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2/6/20

National Entitlement Cards

Following the temporary suspension of card production, and in line with safe physical distancing measures, limited card production for National Entitlement Cards has started again from Monday 1 June.

Applying for a renewal or replacement

We are now accepting requests for renewals and replacements for lost, stolen or broken cards. Priority is being given to those in the over 60s and disabled person’s Concessionary Travel Schemes.

Applications for new cards are still not being accepted at present.

For more information see Transport Scotland’s website.

29/5/20

A message from the Leader of the Council

While the coronavirus situation remains very serious, the Scottish Government’s publication of the route map setting out a phased approach to easing lockdown restrictions while still suppressing the virus is very welcome.

We’re already seeing the first changes taking place, with Phase One about to begin, which includes changes like increased opportunities for physical activity and the re-opening of places like recycling centres.  If you haven’t already looked at the route map, I’d recommend looking at it online to get a clear idea of the next steps for our communities.

The Council is still focussing on delivering essential services to our most vulnerable residents, and this work continues thanks to the hard work and dedication of Council staff.  At the same time we’re working towards the recovery phase of this pandemic, and as national advice develops, we are able to re-introduce some services. This includes Forthbank recycling centre which will be re-opening on Monday 1 June, with a system of pre-booking to ensure everyone’s safety. 

Our teachers and Education staff have been working very hard to provide fantastic online learning opportunities for our young people and also providing education hubs for the children of essential key workers.  With recent national announcements, we are now working towards the phased return of pupils to schools in August. 

Pupils will be supported to progress their learning through a “blended” approach which will involve in-school learning, online learning and making use of other resources provided by schools and Early Years establishments.  We’ll be keeping in touch with parents and carers as this work progresses, so please keep an eye out for the latest news and developments.

Next week is Volunteers Week, and a chance for everyone to say thank you to all those people in Clackmannanshire who do so much to support our communities.  Our county has always reached out and helped those experiencing hard times, but this pandemic has seen so many people step forward and help out vulnerable people that we have all been in awe of these selfless and generous people.

At a time when we can sometimes experience negative feelings, seeing just how far our fellow citizens are going to help others is an amazing and positive example to us all. CTSi is organising a number of events to mark Volunteers Week in Clackmannanshire - check out their social media to see how you can get involved.

Please remember that support is available for anyone to stay safe and well during this ever changing situation. Advice on how to access the available support is on our website. 

As restrictions on our daily lives are beginning to ease, it’s really important that we continue to follow the Scottish Government advice to ensure that this progress can continue.  If we all do our bit and follow the regulations, we’re protecting ourselves, our families and our communities so that we can look forward to seeing each other again and enjoying good times together. 


Cllr Ellen Forson, Leader of Clackmannanshire Council

29/5/20

Forthbank Recycling Centre re-opening

Forthbank Recycling Centre will be re-opening on Monday 1 June using an online booking system.

Please visit our Re-opening of Forthbank Recycling Centre web page for full details. Our press release is also available to refer to.

To avoid disappointment, please make sure you have carefully read all the instructions before you arrive for your appointment.

21/05/20

Council welcomes First Ministers announcement on reopening schools

The First Minister’s announcement today (Thursday) about the reopening of schools and Early Years establishments in August has been welcomed by Clackmannanshire Council’s Education Service.

Plans by the Service’s leadership team for the safe return of pupils and staff are already well advanced.

In line with Nicola Sturgeon’s announcement, teaching and other education staff in Clackmannanshire will be able to return to work in June to prepare for the start of the new term on 11th of August.

However the return of pupils and staff will take a phased approach and risk assessments will be a crucial part of the work carried out in each education and early years establishment before this takes place. All guidance issued by the Scottish Government will be followed.

When schools in Clackmannanshire do reopen, pupils will be supported to progress their learning through a “blended” approach which will involve in-school learning, online learning and making use of other resources provided by schools and Early Years establishments.

Schools and Early Years establishments will share information about their learning approach and support via their website or social media channels.

Cllr Graham Lindsay, the Council’s Education Convener, said:

"This has been unprecedented times and our staff have been working exceptionally hard in very difficult circumstances to ensure that our young people in Clackmannanshire are continuing to progress in their education despite the circumstances.

"The safety and wellbeing of our staff and pupils remains a priority for us. We have already been working on how we can maintain this when education and early years establishments are allowed to reopen so the First Minister’s statement today means we are in a good place to reopen establishments from 11 August.

"As our plans progress, we will continue to work in partnership with parents, children and young people as well as our partners. We appreciate the support and patience we have received from parents and carers as we work through the various challenges we have had to face."

Parents, carers and pupils are reminded to regularly check FLIPClacks at https://flipclacks.org/  or Clackmannanshire Council’s own website https://www.clacks.gov.uk/social/coronavirus4/ for the latest updates.

You can read the Scottish Government's Strategic Framework for reopening schools, early learning and childcare provision here.

21/5/20

Fair Start

The Council continues to deliver the Fair Start Scotland service.  Although not able to offer support face-to-face at the moment, our staff are available to help you on a one-to-one basis over the telephone and by email.  Contact us on 01259 226699 or at cworks@clacks.gov.uk.

19/5/20

Help finding work

Clackmannanshire Works, the Council's employability service, continues to provide support to local residents who need help with finding work. 

If you live in Clackmannanshire and are aged between 16 and 67, please contact us for support and advice.

Tel:  01259 226699
Email:  cworks@clacks.gov.uk

15/5/20

A message from the Leader of the Council

Life in lockdown continues to be extremely challenging for us all. But extreme circumstances often bring out the best in people, and that is what I am seeing every day.

This situation has meant significant changes to how the Council works. Many of our staff, particularly in the care sector, are in the frontline. Many other staff are working from home, often with their children to look after and home school. Some are having to self isolate or are on the shielding list, and social distancing applies to everyone. Employees from less critical services have been redeployed to support the delivery of our vital, frontline services, while we are also working closer than ever with the third sector.

The voluntary sector is playing a key role in supporting vulnerable people in our communities. And in addition, people are looking out for their neighbours to help ensure that isolating doesn’t mean isolated. This community spirit is something we can all be proud of.

I want to remind everyone that support is available to help them stay safe and well, and that also goes for anyone experiencing hardship or financial difficulties – perhaps your circumstances have changed as the weeks go by – there is help at hand. Advice on how to access the available support is on our website.

There has been a lot of talk in the media about relaxing the lockdown and I think it has been hard for us all to hear that there is no immediate end to the restrictions. I think the best thing we can all continue to do during the Covid-19 crisis is follow government advice – and that means staying at home.

While this can be difficult, I’m but proud our staff have been able to keep collecting all our bins, we have relaunched bulky uplifts and are working to ensure that when the national advice changes and we are able to re-open Forthbank Recycling Centre we can do this in a controlled and safe way.

And we are also making plans to re-start grass cutting in our cemeteries, subject to requirements for staff and equipment. I would like to thank our residents for their patience during this unprecedented situation.

I also welcomed the announcement that we can go outside more than once a day to exercise. This activity should continue to be undertaken close to home. Those going out to exercise should either go alone or with members of their household.

The Council will continue to work tirelessly to help local people deal with Covid-19, and when this difficult situation ends, which it will, we will be here to help life in Clackmannanshire move on.


Cllr Ellen Forson, Leader of Clackmannanshire Council

4/5/20

Birds of prey online survey

Our Ranger Service is asking for your help in gathering some simple information about any birds of prey you spot when you are out on your daily exercise in Clackmannanshire. Please let them know by filling in our online survey via the link below:

1/5/20

A message from the Leader of the Council

As we now move into our second month in lockdown, it seems likely that to help protect us all, we will be experiencing this different way of living for some time yet. 

During this difficult time, our dedicated Council staff have, like other public sector workers, been working very hard to continue to maintain and deliver critical services to the most vulnerable people in our communities.

I am proud of the support we have given and will continue to give to our local business community.

We have paid out £3.9 million in grants to businesses throughout Clackmannanshire so far as part of the Coronavirus Business Grant Support Scheme.

The grants are part of a Scottish Government scheme to help businesses deal with the impact of the Coronavirus outbreak. These are mostly small firms, who employ local people and are the backbone of Clackmannanshire’s economy.

The Council is processing applications for the grants which are available to help protect jobs, prevent business closures and promote economic recovery.

A dedicated group of council officers have been working extremely hard to process over 470 applications from Clackmannanshire businesses, and to make sure that the grants are paid out as quickly as possible.

I’d encourage any business owners who haven’t yet applied to log onto the Council website to see if they are eligible.

I am also impressed by the way local businesses have responded to this crisis. Alloa firm Thredgards has started manufacturing face visors from recycled plastic, while international distiller Diageo, which has many sites in Clackmannanshire, this week donated 7,700 bottles of hand sanitiser to the county.

I know many of you are juggling working at home with childcare. Our Education team has had to adapt to a new digital way of teaching and has been working hard to ensure that parents and schoolchildren have the necessary toolkit and resources they need so that education continues, even if pupils aren’t in the classroom.

There are so many examples of innovative ways this is being carried out and the new FlipClacks resource is a fantastic resource. I hope that this at least is helping to ease the difficulties of the challenges parents in Clackmannanshire are facing.

Our Emergency Decision Making Forum  meets regularly  to make essential decisions during the outbreak Through this forum we we  agreed to move to  a new payment system for families  who are eligible to receive free school meals and are in receipt of clothing or footwear grants. This change has now been implemented, and replaces  the ‘grab bag’ lunches  with payments of £23 per fortnight per child, providing support for families most in need during the Covid-19 outbreak.

The Council marked International Workers Memorial Day on Tuesday with a minutes silence at 11am. This was a chance to pause and remember key workers who have lost their lives during Covid-19 and to remember those who have sadly lost their lives at work over the past year; to pay tribute to the sacrifice of so many workers during the pandemic; and to thank all those who continue to do vital work at great personal risk.

I know that as time goes on, these restrictions on our lives are causing frustration. But I urge everyone to continue to play their vital part by staying home, protecting the NHS and saving lives.


Cllr Ellen Forson, Leader of Clackmannanshire Council

24/04/20 

Taxi and Private Hire Registrations

Kilncraigs reception will be open on Monday 27 April 2020 between 11am and 12.30pm to take applications and payments for taxi and private hire driver renewals.  If you are planning to renew your licence please email Lindsay Thomson at the following email address lthomson2@clacks.gov.uk.
 

17/04/20, 1530

Scottish Outdoor Access Code - rights during COVID-19

For the latest information about outdoor access rights, please refer to the Scottish Government's Ministerial Statement and Scottish Outdoor Access guidance.

16/04/20, 0830

A message from the Leader of the Council

As we move into week four of the lockdown, it seems likely that to help protect us all, we will be experiencing this different way of living for some time yet. 

At the Council, staff have been continuing to work hard to find new ways of delivering essential services and helping our communities to sustain themselves during this pandemic.  Our social care staff, our refuse collectors, our call centre staff, our revenues teams, our educators and all our other staff continue to impress me every day with their dedication and determination to get things done, often without appreciation and fanfare, and I thank them again for all that they are doing.  The situation we find ourselves in really does highlight exactly how important local government is in the delivery of vital services.

A new Council helpline to assist those most vulnerable or at risk in our communities during the outbreak has now launched. Our staff are on hand to help and can be contacted on 01259 452275 or email CommunitySupport@clacks.gov.uk.

We have made the first round of grants to businesses in Clackmannanshire, and work continues to process all the applications we’ve received.  We’ve also joined local organisations to come together to create a new Clackmannanshire Business Support Partnership to co-ordinate activity in order to provide effective support to our local business community.

Our Emergency Decision Making Forum continues to meet to make essential decisions during the outbreak.  Most recently, we agreed that we will be moving to make a regular payment to families who receive free school meals, and more details will be available on this soon.  It’s part of our work to ensure we are doing all we can to support vulnerable families during this difficult time.

I’ve always known how strong the communities of Clackmannanshire are, and this emergency has highlighted some amazing local work to help support those who need help.  My thanks to everyone who is helping and continues to go out of their way to assist their fellow residents – your selflessness and support is wonderful and appreciated.

For many of us, our main contribution is to follow the government advice and stay home to protect our communities and our NHS.  Thank you to everyone who is doing their part, no matter what it is, to help us all get through this unsettling time. 

Please check our Coronavirus web pages regularly to see the latest information on changes to services and to get links to advice and support during this outbreak.  As the weather improves, it’s really important that we all stick to the rules. Please, stay home and save lives.

Cllr Ellen Forson, Leader of Clackmannanshire Council

8/4/20, 0800

Scottish Welfare Fund

The Scottish Welfare Fund office is closed over the Easter weekend, Friday to Monday 10 to 13 April inclusive. Any new applications will be processed when the office reopens on Tuesday 14th of April.

7/4/20, 1400

Blue Badge information

If you have a Blue Badge that expired after 1 January 2020 it is now permissible to use this badge until 30 September 2020.  You are required to display the Blue Badge in the vehicle.

6/4/20, 1630

Fraud awareness

Businesses and consumers across the Forth Valley area are being reminded by the Council’s Trading Standards to be vigilant against scammers and fraudsters keen to take advantage of the current coronavirus situation.

Across the UK, there are a number of scams that are being used to deceive the public and businesses that are targeted through emails, door to door and texts.

These include:

  • Doorstep callers who offer to help with doing shopping or collecting prescriptions;
  • Mobile apps that falsely claim to give advice and updates on coronavirus but then lock and demand a ransom fee to reclaim the phone;
  • Online testing kits and so-called miracle cures for coronavirus that are completely bogus;
  • Impersonation of health workers doing doorstep calling claiming to offer testing;
  • Emails offering a Council tax rebate or reduction in utility bills;
  • Emails pretending to be from official channels asking employees to purchase iTunes vouchers, then to photograph the code and send on;
  • Orders for hand sanitiser, gloves and masks that never arrive.

Police and other agencies are working constantly to shut these schemes down on behalf of the public and businesses. Please think very carefully about any transaction you enter into and do some research before making a commitment. Consumers and businesses have already reported more than £1m worth of fraud as a result of the coronavirus situation and we are determined to prevent any local residents/businesses from being a victim of fraud.

If you think you have been a victim of fraud contact Police Scotland on 101. Any scams or overpricing can reported to Trading Standards via Advice Direct Scotland or on 0808 800 9060.

More information and support is available from Action Fraud or from the Trading Standards Scotland website.

6/4/20, 1600

First bus service changes

From Monday 6 April, First Midland Bluebird will introduce further changes to their bus services. In summary revised timetables services:

  • X36, X38, 51, 52, 54 and 57
  • service UL is suspended
  • service X36 will operate between Stirling and Cumbernauld only with links to Glasgow on service X37
  • service X38 willl operate via Stirling and Falkirk Community Hospitals

Full details via the First website.

2/4/20, 1545

Social Distancing Rules for Businesses

Environmental Health now have new powers to deal with businesses who do not follow Coronavirus social distancing rules.  We will be taking an approach that aims to achieve compliance through engagement, explanation and encouragement with enforcement as a last resort.  We are here to help everyone comply with this new law. 

The regulations, which detail all the rules including which businesses may open, those that must close and the social distancing requirements that must be followed, can be found online.

Businesses must take a responsible attitude to these vital health protection rules.  Coronavirus is the biggest public health emergency the world has known for generations, and these measures will save lives. 

Persons in charge of a business allowed to operate are now required by law to ensure 2 metres distance between people on their premises.  They must only admit people in sufficiently small numbers to enable that distance to be maintained.  They are also responsible for making sure people waiting to enter their premises also keep 2 metres apart. The only exception is when there are 2 people from the same household, or a carer and the person assisted by the carer.

If you are a business operator and not sure of what is supposed to be done please email ehealth@clacks.gov.uk.  We are here to help and advise.  We are committed to keeping you operating safely and in accordance with this critical legislation. 

If anyone is concerned or has information about a business not following the new rules, please email us at ehealth@clacks.gov.uk.  We need this information so that we can help businesses get it right and that they fully understand what they are supposed to do.  This will help us engage with them and help them continue to trade but still follow the rules. 

We will be reaching out to businesses still operating in Clackmannanshire over the coming days and weeks, providing information, help and guidance.  This will be followed up with checks to make sure everything is being done safely.

We are developing further guidance for businesses which will be published on the website when complete.

2/4/20, 1400

Public transport

During COVID-19 public transport services may be subject to revisions at short notice. For the most up to date information please contact www.travelinescotland.com 0871 200 22 33 (calls from landlines at 12p/min).

31/03/20, 0930

National Entitlement Card information

Due to COVID-19 and the current travel restrictions in place, the Scottish Government’s card production bureau who produce the National Entitlement Cards (bus passes) closed on Friday 27 March until further notice.

This means that no new or replacement cards will be issued from this date and until the production bureau reopens.

For more information see Transport Scotland’s website.

31/03/20, 0830

Free period products that would normally be available in schools will be available at the free school meal drop off locations, where families can collect a bag containing a one month supply. They will also be available for collection at the entrance to the three schools that are being used as Hubs – Alloa, Alva and Lornshill Academies.

30/03/20, 1700

Planning and Building Standards

The Planning and Building Standards service continues to provide service delivery. This is mainly being provided by remote working arrangements.

The Planning planning@clacks.gov.uk and Building Standards buildingstandards@clacks.gov.uk email addresses are monitored regularly and officers can also be contacted directly by email.

In addition a general telephone service is being maintained on Monday, Wednesday and Friday between 9am and 1pm at 01259 452540.

Planning: We continue to receive and assess Planning applications at www.edevelopment.scot and by limited postal delivery. Representations to applications are being received and assessed in the usual way however additional time will be provided for the submission and assessment of these.

Building Standards: We continue to receive and assess Building Warrant and associated applications at www.edevelopment.scot and by limited postal delivery. Guidance on Completion Certificates or Temporary Occupation Certificates will be provided on a case by case basis.

30/03/20, 1015

Rent collection deferred for 30 identified tenants of small businesses, charities and community groups

The Council's Emergency Decision Making Forum (EDMF) has unanimously agreed to defer collection of rent for 30 identified tenants of small businesses, charities and community groups from 1 April 2020 to 30 June 2020.

There will be a review of the individual circumstances of each small business, charity and community group affected at the end of the deferred period.

Councillor Donald Balsillie said: "This is a really challenging and difficult time for many people and particularly so for small business owners, charities and community groups. As a council, we want to do as much as we can to help those most in need and we would encourage commercial landlords to consider what measures they can take to support their tenants.”

27/03/20, 1500

A message from the Leader of the Council

The recent days and weeks have been extremely challenging and difficult. Following announcements from the UK and Scottish Governments, we all find ourselves living our lives in ways we could not have imagined only a few short weeks ago.

At this worrying time, our Council staff have like other public sector workers, been working very hard to continue to maintain and deliver critical services to the most vulnerable people in our communities. Our staff are members of our communities too, and they have also been operating in unchartered territory and at an unprecedented pace.

I know that our dedicated Council staff have been working long hours, cancelling leave and coming in at weekends to make sure that we continue to provide those vital services and protect our community. I would like to personally thank them for all their hard work.

As we go forward in these uncertain times, I know they will continue to do whatever they can to maintain essential services in the face of challenges such as staff shortages, working remotely and balancing childcare while living under lockdown conditions.  

I have also been humbled by the generous offers of support from individuals, community organisations, faith groups and local businesses and I have been heartened by the kindness and compassion I am seeing every day across Clackmannanshire.  It’s by working together in this way that we will get through this worrying time, and help our most vulnerable citizens.

You can check our Coronavirus web pages regularly to see the latest information on changes to services and to get links to advice and support during this outbreak.  If you are worried about paying your rent or your council tax, please let us know so that we can advise about support that may be available.  You can also apply for support from the Scottish Welfare Fund if you are eligible.

Please continue to follow the latest government and NHS guidance and advice that we are being given to help protect us all.

Cllr Ellen Forson, Leader of Clackmannanshire Council

26/03/20, 1550

Coronavirus advice for unpaid carers

Anyone providing regular support to a vulnerable friend or relative will want to do what they can to protect their own health and that of those they look after during the coronavirus outbreak. 
 
Like everyone, unpaid carers (including young carers) and people being cared for should familiarise themselves with the public health advice on how to protect themselves from infection. As the situation is changing quickly, the guidance may also change, so carers should therefore check regularly to make sure they are following the latest guidance from NHS Inform.

Carers who do not already have an emergency plan in place may also want to talk with family and friends about who could take over their caring role if they become ill or need to self-isolate – particularly while social work services are under additional pressure during the coronavirus outbreak. It will also be important to make sure you have key information about the person you care for easily available - so that anyone taking over care has all the information they need. 

Information for carers and family and friends can be found on the social care page on our website  

See NHS Inform for advice on coronavirus symptoms; precautions to take; and what to do if you think you may have become ill with coronavirus. 

25/03/20, 1500

The current government advice is that people can leave their house for specific reasons. Taking exercise once a day is one of these reasons and we would encourage you to do so for your mental and physical health. However, please be responsible and follow the guidelines below:

  • Go out alone or with people from your own household.
  • Keep a distance of at least 2m between yourself and others.
  • Avoid busy places.  If you go somewhere and it’s busy, consider going somewhere else.
  • Avoid  touching fences, gates benches etc.  If you can’t avoid this, then use antibacterial gel on your hands and / or wash your hands as soon as possible.
  • Please stay at home if you or any members of your household have symptoms.
  • Scottish Mountain Rescue has appealed to people not to visit Scotland's hills and mountains during the coronavirus outbreak.

24/03/20, 1400

We are able to take emergency calls only at this time. We apologise for the inconvenience and appreciate your patience.

24/03/20, 1010

Unfortunately we are unable to take any phone calls at this time. We are working to resolve this issue.

22/03/20, 1930 

Clackmannanshire Council has put arrangements in place to ensure that there is emergency provision for NHS health and care workers from tomorrow (Monday 23 March) at: 

  • ABC Nursery - children  age 0-5 
  • Alloa Academy - school age children 5-14

This will be available for NHS Health and Care Workers who: 

  • absolutely must go to work 
  • directly support COVID response 
  • support life threatening emergency work critical primary and community care provision 
  • don't have other safe child care arrangements eg partners or family members who can provide childcare 
  • have children who cannot be left alone at home - we used with a sibling 16 and over, or under S2 as a general guide. 

We will have staff on hand from 9 - 6pm, school meal provision and learning and childcare activities.  Staff meeting the criteria can arrive at Alloa Academy or ABC from 9am tomorrow with their children. There will be a registration process and staff from each of our schools and nurseries will be on hand to support children.  

From Tuesday, 24th March, the provision will be available from 8am- 6pm.  Other NHS staff who have submitted requests will be contacted by their own Headteacher tomorrow (Monday 23 March) with the intention of distributing numbers across the other two Hubs should this be required. 

We are putting these measures in place because we recognise the need to support staff immediately.  As clearer information emerges and also demands from the other category 2 and 3 workers, we will adjust the arrangements as necessary. 
 

22/03/20, 1800

Following the Government’s announcement regarding the closure of schools and nurseries and the cancellation of SQA examinations, the Council has been working on a range of plans to provide essential support for the children of key workers and our most vulnerable children and families.

We can now share more details about these plans:

  • Supporting critical NHS workers – we have established a hub at Alloa Academy for children aged 5-14 and at ABC Nursery for ages 0-5. They will be open from tomorrow Monday (23 March) at 9am to support children of urgent NHS workers who do not have other childcare arrangements. The provision will include learning, sports and extra-curricular activities and wrap around childcare from 8am to 6pm.  We will also be making provision for nursery children.  Parents will be contacted by their own school or nursery. 
  • Support for key workers and vulnerable children and families – 2 further hubs have been established at Alva Academy and Lornshill Academy and will open from Tuesday (24 March) for the nursery and school age children of urgent NHS staff and key workers. We will be contacting parents to advise if they have a place..  The three hubs will also provide support for vulnerable children and families, including the provision of free school meals and other family supports. We will be working with partner organisations to deliver this.
  • S4 to S6 Coursework Completion – following the latest advice and guidance from the Scottish Government today (22 March), NO young person with coursework to complete should attend school. This advice is with immediate effect. These young people will be contacted by their school when the SQA provide further intormation.
  • Online learning:  The Council has been developing a unique virtual learning platform – FLIPClacks which is now “live” and provides learning opportunities for children, young people and families, including school specific areas. The online learning space will include live classroom activities as well as lots of creative resources for you and your children.  
  • Health and Wellbeing:  There are a range of supports available for families, children and young people. The “Parent Hub” on FLIPClacks provides information on services and resources and has links to local organisations that are providing help and guidance. https://flipclacks.org/. "Stay Connected with Clackmannanshire Education Service" is currently being developed and updates will be posted at FLIPClacks and on the Council’s own website.

Lorraine Sanda, the Council’s Chief Education Officer, said:

"We are in unprecedented times and are developing and adapting our plans in line with the latest Government guidance and advice. As you can appreciate, the situation has is changing at a very fast pace and we appreciate that this is causing understandable concern and anxiety for parents, carers, pupils and staff.

"Our staff are working incredibly hard to do all we can to support our families and young people during this difficult period and I will keep you informed of developments as and when they happen.

"I’d like to thank parents and carers once again for their patience and continued support."

Parents, carers and pupils are asked to regularly check FLIPClacks at https://flipclacks.org/   or Clackmannanshire Council’s own website https://www.clacks.gov.uk/social/coronavirus4/ for the latest updates.

20/03/20, 1400

Council's COVID-19 Education Plan

Following the Government’s announcement regarding the closure of schools and nurseries and the cancellation of SQA examinations, the Council has been working on a range of plans to provide support for our most vulnerable children and families, the children of key workers and senior pupils in S4 to S6.

As a result, the following plans have been put into place:

  • Supporting key workers: in order to ensure that both national and local essential services can be delivered, we are establishing Hubs  in each of the three cluster areas in Clackmannanshire to provide learning and care for nursery and school age children and young people of key workers. Hubs will be established for nursery and school age children. We will be informing parents by Monday of specific arrangements including transport where appropriate.The provision for supporting key workers will include learning, sports and extra-curricular activities and wrap around childcare from 8am to 6pm.
  • Supporting families and children and young people: The Hubs will also provide learning and support, including school meal provision for identified vulnerable families. This support will continue to evolve over the course of the next week and information will be made available through a range of third sector partners and the Hubs. Additional support is being considered for children and young people with very complex additional support needs in partnership with Social Work and Health.
  • Online learning:  The Council has been developing a unique virtual learning platform – FLIPClacks which is now “live” and provides learning opportunities for children, young people and families, including school specific areas. The online learning space will include live classroom activities as well as lots of creative resources for you and your children.  
  • Health and Wellbeing:  There are a range of supports available for families, children and young people. The “Parent Hub” on FLIPClacks provides information on services and resources and has links to local organisations that are providing help and guidance. https://flipclacks.org/. "Stay Connected with Clackmannanshire Education Service" is currently being developed and updates will be posted at FLIPClacks and on the Council’s own website.

Lorraine Sanda, the Council’s Head of Education, said:

"We are in unprecedented times and could not have predicted recent events. The situation has been evolving at a very fast pace and this has caused understandable concern and anxiety for parents, carers, pupils and staff.

"Our staff are working exceptionally hard in very difficult circumstances and I know they will receive support and patience from our parents as we work through the challenges we face."

Parents, carers and pupils are asked to regularly check FLIPClacks at https://flipclacks.org/   or Clackmannanshire Council’s own website https://www.clacks.gov.uk/social/coronavirus4/ for the latest updates.

19/03/20, 1500

Council Moving Focus to Essential Services

Like Councils throughout the country, we have been working on plans to continue to deliver services as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.  National estimates suggest we could see absences of at least 50% over the months ahead which will put pressure on our already stretched resources.

We are closely following government and NHS advice and as a result, currently over 20% of our staff are off work either due to COVID-19 related symptoms or are having to self isolate because they are in a high risk category, general illness or because they have caring responsibilities and are unable to come into work. The recent decision to close schools after Friday 20 March is also likely to have a huge impact but we have been developing a number of options that will assist us in managing this situation.

All these factors are already having a significant impact on the Council’s and our partners’ capacity to carry out our core functions. Our plans are now focussing on moving all our available staff and resources to provide essential services for our most vulnerable residents who are our main priority. In doing this, we are concentrating on our statutory duties under the Civil Contingencies Act, and we are working with all our resilience partners to deliver this.

Now that we are making this change, business as usual is no longer possible, and we will be moving to deliver urgent services only which directly involve the most vulnerable in our community.

We will provide more information to our residents as our plans are finalised. This is an unprecedented time for everyone, and we are grateful for your understanding and patience while we make these necessary changes to the services we provide.  Residents should continue to check this dedicated webpage to keep up to date with developments.

Locally, we know that we have many voluntary groups who are already working in our communities and want to help others cope in these uncertain times.  We are already coordinating efforts with many local groups, and further national guidance is expected on this to help local people.

It is vital that we all follow the most recent government and NHS advice, to ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of our residents. This is available from NHS Inform.

Clackmannanshire has always had strong and resilient communities, and as a Council we are doing our very best to support our residents. We are grateful for everyone’s help, understanding and patience which will make sure we get through this difficult situation together.

19/03/20, 1500

CTSi has created a service update on third sector organisations which will be regularly updated.

19/03/20, 1200

The DWP has announced a range of extra support and measures will be in place to help workers, benefit claimants and businesses affected by coronavirus. Please follow the link for information.

18/03/20, 1810

Tomorrow's by-election for the Clackmannanshire East Ward has now been suspended.

You can read the official confirmation from Returning Officer Nikki Bridle below: 

This evening I received an urgent communication from the Cabinet Office advising me of the following: 

"It would be both reasonable and consistent with the national position for a Returning Officer to suspend any poll scheduled within this period, including those due to take place tomorrow, Thursday 19th March.

"The Government will give its full support to Returning Officers who make the decision to suspend their polls. The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) have provided assurance that criminal prosecution in these circumstances is highly unlikely."

On this basis I have taken the decision to formally suspend the by Clackmannanshire East by election which was scheduled for tomorrow, Thursday 19 March.

 Thank you for your patience, cooperation and understanding.

Nikki Bridle 
Returning Officer

18/03/20, 1600

In the current climate and in accordance with Government advice, a decision has been taken to close Alloa Leisure Bowl until further notice.  We appreciate your patience and understanding during these unprecedented times.


18/03/20, 1600

Following the Scottish Government's announcement regarding the closure of schools, we would like to reassure parents and carers that we have been working on a range of options to plan for this event.

The Scottish Government are due to announce more specific details tomorrow and we intend to finalise our plans in alignment with the planned advice and guidance from Scottish Government. Please continue to check our website for the latest updates. Thank you for your patience and support.


18/03/20, 1200

All Sports Development, skiing and snowboarding classes, Active Easter programme and weekly exercise classes have been cancelled until further notice. We're working to process refunds and appreciate your patience.


18/03/20, 0800

Tullibody South Campus  will be closed to all pupils and staff today (Wednesday 18 March). We have taken this decision as a precautionary measure following NHS advice.

This decision affects Abercromby Primary, St Bernadette's RC Primary and Tulach nursery.


17/03/20

Due to staffing issues our Contact Centre will only be able to take urgent phone calls at this current time. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause. We appreciate your patience and understanding at this time.


17/03/20

In light of the new guidance from Health Protection Scotland and the Scottish Government, as a council, we have had to make a number of difficult decisions regarding the services we deliver to our communities.

We understand that this is a worrying time and many people have concerns but please be assured that we are taking these steps in line with UK, Scottish Government and Health Protection Scotland advice and guidance to minimise social contact to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our staff and communities.

Building Management and Events

The following decisions have been made:

  • The use of Alloa Academy, Alva Academy and Lornshill Academy for community lets, evening usage and community sports from will stop from 17 March until further notice.
  • Libraries/CAPs – Libraries/CAPs will close from 17 March with the exception of the Spiers Centre and Ben Cleuch.
  • Alloa Town Hall and Sauchie Hall will close from 17 March until further notice.
  • The Bowmar Centre will close to the public however a range of internal essential usage will be maintained. 
  • Fir Park will close to the public from 18 March
  • The council’s equipment store at Kelliebank will be closed to the public. Essential equipment needs will be delivered to priority service users.
  • Ludgate is closed to members of the public until further notice.
  • Forth Valley College is closed until further notice.
  • Alloa Leisure Bowl is closed for a 48 hour deep clean.
  • Forthbank Home Waste Recycling Centre will remain open. 
  • Patons, Kilncraigs and other council buildings remain open however restrictions are in place to limit social contact.

Public health and safety is our main priority. In line with guidance, we are minimising all face to face meetings and establishing alternative communication methods to prioritise essential contact.

We understand that this is a worrying time and many people have concerns but be assured that we are taking these steps in line with UK, Scottish Government and Public Health Scotland advice and guidance to minimise social contact to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our staff and communities.


17/03/20

The Scottish Government has now issued further guidance for the general public that you will find below.

Those most at risk are strongly advised to reduce unnecessary contact. To slow the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus) the general public are being asked to stay at home as much as possible and avoid unnecessary social contact.

People over 70 and those who have high risk and underlying health conditions are being strongly advised to stay at home as much as possible and significantly reduce unnecessary social contact.

The advice is that people should:

  • minimise social contact by avoiding crowded areas and large gatherings, including religious congregations and smaller gatherings such as restaurants, pubs, bars, clubs, cinemas and gyms
  • avoid using public transport as much as possible
  • work from home when possible
  • follow the latest health and travel advice, and follow basic hygiene precautions, such as washing hands frequently, not touching their face and covering their nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing

People showing symptoms which might suggest coronavirus should stay at home for seven days and only contact NHS 111 or their local GP if their symptoms worsen during that period.

Members of a household where someone has suspected symptoms should stay at home for 14 days.

This package of necessary measures comes into force with immediate effect.


16/03/2020

Residents should always visit either NHS Inform or the Scottish Government website for the most up to date information.


14/03/2020

Menstrie House care home and Ludgate House Resource Centre are closed to visitors. This is purely a precautionary measure. You can keep in touch by phoning 01259 762482 for Menstrie House or 01259 226833 for Ludgate House Resource Centre.


13/03/2020

The Alloa Half Marathon scheduled for 29 March has been postponed. A new date has yet to be confirmed.