Elected Members Briefing - 29th June

An archive of all our Bulletins can be found here.

Key Messages
Anyone aged 18 and over who has not received a first COVID-19 vaccination appointment or has missed their first dose for any reason is being invited to self-register for an appointment.

An £8 million package to support the wellbeing of health and social care staff across Scotland has been announced by the Scottish Government.

Measures no longer necessary to support the ongoing public health response will be removed from the Scottish Coronavirus Acts after Parliament approved their expiration.

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

Christie Commission Anniversary
This week marks the 10th anniversary of the publishing of the Christie Commission report.

The report on the future delivery of public services by the commission, chaired by the late Dr Campbell Christie, was released on June 29, 2011.

To mark the anniversary, an op-ed piece from COSLA President, Councillor Alison Evison, has appeared in The Scotsman.

A series of thought pieces has also been penned by COSLA’s Spokespeople and will be released in due course.

Business Support
Councils continue to support businesses across the country as lockdown restrictions continue. Given the recent delay in changes to the Levels, the Scottish Government will be providing local restrictions funding to Level 1 and 2 areas up to 19th July, aligned to existing strategic framework support. And councils continue to deliver support to both taxi drivers and operators. £5m funding to meet ongoing administration costs has been agreed.

Scottish Government has also now confirmed that the wedding events sector support will be delivered by Scottish Enterprise and not local authorities, addressing many of the concerns that colleagues in Local Government had expressed.

Fraser of Allander Economic Commentary
COSLA Officers attended a Fraser of Allander and Deloitte Live Q&A session following the FAI publication of their Economic Commentary. The session discussed the impact of recent changes of restrictions on the Economy, the value of the vaccine rollout to the economy as well as discussion on the UK Government’s ‘Levelling Up’ Funding. Guest speakers from Deloitte discussed the value of inclusive growth.

Councillor remuneration: short survey for elected members
As part of COSLA’s ongoing work to tackle barriers to elected office, we are asking councillors across Scotland to complete a 5-10 minute anonymous survey about their average weekly workload.  This will provide us with an evidence base on councillor remuneration and potential financial barriers to becoming an elected member. The findings of the survey will be used to inform the ongoing work of COSLA’s Barriers to Elected Office Special Interest Group.

The survey can be accessed here and closes at midday on Monday, July 5.

End of EU Settled Status scheme approaches
The EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) deadline is this Wednesday (June 30).
EU Citizens living in Scotland, who have not yet applied, are being urged to apply now to avoid missing the deadline, so they can carry on living, working and studying in Scotland. Irish citizens and people with indefinite leave to remain do not have to apply.

A package of support to help EU citizens stay in Scotland is available, which includes a number of factsheets produced with JustRight Scotland explaining EU citizens’ rights in Scotland. The factsheets provide information on EU citizens’ rights to vote, work and access healthcare, education, housing and benefits.

The campaign is being run until 30th June on radio, digital, social, and press. Digital and printable assets for stakeholders providing information and signposting to available support are available.

The Promise

On February 5, 2020, the Care Review published seven reports, with The Promise narrating a vision for Scotland.  The Promise is responsible for driving the work of change drawn from the findings of the Independent Care Review.  It works with organisations to support shifts in policy, practice and culture so Scotland can ‘Keep the Promise’ it made to care experienced infants, children, young people, adults and their families – that every child grows up loved, safe, respected and able to realise their full potential.  Plan 21-24 identified the priorities Scotland must focus on from 2021 to 2024 to #KeepThePromise.

On Friday, June 25,  The Promise Scotland launched Change Programme ONE, following on from Plan 21 – 24.  Change Programme ONE outlines what is happening now, what is happening next and what needs to happen.  The Change Programme is a live, dynamic and evolving programme of action that drives Scotland forward towards keeping the promise.

Protecting tenants during the pandemic
This week, COSLA, the Association of Local Authority Chief Housing Officers, housing associations, Scottish Government and the Scottish Association of Landlords have published joint statements reaffirming their commitment to supporting tenants stay in their homes. Over the past year, local authorities have worked closely with tenants in financial difficulty as a result of the pandemic to help them maintain their tenancy. This long-standing commitment to supporting tenants has never been more important than now, where more people may have found themselves in this position for the first time.

You can read more here.

Armed Forces Day
COSLA’s Presidential Team marked Armed Forces Day on Saturday (June 26).

The annual event offers the chance to show support for the men and women who make up the Armed Forces community, from currently serving troops and service families to veterans and cadets.

You can read more here.

Climate Assembly
Scotland’s Climate Assembly is Scotland’s first citizens’ assembly focused on climate change. Grounded in Scotland’s Climate Change Act (2019), the Assembly brought together over 100 ordinary citizens from across Scotland to deliberate about the climate emergency. They were tasked with answering the question: ‘How should Scotland change to tackle the climate emergency in an effective and fair way?'

The Assembly has now published its ‘Recommendations for Action Report’, which includes 81 policy recommendations from the Assembly's over 100 members. Click here to download the report. The Report has also been laid before the Scottish Parliament by the Assembly’s secretariat.

Scam alert
Several councillors have recently received emails, which appear to have been sent by other councillors, which ask them to purchase gift cards for iTunes.

This is a common tactic used by scammers who have hacked into email accounts. They send messages to contacts of the person whose account they have hacked and ask them to purchase gift cards.

If you receive an email asking for personal data or any form of financial help, even if it seems to be from a trusted source, call the contact on a trusted number and let them know their account may have been hacked. Always take steps to verify the identity of anyone asking you to provide gift card details.

Never reveal the codes on vouchers or gift cards you have purchased, unless you are entering them on official websites as full or part payment for goods or services.

Report all scams to Advice Direct Scotland on 0808 164 6000 or via www.consumeradvice.scot. If you have lost money to a fraud, contact Police Scotland on 101.

Online mental health resource for all school staff
A new, free, online mental health learning resource, supported by COSLA, has been unveiled by Scottish Government. The Mental Health Foundation, Children in Scotland and training provider Digital Bricks developed the resource which is open to all school staff in primary, secondary and special schools and anyone who may find it of benefit. It contains an overview of practice knowledge and research, learning activities, case studies and practice examples, covering a wide range of mental health and wellbeing topics including prevention-based approaches and tips on how to end mental health stigma and discrimination.

For more information and to access the resource see: CYPMH – Professional Learning Resource

Smarter Working Live

This year’s Smarter Working Live ceremony will take place on Thursday, November 25.
The event celebrates innovation, collaboration and excellence within the public sector and recognises significant achievements made towards Smarter Working.

For more information and to submit an entry, click here.

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 ScamShare 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 doorstep scams and holiday 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.

Appeal from Victim Support Scotland Volunteer Recruitment campaign
As you may be aware, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a significant backlog of cases going to trial. Between now and September, we will see a phased re-opening of the Scottish courts. We urgently need talented people to join us to allow us to deliver our services across the entire country. 

Our volunteer recruitment campaign - ‘The world paused, crime hasn’t. Help us help victims of crime’ - launched earlier this month coinciding with Volunteers Week and will run until 31 August 2021.

To help VSS achieve its goal of recruiting 200 new volunteers we are asking for your help in reaching out to potential applicants.

We have created a resources toolkit where you can find:

* Sample media posts
* Campaign images to accompany these posts
* Brief newsletter copy. Please use or adapt this short copy on VSS’s volunteer recruitment campaign in any newsletters you issue

It would be appreciated if you could support us through sharing some of the messaging through your own channels. Any help can make a difference!


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.