We are nearly at the end of another year. Thank you for everything you have done and the difference you have made for the council, and for Argyll and Bute, in 2021.
For my final podcast of 2021, I invite you to join me and Executive Directors, Douglas Hendry and Kirsty Flanagan, where we take this opportunity to pay tribute to all your hard work and look positively towards the New Year. Listen to the podcast.
Living and working covid-safely
It would be great to provide a pandemic-free update. Things are progressing which is important to remember, with more and more people vaccinated. However, we do need to keep taking steps to keep ourselves and others safe from covid, with the omicron variant on the rise.
I know it’s hard, we’d all like it to be over, but please do keep taking the action you can to beat this pandemic – please see below for the latest advice.
We are living and working during exceptional circumstances and have been for nearly two years. I think we’re all suffering from Covid fatigue!
The scale of the challenge and the way you have all responded is staggering. I cannot thank you enough for all your hard work and dedication in helping the people of Argyll and Bute.
With the rise in infections, it’s more important than ever to work from home, where possible and limit interactions.
If you are able to work from home, continue to do so. This message has not changed. Only staff who have personal or operational requirements should be present in our offices. If you need to come into the office, you need clearance from your manager and agreement from the Site/Premises Manager. You should not simply pop in. Please remember the following:
- Only visit office or meet face to face if essential
- Keep physically distanced
- Wash or sanitise your hands regularly
- Wear a mask whilst moving around the building
- Sign in and out of buildings
- If you have any symptoms don’t visit an office
If you are in an office follow our Council Guidance, site risk assessments or advisory signage in those buildings.
We have updated advice for employees on MyCouncilWorks. The updates include:
- A new section for Care Home/Social Care workers
- Self-isolation exemption for Social Care workers
And note the new changes in self-isolation guidance if a household contact tests positive.
You can find all the latest national guidance on the Scottish Government website.
I want to acknowledge the work of the tactical team throughout the pandemic. This group brings together representatives from all council services, and partners in health and social care.
As a Council, we play a huge role in the Covid response. With any major announcement or changes to restrictions, the team is scrambled. Representatives from each service along with partners and health colleagues swing into action to prioritise and progress what is required from us.
As you know, there is often very little time or warning so teams have to act quickly to help support new guidance. Everything from how to administer new business grants to offering advice on new legal requirements for retail and hospitality to communicating guidance and making our schools safe. I want to thank everyone involved in making these changes happen fast and help support teams who deliver the actions.
A Christmas Star
Every year CELCIS (Care for Excellence for Children’s Care and Protection) run a Christmas card competition. It’s open to school-aged children and young people in Scotland with care experience. This year, I’m proud to say that Harley, a clearly very talented pupil from Argyll and Bute won the competition. Well done Harley!
I receive such positive feedback on the difference you are making every day. I’m incredibly proud of the exceptional work of all our teams and I hope you are proud of the part you play.
Thank you again.
I wish you a happy and safe festive period.