Elected Members Briefing - 13th July

An archive of all our Bulletins can be found here.

Key Messages
In a statement this afternoon (13th July), the First Minister announced that from Monday 19th July, all parts of Scotland will move to level 0. However, there will be certain modifications made to level 0 rules, with hospitality venues required to close at midnight, physical distancing to remain in outdoor public places and people encouraged to work from home until at least 9 August.

Guidance on COVID-19 Protection Levels has also been updated today (13th July). The guidance sets out what you can and cannot do at each level.

The last remaining restrictions on non-essential travel between Scotland and north west England have been lifted following the latest review. Journeys between Scotland and Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council are now permitted for any reason.

Business Minister Ivan McKee is calling for businesses to consider how they can ramp up the manufacturing of construction materials in Scotland, helping to address the impact that global supply shortages is having here.

When Are You Getting Your Vaccine?
There are drop-in centres in your area where you can be vaccinated at a time that suits you. You can now visit any of the drop-in clinics across Scotland, regardless of where you are registered, so it’s even more convenient for you to get vaccinated before or after work, or any time during the day.

You can see all of the available drop-in clinics on NHS Inform.

You can also use the appointment checker on NHS Inform to see if you’re already booked in and reschedule your appointment if you need to.

Young Scot also has information and you can view personal perspectives at the following links from health professionals and people being vaccinated.

Make sure you get two doses for the best protection against the virus, including the Delta variant. That’s how we can all get back together and do the things we enjoy.

Tourism Recruitment Campaign
A new Tourism Recruitment Campaign, which aims to address the serious immediate recruitment issues in the tourism and hospitality sector and encourage Scots to apply for the wealth of vacancies available in hospitality, has been developed by the Scottish Government in collaboration with The Scottish Tourism Alliance (STA) and VisitScotland.

The campaign is aimed 18-30 year olds in Scotland, and looks to encourage young Scots to visit recruitment hub CareerScope, to find and apply for a job in hospitality, in particular in Front of House, chef and housekeeping roles.

Scottish Parliament – new committees seeking views

The Local Government, Housing and Planning Committee has written to a range of stakeholders, including COSLA, to seek views on priorities within the Committee’s remit, including the financial implications for local government, planning and housing of the continuing pandemic. And as part of its pre-budget Scrutiny, the Finance and Public Administration Committee has launched a call for views on Scotland's public finances in 2022-23 and the impact of COVID-19. COSLA’s Finance team is working with SOLACE and Directors of Finance to prepare responses during July, which will focus on the ongoing financial pressures facing councils.

The Finance and Public Administration Committee call for views can be accessed on the Scottish Parliament website: Scotland's public finances in 2022-23 and the impact of Covid | Scottish Parliament Website

A useful guide to the Scottish Budget process is available on the Scottish Parliament website and includes a description of the key stages in the process, including budget scrutiny.

Participatory BudgetingSupporting citizens to participate in the design and delivery of public services has a key role to play in empowering communities and enhancing local democratic processes. Participatory Budgeting is one way in which local government are committed to empowering local people, as demonstrated through the 2017 commitment of local government to allocate at least 1% of their budgets using participatory budgeting methods.

In late 2020 Councillor Parry, COSLA Community Wellbeing Spokesperson and Aileen Campbell, Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Local Government issued a joint letter to local authorities outlining the ongoing commitment to PB whilst recognising the need for flexibility owing to the impacts of the pandemic upon local services.

This commitment was reaffirmed in early 2021, when COSLA Leaders welcomed the flexible timeline for delivery and agreed to revise the 2017 Framework Agreement to recognise the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic upon business-as usual activity. Following feedback from COSLA leaders, the revised framework agreement has been published which extends a degree of flexibility in the timeframe for meeting the 1% target to councils and integrates learning and good practice as to how councils can mainstream PB within service delivery.  The 2021 revised Framework Agreement sets forward the joint ambition for mainstream PB to be an essential part of recovery and renewal from the pandemic.

COSLA are currently funded by the Scottish Government to support councils in meeting the 1% target and have established a dedicated PB Team to assist members and officers in their work on mainstreaming PB. Members are encouraged to contact the lead officer for PB within COSLA, Katey Tabner with any enquiries or to discuss how COSLA can support members in work on PB in their area.

EU Settlement Scheme
Wednesday 30th June 2021 was the deadline for applications to the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS). From Thursday 1^st July 2021, EU, EEA and Swiss citizens and their family member are now required to obtain a valid UK immigration status to be in the UK, either through the EUSS, if they were resident in the UK by 31 December 2020 or are joining a family member, or through a valid visa. In line with the Citizens’ Rights Agreement, there remains scope for a person eligible for the status under the EUSS to make a late application to the scheme where there are reasonable grounds for missing the deadline.

We would like to make councils aware that they can still access the COSLA/IOM service to assist them in supporting some of the most vulnerable EEA citizens to make late EUSS applications.  Funding for this service has been extended until September 2021.  However, it has become increasingly clear to us that support will need to continue beyond September, and we are lobbying both the UKG and SG to extend funding for the COSLA/IOM service.

Removal of Charges for Instrumental Music Tuition & Core Curriculum Costs
As part of the SNP’s Plan for the first 100 Days, there was a commitment to abolish fees associated with instrumental music tuition as well as ‘core curriculum charges’. The aim of this commitment is to reduce barriers children and young people may experience within the school day. In June COSLA Leaders considered a one-year funding offer for the removal of fees for instrumental music tuition as well as core curriculum charges, and agreed that our Children and Young People Spokesperson, Councillor McCabe should write to the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills to:

* seek a commitment from Scottish Government to developing and funding a sustainable instrumental music tuition service, and
* that subject to this commitment, that there is an initial one-year removal of fees and that officers work with the Scottish Government and Local Government partners including ADES, Heads of Instrumental Music Tuition and others to ensure that a sustainable model is introduced beyond year one.

Following a positive response from the Cabinet Secretary, officers will now work with Scottish Government to support councils to implement these changes and to monitor the impact of the removal of Instrumental Music Tuition and core curricular charges, which will begin from August 2021.

Chairperson of Community Justice Scotland
The role of Chair of Community Justice Scotland has now gone live for recruitment. Community Justice Scotland is an ambitious organisation which is focused on promoting positive messages about people who are in contact with the criminal justice system and the need for a wider range of services to offer them support to address the underlying reasons for their offending behaviour and prevent further offending.  The role of CJS Members, including the Chair, is to provide leadership, direction, support and guidance to ensure that CJS delivers and is committed to delivering its functions effectively and efficiently with the aims, policies and priorities of Scottish Ministers.

Find more information about the role: Scottish Government - Public Appointments (appointed-for-scotland.org)

Trading Standards Scotland
Trading Standards Scotland is the national team for trading standards in Scotland and is part of COSLA.

In the latest edition of their Scam Share bulletin, they outline scams which have been reported by consumers across Scotland, including those related to the COVID-19 outbreak.

There is some very useful information for local communities, covering issues such as Covid passport scams and recently reported doorstep scams.

Fact Friday
COSLA has been running a ‘Fact Friday’ social media campaign to highlight the varied range of services provided by Local Government in Scotland.

A series of animated graphics have been produced and will be shared each Friday via our Twitter and Facebook accounts.


The Local Government workforce and partners across sectors are working hard to support our communities.

We continue to highlight this across our social media channels using #CouncilsCan - retweets and follows would be greatly appreciated.

Our Twitter and Facebook channels, Khub and website will be regularly updated.

If you or your officers require any clarity from COSLA officers on policy matters, please contact the team in the usual way. If you are not sure who to direct your email to, please contact COSLA member support.

Thank you all for your efforts during this challenging time.

Other Useful Links

* The current number of COVID-19 cases and the risk level can be found on the Scottish Government website
* NHS Inform’s webpage continues to be the source of up-to-date public health information
* All Scottish Government COVID-19 related guidance
* Help and support for those experiencing domestic abuse is available; and the helpline number is 0800 027 1234.