Renfrewshire Council

Message from Chief Executive, Sandra Black - 1 April 2021

With schools about to go on their Easter break, I hope many of you have managed to take some annual leave and plan to spend some quality time away from work in the coming weeks.

I appreciate we are still limited in what we can do, however it is vitally important that you look after yourself and balance your work and home life during the pandemic, so please take some time away from work to relax and recharge if you can.

I would particularly like to thank our colleagues who will continue to work over Easter to provide essential services to the people of Renfrewshire.

I would also like to thank our school teams, including our teachers and support staff, our cleaning, catering and transport teams who have worked really hard to provide a safe and supportive learning experience for our children and young people in very challenging circumstances.

We are hopeful that we will be able to welcome all pupils back to school on a full-time basis from Monday 19 April and we will be in touch with parents and carers in the coming weeks to confirm arrangements and provide more detail.

The decision as always will be informed by Scottish Government, who have this week confirmed the gradual easing of restrictions, beginning tomorrow Friday 2 April, when the "stay at home" rule will be lifted and replaced with a "stay local" rule. This means that people will have more freedom to go outdoors but will have to remain within their local authority area.

From Monday 5 April, click and collect services can re-open and no doubt to the relief of many, hairdressers and barbers as well, however bookings should be by appointment only.

And if we continue to make progress in stopping the spread of the virus it is expected that all areas which are under level four restrictions, including here in Renfrewshire will move down to level three at the end of April.

You can read more about the changes here and Scottish Government will also publish more information about the changes expected later in April and into May.

In spite of this progress and the number of hospital admissions reducing, cases are now levelling off, rather than declining significantly, so it is vital that we all continue to follow the guidelines and act cautiously in the weeks ahead as we start to see the gradual easing of lockdown restrictions.

It is only by following the rules and ensuring as many people as possible take up the vaccination that will help us return to some degree of normality, so I would urge everyone, when the invite comes to please 'Roll Up Your Sleeve' and get the vaccine.

And finally, you will have received a letter this week, thanking you for the outstanding contribution you have and continue to make to not only the national response to tackling the virus but also to ensuring we can continue to deliver essential services in support of the people, communities and businesses here in Renfrewshire.

As a small token of our appreciation we have produced the following video as a special tribute to the dedication, kindness, care and support which has been on display right across the council family and you can view the film here:

Our values have never been more evident, and I am extremely proud to be part of such an incredible organisation.

I hope you all manage to take some down time soon and I wish you all a safe and happy Easter.