MyCouncilWorks

Image of people taking part in a marine exercise

November Cascade

Table of Contents

Chief Executive’s Update

Pippa Milne 

As we race towards the end of the year, thoughts turn to Christmas shopping. It’s been incredibly challenging for our local businesses throughout the pandemic. In this issue, find out how we are encouraging people to spend local this Christmas to support the fantastic range of independent shops, restaurants and different experiences on offer in the area.

Read how the quick thinking action of our harbour team prevented a disaster and learn how we keep our ports safe.

We celebrate success and applaud achievements from colleagues in the council and HSCP at our Learning Awards.

If you’re looking for savings this Christmas, find out more about a range of offers with the Employee Benefit Scheme.

#ObanCityStatus

A screenshot of the Oban High School video - Oban, Scotland in one place

There’s still time to support our bid to secure city status for Oban. To remind you why it’s a great idea, here’s a fantastic video made by pupils from Oban High School. 

Harbour team save the day

Oil booms on RothesayOur harbour staff in Rothesay quickly swung into action to prevent an oil spill spreading and contaminating the bay recently.

The source of the spill was traced to the upper lade at John Street. Working to the council’s oil spill plan, alongside the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, SEPA and Belfast Coastguard, they deployed absorbent booms at the Esplanade outlet and collected the spill. The booms remained in place for 48 hours until the lade ran clear.

Congratulations on a good job well done.

Keeping our ports safe

Last week, we carried out a successful Oil Pollution Exercise in Campbeltown Harbour. We do these to ensure the safety of our ports and harbours and they are audited by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA).

On this occasion, we broadened the exercise to include other partners including Border Force, Oil Pipeline Agency, Police Scotland and the MCA as well as the RNLI, Coast Guard Officers and volunteers. Together we tested our processes and communications in handling multiple events at Campbeltown Harbour. Thanks to everyone who made the exercise such a success.

Jim Smith
Head of Roads and Infrastructure

 

Annual Learning Awards

A stamped well done sign

We held our first Virtual Learning Awards last week to pay tribute to all our staff who have achieved a professional, academic or vocational qualification linked to their role in the last 18 months.

This year’s ceremony gave us the opportunity to come together and recognise both Council employees and our colleagues in the HSCP, who worked so hard to gain an accredited qualification supported by the Council or HSCP.

We celebrated a wide range of fantastic achievements, including degrees, SVQs, Modern Apprentices, Argyll and Bute Manager, professional qualifications, post graduates and many more. The last 18 months have not been easy and so your commitment to gaining these qualifications is all the more impressive Well done everyone on your amazing work!

You can find a list of everyone’s achievements here on MyCouncilWorks Annual Learning Awards – My Council Works

Jane Fowler

Head of Customer Support Services

Supporting our local businesses

Morvern pictured from Gigha Natural Skincare
Morvern from Gigha Natural Skincare

Our Projects and Regeneration Team are working with colleagues from across the council and partner organisations to help ongoing business recovery from the impact of Covid.

 It’s been a tough two years as we know for many business owners and we’re working on a range of initiatives to help support with ongoing recovery.

Since June 2019 we have administered £239,634 of Scottish Government Town Centre Funding to help town centre business owners carry out shopfront repairs. These improvements have resulted in a fresh new look and increased footfall for many businesses.

The team is working with Scotland Loves Local to promote a new Argyll and Bute gift card. Aimed at supporting local businesses and jobs by spending local, we have successfully signed over 100 local independent shops, restaurants and experiences to the scheme.

With Christmas just around the corner, we’re working with the Communications Team to market as many local businesses as possible. If you’re looking for a unique range of gifts, give our local businesses a boost.

You can buy the gift card by visiting https://scotlandgiftslocal.com/product/argyll-bute-gift-card/

Audrey Martin
Projects and Regeneration Manager

Our Modern Workspace

Our Modern Workspace logo features a figure inside a venn diagram with the words home, office and flexible

A huge thanks to everyone who has taken part in our online workshops with our design team. We have completed workshops in seven of the eight towns with over 300 of you giving us your expert knowledge of how office space works for you and where you need specific storage and equipment.

We have listened to your feedback indicating that most of you have told us you are keen to continue homeworking with some access to office space.

It’s been invaluable to have your support and input throughout this process as we move towards new ways of working. It’s important we take into account your need, what the public require and explore opportunities to work more closely with our partners.  This is a large and complex project so thank you for your patience as we work though all your comments.

Next steps

Using your feedback, the design team will now create an options appraisal report for each office. The report needs to go through an approval process.

We can then share final design details along with a timetable for starting office works on a town by town basis.

Changing the way we work and how we use our office space marks an exciting phase for the council. After working remotely for so long, we’re looking forward to creating spaces to bring people together safely.

For now, please continue to work from home if you are able. If you need to visit an office, please make sure you have approval from your line manager in the first place and the relevant Site Premises Manager.

Shirley Johnstone
Change Manager

Festive savings with the Employee Benefit Scheme

Christmas presents

Get the festive season wrapped up early with 1000s of gifts available through the Employee Benefit Scheme. From terrific toys and tech items to fragrances, jewellery and entertainment, help spread the cost through management monthly salary reductions with Payroll Pay®.

You’ll find something for everyone under key categories:

Home and Electronics
Cycle to Work
Bike Shop
Travel and Leisure
Gym Membership

Offers

This month’s offers include a fantastic electric bike from £85.56 per month and kids bikes from £15.36 per month for 12 months. For gamers, buy a Nintendo Switch from £23.10 per month or a Sony PlayStation 5 from £45.13 per month for 12 months.

Treat yourself or a family member to a bike from the Bike Shop. Offers include a new electric bike from £85.56 per month and kids bikes from £15.36 per month for 12 months.

You can also save with e-vouchers from many well-known chains including:

H&M 9%
Not on the High Street 10%
Argos 6%

Marks & Spencer 7%
ASDA 4%
Morrisons 5%
Sainsburys 5%
Tesco 4%

To start browsing and create your order, visit today https://bit.ly/3zTWOMg today

Get in touch

Our new staff website is a great way of celebrating achievements, sharing news from your service and getting to know colleagues.

There’s also a noticeboard to promote any fundraising or events coming up.

We would love to hear from you. Contact us by emailing workingtogether@argyll-bute.gov.u