payments, totalling £6,797.44.
- Active Tenant Rent Arrears were £1,177,777.28, which is a decrease of £150,355.20 on same period as last year (week 18).
- The Rents Team continue to support the change team with the development of the IHMS (NEC).
- Housing Officers continue to utilise all avenues to maximise rental income and reduce rent arrears, while also providing advice and assistance to tenants who engage and need additional support.
- Appointments with a Housing Officer available at Kirkintilloch Job Centre every Tuesday morning to assist tenants in receipt of the Universal Credit housing element.
Areas of focus
- Reducing active tenant rent arrears continues to be a priority for the Housing Service.
- Former Tenant Arrears are £750,003.51 with the team continuing to work on former rent arrears to bring this figure down.
Homelessness & Prevention
- 32 homeless applications taken, 3 of these had no local connection to the area (10%).
- No applicants awaiting settled accommodation have been on the list longer than 3 years.
- Demand for temporary accommodation in the area is high, however, the Council has not breached the Unsuitable Accommodation Order to date.
Areas of focus
- The Homelessness Team continue to monitor the impact following removal of “local connection” and provide monthly updates to the Scottish Government.
As at end of July there are 211 homeless households awaiting offer of settled accommodation
Land Planning & Development have progressed a number of significant work streams during July 2023 in line with the Business Improvement Plan commitments.
Land Planning Policy
- The Land Planning Policy Team continues to undertake preliminary work for Local Development Plan 3. As part of this work a self-build register and questionnaire has been developed and is now available on the planning pages of the website. The team has been supporting the Housing Service with the preparation of the Strategic Housing Investment Plan and feeding into the finalisation of the new Local Housing Strategy. The team has also been working on a response to the Scottish Government’s consultation on ‘Effective community engagement in local development planning.’
- The Team has been implementing the Circular Economy Strategy; particularly regarding green skills and developing informational and promotional resources to be implemented in the coming months.
- Work is underway to identify priority projects for inclusion in the Council’s new Greenspace Strategy, which will replace the Green Network Strategy and Open Space Strategy. Opportunities for improvement of open space, increasing tree cover, expanding peatland restoration and wetland creation are currently being assessed in collaboration with internal and external stakeholders. Audit work on play facilities is now underway and surveyors are continuing to assess play areas and facilities across East Dunbartonshire. The outcome of the assessment will inform the priority actions on play to be included in the draft Greenspace Strategy.
- Work is commencing on the preparation of a brief to carry out an adaptation and habitat feasibility study of land along the Kelvin Valley. This will link in to existing work on river restoration along the Kelvin tributaries. Further information on the scope and schedule for this work will be reported once procurement is under way.
- Work on the Climate Action Plan and Local Heat & Energy Efficiency Strategy is continuing. The evidence and options work for both the net zero (climate change mitigation) and resilience (climate change adaptation) strands of the Climate Action Plan (CAP) has now been completed. The Climate Change Member Officer Group will review the Evidence and Options Reports at their meeting on 24 August and a report will then be taken to Council on 28 September. This will include recommended pathways to reach net zero for both the Council and East Dunbartonshire as a whole. Following this, the Draft CAP will be prepared and will be reported to Council in spring 2024, after which public consultation will be carried out. Work is continuing on the preparation of the related Local Heat & Energy Efficiency Strategy (LHEES) with evidence work expected to be completed this autumn. Following this, the Draft LHEES will be prepared and will be brought to Council in spring 2024 along with the Draft CAP with public consultation to be carried out following Council approval.
- Work is continuing on the new Active Travel Strategy.
- Procurement for the delivery of a Community Carbon Literacy Training Programme is currently under way. This will provide an important foundation for building community capacity to take climate action in East Dunbartonshire. The Sustainability Policy Team is currently assessing initiatives that could be developed to further support community climate action to be developed alongside the Community Carbon Literacy Programme.
- The team has carried out GIS analysis for the many council teams. This has included a variety of map production work, calculating distances to determine travel time distances to key services and creating web apps and data dashboards, which help to understand spatial data more effectively.
- The team have also created a number of maps which will be used in consultations across East Dunbartonshire. The team have also been working on enhancing the work previously done for EDCs walking and wheeling network, for the Active Travel Strategy. We have also been incorporating our 3D maps into these projects, having recently developed 3D mapping for East Dunbartonshire.
- We have been assisting B&DC with their work on transferring IDOX to a Managed Service, the team have undertaken user testing for the Test and Train software and have been reporting any errors to B&DC
- The team have been working with the Roads department to create a number of new web apps to help when they are out in the field and need to view information.
- The team have also been working in collaboration with roads to help amend their gazetteer to match ours, to ensure consistency across council departments. This has been a large body of work recently, as we highlighted over 300 historic differences between the Gazetteers.
- The GIS Team have updated key spatial data for IDOX users to ensure they are using the latest data. The team are at the final stage of preparing a users groups release ready to go live.
- The team have been working with Roads to develop multiple work plan maps, to help their team navigate their workload and contact list more effectively. The team have also worked with roads to use the data gathered by consultants in our own EDC apps, to allow for greater access across the roads department to this information.
- The team have also set up a number of Surveys for the Child Protection team, alongside this they have developed custom Web Hooks. This ensures that Child Protection are instantly notified when a submission is made, so they can respond to incidents quickly if needed. The team have also done multiple training sessions on Survey123, to allow the Child Protection team to create and customise their surveys.
- The team have completed the Street Naming and Numbering for a number of projects over the past month. All road adoption requests have also been successfully processed during this period.
- The team continues to provide technical support to Community Protection and Development Applications to improve efficiency and ensure we are in line statutory guidance and regulations through IDOX.
- Working with numerous public sector agencies to ensure all support mechanisms to help business and create jobs are fully utilised, including development of new skills & technologies. Cost of doing business continues to be a concern and resources to help and inform businesses continue to be priority with combined support materials available through.
- The team is working on three projects funded by UK Shared Prosperity fund that encourage digital take up or enhancement, carbon reduction and additional support for Social Enterprises. The Digital Development Grant and Green Business Support are being launched.
- The Business Gateway National Review continues but in the interim services continue to be delivered as usual. National Programme delivery is now being considered as part of the overall review. It is likely that Digital Boost funding will no longer be available and Local Authorities will be expected to provide this support with the exception of Webinars which will be picked up by Business Gateway National.
- The team is in the early stages of developing an inward investment proposition and currently working on a number of enquiries in conjunction with other relevant teams.
City Deal Team
- The team continues with a range of work to ensure the delivery of the Council’s City Deal project, including the preparation of the different stages of business cases (in-line with City Deal & HM Greenbook requirements) which are required to unlock the funding from the region.
- Work is ongoing on the Westerhill Masterplan and the Westerhill Development Road for which the design contract is now underway. The project team are currently analysing the responses received during the consultation on the various route options.
- Work continues on the next stages of the design process for Bishopbriggs Town Centre and Bishopbriggs Park as well as on the application to the UK Levelling Up Fund process.
- A803 feasibility and options work progressing as part of Outline Business Case development. Preparation for forth coming consultation on A803 Route Corridor Improvements as part of project develop.
Regeneration & Town Centres Team
- The project to improve Regent Gardens in Kirkintilloch Town Centre has moved to the construction stage. The construction work will take several months and works are expected to complete early 2024. On the Campsie Memorial Hall in Lennoxtown - funding has been secured from Regeneration Capital Grant Fund and work continues to develop the project with RIBA 3 design to take place following procurement of design team.
- Work to prepare for the Shared Prosperity Fund has been ongoing. Projects have been identified and are being developed for implementation over the next 2.5 years.
- The Lennoxtown Main Street Improvement Project is ongoing to develop outline designs.
- Working ongoing to support Milngavie BID as it moves towards re-ballot, and the Kirkintilloch BID Streeting Group.
Traffic & Transport Team
- The construction phase of Canniesburn Toll Improvement Project is on site and is expected to take around 9 months. Four Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) have been promoted to support aspects of the new design and have been subject to public consultation.
- Feasibility and design works are progressing on a range of active travel infrastructure projects included in the Local Transport and Active Travel Strategies.
- Work is progressing on key functions of the team including: working on a range of Traffic Regulation Orders at various stages of the statutory process, liaising with the network operator and maintenance contractors of the public electric vehicle charging network and continuing to assist in resolving access issues.
- During the reporting period the planning side of the team has determined 87 applications and validated 76 applications.
- The Building Standards team have received 106 building warrants and approved 122 applications.
- The Enforcement Team opened 9 new cases and closed 2.
- The Development Applications team prepared reports for the forthcoming meeting of the Planning Board.
- The Team continue to provide applicants including the Councils Major Assets and Housing teams with pre application advice and support.
- Both Planning and Building Standards teams continue to offer support and informal advice to customers through our morning duty service Monday to Friday.
Key Achievements / Areas of Focus
- Commencement of construction work on Canniesburn Toll
- Launch of the Digital Development Grant and Green Business Support scheme.
The indicators chosen for monthly reporting represent transactions where Legal Services involvement is nearer the end of the process. Each indicator relates to services which are important to individuals and Council Services, but that also have an impact on the local economy. They also represent areas where performance was not previously as good as it might have been, which resulted in the introduction of the PIs. Whilst performance is generally consistently high, the continued application of the PIs ensures that this remains the case. It also ensures that any change in performance is identified and addressed early.
Performance against all indicators for Legal Services, apart from one, for July is 100%. The indicator for LDS-BIP-07 Percentage of taxi licence applications approved or refused by Legal Services within 5 days of receipt of the complete application is 55%. There were 11 taxi licence applications processed by Legal Services in July 2023. 6 were granted within the 5 day timescales. However, 5 were not. This was due to a combination of sickness and annual leave in the team as well as urgent court appearance work which the Council only received short notice of and which had to take precedence given the circumstances. For the 5 applications that were processed outwith the 5 day turn around, 3 were completed within 7 days and 2 completed with 8 days.
Legal Services continues to support services across the Council in the delivery of projects, contracts and otherwise to manage legal risk. This includes advice and work on confidential matters that cannot be included in this report.
Key Achievements / Areas of Focus
- During June, the Team processed 8 contract form reviews, 4 Contract award letters, 11 taxi licence applications, and 14 grants.
- All of the above categories were processed within the required timescales, except for the taxi licences. The reason the timescales were not met were due to unique circumstances in the team during the summer due to sickness absences, annual leave and short notice court work. Accordingly, it is nor proposed to take any steps at this time other than to continue to monitor progress against the set PIs.
- Supporting the City Deal team with the negotiation of land access for ground investigation works and supporting the technical team with ongoing contract management matters relating to the Westerhill Development Road specimen design contract and Bishopbriggs Town Centre design contract.
- Kilmardinny Land Equalisation Agreement for the payment of developer contributions towards the upgrade of Canniesburn Toll Roundabout finalised and s69 agreement for payment of developer contributions at Acre Valley Road, Torrance.
- Property work included 4 open market purchases for Council housing and completion of the grant of a lease to Brookwood Community Trust for Brookwood Villa to be used as a community facility.
- Contracts concluded in this period include minutes of variation issued in relation to uplift in payments for care homes, contract for design and construction of a 3 G pitch and pavilion changing room in Lennoxtown High Park, contracts for replacement refuse collection vehicles, pitch maintenance and renovation for grass and synthetic pitches and email security software.
- Awards for round 1 of taxi transport contracts for children with additional support needs.
- Providing support to Education on a significant number of placing appeal hearings.
- Support to Social Work in relation to adults with incapacity, permanence planning and also obtaining a banning order to protect vulnerable adult after previously obtaining a temporary banning order.
- Support to quasi-judicial Boards including seeking approval to consult on the Draft Statement of Licensing Policy for the Licensing Board.
- Registration of Births, Deaths & Marriages – Customer Services and the Council’s Registrar, provided services to 350 customers – including the registration of 76 births, 144 deaths & 35 marriages.
- Democratic Services commenced Modern.Gov training for officers who contribute reports to Council, Committees & Boards. The next implementation stage will introduce training for members on the use of Modern.Gov
- Democratic Services administered 1 mid-term Placing Request Appeals Committee (approx. 10 cases).
- Information Management – Received 121 FOIs / EIRs of which 120 were allocated within 24 hours. 10 Subject Access Requests were received In July.
The Waste Team has continued the frontline service operations for the collection of over 400,000 assorted household bins over the month of July, providing residual, recycling, food, garden and special waste collections on behalf of the Authority. The team has also managed the waste and recycling collections from over 500 of our local commercial premises.
The Waste service have continued to work with our Clyde Valley partners through the period on the treatment and disposal contract for all residual household waste. The Council processed 1790 tonnes of waste through this contract in July, ensuring our waste undergoes treatment for recycling extraction prior to being sent through an Energy from Waste process.
The Fleet team continue to manage the transport operations including the Councils Goods Vehicle Operator Licence and compliance across all services. This includes provision and management of the maintenance workshops, annual testing, statutory inspections and management of Drivers in line with obligations and conditions laid out in the Councils commitment to the Scottish Traffic Commissioner.
Fleet Management has worked in partnership with services and officers from procurement in order to specify, tender and procure further vehicles and associated items of specialist plant, suitable for service users’ needs and to coincide with Lease contracts terminating through the financial year. Tenders are currently out for the replacement of specialist vehicles, plant & equipment for Greenspace and Streetscene, Waste Management and other front-line services.
Replacement vehicles continue to filter through from suppliers for Roads and Environment, Property Maintenance and Social Services. The team at Fleet Management continue working to transfer systems and equipment and arrange the de-fleeting and disposal of the outgoing vehicles.
The fleet service continues to support and manage Transport Operations for the provision of Additional Support Needs Transport service for Education and Integrated Health and Social Care, including delivery of school meals on behalf of the authority. This service has provided additional support for other services throughout the period.
Key Achievements / Areas of Focus
- Special uplift collections improved in July with 91% uplifted within the 10 day target and an average collection time of 5.07 days.
- There were 1790 tonnes of residual waste collected and disposed of at Mavis Valley through the Clyde Valley Residual waste contract. This is a 0.7% increase in waste arising from the same period last year.
- Officers continue to work with Procurement and Digital Transformation teams to progress and consider suppliers for the tender of the new digital system for modernising the waste service.
- Delivery of Statutory Fleet Maintenance and Management services throughout the period.
- The team collected and disposed of 1098 tonnes of garden waste tonnage collected in July, a slight decrease in last year likely due to the mixed weather conditions.
- The team participated in the UCI working group, ensuring minimal disruption to waste services during event days.
- There were 200 tonnes of food waste collected and sent to our anaerobic digestion contractor to create energy, this was a 12 tonne decrease on same period last year.
- Over the course of July, there were 12055 visitors to our Mavis Valley Household Waste Recycling Centre, an average of 388 a day.
- The service continues to recruit in order to fill vacant posts however this continues to provide challenges for some trades due to market conditions.
- Officers have recently concluded a tender for the replacement of key front line Horticultural plant equipment in order to replace some ageing large Triple Mowers. it is anticipated the new equipment will be delivered prior to the start of the new grass cutting season.
- Support Council services in the delivery of ASN Transport including the distribution of essential supplies for vulnerable individuals throughout the period including meals for early year’s facilities and lunch clubs etc.
- Continued work on the management of Capital programme for the replacement of fleet assets through the financial year.
- Continued support to front line service operations through the provision of in-house fleet maintenance function including work on horticultural and construction plant equipment.
- Management of Fleet Operations in compliance with Operator Licencing legislation with a DVSA Operator Compliance Risk Score of Green 03 for both Traffic and Compliance and a 100% first time pass rate for annual tests in the period.
Business and Digital Change Team
During July, the Business & Digital Change Team have continued to support services across the Council in the delivery of key strategic digital development programmes and projects.
The Team continues to support our corporate business systems, ensuring incidents are resolved promptly and that all systems remain supported and upgraded in line with an agreed plan. We also ensure our systems are reliable and resilient, scalable and flexible, standardised, value for money and secure.
Key Achievements / Areas of Focus
- The upgrade of the Council’s Revenues & Benefits Document management system has been completed introducing increased efficiency through improved integration, streamlined interfaces, workflow and GDPR compliance.
- Microsoft Outlook technical challenges have been resolved in readiness for completing Lotus Notes Shared Mailbox migrations by the end of August.
- Procurement of services required to implement Sharepoint for an initial 7 business units has been completed. Sharepoint will leverage productivity, compliance and collaboration benefits in the way Council employees work with documents.
- In house development of 7 Legacy Lotus Notes based business systems has started using agile methods and new M365 low code cloud based M365 Power App development platform. Members of the B&DC Team are developing skills using this new technology to create new more feature rich, compliant business solutions displacing the legacy systems and associated costs.
- The Carefirst Technical upgrade project has commenced. Work is currently underway to complete a Technical Transition Survey establishing the architectural design and configuration of the upgrade needed to ensure the Council’s Social Work Case Management System remains supportable & maintainable.
- Work continues at pace for the delivery of our new Customer Relationship Management System. The platform will help to increase the delivery of digital transactions and make it easier for our residents to interact with the Council.
- Design and redevelopment of the new Council Website (CMS) continues. Sign off of the new design is anticipated to be approved in the next period.
- Work continues to progress on the delivery of Oracle Fusion Procurement and Finance modules. Key User Training sessions have taken place and planning is in progress for the System Integration Testing stage of the project.
- The implementation of RMMS continues. Roads and Lighting and B&DC are working closely with the supplier to finalise the solution design and agree go-live processes.
- We are continuing to work through the initial procurement stages of our new Waste Management platform project. As part of the process, would be bidders for the contract have a period of time to ask any questions in relation to our tender documents.
- Work continues on the Shared ARC Programme as we enter an exciting new phase of the Procurement process. With the new supplier being recommended from Scotland Excel, the preparations have begun internally with our Legal and Procurement teams completing reviews of Technical Specifications, Call-Off documents and legislative documents.
- Our Technology Enabled Care Teams stand ready to answer additional migrations of our Telecare service users in East Dunbartonshire, with a surplus supply of digitally enabled alarms. Work continues preparing our citizens for the digital switchover.
- The Enterprise Architecture project continues at pace. With a complete set of Digital Principles being agreed with internal stakeholders this week. Work can now commence on establishing recommended proposals for legacy applications, cost savings, efficiencies and process engineering
Overview of Progress
The Strategic Commissioning Team continued to focus on providing enhanced monitoring and oversight of the commissioned market, supporting the progression of key HSCP strategic priorities and responding to current acute pressures whilst starting to prepare for the forthcoming winter period
Key Achievements / Areas of Focus
• Commissioning suitable / appropriate resources to accommodate individuals awaiting discharge from hospital.
• Commissioning bespoke support for individuals moving into short / long term care
• Participated in Scotland Excel’s User Intelligence Group meetings ensuring local requirements are duly captured and reflected within new national agreements
• Introduced a new Care at Home provider to the area creating much needed additional capacity to the sector
• Participated in national and local contingency planning meetings regarding the care home sector, ensuring local requirements are identified & reflected accordingly
• Reviewed current / future commissioning arrangements required to support delivery of the priorities entailed within the recently implemented Carers Strategy
• Explored current / future commissioning arrangements required to expedite discharge and support long term community living
• Implemented national agreement for the National Care Home Contract
• Continued to progress and successfully transition individuals with complex and challenging behaviours into local supported accommodation services
• Finalised arrangements with day care providers in line with the Older People’s Social Supports Strategy and underpinning commissioning delivery plan
• Finalised proposal to support progression of a key HSCP priority. Proposal includes an opportunity to strengthen collaborative commissioning approach across the commissioned landscape
Overview of Progress
During July, the Procurement Team continued to support services across the Council in the delivery of various projects, including ongoing support to a number of strategic procurements/projects, particularly in relation to City Deal, ICT, Business & Digital Change and various Capital projects. In particular, the Team was heavily involved in daily workshops and Solution Design meetings as part of the implementation of a replacement for the Oracle Financial system. This has placed a significant demand on the resources of the Team. The Team also continuously works to manage and support the operational activity in terms of the buyers work centre and payment processing.
Key Achievements / Areas of Focus
- Providing ongoing support to the City Deal team in relation to Contract requirements and alternative procurement route option
- Supported key Capital, Business & Digital Change projects such as Oracle Fusion upgrade, IHMS Consultancy, Netcall Liberty, school estate Professional Fees, school summer maintenance works, Vehicle Purchases, whilst supporting workforce of the future planning and Business As Usual workstreams.
- Participation in extensive meetings and workshops in order to train, test and solution design, in preparation for the implementation of the Oracle Fusion upgrade
- Finalised the contract award process for the Council’s Social Care & Educational transport requirements for commencement August 2023
- Completed renewals for support and maintenance of business critical systems to facilitate remote working
- Supported the transition/implementation of the Managed Stores Service, including the technical requirements for integrations and e-invoicing on Iproc
- Ongoing data analysis in preparation of the 2022-2023 Annual Procurement Report to include alignments with Organisational Climate Action Planning, Circular Economy Strategy, Community Wealth Building & the City Region Community Wish List planning
- Implemented Procurement process considerations fin alignment with the Health & Safety Management of Contractors Policy (HSP05)
- Commenced review of Contract Standing Orders for alignment with Organisational changes, financial management and Procurement governance.
Human Resources & Organisational Development
Overview of progress
The Human Resources & Organisational Teams lead on workforce centred activities including, policy development, resourcing, workforce and succession planning, workforce analytics, people development, Job Evaluation, attendance and wellbeing improvement as well as providing strategic and operational employee relations support including case management and partnership working.
Key Achievements / Areas of Focus
- Continued support for employees and managers on HR policy based and guidance noted, with support in attendance on ER case work
- Continued engagement with the Trade Unions on strategic and operation HR initiatives.
- Promotion of Health and Wellbeing Campaigns
- Within Payroll Services, the team have maintained and processed the payover of 6 payruns within timescales, with the completion of a series of statutory reports and preparation of SPPA Annual Return.
- Support work with Auditors in relation to EDLT and the Council.
- The People Development team delivered 13 sessions across 6 topics including SMART Working, Corporate Induction, H&S, EDC Policy sessions & Leadership systems.
- Additionally, there were a further 3 sessions, for the 1 day Internal Moving & Handling Refresher, delivered internally by Social Work.
- In total 102 delegates received training, across the 7 topics, in July 2023.
- Ongoing work to support the EDC Moodle e-learning platform including configuration of programs/courses, dynamic rules, system testing, user configuration & reporting.
- Investigation & practise with the e-learning authoring tool Articulate.
- Working on LGV Apprenticeship, NEC4, Driver CPC and ongoing compliance with certifications.
- Consultation with Health & Safety to review completed risk assessments and identify skills gaps and future legislative requirements.
Community Protection Service
Environmental Health, Trading Standards and Community Safety Teams
The Community Protection Service delivers on a broad statutory remit, with delivery measures centred on protecting public health and safety, well-being and consumer protection. During the course of July 2023, the service continued to engage in the local Co-Production arrangement with Police Scotland. This resulted in a significant amount of joint work and coordinated activity to protect local communities across the East Dunbartonshire area. The service also continued to develop intelligence led approaches for all areas of work in order to target local public health, community safety and consumer protection activity towards the areas of greatest need, risk and priority.
The Environmental Health Team was engaged in the delivery of essential public health services throughout the reporting period in order to protect the community from hazards in the environment and to regulate and facilitate the growth of responsible businesses. The service was in demand for a range of service requests from the public as well as responding to internal partners in Planning and Licensing for new developments and seasonal events respectively. The service was required to ensure appropriate action was taken to protect public health after 2 local food businesses were found to have a pest infestation.
The Trading Standards Team was engaged in the delivery of essential consumer protection and licensing services to local consumers and businesses to maintain and protect a fair-trading environment in East Dunbartonshire. Priority activity in July included work to develop the recently introduced East Dunbartonshire Trusted Trader Scheme, with focus being placed upon local business participation. Tobacco and Nicotine Vapour Products compliance work was delivered during the reporting period. The Licensing Advisers and Trading Standards Officers in the team also continued to deliver a wide range of routine inspection and project activity at a range of business premises across the area.
The Community Safety Team continued to deliver a broad range of front-line work for the benefit of local communities during the course of the reporting period, working closely with a range of colleagues and key partners to successfully deliver appropriate interventions and to make our local communities safer. Officers from the team were engaged in the delivery of services in relation to community engagement/support, antisocial behaviour, youth disorder, neighbour disputes, environmental incivilities, dog control, decriminalised parking enforcement, fly-tipping, mediation, pest control and mobile CCTV. The Community Wardens have also been developing further links within the local communities they serve, getting involved in a number of initiatives and events that have been taking place across the Council area.
Community Planning and Partnerships Team
The team continue to deliver the resettlement agenda, supporting individuals and families to successful integration and empowerment of displaced individuals, by providing a tailored case management approach.
Using a community learning and development approach, the team continue to connect, engage, and involve communities in decision-making processes, particularly those affected by inequalities, to ensure their voices are heard and needs met.
Through effective partnership working with the Grants Advisory Committee, a revised community grant scheme was launched 26th June 2023. The team have been actively promoting the grant scheme through various channels. We have been providing dedicated support to individuals and organisations, addressing enquiries and clarifying application requirements promptly. There have been a great interest in the scheme with a wide range of applications from across East Dunbartonshire, which are currently being reviewed and assessed.
Through the targeted work within our Locality areas, the team continue to promote lifelong learning, skills development, and community empowerment. This includes the delivery of Pockets, Places, and Prosperity programme within our Locality areas.
The team remain steadfast in promoting equality, diversity and inclusion and actively collaborating with local organisations to plan and deliver initiatives targeting discrimination.
Community Testing/ Vaccination Team
The team have been working diligently to ensure the smooth delivery of the vaccination programmes to our community. With the experience gained from previous winter programmes, we have developed comprehensive plans to ensure the safe and efficient delivery of the winter vaccination programme, starting September 2023. Our focus remains on protecting the health and wellbeing of our communities during this critical time.
Key Achievements / Areas of Focus
Community Protection Service
Environmental Health, Trading Standards and Community Safety Teams
- Delivery of effective services on a flexible basis in order to meet all statutory requirements and duties in relation to public health, community safety, consumer protection and licensing enforcement matters.
- Delivery of local Co-Production activity between Community Protection and Police Scotland, with particular focus on effective tasking processes and the delivery of joint action plans and work to protect the communities of East Dunbartonshire.
- Delivery of Business Improvement Plan activity relating to Community Protection - actions being implemented in accordance with set targets in order to deliver effective services in line with relevant corporate outcomes and with positive performance being reported.
- Delivery of regulatory services that assist with economic recovery and that are designed to support local businesses and communities.
- Delivery of work towards completion of the 2023 Annual Progress Report on Air Quality for East Dunbartonshire.
- Delivery of work in conjunction with Major Assets to discuss the requirements for new build projects in relation to catering facilities
- Delivery of a health and safety initiative to local businesses on electrical safety
- Continued delivery of targeted patrols within our local communities aimed at tackling an increase in reports of low-level incivilities (particularly dog fouling and littering).
- Delivery of patrols by our Community Wardens to tackle the problem of youth disorder and antisocial behaviour within our communities, with particular focus currently being within the Hillhead and Bishopbriggs Retail Park areas as well as a number of our primary schools.
- Delivery of interventions and appropriate outcomes for a number of young persons referred to the Early & Effective Intervention Group which is coordinated and chaired by the Community Safety Team.
- Youth diversionary football sessions in Lennoxtown, Milton of Campsie and Hillhead are continuing, with numbers in attendance on the increase. Sessions will run until at least September 2023 and over 70 children participated during a recent week.
- Community Wardens assisted with a number of additional summer football sessions held across the Council area – organised by colleagues in the Community Planning & Partnership Team.
- Continued delivery of a domestic night noise service every weekend Friday – Sunday 2000 – 0400 hrs, with appropriate responses being delivered in relation to reports / complaints of noise nuisance within residential properties.
- Newly formed ED Trusted Trader Scheme promoted within East Dunbartonshire by the Council and local partners - the scheme is overseen by Trading Standards and aims to increase customer confidence by helping people find reliable traders, promote good practice within local businesses, protect residents from doorstep crime, and help generate business for local companies.
- Delivery of local Trading Standards activity as part of a wider coordinated West of Scotland product safety project with a cost-of-living focus.
- Delivery of on-going workplan activity by Trading Standards to maintain local business compliance with legislative requirements relating to tobacco and nicotine vapour products.
- Delivery of targeted activity by the Licensing Advisers to maintain local business compliance with legislative requirements relating to relevant licensing conditions.
Community Planning and Partnership Team
- The team are actively engaged in collaboration with stakeholders and partners to deliver priorities of our Locality area communities.
- Launched round one of the community grant schemes on 26th June for the month of July. Team colleagues continue to offer targeted, responsive support to applicants.
- Delivered Pockets, Places and Prosperity programmes in Auchinairn, Hillhead and Harestanes.
- In collaboration with children and young people integrating into our communities, planned an engaging, interactive focus session to ensure the voice of “new scots” children and young people voices are heard.
- Continue to support Empowered to create an interactive and engaging 16 Days of Action campaign to raise awareness of domestic abuse, enabling increased understanding of how to report and where individuals can access support.
- Focused on developing lived experience forum using human approach.
- Collaboratively work with partners to coordinate a successful funder fair, meeting the identified needs of the local community and third sector organisations.
Community Testing/ Vaccination Team
- Conducted an assessment to identify suitable venues for the winter vaccination programme identifying and securing the use of Merkland School in Kirkintilloch, alongside the continued use of Milngavie Town Hall.
- Preparation underway to deliver the winter vaccination programme, commencing September.
The Roads and Environment Service continues to oversee the maintenance function and safe operation of the adopted public carriageway/footway network, adopted open spaces (including trees) and cemeteries within East Dunbartonshire. In addition, the Service also oversees the management and operations of Mugdock Country Park.
This Service area is divided into five portfolio groupings:
1. Roads Network Operations
2. Roads Technical & Engineering
3. Streetscene Technical Support (including Bereavement and Arboriculture)
4. Streetscene Operations (including grounds maintenance, street cleansing and cemetery operations)
5. Mugdock Country Park
Each team has specific areas of responsibility; however, they all operate, and function collectively as required. Within their own areas, each team has several service accountabilities contributing to local outcomes.
The various sections within the portfolio groups continue to progress both revenue operation/maintenance work and internally and externally funded capital projects with colleagues in Procurement and Finance. Several projects are time specific due to the external funding conditions to it is very important to make best use of the time available to bring these projects to fruition for the benefit of local communities.
Roads Network Operations Team (including Street Lighting)
The team continue to deliver both planned and reactive maintenance to both carriageways, footways, and street lighting assets. The Service is almost at full numbers in terms of resources available with vacancies for one Roads Technician (Utilities) and other operational posts. The service will continue to try to achieve full capacity going forward, but recruitment continues to be challenging within a very competitive market. The other issue is now retaining trained staff and succession planning. On a positive note, the Roads Network Operations & Streetlighting Teams have been successful in recruiting for three and two Modern Apprentices respectively. The Modern Apprentices will commence employment and their respective college courses in August.
The 2023/24 capital programmes for carriageway, footway resurfacing programme and lighting projects has now commenced with road space booked and work programmed in as per the Roads Resurfacing Programme Technical Note updated in July with a further update scheduled for October.
The Service continues to work with an external survey consultant (Gaist). The collection of full carriageway and footway condition data is now completed and is being analysed. Once analysed the information will be utilised to update the current survey scores and also utilised to inform future work programmes.
Finally, the Service continues to work with an independent external consultant to undertake a full internal Review of Roads Operational Policy and the associated procedures with a view to updating the relevant documents. Again, it is envisaged that this exercise will be completed by September.
Roads Technical & Engineering
The Roads Development, Structures, Traffic, Flood Risk and Drainage Teams continue to work on and contribute to multiple projects including Road Coring, Flood Defence Maintenance, Bridge Inspection/Replacement and Signalisation/TRO Projects across various area. The Team is also coordinating with external contractors to delivery multiple traffic surveys with the information used to determine the next steps for various proposals. This information is used as evidence to either support the need for action or validate the decision not to take forward a proposal if it is not supported by evidence.
The Service is now operating a full capacity following recent staff changes with several newer members of the team familiarising themselves with the Council area and taking forward individual projects including gateway features, replacement bridges, signalised junctions, and other important road safety features.
The three geographical based teams continue to work on their summer grounds maintenance programmes including grass cutting operations, Herbicide treatment, Care of Gardens service, play area inspections etc. The teams are also undertaking street cleansing of all adopted council roads and pavements including litter collection, mechanical sweeping, and servicing of street litter bins. In addition, the team also continues to manage the Councils tree stock carrying out surveys with the Ash Dieback Survey about to commence and the result will inform what action the Council need to take to address this important issue. The team manages and performs burials in the eight operational cemeteries.
Streetscene Technical Support Team
The team continue to work with community groups regarding Environmental Improvement Projects including path improvement, play area renovations, amenity planting, cemetery, and allotment development.
Mugdock Country Park
The team are now working on the summer season. The team are monitoring the quarry area during the usual increased visitors to this location now and throughout the summer months. The monthly visitor number continue to exceed expectation and the team area focused on enhancing the visitor experience to the country park with various improvements planned to key attractions.
Key Achievements / Areas of Focus
Roads Network Operations Teams (including Street Lighting)
The Roads Network Operations completed all programmed carriageway and footway safety inspections.
During the inspections and as a result to public feedback the service identified 113 defects in East Dunbartonshire Council carriageways. We have completed 87 repairs on time (about 76.99%), which is below the council service level agreement and road maintenance policy. Unfortunately, this appears to be due to staff holidays during the school holiday period. The team are still working to improve how defects are identified, recorded, and repaired which is one of the main aims of the Roads Improvement Plan.
All carriageways and footways Safety Inspection between 01/07/2023 and 31/07/2023 have been successfully completed.
The carriageway & footway resurfacing program works undertaken in July include.
Carriageway Resurfacing February to April 2023
Milton of Campsie
- Street lighting repairs continue, albeit with reduced available resources.
- The tender for external support has now been completed and contract awarded for assistance with street lighting electrical works at times of peak workload, comprising electrician and mobile elevated work platform vehicle.
- Responses to various enquiries / complaints continue, as required
- Site visits and inspections of developer’s road lighting installations continue at various locations Council wide.
- Assessment of coal tar testing results for future lighting renewal works.
- Monitoring and processing of street lighting energy invoices continues.
Roads Technical & Engineering Teams -
- Officers were involved in preparations for the World Cycling Championships, part of which came through Lennoxtown, Torrance, and Bearsden. There was a series of closures of Crow Road, Lennoxtown to remove cat’s eyes as these are hazardous to cyclists and to reinstall them between and after the races to protect road users. There will be a further closure to repair the road and place permanent cat’s eyes.
- Resurfacing at the gateway project for Milton of Campsie is complete. Painting of road markings is to follow.
- Signalisation of Milton of Campsie Cross and Station Road at Drymen Road, Bearsden are under early preparations.
- Disabled Persons Parking Places in the recent TRO will become enforceable at the end of August. The next round of TROs is underway. Marking of residential disabled spaces is ongoing.
- Clachan of Campsie Temporary TRO is now permanent and will be effective from 21 August.
- Attendance at various regional and national meetings related to road safety.
- The team are providing technical support for City Deal projects, Canniesburn Toll, Lennoxtown Main Street and Cycling Connectivity Corridors.
- The team are working through various locations installing new or replacing street signs as per customer requests.
- Responding to Planning Applications.
- Responding to Lining Requests and refreshing faded road markings
- Commenting on various licences i.e., street trader licences, public entertainment licences and occasional licences.
- Dealing with various requests for temporary road closures.
- Site visits to monitor progress on developments currently under construction.
- Site meetings to inspect developments and identify remedial works prior to adoption by EDC.
- Assist planning with development applications, distribute to officers for their comments on potential future developments.
- Process road adoption enquiries from internal and external departments.
- Coordination of future works, road openings and temporary traffic management permits.
Flooding and Drainage
- River Glazert Restoration Project, Lennoxtown - Detail design report being finalised. On-going. CAR licence and Planning to commence when report is finalised.
- Kelvin Tributaries River Restoration Project – Draft Statement of Requirements being reviewed and Consultant to be appointed.
- Climate Ready Park – Out to Tender due back 1 September.
- Golf View FAS, Bearsden – JBA report is being examined by Officers. On-going.
- John Muir Way – Re-routing of Path at Glazert Water / Weir – Works to commence week beginning 21 August.
- Civils works continue to be undertaken by our drainage team and our framework contractor George Leslie at various locations.
- Rubislaw Drive Bearsden – cleared outfall to loch
- 5a Station Road, Bearsden – excavated and repaired damaged pipework on behalf of estates
- Root cutting and lining works are currently taking place at Monreith Avenue, Bearsden
- Hillfoot Drive, Bearsden - remove drainage channel and install / replace gullies – booked to start in November capital works at Camstradden Road East and West to be booked in
- C.C.T.V surveys are booked for various locations
- 2023/24 General and Principal inspections programme commenced and ongoing.
- Review & response to abnormal load requests.
- Capital programme for 2023/24 is in progress.
- Luggie Park cyclic maintenance of footbridges completed.
- Marina footbridge, Kirkintilloch. Graffiti removal and localised repainting complete. Bridge pressure washing and vegetation clearance completed.
- Footbridge replacement at Bute Road, Kirkintilloch (Merkland Nature Reserve) now open. Snagging is still to be completed.
- Lairdsland culvert, Kirkintilloch. Strengthening works underway.
Greenspace & Streetscene Teams
- Summer cyclical works ongoing
- Street cleansing and mechanical sweeping; removal of fly posting and uplifting of fly tipping, mechanical street sweeping and installing replacement or additional bins. Includes cleaning of precinct areas.
- Graffiti removal.
- Summer bedding maintenance and watering of hanging baskets.
- Ongoing cemetery operations, digging and carrying out interments, installing headstone foundations and benches.
- Care of Gardens maintenance ongoing
- Checking and clearance of culverts
- Play park inspection
- Preparation for Canal Festival, tidying up started of the Marina/Southbank areas.
- Herbicide works in open spaces, including Japanese knotweed treatment.
- Replacement of pitch goal posts, along with marking and overmarking.
- Preparation of routes for the UCI World cycling event.
- Housing tidy-ups, on request.
- Responding to Customer Service Requests and complaints.
- Removal of dead animals and excess waste at recycling centres.
- Recruitment for vacant positions.
- CPC Driver training carried out as well as Trailer training for staff.
Streetscene Technical Support
- Nature Restoration Fund – funding received from SG and draft list of projects in place
- Contract awarded in relation to the upgrading of the Canal towpath, Kirkintilloch via Scotland Excel framework - works now ongoing with stakeholders.
- Play Park Accessibility Work Study ongoing.
- EDC Annual Independent Play Inspection for FY23/24 – completed in July – awaiting written reports
- Public Consultation of play area projects involving Waterside, Springfield, Dougalston Gardens North and Torrance Main Street compiled and published on Council’s Social Media platforms.
- Scanning of cemetery ledgers, to import into the Council’s Epilog Cemetery Management System, work ongoing.
- Cemetery Management Rules – internal review now ongoing
- Headstones/Memorials – plan being developed around improving the inspection process – tender live
- Fence Works – multiple sites where works are being undertaken to repair, replace or refurbish a variety of fences across the district.
- Sports Pitches – summer renovation works complete.
- Sports Pitches Leisure Trust and Education – new contract commenced in July for both Grass and Synthetic surfaces
- Tree Condition Survey of Southfield Woodland complete – works will be progressed as required
- Team working with City Deal Team and Consultants in relation to Masterplan of Bishopbriggs Public Park and Bishopbriggs Relief Road
- Ash Dieback Surveys – progressing with a road side survey – commenced in July
- Tree Surveys ongoing at Gavins Mill/Lennox Park
- Allotment Waiting List – new weighting matrix applied to waiting list
- Cairnhill Woods - location for Forrest Schools agreed and progressing
- Working with Run Walk Cycle ED to develop a Fairy Trail in Redmoss Estate Woods in Milton of Campsie
- Lenzie Moss Path upgrade completed – area now being monitored for any snagging works
- Climate Change Park meadows installed - approx 3 Hectares
- Strathearn Grove Pictorial Meadow - complete
- Golfview, Bearsden – access gates installed
- Countryside Ranger Events - Bird Box events in various locations 133 persons attending
- Skunk Cabbage - eradication at Barloch Muir and Allander Park - second spraying complete
- Input into Additional Capital investment for drainage, active travel/access and footway surfacing.
- The team continues to respond to high volume of open space, tree and bereavement enquires, along with planning application consultations and complaints.
- Planning application responses and support to Planning Team ongoing
- Open Space audit work for input into the Grounds Maintenance System ongoing for Milngavie & Bearsden.
- Assisted a number of Community Groups with Litter Picking resources across EDC
Mugdock Country Park
- There were many Ranger-led summer events in July:
- Guided Walk – Pillars, Plugs and Crags, Strathblane
- Forest School – Survival
- Mugdock Sensational Safari – Evening Adventure
- Bats in the Rafters, Mugdock
- Wildlife Weans Mugdock: What’s in the Pond?
- Forest School – Water lot of Fun
- Forest School – Musical Sticks
- Mugdock Sensational Safari: Wildlife Recording
- Wildlife Weans Mugdock: Animal Antics
- Mugdock Sensational Safari: Evening Adventure
- Keys to the Castle (x4)
- Wildlife Weans Mugdock: Den Building
- Mugdock Sensational Safari: Mugdock Wood Adventure
- Wildlife Weans Mugdock: Grassland Beasties
- Big Butterfly Count 2023
- The Tiny World of Mugdock
- Wardens work included grass cutting and strimming around the Park, Mugdock Castle, Walled Garden, tree maintenance, cleaning buildings and outdoor assets, emptying bins, checking car parks and play parks, improving Courtyard and maintenance Yard;
- Rangers work on land management included maintaining and repairing sections of boardwalk and path, removing non native invasive species, making bird boxes;
- Visitor Centre staff renewed the window display, introduced new giftshop stock, developed a new trail for purchase in the VC, hired out indoor and outdoor space, took Clan Graham visitors to Mugdock Castle;