Elected Members Briefing - 1st June

An archive of all our Bulletins can be found here.

Key Messages
The First Minister provided a COVID-19 update in Parliament this afternoon (Tuesday).

Glasgow is set to move into Level 2 after midnight on Friday, while many parts of mainland Scotland will – at the same time – move into Level 1. These areas are Highland, Argyll & Bute, Aberdeen City, Aberdeenshire, Moray, Angus, Perth & Kinross, Falkirk, Fife, Inverclyde, East and West Lothian, West Dunbartonshire, Dumfries and Galloway and the Borders.

However, Edinburgh and Midlothian, Dundee, East Dunbartonshire, Renfrewshire, East Renfrewshire, East Ayrshire, North Ayrshire, South Ayrshire, North Lanarkshire, South Lanarkshire, Clackmannanshire and Stirling will all remain in Level 2.

More information on the protection levels allocated to Councils can be found here.

All education staff aged 18-29 years are being asked to register for their vaccination by 4th June.  They can register here, and 16 and 17-year-olds who provide vital face-to-face care and support for others, and who haven’t already been given an appointment, are now being invited to register for their vaccine.

Routes to Testing
Testing for COVID-19 is available to everyone in Scotland. Find detailed information about the various routes to testing in Scotland here.

With symptoms
Anyone with coronavirus symptoms should get a PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test as soon as possible. PCR test kits can be ordered online or appointments can be booked at walk-in or drive-through test sites. Find details of testing sites here.

Without symptoms
Those with no symptoms who do not have access to a testing programme in their workplace or place of education:

* can collect or order packs of LDF (lateral flow device) tests to do at home. Find collection sites here  (https://maps.test-and-trace.nhs.uk/findatestcenter.html) or order online. Tests can also be ordered by calling 119. Anyone under 18 should ask an adult to collect or order a test kit for them.
* may be able to access local walk-in community testing sites. Find details of community testing sites here.

International Travel
Those who need to take a test for international travel should use a private test provider. Find private providers who have self-declared that they meet the government’s minimum standards for the type of testing service they offer here.

Local Government Overview 2021 Report
This week the Accounts Commission published the Local Government Overview 2021 Report, further highlighting the vital role Councils have in delivering critical services to communities. The report recognises the incredibly hard work of Councils, communities and partners throughout the Covid-19 Pandemic. The Accounts Commission also emphasised the challenges Councils face operating in a “climate of significant financial uncertainty, which must now be addressed”.

COSLA Resources Spokesperson Councillor Gail Macgregor said that she was delighted with the recognition for Councils and of the need for them to have long term financial certainty in the Local Government Overview Report.

“As the report states, Scotland’s councils reacted quickly, working alongside communities and partners, to address the unprecedented challenges created by Covid-19.  Our staff always do their best for Communities – delivering for them is what we do.

“The report is also right to point out, as COSLA has often said, that many challenges remain significant, and these are made more urgent by the multiple impacts of Covid-19 on communities and services”.

* Read the Accounts Commission Local Government Overview 2021 Report
* Read COSLA’s Press Release on the Local Government Overview Report

Ministerial Engagement
COSLA Resources Spokesperson Councillor Gail Macgregor will be meeting with Tom Arthur, Minister for Public Finance, Planning and Community Wealth on 2 June. This introductory meeting is the opportunity for Councillor Macgregor to share the COSLA Blueprint, outlining the priorities for Local Government. Councillor Macgregor will highlight the need to ensure Councils are properly funded, ensuring investment in essential services and in local economies to allow recovery from the pandemic.

Scottish Government’s 100 Days
COSLA officials are working with Scottish Government officials to progress discussions on the financial implications for Local Government of commitments made by the SNP administration during its first 100 days in government. There are likely to be funding distribution considerations put forward to Leaders in June.

Early Learning and Childcare Funding
COSLA Leaders agreed that the funding for the expansion of Early Learning and Childcare to 1140 hours, from the end of the current multi-year agreement, should be distributed on a formula basis from 2022/23.  Leaders will consider the proposed formula at its meeting on the 25 June.  COSLA officers are working to bring the quantum for 2022/23 to COSLA Leaders at the earliest opportunity, subject to Ministerial consideration.

EU Settlement Scheme
On 1 June, the Home Office will be marking 30 days until the 30 June 2021 deadline for applications to be made to the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS).

The milestone is another opportunity to bring the deadline to the attention of EU, EEA and Swiss citizens wherever possible.

All EU, EEA and Swiss citizens and their family members, who were resident in the UK by 31 December 2020, should apply without delay so that they can continue to work, study, access free healthcare and benefits in the UK after 30 June 2021.

The Home Office has made available new social media materials for councils to use on 1 June 2021 to raise awareness of the scheme among people who are yet to apply and to help councils plan social media activity on the day.

The government has also published the latest EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) monthly statistics report on applications made up to the end of April 2021. The statistics show that over 5.4 million applications have now been made to the EUSS.

The Power of Football
As Scotland’s football squad prepare for EURO 2020, The Scottish FA has published The Power of Football, the first part of a strategic plan designed to improve the national game at all levels up to and including the FIFA World Cup in 2030.

The Power of Football has been produced in partnership with the UEFA Grow project and part one encompasses 2021-25. It maps out the association’s journey within six key pillars of activity, each with a Gamechanger objective to change the dial on all aspects of football from national teams to grassroots and equality and diversity. It is hoped that success will be achieved with an inclusive approach: from government and local authorities, league bodies, clubs, coaches, match officials, players, parents, volunteers and supporters.
The new strategy published on 24th May can be found here.  The SFA would welcome the opportunity to discuss the content with stakeholders in more detail and see how collectively we can use the Power of Football to help impact the lives of Communities across Scotland.

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 common phone scams and travel refunds.


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.