By Kirstie Topp – Local Democracy Reporter
Aberdeenshire Council Chief Executive, Jim Savege provided a covid-19 update to councillors at an online meeting of Full Council on Thursday, January 14.
We all know the reality of the restrictions on all of our lives and as hard as it can be it’s important we all continue to play our part to help suppress the virus so that in the longer term we can again live our lives in the way that we wish to.
I have to pay testament to the hard work of staff responding to the changes to working practice and in the work to suppress the virus.
Mr Savege told members that council officers are currently finalising proposals with the Scottish Government for the wider scale deployment of community testing over a 12-week period in the Peterhead area.
He stated this was
a significant step forward from the deployment of mobile testing units on an occasional basis to support the community to be able to suppress the virus in the most effective way that we can do.
He noted that the current levels of covid-19 and the new variant were having a “significant impact” on council services such as the closure of leisure facilities and service points while school teaching was continuing remotely.
Roads, landscape and waste services have also been hit because of the inability to use council vehicles as normal.
Mr Savege said that there has been “significant effort” in the area to vaccinate priority groups including front-line NHS staff, care home staff and care home residents.
He added that the deployment of the vaccine is “on track” and stated that the local authority will “do whatever is needed to support the NHS vaccination programme”.
He revealed the council is working “full steam ahead” on planning and preparing for the upcoming Scottish Parliament elections due to be held in May using experience learned from the recent by-election in Ellon, although he did note it may “create a significant demand on many council services to carry it out and to make it happen”.
Mr Savege ended his update by thanking councillors for their “solid and robust leadership” throughout the pandemic and for providing support to residents.