News and Updates

West Lothian news and updates relating to Coronavirus

Update 30 March

West Lothian Educational Psychology Telephone Service

Telephone consultation service during school closure period

For: Parents/carers, school staff, young people and other agencies seeking support & advice to improve the wellbeing and educational outcomes for our children and young people at this difficult time.

When: Monday - Friday; 9.30am to 12.30pm

Contact: Call: 01506 283130 to leave a message with your details (name, number, school etc.) and one of our psychologists will call you back. Or, you can e-mail us at: ed.psych@westlothian.gov.uk

Visit Coronavirus - Helpful Resources for some useful resources you can use.


Update 26 March 

Help us protect vulnerable children and adults - West Lothian Public Protection

The current situation will undoubtedly cause an increase in stress levels and worry for everyone.

However it is important that everyone plays their part to help vulnerable children and adults.

  • If you have a concern that a child is at risk phone 01506 284440 (option 2)
  • If you have a concern that an adult is at risk phone 01506 284440 (option 2)
  • If you have a concern that an older person is at risk phone 01506 284700

Out of office hours phone 01506 281028 or 01506 281029. In an emergency please dial 999

If you are experiencing domestic abuse phone 01506 281055 or call/text 0781 842 1480 or 07799 341680.


Update 25 March

EMA Payments

West Lothian Council will continue to pay EMA payments to qualifying pupils in secondary education whilst schools are closed due to Coronavirus.  All pupils who qualified for a payment at the point the schools closed on 20 March 2020, will continue to receive a payment until the schools re-open or up to the point that EMA payments would have ceased for this academic year.

Pupils can email EducationBenefits@westlothian.gov.uk if further information is required.
 

Third Sector Resilience Fund 

The Third Sector Resilience Fund (TSRF) is a £20m emergency fund for charities, community groups, social enterprises and voluntary organisations working in Scotland. The fund will support organisations that already deliver services and products but find themselves in financial difficulties directly as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. The primary intention of the fund is to help third sector organisations to stabilise and manage cash flows over this difficult period.

Charities and social enterprises can apply for grants of between £5k and £100k to support the health and continued viability of the organisation during the Covid 19 outbreak. It's specifically targeted at covering gaps in your income, rather than new activities. You will need to have a clear sense of what level of funding you need to plug the gap.

There are also 0% interest loans starting at £50k, which have no arrangement fee and a 4 year repayment window.

To apply, ​​​​​​​follow this link and complete the eligibility checker, and this will filter you toward the most appropriate application.
 

Sanitary products available 

Sanitary products are available for school pupils to collect at all 11 Secondary Schools in West Lothian during opening hours. They are also available from the primary schools that are providing free school meals (details on our website).

They are free and are available to all pupils who need them. Please observe the guidance on Social Distancing. This service is in place for those who that don't have access.

In secondary schools they can be collected from the front entrance area.

Products are also available for those collecting Crisis Grants from Arrochar House, Livingston and Crisis Grants or Food Bank Parcels, from Bathgate Partnership Centre.


Update 24 March

Parks and Children's Play Parks

Our parks can be used for exercise as long as the rules on social distancing are adhered to.

It is very important that there's no use of Children's play parks/areas. Children's play areas are closed.  Please don't gather at benches, picnic tables or anywhere else. The national advice is: Public gatherings of more than two people who do not live together are to be prohibited. 

Please play your part and adhere to this guidance.
 

Competitions and Markets Authority - Traders exploiting the current situation

The UK wide Competitions and Markets Authority want to receive information from the public about traders who are exploiting the current situation and have developed an online reporting form. Please use this form to report a business you think is acting unfairly during the Coronavirus / COVID-19 outbreak.


Update 20 March

Care changes

West Lothian Council is temporarily suspending the provision of services at adult day care services, a family centre and making changes to residential respite care for adults and older people.

In response to the ongoing challenges caused by the coronavirus, Livingston-based services at Pathways at Quigley House, The Ability Centre (currently based in Deans High School), Eliburn Day Centre and Community Inclusion Team will close from Monday 23 March. Residential respite care for adults will be also be ceased.

Livingston Family Centre will also temporarily close from Monday 23 March.

All users of the services who are affected will be contacted directly, to inform them of the changes and discuss any alternative arrangements that can be put in place to meet their specific needs. Alternative support will be provided to the most vulnerable people affected by the requirement to make these difficult decisions.

Depute Chief Executive Allister Short said:

"It's essential that we manage resources to ensure that vital services are maintained throughout the current outbreak, so that the most vulnerable and at-risk people have the support they need.

"A significant number of people who usually attend our adult day care centres or receive residential respite have underlying health issues and additional vulnerabilities. The decision to temporarily cease these provisions has been taken after consideration of the potential impacts and in keeping with the most up to date health protection information.

"Alternative supports will be provided for the vulnerable families affected by the temporary closure of Livingston Family Centre.

"All clients affected by the changes will be contacted directly to discuss their individual situation and what alternatives can be put in place.

"The situation regarding coronavirus continues to be an evolving picture and we will continue to follow guidance from Health Protection Scotland and the Scottish Government."


Bus services to change in West Lothian

West Lothian residents are being warned over temporary changes to the local bus network.

The Traffic Commissioner for Scotland has issued guidance changing the current regulations on making amendments to bus routes in light of the Covid-19 outbreak, meaning that routes can be altered with very short notice.

The coronavirus has had an impact on bus services due to staff shortages and a significant reduction in the number of people using public transport.  The Traffic Commissioner has implemented the revised guidance to support commercial operators where they are no longer able sustain the current bus network. 

Around 80% of bus journeys in West Lothian are purely commercial, with only 20% funded by the council.

With routes and times liable to change at short notice, anyone using public transport is advised to check their journey in advance using the Traveline app, Traveline Website or call the 24 hour hotline on 0871 200 22 33 24.

Head of Operational Service Jim Jack said:

"These are extremely challenging times for bus operators and local residents should expect significant changes to the bus network in West Lothian following the Traffic Commissioner for Scotland's decision.

"It will allow bus operators to make changes to routes and times, or even stop services completely, at very short notice.

"We are currently liaising with local operators to understand the route changes which are likely to be implemented. The council will continue to liaise with commercial operators to look at ways to ensure local communities continue to receive a service where possible.

"It is likely that timetables at bus stops will be out of date soon, so local residents are encouraged to check Traveline in advance, who will have the latest information."

Previously, the council had to be notified 28 days in advance of applying to the Traffic Commissioner to change a bus route.

The proposed changes could not normally come into effect until 42 days after the application was received by the commissioner, meaning the council would have 70 days to consider the impact of the changes on local communities and put any mitigation measures in place.


Updates to Schools and Education services

Council to focus on essential services

Councillor Surgeries Cancelled

Volunteering

Organised Events