The Coronavirus pandemic has impacted several of our services but, thanks to your hard work, we’ve been able to reduce the impact on our residents – while prioritising those most in need of our support. This is due to colleagues working from home or helping to re-introduce services such as our household waste recycling centres or garden collections. Thanks to everyone who’s helped to make this happen.
From 26 December 2020 the whole of mainland Scotland entered level 4 restrictions. The Scottish Government announced on 19 January 2021 that Scotland’s Coronavirus lockdown would be extended until at least the middle of February, the level 4 guidance has now been replaced by guidance to stay at home, except for essential purposes.
We’ll be reviewing this guidance and building it into the work of the Triage and Service Operations Working Group to help prioritise the safety of our residents and colleagues.
There is, however, limited service delivery as a result of the latest Scottish Government announcement to stay safe by staying at home. Where possible we will look at which services can continue safely and responsibly for residents and colleagues.
During 2020, the Chief Executive spoke about our Adaptation and Renewal Programme. The Programme looked at how we can extend or re-open our services, if at all due to the latest stay at home guidance, within the principles below:
- The safety of our colleagues and residents will always take priority. We’ll only consider re-starting services under the Scottish Government guidelines if we know the safety and wellbeing of our colleagues and residents are protected.
- We’ll continue to follow the Scottish Government guidance. The Public Health Advisory Group, as part of the Adaptation and Renewal Programme, will help determine what it means for us and how we’ll apply the guidance.
- Office-based colleagues will not return to the workplace until at least April 2021. Before any colleagues can return to an office, there must be a clear business case and we must keep our buildings within safe occupancy levels. Urgent business cases can be assessed by the Corporate Leadership Team (CLT) and the Coronavirus Incident Management team (CIMT) however, as outlined below, all decisions must be approved by the Service Operations working group.
- The Triage Group will approve all service re-start requests. The focus of the group is to support the planning of how and when services restart and to consider new ways of working. CIMT/CLT can review urgent requests to re-start a service linked to Phase two of the Scottish Government route map. Your request should be sent to the Service Operations Board using the re-start request template.
- A revised, sustainable, balanced budget for 2020/21. There are budget challenges that we must confront, so it’s vital we review our budget and each decision made looking at the financial consequences as well as the public health requirements. Work is underway on this and is due to be approved at Full Council on the 18 February 2021. The budget framework for 21 to 26 will also be considered.
Not all services will re-start or continue as they did before Coronavirus. Due to the latest Scottish Government stay at home guidance we’ve had to re-think our services, our delivery and our priorities. Our strategic focus as a Council is on long-term outcomes rather than short-term measures. We’ll use the findings to guide our future and set out how we can build a better Edinburgh through our recovery.