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Covid-19 Latest News

NLC SCHOOL MEALS UPDATE

A new payment system is being set up for parents and carers of pupils who receive free school meals.

You will be sent a message twice a week from the council, which will include a voucher code for £10 (£20 per child per week). The voucher can be redeemed at any shop with Pay Point facilities.

For more info: https://crowd.in/en6gdG

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Covid-19 Latest News

NORTH LANARKSHIRE SCHOOL HUBS UPDATE

From today, 10 hubs will open across North Lanarkshire for the children of key workers. Full details are available at www.northlanarkshire.gov.uk/coronavirus. The following schools will be open as hubs. Key workers are advised to take their child to their closest hub, where provision will be available between 9am and 3pm. All other schools will be fully closed.

• Kilsyth Academy, Kilsyth
• Chryston High School, Chryston
• Cumbernauld Academy, Cumbernauld
• Hilltop Primary School, Airdrie
• New Stevenston Primary School, New Stevenston
• St John Paul II Primary School, Viewpark
• St Ambrose High School, Coatbridge
• Our Lady’s High School, Motherwell
• Clyde Valley High School, Wishaw
• Calderhead Hugh School, Shotts

While the staff of these schools will operate the hubs in the first instance, volunteers have been sought to establish a rota system and all of that work is underway.

ASN schools will remain open for the children of key workers. We are assessing this position with a view to rationalising the number of ASN schools open. However, the assessment is more complicated due to the particular circumstances of the children involved.

Children of key workers requiring nursery provision should attend their normal nursery (if council-operated) or make direct content with their nursery (if a partner provider). In the case of council nurseries, further changes are likely to be made tomorrow and will be announced.

Free school meals will be available in these hubs to those entitled to them, but we are acutely conscious of the requirement for a more localised provision and will announce details of this as soon as possible.

It is essential, to stop the spread of coronavirus that people who can work from home do work from home. If a key worker has a partner who is not a key worker, they must provide childcare at home. This is not business as usual and it is vital that the support being offered is only accessed by those who absolutely require it. Your assistance is making this clear is appreciated. The council is taking every step possible to ensure only staff who must be at work to provide critical services are at work.

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Covid-19 Latest News

NORTH LANARKSHIRE SCHOOL ANNOUNCEMENT

All North Lanarkshire schools will be open on Monday for the children of the following categories of key workers.

It is essential, to stop the spread of transmission of coronavirus, that people who can work from home do work from home. This is not business as usual and it is vital that this support being offered is only accessed by those who absolutely require it to enable NHS and other critical services to function.

If you’re a key worker who requires support, please take your child to your normal school on Monday. We will review these arrangements over the coming week and it is likely we will fully close some schools but we will inform you of this and the alternative provision we will put in place.

UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES should any child who has symptoms of coronavirus, or who lives in a household where someone has symptoms, present at school. The whole family must follow the self-isolation advice.

CATEGORY 1
Includes:
• Health and care workers directly supporting COVID-19 response and associated staff.
• Workers supporting life-threatening emergency work as well as critical primary and community care provision.
• Staff of energy suppliers.
• Staff, including teachers and early years workers, providing childcare and learning for other key workers and staff who support school buildings.

CATEGORY 2
Please note that the first presumption is that staff who can work from home will work from home.
• All other health and care workers including home support staff and care home staff.
• Emergency services staff, including police, fire and rescue, prison officers.
• Military personnel.
• Social workers.

Those supporting critical national infrastructure including:
• Staff keeping air, water, road and rail passenger transport operating.
• Oil, gas, electricity and water and sewerage workers.
• Logistics staff including drivers and transport workers
• Food and other necessary goods staff including food production, processing, distribution, sale, delivery as well as those essential to the provision of hygienic and veterinary medicines.
• Staff in essential financial service provision including: banks, building societies and financial market infrastructure; IT and data infrastructure; postal services; civil nuclear, chemicals and telecommunications; payment providers; waste disposal.
• Journalists and broadcasters.

CATEGORY 3
Other council and associated staff in the following categories. Please note that the first presumption is that staff who can work from home will work from home.
• Strategic-level management and support staff.
• Waste services staff.
• Fleet services staff.
• Cemeteries staff.
• Property repairs and maintenance staff including frontline workers of Mears and Saltire.
• Roads and lighting maintenance staff including staff of Amey.
• Facility support services including cleaning, catering, school crossing patrollers and janitorial staff.
• Human resources staff including payroll and employee service centre.
• IT staff.
• Communications staff.
• Finance staff including welfare, revenue and benefits staff and municipal bank staff.
• Registration staff.
• Essential legal services.
• Psychological services staff.

SCHOOL MEALS
All children who are entitled to free school meals will be able to access these meals. If you need to access this support please take your child to their usual school at the school’s normal lunchtime, but only at their normal lunchtime.
Breakfast clubs will be open in those schools that normally offer them, will be open.

S4, S5 and S6 PUPILS
A normal timetable will not be operating. Only the following pupils should attend at school:
• Children of key workers as detailed above.
• Pupils who have already been instructed by their schools to attend at a specific time for coursework purposes.

Other S4, S5 and S6 pupils will be contacted by schools in due course to arrange completion of coursework. Schools have already informed pupils about arrangements for online learning.

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NLC BUDGET 2020/21

Due to the continued cuts from the Tory Government in London, the SNP Group in NLC did their best to create a budget which protects frontline jobs and services by listening to the concerns of local people.

Sadly, the Labour budget was passed leading to:
🚨 New charges for community alarms of £3.40 per week.
🍞 An increase in schools meals by 25% to £3.
🚧 An end to the Safe and Sustainable Travel Team which educates our young people on road safety.
👩‍⚕️ A removal of £1.8m from the adult social care fund for “remodelling” which is supposedly going to be reinvested a year later.

🚣‍♂️ SNP Councillors attempted to re-open the discussion on Kilbowie to save the centre. Despite a majority of the council voting to do so, Labour councillors voted against and the two-thirds majority required was not reached.

🥁 Thankfully, music tuition was saved. Our young musicians will be able to continue to access the education which makes them world-class.

However, the Scottish Government has today announced an extra £6m for North Lanarkshire Council. I therefore hope Councillors of all parties will meet soon to agree how local people and services can be protected from the relentless onslaught of Tory austerity.

Only with independence can Scotland end Tory rule and Tory austerity so our services can provide the full support our communities need.

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SCOT GOV CARER SUPPLEMENT PAYS OUT £6m TO NORTH LANARKSHIRE CARERS

LOCAL MP WELCOMES FIGURES SHOWING NORTH LANARKSHIRE SECOND MOST LOCAL AUTHORTY TO BENEFIT FROM GROUND-BREAKING NEW CARERS ALLOWANCE SUPPLEMENT

Recent figures have revealed that North Lanarkshire carers were the second biggest recipient of the SNP Scottish Government’s Carers Allowance Supplement (CAS) with £6m being paid out since April 2018.

The CAS provides carers with £226.20 twice a year. The latest payment in October 2019 paid £1.5m to 6,685 carers in North Lanarkshire.

Since the launch of CAS, 26,985 payments have been paid to carers in North Lanarkshire while 317,055 have been paid across Scotland.

In terms of payments made and the total sum paid, North Lanarkshire was second behind Glasgow and came just ahead of Fife and South Lanarkshire.

Commenting, SNP MP for Motherwell and Wishaw and the SNP’s Westminster Disabilities spokesperson, Marion Fellows said:

“The SNP Scottish Government is utilising its powers over social security to deliver ground-breaking support of over £450 a year to people in North Lanarkshire and across Scotland who care for people with disabilities and illness.

“Our carers do an essential job in our communities. The Scottish Government has rightly deemed them a priority to receive this vital support. Carers and the people they care for deserve a dignified standard of living.

“In stark contrast to the UK Government’s welfare regime, the SNP Scottish Government is building a social security system based on fairness, dignity and respect. With independence, we can take control of all social security and employment law to deliver the support for those in need and lift people out of poverty.”

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NLC BIN CUTS LEADS TO RATS INFESTATION

SNP MP CALLS FOR INCREASED COLLECTIONS IN COUNCIL BUDGET AS RAT SIGHTINGS DOUBLE

Figures from North Lanarkshire Council (NLC) have revealed that the council’s decision to reduce general waste collections has doubled rat sightings in North Lanarkshire in the space of a year.

Changes backed by Labour Councillors, including NLC Leader, Cllr Jim Logue, came into effect in September 2017 resulting in general waste bins being collected every three weeks, instead of every week.

Rat sightings reported to NLC in 2017 rose from 624 to 1,238 in 2018, then to 1,657 in 2019.

Similarly, callouts reported rose from 443 in 2017 to 878 in 2018, then to 1,181 in 2019.

Motherwell and Wishaw MP, Marion Fellows, says that communities in Newarthill, Carfin, Muirhouse and Newmains have all required assistance dealing with rats and that there may be more communities affected across the local authority.

In 2018, Mrs Fellows hosted a townhall meeting between residents and council officers to resolve the issue. One was recently organised by Councillors in Newmains.

In March 2016, NLC introduced charges of £46.35 for pest control callouts for private residents – but not council tenants – resulting in a decrease in reported sightings of 720 in 2015 to 457 in 2016; and a drop in callouts from 720 to 372 respectively.

Mrs Fellows believes NLC has a duty to all residents and that private tenants are being forced to fend for themselves which may have allowed the problem to spiral out of control.

Mrs Fellows says that the problem is so large, that Councillors are failing their most basic duties to keep streets clean and that the Labour-Tory Coalition in NLC must face communities and reverse bin cuts.

Commenting, she said:

“Due to the Labour-Tory Coalition in North Lanarkshire Council, bin collections have been slashed and communities across the local authority are now facing a public health crisis with rat sightings doubling in the space of a year since the cuts were enforced. Cuts to uplifts must be reversed at the next budget before the infestation grows.

“I have written to North Lanarkshire Council leader, Cllr Jim Logue, about these issues and I have always received a response from a council officer. It is embarrassing that in the fourth largest Scottish local authority, they are hiding behind council officers. Council leaders must be publicly accountable and face communities.

“NLC has a duty to residents – whether they are private or social tenants – to ensure we are able to live in our homes free from rats. This is basic stuff and the Labour-Tory Coalition is failing people. When communities are facing a problem this large, the £46 charge must be seriously looked at. It has undoubtedly allowed the problem to escalate by deterring callouts.

“It’s time for Cllr Jim Logue to scurry out of the woodwork; face up to communities; and for the Labour-Tory Coalition to reverse cuts to bin uplifts in the upcoming budget.”

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LABOUR COUNCILLORS VOTE TO CLOSE KILBOWIE

Despite the SNP Councillors voting today to save the Kilbowie Outdoor Education Centre, Labour Councillors have voted to close it, while Tory Councillors abstained.

The SNP is fighting tooth and nail to save our facilities and services so people can continue benefiting from them.

Despite having to work within the confines of Tory austerity, the SNP Group are drafting proposals for the NLC budget which would save the centre. Kilbowie’s closure is needless.

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MARION WELCOMES NEW SUPERINTENDENT

MP RAISES PEOPLES’ POLICING PRIORITIES

This week, Marion Fellows, SNP MP for Motherwell and Wishaw, welcomed Lanarkshire’s new Superintendent, Gordon McCreadie, with a meeting to discuss local Policing priorities.

Mrs Fellows and Superintendent McCreadie discussed community priorities such as anti-social behaviour and fly-tipping.

Mrs Fellows heard first hand Lanarkshire Police’s strategy for 2020-23 and the work frontline officers are doing in communities to assist people who are the victims of domestic violence and coercive control, and call-outs to vulnerable people.

Commenting, Mrs Fellows said:

“It was a pleasure to meet with Lanarkshire’s new Superintendent, Gordon McCreadie, and raise with him the issues constituents have raised with me. Our Police are doing a fantastic job and deserve our thanks for their hard work.

“Peoples’ Policing priorities for local communities have been anti-social behaviour and fly-tipping. I have personally noticed an increase in the number of issues with fly-tipping since North Lanarkshire Council ended their free uplift services. We all deserve to live in clean communities. NLC must review this policy.

“We also discussed the increase in call-outs to vulnerable people and people experiencing mental health issues. It was reassuring to hear about the mental health training our officers are receiving so they can properly assist people.

“I also got to hear about the work Police officers are doing in our communities – especially on coercive control and domestic violence. If you’re affected, you are not alone. Reach out.”

People affected by domestic abuse can call Scottish Women’s Aid on 0131 226 6606 or Refuge on 0808 2000 247.

People affected by mental health can call Samaritans on 116 123 or Scottish Association for Mental Health on 0141 530 1000.E

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UK GOVERNMENT FORCES SCOTS COUNCILS TO ACT “BLINDFOLDED”

“PROFOUND CONSEQUENCES” FOR LOCAL SERVICES AS SCOTLAND IS “AFTERTHOUGHT”

Marion Fellows, the SNP MP for Motherwell and Wishaw, has this week criticised the UK Government for forcing Scottish councils to set tax rates “blindfolded” after a four-month delay to the UK budget and voiced concerns for services in North Lanarkshire.

Scottish councils are legally required to set their budgets and tax rates by the 11th of March – the same day the UK Government decides their budget meaning councils won’t know how much funding they should receive.

This will cause Scottish local authorities issues with financial planning and operating services and will force the Scottish Parliament to decide its budget in a shorter than usual time period.

Scottish Government Ministers weren’t notified of the UK Government’s budget day and found out after it was announced in the media. This is despite the Scottish Finance Secretary, Derek MacKay MSP, writing to the UK Chancellor on the 22nd of December for clarity on the date of the UK budget.

Commenting, Mrs Fellows said:

“By forcing Scottish councils to set their tax rates on the same day the UK Government decides their budget, they are forcing councils to plan their spending completely blindfolded. It demonstrates the complete disdain the UK Government has for Scottish local authorities and the communities here which rely on their services.

“This could have profound consequences for services in North Lanarkshire, and it is completely disrespectful of devolution. Scotland appears to be an afterthought to the UK Government.

“It isn’t surprising that a Prime Minister who unlawfully prorogued Parliament has no respect for due process or the decision-making of Scottish councils.

“Boris Johnson has been more concerned with personal ambition and stuffing his friends into the unelected House of Lords than he has been with the running of local services here in North Lanarkshire.”

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MP NAILS DOWN COMMITMENTS ON SHIELDMUIR PARK & RIDE AND CLELAND BRIDGE

Last week, the SNP’s candidate for Motherwell and Wishaw in the upcoming Parliamentary election, Marion Fellows, met with Network Rail and developer Taylor Wimpey to nail down commitments on the Shieldmuir Park and Ride and improvements to the Cleland bridge.

Residents buying their new homes nine years ago were promised a Park and Ride facility at Shieldmuir station with 103 spaces which was reduced to 25 in 2010.

After a planned start date of January 2018 being scrapped, Mrs Fellows has been given the commitment that building will begin on the Park and Ride in January 2020.

The site will have two charging points for electric cars, bike parking, and CCTV.

Taylor Wimpey have agreed to look into why the number of spaces were reduced and whether more spaces can be added.

Joined with Murdostoun SNP Councillor, Cameron McManus, Network Rail also committed to a feasibility study – agreed with North Lanarkshire Council – on the Bellside Bridge in Cleland which will be completed by the end of March 2020.

Since 2013, the Cleland bridge has been hit 60 times resulting in 3,000 minutes of rail and road delays.

Commenting, Mrs Fellows said:

“Residents around Shieldmuir station I have always been committed to being a community focussed MP and if re-elected in December, I want to continue this work and get progress for communities on the issues important to them.

“Residents have fought for the Park and Ride and waited long enough for it. Even though progress is finally being made, promises have been broken and I share residents’ anger.

“Answers must now be provided as to why spaces were reduced and a serious look at a larger facility. If we want to encourage more people to use public transport and tackle climate change, then these facilities are essential.

“Similarly, residents in Cleland, motorists and rail users will be glad that a proper assessment of the bridge will be carried out. The bridge has not only been a massive disruption to people’ lives, but also a severe danger to their safety.

“A feasibility study is progress, but what matters is that the proper steps are taken to end the disruption and damage, but ultimately to protect peoples’ lives.”