Media Round-up for March 20, 2020

Media round-ups are intended to keep the media briefed on the COVID-19 impact on Council services across Aberdeenshire. The public can keep up-to-date with changes online at https://www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/featured-items/coronavirus-covid-19/ 

Schools

All schools will close from today (Friday), with all exams cancelled. More here: https://online.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/apps/news/release.aspx?newsid=5712 

School buildings to be used for childcare for key workers’ children, free school meals and the preparation of coursework submissions for senior phase students

Live Life Aberdeenshire

All Live Life Aberdeenshire sports and cultural facilities including swimming pools, libraries and museums are now closed to the public indefinitely, however staff will remain on duty to cover essential duties. More here:  https://livelifeaberdeenshire.org.uk/features-folder/libraries/covid-19-facility-update/ 

All activities and events are cancelled until further notice and LLA will be suspending all Direct Debits for Active Aberdeenshire members

Colleagues continue to work behind the scenes and will in some cases be assigned to support other critical Aberdeenshire Council services

Health and Social Care 

Learning Disability and Older Adults Day Services will be suspended from today (Friday) in an effort to protect and shield some of the most vulnerable members of our communities

Protecting the most vulnerable people in our communities is our core business and that duty is even more important than ever in the current climate

Ceasing the operation of our Day and Respite Services will also help us with, not only shielding our Service Users from possible infection, but it will also allow our fantastic staff who work in the services to be re-deployed and trained to support our other vital services. 

We are expecting a greater demand on many of our Community Services over the coming weeks and months and we will do all we can to continue support our communities however there will be changes to what we can offer and we thank you in advance for your understanding. 

Waste Services 

All household bin collections are currently operating as normal. Residents should put out their containers for collection for 7am on collection day as there may be changes to collection times. More here: https://www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/waste/waste-covid-19/ 

All recycling centres are currently operating as normal. We may need to temporarily close the recycling centres at short notice or to suspend some materials depending on the availability of outlets

Seasonal garden waste points suspended until further notice

Bulky waste uplifts now suspended until further notice. Reuse containers available for items in good reusable condition at Peterhead, Ellon and Banchory Recycling Centres. Alternatively, call local charity Stella’s Voice on 0300 303 2520 which is still operating as normal and can uplift your item free of charge 

Economic Development 

Staff liaising closely with both the UK and Scottish Governments to develop an action plan to assist businesses and residents. More here:  www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/business/business-covid-19/ 

Planning Services 

Scottish Government has directed local authorities to relax controls in relation to deliveries to and from retail premises, operating hours and the operation of takeaway food shops

Temporary measures are to support the economy and ensure continuity of supply during this time and will be reviewed after three months

Aberdeenshire Council shall not be enforcing restrictions on delivery times or retail premises operating hours. This is due to the additional pressures placed on the logistics network to meet increased demand. 

Many public houses and restaurants do not have planning permission to operate as takeaway premises selling food and drink for consumption outside the premises. Aberdeenshire Council shall not seek to undertake planning enforcement action which would result in unnecessarily restricting public houses and restaurants providing takeaway services on a temporary basis during the current exceptional circumstances. 

Other news: 

Travel 

Stagecoach announced changes to services that will take effect from Monday (March 23). Details can be found here https://www.stagecoachbus.com/service-updates/serviceupdatesarticle?SituationId=ID-19%2F03%2F2020-17%3A02%3A51%3A062&fbclid=IwAR0ZYiUAWYdd5TIe4yE7p_RmauJ80cWu45frvzf3o3-VNLCXHcfMn9SiRaQ 

Waiting room facilities at both Ellon Park & Ride and Peterhead Bus Interchange will close from 6pm tonight (Friday, March 20) until further notice

Car-parking

Aberdeenshire Council has suspended charges at all its pay and display car-parks