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Please refer to our Community Testing web page for information on Covid testing sites in Alloa, Alva and Sauchie.

Cyber crime awareness 

Created 04/08/21

Since the start of the pandemic, there has been an increase in cyber crime and "phishing". When cyber criminals go phishing, you are the fish and the bait is usually contained in a scam email or text message.

The cyber criminal’s goal is to convince you to click on the links within their scam email or text message, or to give away sensitive information (such as bank details). Messages may look like the real thing but they are malicious. Once clicked, you may be sent to a dodgy website which could download viruses onto your computer, or steal your passwords.

If you thing you have received an email that is suspicious, please do not open it. You can forward it to the National Cyber Security Centre's Suspicious Email Reporting Service (SERS) at report@phishing.gov.uk

You can also find out more about SERS on the NCSC's website  https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/information/report-suspicious-emails .

Message from SLG - what the First Minister's statement means for you

Created 03/08/2021 

The First Minister announced today (Tuesday 3rd August) that most of the remaining Covid restrictions in Scotland will be lifted from 9th August and has advised a phased and gradual return to the office.  We would like to remind staff that the current working arrangements in place within each service will continue until at least September 2021. 

There has already been a small increase in the numbers of staff returning to the office on a rota/blended dependent on the requirement of individual services where necessary. Any staff member who may be returning should be assured that we are, and will continue to ensure, all COVID secure measures are in place. The safety of our staff is our main priority.  When you are advised that you can return to your workplace, please ensure that your line manager has familiarised you with any required COVID security measures. 

As a Council we will also be  looking at our longer term working practices as part of our Be the Future programme. This will include reviewing where, when and how work is undertaken and how we can become a more agile workforce. 

If you have any concerns or questions, we would ask that you speak to your line manager in the first instance. We also wanted to remind staff that our wellbeing pages on our website have a number of measures aimed at supporting all our staff at this time. We would encourage everyone to visit these pages or if you have any specific concerns/worries  please speak to your line manager, union representative or a member of our HR. 

We would like to thank you for your continued hard work and commitment. 

Nikki, Stuart, Lorraine, Fiona, Pete 
Senior Leadership Group
 

Meals @ The Gate

Created: 28/7/21

This is a new project aimed at over 65s living in Clackmannanshire who are struggling to prepare a meal for themselves or have recently been discharged from hospital. There is a cost involved in the service but The Gate will be offering a welfare check when delivering food. If there is no answer they will cascade back to next of kin, Social Work or police. Likewise if clients are unwell they will contact GPs etc.

This service runs Monday – Friday and meals are delivered chilled between 9.30-10.30 am.

The Gate Charity
t: 01259 218766
e: meals@the-gate-charity.org
w: www.the-gate-charity.org

Important IT Update 

Created: 27/07/21

IT have now resolved the fault which had prevented email and calendar updates on mobile devices. The issue had been caused by an electrical fault with computing hardware in the IT Server room. Additional IT equipment and licences which will enable greater resilience going forward has been purchased.

The Gate School Uniform Referrals

The annual school uniform bank run by The Gate has been extended until Friday 30 July. It operates from Alloa Town Hall and referrals can be made by the deadline of Wednesday 28th July at 4pm, using the single referral form or the multiple referral form and sent to the email address on the form.

Please refer to the article on Connect where the forms are available to download.

Kilncraigs Car Park Closure Reminder

Created: 23/07/21

A reminder that Kilncraigs car park remains closed to staff and members of the public over the summer months.  The front Kilncraigs car park is hosting construction compounds for contractors who will be on site during this time to carry out essential maintenance works to the Kilncraigs building. 

The restrictions are in place to ensure the safety of staff and members of the public while work is being carried out and a temporary one-way limited access car park service is available. The one-way system will be permitted for:

  • Construction Traffic
  • Deliveries
  • Council Vehicles
  • Disabled Persons Blue Badge Holders
  • Police
  • Public access to charging points in the front car park.

Limited access to car parking is available in the Kilncraigs rear car park and to those spaces along the South side of the front car park for staff.  However access to and from the rear car park is via a construction compound and we would advise that if you are using the rear car park, it will be at your own risk. 

Exiting from the rear car park is via the car park construction compound following the one-way system and not via Candleriggs Lane, except for police emergency use and for Council deliveries only with prior arrangement with Police.

Any cars parked within the Kilncraigs car parks during this period will be done at their owner’s risk.

Electric vehicle parking bays must only be used for charging electric vehicles.

Disabled parking bays must only be used by blue badge holders.

Some noise and disruption is expected at Kilncraigs during this time and your patience and understanding is much appreciated.

Kilncraigs continues to remain closed to members of the public as a result of the Covid pandemic.

Any concerns or enquiries should be emailed in the first instance to piproject@clacks.gov.uk.

Important IT Updates 

Created: 22/07/21

Email / Calendar on IOS and IPADS

An electrical fault with computing hardware in the IT Server room is preventing users receiving email and calendar updates on mobile devices.   

IT staff are currently working on this issue to restore the service.

New Icon for RSA SecurID

Please be aware that due to an Android / IOS update, some staff have experienced a change to the RSA token icon on their mobiles which allow them to log into Citrix to work remotely. The icon on some phones has now changed to a white cloud. This is not something that has been implemented by our IT Department and we would like to assure staff who have been affected that the token code will transfer automatically and the icon will continue to work the same as the previous version.

RSA Licence Expiry

Some staff who are working remotely will notice a message appearing on their mobiles advising them that their licence is about to expire. Our IT Team will be reaching out to those members of staff who are affected with a new token for them to update and ensure they remain connected. 

MS Teams Update

Created: 19/7/21

A milestone has now been reached in the Office 365 project. Any meeting invite initiated from MS Teams will now also be emailed to internal Lotus Notes Staff.

Staff no longer need to duplicate Meetings in both MS Teams and then in Lotus Notes as this will be done automatically.

e: it@clacks.gov.uk

Inspection/MOT programme, August

Created: 19/7/21

The inspection/MOT programme for August is available via Connect by following the link.

Navigation to folder: Connect home page -> Documents & Forms -> Service Areas -> Fleet Services

Latest message from SLG

Created: 16/7/21

The latest message from the SLG is available by following the link.

Kilncraigs Doors

Created: 15/7/21

When using the staff entrance at Kilncraigs, please use the inside glass door with the notice on it.  There is a fault with the other glass door that has been reported.

contactSCOTLAND-BSL: SG funded online British Sign Language (BSL) Interpreting Video Relay Service (VRS)

Created: 14/7/21

Want to learn more about contactSCOTLAND-BSL? There’s a live webinar being held every month, up to December 2021.
 
You probably have questions like: What is it? Can my service/business use it? Is it free? How can I make my service accessible?

contactSCOTLAND-BSL have set up a series of webinar-style information sessions to answer these and many more questions. Check out their webpage via the link below for more information and to book a place:

contactSCOTLAND-BSL is the Scottish Government’s funded national online British Sign Language (BSL) Interpreting Video Relay Service (VRS) – bridging the gap between BSL users and mainstream (hearing people) providers.
 
Should you have any questions or issues, please do get in touch with Andy Irvine, contactSCOTLAND-BSL Coordinator and Andrew Dewey, Sign Language Interactions (SLi) Director, who provides the online service on behalf of the Scottish Government.

Lindsay Thomson

Created: 6/7/21

Lindsay Thomson, Senior Manager Legal & Governance, has advised us that she will be leaving the Council.

She has been successful in securing the Head of Legal post at Fife Council. Lindsay's official leaving date is 31 August however taking into consideration annual leave, her last day is likely to be around the first week in August.  

I am sure we all wish Lindsay all the very best in her new role. We appreciate her significant contribution during her time at Clackmannanshire and I am sure we will miss her.

Stuart Crickmar
Strategic Director (Partnership & Performance)

Closure of Kilncraigs Carpark 

Created: 30/6/21

Kilncraigs car park will be closed to staff and members of the public from tomorrow (Thursday 1st July) to Monday 27th September 2021 in order to carry out essential maintenance work over the summer months.  

The closure will ensure the safety of staff and members of the public while work is being carried out. Staff will still be able to park in the rear car park at Kilncraigs throughout the duration of the work. However the rear car park will also be closed from 5pm tomorrow (1st July) until 5pm on Friday 2nd July. 

A temporary one-way limited access car park service will be available for staff using the rear car park from 5pm on Friday 2nd July.  Access to and from the rear car park is via the front car park one-way system and NOT Candleriggs Lane, except for Police emergency use and for Council deliveries only with prior arrangement with the Police.

Exiting from the rear car park is via the front car park construction compound.  Any cars parked within the Kilncraigs car parks during this period will be done at their owner's risk.  

Please remember: 

  • Electric vehicle parking bays must only be used for charging electric vehicles. 
  • Disabled parking bays must only be used by blue badge holders.
  • Kilncraigs remains closed to members of the public as a result of the Covid pandemic.

e: roads@clacks.gov.uk

Message from Senior Leadership Group - short term working arrangements

Created 29/6/21

The Covid-19 Pandemic has had a big impact on our staff and how they work. We currently have more staff than ever before working from home in line with Scottish Government guidance.

Over the last few weeks a group made up of staff from across the Council’s services and our Trade Union colleagues have been looking at the implications of  a partial return of some staff to offices and how this could be supported. Having reviewed and considered service need, individual staff needs and the recent announcements by the First Minister, the group agreed that, for now, and until September 2021 the current arrangements that are in place in each service should continue.

It was also recognised that some services have suggested there may be a requirement for  a small increase in the numbers of staff returning towards the end of June.  This would be on a  blended/rota  basis and discussions will be undertaken with staff in any areas where this is required.  Over the Summer we will also look at developing a system which will allow us to manage the return of staff in a control and safe manner.

The group also considered the return of those staff who had spoken to their managers about their personal need to return sooner and managers will liaise with those staff and agree a managed return where possible.

Any staff member who may be returning should be assured that we are, and will continue to ensure, all COVID secure measures are in place. The safety of our staff remains of paramount importance.  

As a Council we will also be  looking at our longer term working practices as part of our Be the Future programme. This will include reviewing where, when and how work is undertaken and how we can become a more agile workforce.

To start to inform the longer term changes, as well as getting an understanding of current working practices/proposed return we are looking to hear from you and would encourage you to fill out the short Future Ways of Working online survey via Citizen Space. Your responses will be anonymous and we are asking simply to understand the views of staff at this time.

If you have any concerns or questions, we would ask that you speak to your line manager in the first instance. We also wanted to remind staff that our wellbeing pages on our website have a number of measures aimed at supporting all our staff at this time. We would encourage everyone to visit these pages or if you have any specific concerns/worries  please speak to your line manager, union representative or a member of our HR.

We would like to thank you for your continued hard work and commitment.

Nikki, Lorraine, Fiona, Stuart and Pete
Senior Leadership Group

Summer of Wellbeing

Created: 21/6/21

Our Summer of Wellbeing programme has exciting free activities available for children, young people and families to try during the school holidays. Find out more on our Summer of Wellbeing page.

Additional Summer Activities

Created: 21/6/21

Our Summer Ski School programme at Firpark and CR Cats Canoe Club summer programme are additional summer activities which are available at a charge. Please refer to our Additional Summer Activities page for details.

Message of thanks from Chief Executive over Council's improved performance

Created: 18/6/21

Dear Colleagues

This week, the Audit Committee heard that our performance as a Council had improved substantially across a range of measures in the 2019/20 financial year.

Our overall ranking went from 27th to 16th place out of the 32 Scottish local authorities in the latest Local Government Benchmarking Framework report.

As a small local authority, the need for efficiency is a greater priority for us than some larger local authorities. Within one financial year – 2017/18 to 2019/20 – we have gone from 9th strongest local authority for efficiency to being the 2nd most efficient local authority. This is a fantastic achievement.

We may be Scotland’s smallest local authority but we are certainly punching well above our weight! However none of this would have been achieved without the hard work of our incredibly dedicated staff and I would like to thank you for your continued efforts to go above and beyond for the communities we serve.

In the report, we also achieved the best results in Scotland for:

  • B class road condition
  • Rent loss due to empty properties
  • Early years & Adult care inspections
  • School exclusions
  • Costs for Looked After Children (residential),
  • Older people’s homecare costs
  • Council tax collection costs

When taking into account efficiency, effectiveness and satisfaction, we were best in Scotland for overall performance across a range of indicators in:

  • Development Services
  • Older People’s Care

But we know that improvements still need to be made. The last year and a half has been difficult for all of us both personally and professionally. Not only have we had to adapt to new ways of working, we have seen our workloads increase due to the Covid-19 pandemic which has put a strain on our already stretched resources.

Despite this, every day I see Services striving to ensure they continue to provide the very best service not only for the most vulnerable people in Clackmannanshire but our communities as a whole.

Work is underway to review a number of areas where improvements are required; including consideration of a strategy which prioritises performance levels across services to ensure investment is directed towards approved priority areas.

As we look ahead, we are beginning to take forward innovative and exciting projects which are part of our Be the Future programme. Over the past two years, we have been working at pace on the strategic roadmap for Be the Future and next week, councillors will hear about the progress that has been made. It will transform the way we work and how we deliver services to our communities.

There are still challenges ahead but I am encouraged and proud of the progress we have made together as a Council through the most difficult time we have ever experienced and I know we will continue to build on this by working together.

You can read the full report on the Local Government Benchmarking Framework here.

Best wishes 

Nikki Bridle

Cascade Message from Health and Safety Team

Created: 11/6/21

Occupational Health

All possible clinical resource nationally has been requisitioned to the vaccination programme.  This means that we do not currently have the flexibility in our Occupational Health resource as we would normally have.  We have also seen a large increase in the number of referrals submitted over the last few weeks.  We are working with OH to prioritise these to get everyone seen as quickly as possible, but please bear with us as this will likely take longer than normal.  If you have specific concerns about an individual case, please speak to your HR Business Partner.

Covid Compliance

We understand that everyone is busy and that people are becoming weary, but it is now more important than ever that we all follow the covid measures which have been put in place to keep us safe.  There is no exemption to these for people who have been vaccinated or who have had covid previously as you can still catch, pass on and become ill with covid.  It is your responsibility as a line manager to ensure that your team comply with the measures agreed.  Anyone consistently failing to abide by these rules could face disciplinary action and breach of specified safety rules can be considered as gross misconduct.

It is also essential that covid incident forms are completed and returned promptly to emergencyplanning@clacks.gov.uk.  These should be submitted whenever a member of staff or service user/pupil is going for a test, is self isolating as a close contact or is self isolating because a household member is showing symptoms/awaiting a test.  We have to submit information to our colleagues in Public Health on a daily basis and it is important that this information is as accurate as possible so that we can deal with any issues before they become more widespread.

Clackmannanshire currently has the highest rate of infection in Scotland and numbers are only increasing at present so vigilance is key.

Lighting works in Kilncraigs

There are some works being carried out on the emergency lighting in Kilncraigs over the next couple of weeks.  All routes will remain accessible, but please ask all staff to take care as they pass these works.

Electric vehicle charging points, Kilncraigs

Created: 11/6/21

Staff are reminded that the electric vehicle charging points at Kilncraigs should only be used if the vehicle is to be charged. These charging points are available for public use and council vehicles that are not being charged are blocking public access.

Council and Committee dates and deadlines

Created: 7/6/21

Council and Committee dates and deadlines from August 2021 to June 2022 are available on Connect.

The programme of Council and Committee Meetings is also available on the Council's website.

Police integration project update

Created: 28/5/21

Mail Services

As part of the Alloa police integration project, mail services are being relocated from Kilncraigs to Kelliebank from Monday 31st May 2021. 

The mail room and adjoining office will no longer be accessible to Council staff and will be for the exclusive use of Police Scotland from Tuesday 1st June 2021. If you have any queries or questions please contact Andy Buchanan, Team Leader Business Improvement on 225169.

Road Safety Improvements

A new one-way system is in place around the front, public Kilncraigs car park to improve road safety for all Kilncraigs users.  

All parking spaces on Candleriggs Lane have been removed.  Access to and from the rear car park via Candleriggs Lane is strictly prohibitied, except in police emergency use only and for Council deliveries with prior arrangements with Police, with immediate effect.

Service Moves

Other changes which have taken place include: 

  • Housing staff have moved from the first floor to the second floor of the 1936 building.  They will be taking over areas vacated by Human Resources and Finance.
  • Finance staff have moved to the desks immediately behind Revenue Services overlooking the cemetery.  These desks have been vacated by Health and Safety.
  • Human Resources and Health and Safety will move onto the fifth floor in July.
  • The remaining few Partnership and Transformation staff on the first floor have been relocated across the 1904 building.

Access to existing kitchen and toilet facilities on the first floor of 1936 building are no longer available to Council staff – these are for exclusive use of Alloa Police services and its visitors. Alternative kitchen facilities are available on the mezzanine floor and second floor, with toilet facilities and a water cooler available on the first floor of the 1904 building.

Connected, Issue 13, May 2021

Created: 17/5/21

The latest edition of Connected is available via this page and Connect.

Temporary change to storage of confidential waste

Created: 14/5/21

The confidential waste storage that used to sit in the Kilncraigs front car park has been relocated to Kelliebank. Confidential waste generated within Kilncraigs will temporarily be stored in one of the glass offices in the atrium then taken down to Kelliebank twice per week. Access into this temporary storage area is controlled by mail room staff. 

Please contact mail room staff for confidential waste bags and all queries regarding confidential waste at mailservices@clacks.gov.uk.

Managers' Briefing - important reminders

Created: 5/5/21

Shielding staff

All staff who are on the official shielding list should have received a letter from the Chief Medical Officer in the last couple of weeks to confirm advice for them.  In most cases they should be able to return to the workplace, although the default for all staff is still to work from home where possible.  All these staff should have an individual risk assessment, and it will only need updated if there has been a change in the employee's health or the work they are expected to undertake.

Meeting rooms

All meeting rooms have signage showing the number of people who can safely be in the space.  This is also available on the booking system when you are booking a room.  Please ensure that these are adhered to.  The small rooms on the 3rd floor should only be used by one individual at a time.  Please also ensure that you clean down any meeting space after every use.

Vaccinations

Staff should email hands@clacks.gov.uk to confirm when they have had their Covid vaccinations. Remember that the vaccination may offer you some protection, but you will still be able to carry the virus to others, so you must continue to follow the full FACTS guidance.

Covid Testing

Lateral Flow Testing is now available to all members of the community. You should not use this route if you already have access to testing through your workplace (eg Education and Social Care staff).  Please note the following important points:

  • LFD Testing can only be used when you do not have symptoms. If you have symptoms, you should request book a PCR test via NHS Inform.
  • A negative LFD test is not a guarantee that you do not have Covid.  You must continue to follow the full FACTS guidance at all times.
DSE Assessments

All staff who are working from home should have completed a DSE Self Assessment form, even if they are doing this as part of a blended approach.  Managers are responsible for ensuring that all employees have the equipment they need to work from home safely.  A copy of each assessment should be sent to hands@clacks.gov.uk.

Staff numbers in the workplace

Finally, a reminder that there should be no increase in services and/or numbers attending the workplace without a plan being agreed by SLG. The expectation is that most staff will remain working from home until at least the end of June.

Staff encouraged to "roll up their sleeves" for vaccine campaign 

Created: 27/4/21

Many of our staff have already received their first and second doses of the vaccine and over the coming weeks, more will be offered the vaccine as NHS Forth Valley focuses on the 45-49-year-old age group.

While the vaccine is not mandatory, NHS Scotland strongly recommends that you get the vaccine as soon as it is offered.

When you are invited for your vaccine, you will be able to take time off, if required, to travel to and from the vaccine centre.

You should follow the guidance offered post-vaccination by the vaccination teams and any other medical advice.

You will find more information about the vaccine on NHS Inform’s website https://www.nhsinform.scot/covid-19-vaccine and we would encourage you to go on to the website and familiarise yourself with all the information available.  

If you have any concerns or questions, please do not hesitate to contact your manager in the first instance.

Message from SLG - Staff should continue to work from home where possible

Created: 22/4/21

Please refer to our SLG Messages page for details.

Mandatory training

Created: 20/4/21

From Wednesday 21 April all staff will be able to access the 2021/22 suite of mandatory training.

Mandatory training is the minimum standard of training expected for all staff at Clackmannanshire Council, and covers topics such as equality and diversity, data protection, and health and safety. It’s important that you complete this training every year. Even if it’s just a refresher, it is a crucial part of keeping you informed, healthy, and safe at your place of work.

Our mandatory training courses are designed to be quick, and give you the information you need to know. The table below outlines the length of time each course should take to complete:

  • An introduction to GDPR - 20mins
  • DSE - 10 mins
  • Equality & Diversity - 15mins
  • Fire Safety Awareness - 20mins
  • Introduction to Information Security - 20mins
  • Prevent - 10mins
  • Run, Hide, Tell - 10mins

Following recent feedback we have extended the period of time given to staff to complete mandatory training. This year, there will be a 12 week window where all staff should complete their online training. The deadline for completion is the 20th July 2021. In order to simplify the process for completion, we would urge managers to allocate staff time to complete this training.

Staff can access all mandatory training via the Clacks Academy portal. You can find out more about Clacks Academy via our Connect page. Remember, the Academy is not just for those using Council IT systems, please follow the link to the portal.

If you are having trouble accessing the Clacks Academy, or have any questions about mandatory training, please email training@clacks.gov.uk.

Warning over scam targeting care home staff and residents

Created: 16/4/21

We have been made aware of a scam which is apparently targeting care home staff and residents - and possibly others - being asked to provide details in response to the "UK Government offering staff and residents £500". Scottish Care is currently alerting its members and we would ask that you remain vigilant.

Health and social care staff on the frontline throughout the Covid pandemic have been offered a one-off £500 pro rata payment by the Scottish Government. You can find more details about this on our Social Services updates page.

Staff Survey results - message from SLG

Created: 15/4/21

The Staff Engagement Survey took place in November 2020 as part of our commitment to carry out regular reviews of staff views and opinions.

The survey, which was anonymous, focused on three areas:

  • wellbeing
  • communication
  • homeworking

We want firstly to thank all those staff that took the time to complete the survey.  It was really positive to see that staff engagement had improved on the previous year’s survey and that over 80% of those responding were aware of the Council’s vision and values.

Feedback was positive when it came to staff feeling a sense of achievement for the work they are undertaking, being treated with dignity and respect, making decisions, and receiving support from managers. At least three quarters of staff responding to the survey had a positive view on these areas.

However we also have to recognise that  the survey picked up that improvement is needed in some areas such as staff feeling supported and better  information sharing.

The survey also highlighted that mental wellbeing of staff continues to be an area of focus for us, whilst 50% responded noted their mental health as being  good or very good, a similar amount described their wellbeing and mental health as ‘fair’ or ‘poor’.   

Staff also had the opportunity to provide feedback and a range of comments were also received which focus on how the Council could further support working from home, as well as more generally in relation to such topics such as access to technology, communication, and improving wellbeing.

As we continue to follow the Scottish Government timetable for easing restrictions and gradually move out of lockdown, the results of the survey and the feedback from staff on their experiences of remote working and wellbeing during lockdown will help inform any arrangements we put in place.

SMT are already taking forward some work on work styles and needs and will be engaging with staff and unions as this progresses. Local circumstances around cases will also still have to be factored in to any plans. The main thing is that we don’t just return to everything the way it was, and take stock of our changing lives and circumstances, as well as the changing needs of the communities we serve.

In the meantime, we will still follow all guidance and health and safety measures to ensure that staff remain safe and our buildings remain Covid secure.

A survey working group, which will include our trade union colleagues, will be set up to consider the findings of the survey and the comments received and outputs will feed in to our ongoing Workforce Programme.

You can find a link to the full results of the survey in the Council paper of 22 April.

Best wishes

Nikki, Lorraine, Stuart, Pete and Fiona

HR & Payroll Deadlines 2021/22

Created: 1/4/21

The HR and Payroll deadlines for 2021/22 are available via Connect.

(Connect navigation: Home page -> Documents & Forms -> Service Areas -> Payroll -> HR & Payroll Deadlines 2021/22)

e: payroll@clacks.gov.uk

New Accident reporting system

Created: 1/4/21

From 1st April we will be moving to a new way of reporting accidents, near misses and violence and aggression. This is the first step in a wider transformation of all our Health & Safety processes.

Any employee will be able to access the mobile portal from any web enabled device or using the mobile app.

There are 5 types of submissions which can be made:

  • Hazards
    • Use when you spot something which could cause harm, but there hasn't been an incident which has brought it to light.
  • Near Miss
    • Use when something happens which could have caused harm, but didn't on this occasion.
  • First Aid
    • Use to report occasions where first aid has been required but there was no real incident, so where a member of the public has taken unwell, or a school pupil has tripped over their shoelaces.
  • Incident/Accident
    • Use where someone or something has been harmed as a result of something happening.
  • Violence/Aggression
    • Use when there is verbal abuse, threatening behaviour or a physical attack on someone.

These replace the paper forms currently in use. If you have any questions about the new system, please contact the H&S team on x2225.

2021/22 Post Budget Cascade

Created: 31/3/21

The 2021/22 Post Budget Cascade from Lindsay Sim, Chief Finance Officer is available via the link given.

Living Wage

Created: 31/3/21

Consolidation of the Scottish Government Living Wage - Joint Statement Council and Trade Unions

As staff will recall, over a number of months, senior officers and Trade Unions have been consulting on the consolidation of the Living Wage into our pay structure.  Our discussions have focused on the proposal that:

  • Grade 1 would become the Scottish Living Wage
  • Grade 2 would be uplifted and become a single salary point ie spinal point 22 (Currently £9.90)
  • Grade 3 would become a single point and be fixed at the current maximum spinal point of the grade ie spinal point 24 (Currently £10.19)

We are pleased to advise that following positive and constructive engagement we have reached agreement on the proposal and this will take effect from 01 April 2021. Our payroll and HR sections will now work on updating their systems to ensure these changes are reflected in the April salary payment.

In addition, as staff may be aware, negotiations are taking place, at a National Level, on the proposed pay award for 2021/2022. As these discussions are ongoing we are aware that the Real Living Wage has been increased to £9.50.

We are pleased to advise that the Senior Leadership Group have agreed, that from 01 April 2021 they will uplift Grade 1 to £9.50 to reflect this change. Any changes to the Scottish Local Government Living Wage will be reflected/backdated when pay negotiations for this year are concluded.

Our new salary scales (pay award pending) are available via Connect.

(Connect navigation: Home page -> Documents & Forms -> HR folder -> Benefits & Allowances -> Salary Scales 2018-21)

Should staff have any queries on the consolidation of the living wage they should contact their HR Business Partner or Trade Union representative.

e: humanresources@clacks.gov.uk

Complaints Handling Procedure changes

Created: 31/3/21

There will be some changes to our complaints handling procedure (CHP) from 1st April. This is to ensure that we continue to comply with the Model CHP provided by the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (SPSO).

What is changing?

Most of the process is the same as before, with the following more significant changes:

  • All services are now subject to the same timescales at stage 1 (frontline response), so the extension period for Social Services has reduced from 10 days to 5;
  • When we can reach agreement with the customer on what action (if any) will be taken to provide full and final resolution, a complaint can be recorded as “resolved”, without deciding whether the complaint is upheld or not upheld.   
  • The points of complaint and outcome sought must be agreed with the complainant at the start of stage 2 (investigation).
  • There is now a time limit for customers who wish to escalate their complaint to stage 2. They must request this either within six months from when they first knew of the problem; or within two months from receiving the stage 1 response (if this is later).
  • We must share relevant parts of a complaint and response with any staff members complained about.
  • Where a complaint is brought by an MP/MSP, we must handle it in line with the CHP and avoid operating a two-tier system.

A short video explaining the changes has been posted on Clacks Academy via Connect, under Improving Customer Service, Customer Service Microlearn courses. It can also be found on YouTube.

New guides for staff and customers are available to refer to.

Coronavirus (Covid-19) - £500 payment for health and social care staff 

Created: 16/3/21

The Scottish Government announced on 30 November 2020 a one-off £500 pro rata payment for health and social care staff on the frontline throughout the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.  

It is a thank you to staff employed in adult social care and children’s residential care. Scottish Government Ministers wish to recognise the extraordinary effort that health and social care staff have made during the pandemic. 

Further information on the payment is available via our Social Services Updates page.

Renewal of GDPR Drivercheck form – Fleet Services

Created: 11/3/21

It's 3 years since the introduction of GDPR, the EU legislation for data protection, when all drivers had to complete the new D906 fair processing form.

All drivers using council vehicles will now be required to extend permission held by Fleet to check their licence status for a further 3 years.

Fleet Services are required by law to check all authorised drivers’ licences, therefore, a GDPR form will be emailed to staff for completion one month prior to the expiry date of the current permission date. 

For staff with no access to email, a form will be sent to their line manager to arrange completion. All completed forms should be returned to Fleet Services.

If you have any queries regarding this process, please contact Janice Manson (X 6929) or Kevin Philliben (X 6936).

Fleet Services Fuel Card

Created: 4/3/21

Pool and other petrol vehicle users requiring petrol should report to Fleet Services between 8am and 3.30pm, Monday to Thursday and 8am to 12 noon on a Friday.

A Fuel card will be issued for use at a local petrol station eg Tesco, and returned to Fleet Services with the receipt.

Users require to provide the mileage and vehicle registration when refuelling. 

This is a short term arrangement during Covid and further details regarding Fuel cards will be advised in due course.

If you have any queries regarding this, please contact Janice Manson (extn 6929) or Kevin Philliben (extn 6936).

Staff reminder to continue to follow Covid guidance

Created: 4/3/21

Over the next few months we are looking at services increasing/reopening as national guidance allows us to do more. This will be the first time that this has happened since the new variants of Covid-19 have been in place, so it is very important that we ensure that all measures which have been put in place are reinforced to keep us all safe.  

The main method of keeping people safe is to keep as much distance as possible between people - we recognise that in some cases this is not always possible, but we should still strive to do this as much as possible.  

Where people do need to be closer it is important to keep the numbers mixing as low as possible. Outside the risk is lower, but there is still a need to maintain distance between people.

The other main mitigation will be self isolation of those who are symptomatic or who have tested positive to prevent further spread. For those members of staff who are part of the LFD testing regime, this does not do away with the need to self isolate and get and NHS test if they start to show symptoms.  In either type of test, a negative test only proves that the person did not have it in their system at the time they were tested - people still need to follow the other measures in place.

Vaccinations will also help prevent serious illness, however, again this does not mean that all other measures can be ignored. Remember that staff should be emailing hands@clacks.gov.uk to advise of their appointment dates.

Beyond this the FACTS guidance should be followed:

  • Face coverings 
    • but these only work where they cover both nose and mouth.  Reusable coverings should be washed daily.
  • Avoid crowded places
    • think about when you visit places such as supermarkets.
  • Clean hands
    • with soap and water is best, but use hand sanitiser in situations where you can't.
  • Two meters
    • this is a minimum, not a target to aim for.
  • Self isolate
    • this means not leaving the house except for medical appointments such as a test.

If we all follow this guidance, the end of these restrictions will come sooner as cases numbers will drop.

Home working and Data Protection obligations

Created: 24/2/21

With many staff continuing to work from home, we would like to remind staff again about our Data Protection obligations in all areas of our work. Please follow the link to our Working from Home section.

Employee Change of Bank Details 

Created: 09/2/21

We have a strict process to follow when employees wish to change their bank account details. To minimise the risk of fraud, we do not accept emails or phone calls regarding changes.

The two ways you can change your bank details are:

  • through iTrent Employee Self Service.
  • in person at Kilncraigs with photo ID. However please note that due to Covid restrictions, you will have to contact payroll beforehand to arrange a time to come in and make the changes. 

Lateral flow testing

Created: 04/2/21

A number of staff groups are starting to fall within the Scottish Government's programme of Lateral Flow Testing for Coronavirus and more are likely to follow in the coming weeks and months.  

Please see below important information that our colleagues in NHS Forth Valley's Public Health Team have asked us to share regarding these tests.

7 key messages about Asymptomatic (no symptoms) Covid-19 Lateral Flow Tests (LFTs) rapid testing: 

  1. Some people who spread COVID-19 may have no symptoms.
  2. Testing people who have no symptoms with rapid Lateral Flow Tests (LFTs) can identify many of these people.
  3. Testing only detects some (not all) of those infectious at that moment in time. A person may test negative but become positive and infectious a couple of hours later.
  4. Everyone should act as if they are infectious by strictly observing face protection, 2-metre social distancing, hand and other cleaning and always remember to adhere to Government FACTS advice at all times, even in breaks and after work.
  5.  Anyone with a new cough, fever, loss of smell or loss of taste must seek Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) laboratory testing and they and their household should self-isolate whilst waiting for the PCR results even if they have an LFT and it is negative.
  6. Testing is an additional layer in protecting ourselves and others. Encouraging Vaccination, observing FACTS and staying at home unless essential to go out are everyone’s responsibility.
  7. People who have been vaccinated may still be able to transmit Covid-19 and therefore they should participate in LFD testing if this is available to them.

Staff vaccinations

Created:20/01/21

Some of our staff are included in the groups who are receiving their vaccination.  In order that we have an accurate picture across Council services, if you are in one of those groups please can you email hands@clacks.gov.uk to confirm the date of vaccination and the date you are due to get your second dose.  This will be recorded on iTrent.

We would also ask all staff to ensure that their contact details on iTrent are up to date. There have been situations where we have had to provide lists of staff to take up vaccine supplies at short notice which may otherwise have gone to waste and in this case. For this to be effective, we will need to contact staff so it is important that all contact details are correct on iTrent.  This is also important to allow effective track and trace should any positive cases be identified in any of our workplaces.  

Thank you for your ongoing co-operation.

Changes to period of self-isolation 

Created: 11/12/20

The Scottish Government announced today (Friday) that they will be reducing the period of self-isolation for people who have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for Covid-19.

From Monday 14th December the self-isolation period will be 10 days instead of the current 14 days. This also applies to people who are returning home from overseas or arriving in the country.

The change has been made following a review of the latest evidence and discussions between the 4 UK Chief Medical Officers.  

From Monday (14 December):

  • anyone who has been contacted through Test and Protect – including by the Protect Scotland app – or their Local Health Board and have been notified to self-isolate, should do so for 10 days.
  • anyone who is required to quarantine following arrival into Scotland from overseas, should self-isolate for a period of 10 days.
  • anyone who was previously instructed to self-isolate will, from 14 December, be able to stop self-isolating ten days from when they were first notified to do so.

You can find out more information on the Scottish Government website. If you have any further queries or concerns, please contact your direct line manager in the first instance.

The Scottish Government website contains further information on how contact tracing works and on international travel and quarantine rules.

Covid responsibilities

Created: 30/11/20

A reminder to staff about expectations in relation to Coronavirus is available by following the link. 

Phones

Created: 2/11/20

For instructions on how to set up your phone at home, please refer to the setting up your equipment page.

Clacks Guest Wi-Fi access

Created: 30/9/20

A guest access Wi-Fi system is operational at Kilncraigs and we are working our way through other locations. The Clacks Guest internet service is only intended for providing guest internet access on the personal devices of council staff, guests and external users.

For more information, please refer to the Connect Clacks Guest article dated 14 August 2020. If the link doesn't work for you, please visit Connect -> Home -> Announcements -> Clacks Guest Wi-Fi update.

e: it@clacks.gov.uk

Visitors to council buildings: Test and Protect contact tracing

Created: 1/9/20

We have developed a QR code for each facility to ensure compliance with Test and Protect information for contact tracing.

Visitors should scan the QR code with their phone and fill in the requested details - name, home postcode and contact number this is then automatically transferred to a centralised database should we require the information. All details are automatically deleted after 21 days.

If any of your visitors do not have a phone please take a note of their name, home postcode and contact number and email this to emergencyplanning@clacks.gov.uk on the same day they were in your facility and we will manually add to the database.

Visitors who are just coming into a facility to pay a bill or drop something off do not require to give us this information however if they are coming in to meet with someone, browse library books, or are in the building for 10 minutes or more they should leave their details.

Staff do not need to use this we have their details on the Paxton swipe system.

Due to the quick turnaround on this, paper copies will go to reception areas in the first instance until we receive the delivery of the wipeable plastic signs.

All QR codes have been tested all are working. Any queries or further information please call Karen Kirkwood on X 2537.