Below is some of the latest information we've published on Coronavirus (COVID-19), and how it is affecting our services.
We've made a Coronavirus (COVID-19) hub on our website, where all information and service disruptions will be published. We'll be updating this and our social media channels frequently.
To sign up to the e-bulletin, register at MyWestLothian
Unemployment claims in West Lothian increase during May
The number of people claiming unemployment benefits in West Lothian has increased to 6,665 in May.
The number represents an increase of 0.9% on the previous month.
West Lothian's position (5.7%) is, however, lower than the Scottish rate (6.2 %) and the British rate (6.5%).
Youth unemployment figures for West Lothian in May stood at 1,330 (9.3%).
This is slightly higher than Scottish average of 8.3 % and British average of 8.7%.
Deadline for Business Support Funding
Businesses have until 10 July to submit applications to receive financial support from the Scottish Government Coronavirus Business Support Fund.
The fund is being administered by Local Authorities and consists of the Small Business Grant Fund and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund.
The grants are aimed at helping to keep small and medium-sized companies in business and keep productive capacity so that they can recover. Their intention is to:
- Protect jobs
- Prevent business closure
- Promote economic recovery
As of 16 June, over £24 million has been awarded to 2,146 West Lothian businesses since the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
So far a total of 2,505 applications have been received with 2,146 grant payments being paid
Further information regarding eligibility criteria and how to apply is available via on Coronavirus Business Support Fund and Business Rates Relief
Building Services update
Under new Scottish Government advice , Construction work (including domestic properties) can resume but is dependent on ensuring all relevant health and safety processes and procedures are in place to prevent spread of the coronavirus.
Building services have provided an update on which elements of the service will be able to resume and when this is likely to be able to take place.
This can be viewed on Housing Updates
In preparation for the return of housing repairs, our Building Services team will be contacting tenants who had previously reported routine repairs before the 23rd of March 2020 to find out whether these repairs are still required.
A further update will be provided to tenants wishing to report any new routine repairs.
Please continue to report emergency repairs to our Customer Service Centre on 01506 280000.
Home Learning Update
Although we're approaching the end of term, a lot of hard work is still taking place across West Lothian High Schools and they have been keeping their local communities up to date about some of the things they have been getting up to.
The most recent update includes highlights coming from Bathgate Academy, James Young High School and Whitburn Academy. Visit Learning at home.
West Lothian takes part in Armed Forces Week
West Lothian Council is joining organisations across the country in flying the flag for Armed Forces Day.
Armed Forces Week takes place annually and honors the work of our armed forces.
Unfortunately, due to the coronavirus outbreak, this year's Armed Forces Day Flag Raising event was cancelled, however, the Armed Forces Day flag was raised outside the Civic Centre on Monday 22 June and will proudly remain in place for a week in honour of our country's armed forces and also to celebrate Reserves Day which is on Wednesday 24 June 2020.
Reservists give up their spare time to serve in the Reserve Forces, balancing their civilian life with a military career to ensure that should their country require them, they would be ready to serve as part of the military.
The council will be sharing content from partners and local groups via social media on #SaluteOurForces some of which will highlight how you can take park in Armed Forces Week from your home.
Anti-Poverty Service promoting Fast Online Referral Tracking (FORT)
There are so many fantastic community groups and organisations working to help people through the current crisis. Services have had to adapt to new ways of working and now more than ever, it is important that services work together to support those in need.
The council's Ant-Poverty Service is promoting Fast Online Referral Tracking (FORT) which can help local services to connect and make seamless referrals to help local people access the right help and support at the right time.
To find out more about how the FORT system could benefit businesses then please watch this short video on the introduction to FORT West Lothian
Organisations interested in signing up to use the FORT system or want more information should contact email@example.com