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News from council and partners

News from the council and partners

News from council and partners

Third Sector Ambition Fund - The council has allocated time-limited funding of £200,000 to create a Third Sector Ambition Fund. The purpose of fund is to enable Third Sector organisations to increase their capacity to improve and grow existing and new services. Voluntary and Third Sector organisations in West Lothian have until 31 July to apply for a share of £200,000.

The fund can be used to:

·         Purchase equipment which would improve their ability to develop and/or deliver services

·         Support the development of existing and/or new services by front-loading staff and other costs

·         Provide match funding for grants from external organisations for investment in new projects to deliver in new projects to lever in additional external funding to pilot, develop and/or improve delivery of services

Applicants must have a Constitution and/or Articles of Association and a bank account in the name of the organisation.   Confirmation that a minimum of two people eg Chair and Treasurer, are required to sign and counter-sign cheques. The latest version of Audited or Independently Examined annual accounts should be provided and confirmation that surpluses or profits are retained and not distributed.

There are two levels of funding: Between £5,000 to £20,000 and over £20,000. Any applications for more than £20,000 have to demonstrate that significant levels of 'match' funding are available.

The deadline for applications is 31 July. Projects will be expected to commence in 2017/18 and be completed within 12 months of funding approval. Fuller information, and an application form, is available from the following link::

Free swimming during the school summer holidays - Youngsters who are aged 15 and under in West Lothian can swim free during the school summer holidays. The free swimming programme is funded by West Lothian Council and allows youngsters aged 15 and under to swim for free, Monday to Friday from 10am to 4pm, Friday 30 June - Friday 18 August. Swimming is available at Xcite pools in Armadale, Bathgate, Broxburn, Linlithgow, and Whitburn, as well as West Lothian Leisure pools in Deans and Inveralmond Community High Schools, and West Lothian Council's Fauldhouse Partnership Centre. Free swimming is available for one session per day per person (max 1 hour). Children under eight must be accompanied by an adult. Limited spaces are available. Terms and Conditions apply. Xcite Livingston will be offering a discounted rate of £1 per swim session for 15yrs and under, Monday - Friday 10am to 4pm, from 30 June - 18 August.

Adult Learning - The council is offering several learning opportunities across the county during the summer, ranging from Accredited Learning to fun one-off workshops and taster sessions. The following opportunities are available:

·         Word in two Weeks: An opportunity to use spare time over the summer to gain an SQA Qualification in Word-processing. This will involve attending up to 10 sessions over a fortnight

·         Excel in two Weeks: An opportunity to use spare time over the summer to gain an SQA Qualification in Spreadsheets. This will involve attending up to 10 sessions over a fortnight

·         Tablets and iPad: Come along, Find out more about tablets, iPads or smartphones. We can lend you a Tablet or iPad for each session Or you can bring along your own device and we will show you how to get the best out of it.

·          Digital Photography; Basic level intro to Digital Photography. How to take better pictures, download photos and basic editing using Google Picasa. Sharing your photos with family and friends

·         Music from CD to memory stick, phone or tablet; Learn how to get music from your CDs to use on your tablet or mobile phone. Bring along your CDs and we will show you how to do it.

·         Cash Confident; The course covers budgeting, benefits, saving and borrowing and includes, looking at online shopping and price comparison websites.

·         More for Less; Learn all about recycling, energy use, getting the most out of supermarket offers and saving money online. Our learners not only have fun, but make real-life savings - one learner saved £200 on her home insurance using a price comparison site. Buying and selling using Gumtree and Ebay

If you are interested in any of these opportunities then get in touch. Let us know your name and contact details, which course, where you live, If you could travel to other locations and lastly if you would prefer daytime or evening sessions. Contact: 0800 731 1831 or email

2017 Garden Competition - Now is a great time to start making plans to enter your garden for West Lothian Council's annual Gardens Competition. Entry is free and there are lots of prizes to be won. The closing date for entries has been set for Friday 14 July, with Judging starting during the week beginning Monday 24 July, and the awards ceremony will take place on Friday 13 October. The annual competition aims to encourage local residents to get involved in gardening, which is a healthy, fun activity that enhances and enriches not just your own property but the wider West Lothian community. Categories include: Gardening for Wildlife; General Garden; Vegetable Garden; Tallest Sunflower; Best Community Garden; Floral Containers; Best New Entrant. To enter, call West Lothian Council's Customer Service Centre on 01506 280000 or email

(Draft) Planning Guidance: The Vennel, Linlithgow - Public Consultation

  • Local residents and community groups are encouraged to have their say in the consultation process, which seeks to improve and regenerate the Vennel area. The Vennel is part of the Linlithgow Palace and High Street Conservation Area and sits in the town centre area, adjacent to Linlithgow Loch. The newly refurbished £4 million Linlithgow Partnership Centre will open this Autumn, becoming home to a range of council, partner and community services. As a result of services relocating to the new centre, a number of council premises at The Vennel will be vacated. The council will seek alternative short/medium term uses for these properties, whilst longer term plans for the wider Vennel area are developed.  Any development would need to be sensitive to the surrounding area, with possible uses including commercial or retail use, tourism facilities, community or outdoor space or residential. An extended nine-week consultation period will be ongoing until 5pm on Thursday 24 August 2017 to allow interested parties to share their views. The council will also allow a short period beyond the end of the consultation period for community groups to submit responses, where it has not been possible for the group to meet during the consultation period, provided that they indicate that they wish to do so within the consultation period. Responses to the consultation will be used to inform a masterplan for the redevelopment of the area. For full details please visit the following link: The consultation has been extended from the usual six to nine weeks and closes at 5pm on Thursday 24 August 2017.   Comments are preferred by email to in-box: Alternately, postal responses can be sent to: Development Planning & Environment Team, West Lothian Civic Centre, Howden South Road, Livingston, EH54 6FF.

Waste Services

  • Community Recycling Centre(CRCs) - Summer opening hours at West Lothian's Community Recycling Centres run until September. All six centres, at Broxburn, Linlithgow, Oakbank, Blackburn, Whitburn and Deans will open 9am - 7pm, Monday to Sunday. The last entry is at 6.45pm. For more information on what can be recycled at the CRCs, visit
  • Used batteries - Members of the public are being urged not to put their old batteries into household waste bins after it emerged that they can cause fire and even explosions if mixed with domestic waste. Instead, residents are being urged to take their old portable household batteries to designated recycling points. Batteries can be safely disposed of at designated recycling points. The council provides collection arrangements for old batteries at each of its six Community Recycling Centres, and similar collection points can also be found in supermarkets and shops throughout West Lothian.

Council Tax - Please remember your Council Tax is due to be paid on or before 1 July, unless you pay by direct debit.  If you want to pay your Council Tax on a date other than the 1st of the month you can do so if you choose to pay by direct debit.  There are various payment dates available and you can sign up online by completing our direct debit form at  by clicking on "pay for it" and "Council Tax".

Don't Flick It, Stick It  - A new campaign - Don't Flick It, Stick It! - has been launched, aimed at reducing smoking related litter on West Lothian's streets. The council spent £2.73million last year clearing local streets of litter. Around half of all streets are affected by smoking related litter (butts, matches and packaging). In our towns the figure rises to an incredible 75%.Cigarette butts are one of the most difficult and time consuming items to remove as they do not breakdown naturally. Cigarette filters are full of plastics called cellulose acetate that can take up to 12 years to degrade. Across the UK, over 120 tonnes of cigarette butts are discarded each year. Our message to smokers is simple. Please use the bin or carry a portable ashtray. To all responsible smokers - Don't Flick It, Stick it!

The third West Lothian Pride event - will take place on Saturday 29 July in Livingston town centre. The purpose of the event is to provide the people of West Lothian with an opportunity to celebrate and support lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people within our local community. Come along to the Pride Village at West Lothian College in Livingston from 1pm, followed by a march through Livingston town centre from 2pm. The march returns to West Lothian College at 2.45 for speeches and the raising of the Pride flag, before an afternoon and evening of entertainment until 8pm. For more information please see You can also follow @Wlothianpride on Twitter or West Lothian PRIDE on Facebook for updates. West Lothian Pride is  looking for children's entertainers/balloon artists interested in attending the event. For more details, please contact Maggie Archibald on 01506 281 343 or e-mail

Low Port Outdoor Centre currently has the following spaces available on courses running over the summer holidays. The courses include, bushcraft, climbing, mountain biking and sailing. The spaces are allocated on a first-come first-serve basis and are expected to fill up fast. For fuller information, please contact: or phone 01506 284400.

Advice Shop

·         Help with electricity - If you are a customer of E.ON on a low income benefit or a total household income of less than £16,190 and have a vulnerability such as a disability or a child under 5 in the household, then you may qualify for a one off payment of £140 to help reduce your electricity bill. E.ON has opened their scheme and are currently taking applications for 2017-18. Don't delay as applications are assessed on a first come, first served basis. Get in touch with West Lothian Council's Advice Shop on 01506 283000 option 4 for help with your application.

·         Macmillan Benefits Advice service  - The council has extended the Macmillan Benefits Advice service for people who are attending the Western General Hospital, which is a partnership between West Lothian Council and Macmillan Cancer Support. The service is available for anyone affected by cancer, including the person with a cancer diagnosis, family, friends and carers. The service can be accessed at any point in the cancer journey, no appointment is necessary visitors can drop in to use the service in the Macmillan Information and Support Centre (South Corridor) on a Tuesday and Thursday 10am to 1pm.  Ward visits and appointments are available on request. For more information call: 01506 283000 option 2, or 07775 025830. In addition the frequency and duration of the sessions available to offer advice and support for people with cancer and their families has been extended to four days a week. The team from West Lothian Advice Shop has introduced new dedicated appointments to coincide with hospital appointments at the Western General Hospital and ward visits for patients. In addition to the regular drop-in sessions the team is now available on a Monday at the Patient Information Centre, Anne Ferguson Building, Western General Hospital and on a Tuesday, Thursday and Friday at the Macmillan Information and Support Centre (South Corridor). Living with cancer can be tough on your finances. You may have to spend more on everyday costs like heating, child care and travel, at a time when your income may have fallen. Too often, money worries can get out of control.

Macmillan @ Bathgate Partnership Centre Cancer Information and Support Service - offers anyone affected by cancer access to information and support and welcomes visitors with a friendly smile and a listening ear. You may have cancer yourself, be a relative, friend or carer of someone with cancer, or maybe you just want to find out more about cancer. The service provides:

·         A free and confidential drop in support service

·         Time to talk in a relaxed atmosphere

·         Help to access benefits and financial advice

·         Access to counselling provided by Cancer Support Scotland

·         Links to other relevant local organisations

·         Leaflets and books on cancer topics and help to access quality access quality internet sites for cancer information and support

The service can be found in Bathgate Library, Bathgate Partnership Centre, South Bridge St, Bathgate EH48 1TS and is open every Monday from 10am - 1pm and Thursday between 1pm and 3pm.

For fuller information, phone 01506 283053 or email

·         Macmillan @ Strathbrock Partnership Centre Information and Support Service for people living with cancer and their families in West Lothian is now open in Broxburn. The new service will be available from Wednesdays between 1pm and 3pm and on Fridays from 10am to 12.30pm.

Is your child eligible? -West Lothian Council has launched a campaign aimed at highlighting what financial support is available to parents of school children. The "Is your child eligible?" campaign aims to highlight that support is available to parents and their children through several council funded programmes. The assistance available is far-reaching and helps thousands of families in West Lothian each year. The programmes aim to help those families who are in need of and entitled to financial support. More details, including information on who is eligible and how to apply, are available on the council's website: Applications forms are available at the West Lothian Civic Centre, Council Information Services, Advice Shop (Bathgate), Jobcentre Plus, Libraries, or online at  For further information please phone 01506 281952 or e-mail:

West Lothian Libraries

  • Family history workshops - To celebrate 2017 being the year of History, Heritage and Archaeology, the West Lothian Family History Society volunteers are running workshops throughout West Lothian libraries. These workshops are free and open to anyone. You will be shown the best websites to use and how to use these websites effectively, hopefully enabling you to go on and confidently use these resources independently. They are also available to assist confident researchers who find themselves 'stuck' with their research. Booking is not necessary. Workshops will be running throughout the year. Dates are as below:
  • Blackburn Connected - Saturday 8 July, 10am - 12.30pm
  • East Calder Library - Saturday 5 August, 10am - 12.30pm
  • Whitburn Library - Saturday 9 September, 10am - 12.30pm
  • Fauldhouse Library - Saturday 7 October, 10am - 12.30pm
  • Broxburn Library - Saturday 18 November, 10am - 12.30pm

The Voluntary Organisations and Childcare Training Calendar - for Summer 2017 is now available to complete online from the following link:  This training is open to individuals that live, work or volunteer in West Lothian and that are actively involved within a small voluntary organisation, community group or childcare setting. This includes but is not an exclusive list: playgroups, children's club, after school care, parents school council, community council, community association, management committees and gala committees. Childminders and private nurseries that provide a service within regeneration areas are also included. To apply for training, complete the online form with appropriate authorisation where required and mail to As courses fill quickly, it is advisable to get your complete forms in as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.

Active Fun Active Feet - Bookings are now being taken for the West Lothian 'Active Fun Active Feet' Summer Holiday Programme. Camps are taking place over the Summer Holidays for all pupils currently in P1 to P7 on various dates at Bathgate Academy, Inveralmond CHS and James Young HS in Livingston and Whitburn Academy.  Children will take part in a wide range of activities including athletics, basketball, gymnastics, football, multisport activities, parachute games, playground games and much more.  The cost is £25 per child for two-day Camps and £15 per child per day for individual camps and will run from 9am -3pm. Bookings and payment can be made online at   For fuller information, please contact Ben Boatman (Active Schools) on

Health Improvement Team (HIT)

  • Bike loan - is available to anyone in need who would be otherwise unable to acquire a bike. Currently we have libraries in Mayfield Community Hub in Armadale, Stoneyburn Community Centre, Adaptive Bike Library in Broxburn, Lanthorn Community Centre in Dedridge, The Vennie in Knightsridge, Polbeth and West Calder Community Garden, Blackburn Homeless Unit, Strathbrock Family Unit, opening soon at Cyrenians Farm in Kirknewton, with more future partnerships under consideration. To borrow a bike or make a referral, please contact your local library or the Health Improvement Team or 01506 775626.

An opportunity - for a qualified hairdresser to establish and build up a client base has arisen at Rosemount Gardens in Mid Street, Bathgate. Rosemount Gardens is an over 60s development of 30 flats and has an on-site hairdressers and café/restaurant open to the general public seven days a week.