Coronavirus Update - Dundee City Council

Published

18th June 2020

As of Wednesday June 17:

Further development of biodiversity is being proposed for some green spaces across Dundee following suggestions from communities to enhance open areas.

Dundee City Council welcomes funding announcement on summer free school meals arrangements

Progress on the number of Dundee school leavers sustaining positive destinations has been welcomed by senior councillors.

Further development of biodiversity is being proposed for some green spaces across Dundee following suggestions from communities to enhance open areas.

As grounds maintenance services resume following the easing of lockdown restrictions, the council is seeking to work with the public on plans to create naturalised spaces that would encourage wildlife.

In line with the council’s Biodiversity Plan, this would reduce the amount of herbicide use and grass cutting across the city.

Changes to these services would not affect playpark spaces, sports areas, cemeteries or other high priority locations like communal spaces at housing, but would allow for limited parts of some public parks to be developed as biodiversity areas.

Councillor Anne Rendall, Neighbourhood Services Convener, said: “I’m pleased to report that the first phase of our resumed grounds maintenance – which included places such as cemeteries and sheltered housing areas - is ahead of schedule.

“We have now started phase two as of Monday (15th June), with the focus on parks, open spaces and housing areas.

“It is important that we safely resume this work across the city following the restrictions imposed in response to the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

“At the same time, there are opportunities – in the right areas and with the community’s support – to embrace how nature has restored itself in recent weeks, in line with our biodiversity ambitions.

“We’ve received correspondence from people who want to see the further development of biodiversity and naturalised areas, and we want to engage further with communities to develop this.”

Meanwhile, the city council is welcoming the Scottish Government announcement of funding to continue free school meal arrangements across the city over the summer.

Since April, a direct weekly payment of £11.25 per child has be made into the accounts of families who qualify in Dundee.
Over 6,000 children are covered by the scheme.

City council officers are now looking at the detail of the Scottish Government's announcement and will issue details to families soon about how payments will continue.

Finally, progress on the number of Dundee school leavers sustaining positive destinations has been welcomed by senior councillors.

They also stress that the strong local partnerships to support pupils will be needed more than ever to help deal with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

The latest statistics confirm a ten year high for the number of former city pupils who were attending college or university, or were in work or training, nine months after they had left school. Scottish Government figures show that 91.7% of 2018-19 Dundee school leavers remained in a positive destination, a rise from 89.8% in 2017-18.

City council children and families service convener Councillor Stewart Hunter said: “Continued diversification of the curriculum by schools, including greater diversity of senior phase options in vocational learning, continues to support such improvement.

“There has also been a rise in the numbers of leavers from the most deprived parts of the city who are achieving this, which is great news.

City development convener Councillor Alan Ross added: “I am impressed by the way that Skills Development Scotland, employability agencies and bodies like Dundee & Angus College come together to encourage our pupils to find the best pathway for them when they leave school.

“Obviously, the coronavirus crisis is presenting significant challenges for our young people, but I am heartened by the commitment of all those involved in providing continued expert assistance.”

As of Tuesday June 16:

• A new fund aimed at supporting B&B and small serviced accommodation providers operating with only a personal or joint bank account has been launched; and

• information to help families on our planning process for a return to schools is now available on the council’s website.

The B&B hardship fund will make a one-off payment of £3000 to people who meet all of the eligibility criteria including having membership, accreditation, registration or a simple listing with a recognised hospitality or tourism agency, representative body or marketing organisation before March 2020; making at least 35% of individual income from the affected business; having trading profits below £50,000 in financial year 2019-2020 and not being in receipt of any other COVID-19 related business grant support.

Anyone who thinks they may qualify in Dundee should visit http://my.dundeecity.gov.uk/service/Hardship_fund_for_B_B to check their eligibility criteria and fill in the application form.

Frequently asked questions from parents and carers about the council’s planning process for returning to schools and nurseries in August have been posted on the website. More details are at: https://www.dundeecity.gov.uk/sites/default/files/20200615_parent_faqs_for_school_return_.pdf

A full list of council services affected by Coronavirus can be found on the Dundee City Council website.

 

Dundee City Council

Dundee draws skilled workers from a 60-minute catchment population of 640,000 and has a local population of over 140,000. The availability of a large pool of highly skilled labour is a key feature in the Dundee economy. Flexibility in the labour force is currently more prevalent in Dundee than in Scotland as a whole. All forms of labour market flexibility - part-time, temporary employment, self-employment and shift work - are widely operational within the city. Labour force stability in the city is excellent, enabling companies to plan with confidence. Labour turnover levels are less than 5% and absenteeism averages 2%.

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