Please Play Safely

A concerned resident of the village has requested that parents remind their children that playing by the Papana Water, when it is as high and fast flowing as it is at the moment, is potentially dangerous. Yesterday, they witnessed a child playing by clinging onto a structure overhanging the burn from which they could easily have fallen in and been swept away.

Also, the state of the old building on the land on the south side of the burn (in the Apple Tree/Linden Cottage/Africa area) but accessed via the bridge beside Juniper Cottage is very poor with a partial collapse of the roof having occurred last year. It would also be wise for parents to ensure children do not attempt to enter or play near to that building.

Leigh Thomson

Jimmie, Norma, Murray, Tracy and Scott would like to thank everyone for the kind messages of comfort and support we have received since our lovely Leigh passed away on Monday.   We can’t imagine what our lives will be like without her popping in and out, and invariably leaving us in fits of laughter, but the kindness and warmth of our friends and neighbours will go a long way to easing our grief.

Thank you all.

Information in the Event of Adverse Weather

Please note the information given below and try to plan ahead for any possible severe weather conditions.  Make sure you have enough food supplies in case the weather prevents you travelling for a few days.  You should also make sure you have enough prescription medicine to see you through a period of bad weather.  A very important point to note is that, if you are parked on the street, please ensure you leave plenty of space for gritters to pass through the village – and other vital vehicles such as ambulances and fire engines.

If you are vulnerable or have specific health needs, chronic illness, a requirement for carers or any electrical medical equipment it would be helpful if you could let the Community Emergency Team know so that, in the event of adverse weather or power cuts, extra help can be provided to you.  Please contact us using the form provided below.

Packing a small emergency kit and keeping it in a safe place at home in a waterproof bag will help in a wide range of emergency situations. Your kit should include:

  • A battery operated torch and spare batteries (or a wind up torch)
  • A battery operated radio and spare batteries (or a wind up radio)
  • Mobile phone charger
  • Any essential medication, some toiletries and a first aid kit
  • Three days’ supply of bottled water and ready to eat food (that won’t go off)
  • Copies of important documents like insurance policies and birth certificates, in case you need to locate these quickly or prove your identity
  • Pencil, paper, a penknife and a whistle
  • Matches

Think about what else is important for you and your family to get by should an emergency occur over an extended period.  For example, ensure you have enough:

  • Food supplies
  • Formula/baby food
  • Pet supplies

Consider also purchasing alternative heating and cooking methods such as a camping stove and an analogue phone –digital phones will not work if there is no electricity.

In cold weather, make sure you keep as warm as possible, particularly wearing layers, and keeping at least one room in the house heated.

Please try your best to check on vulnerable neighbours and help them to prepare.

Before travelling in severe weather

  • Consider whether you need to travel right now, or if you can wait until the weather improves
  • Check the weather forecast, and keep up to date with the latest weather warnings and road conditions
  • Make sure your car is ready for a journey in poor weather (such as checking tyre pressure and fuel levels)
  • Tell someone your destination and when you expect to arrive
  • Allow extra time for your journey
  • Take a fully charged mobile and charger with you
  • Pack an emergency kit in your car.  The emergency kit could include:

Ø  a first aid kit

Ø  battery jump leads

Ø  a torch and spare batteries

Ø  a map for unplanned diversions

Ø  a blanket

Ø  a reflective warning sign.

Ø  a shovel for snow

Ø  warm clothes and boots

Ø  some food, and a warm drink in a flask

You can find out what is happening by tuning in to local radio or, if you have access to the internet, check for current information on one of these websites:

East Coast FM can be found on 107.6FM

Forth 1 can be found on 97.3FM

Radio Scotland can be found on 92-95FM or 810MW

I have prepared an Emergency Resilience Plan for Garvald. If you would like to view this plan please indicate on the form providing an email address for it to be sent to.

Penny Short

Community Emergency Team Co-Ordinator

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    Please click 'Send' when you have completed the form:

    COVID Update – Wednesday 6th January 2021

    Please see below for some helpful information from East Lothian Council regarding COVID-19 – a salient point being that the Community Emergency/Resilience Teams will not be asked at this point to provide the same service as in the first lockdown.

    “As you will be aware, we begin 2021 with some significant developments in the fight against COVID-19. The confirmation of vaccines being approved and their subsequent rollout is, of course, a hugely positive step in the right direction which can help society move to a less restrictive way of life in the months ahead.

    In the meantime, as highlighted on Monday, January 4th in Parliament by the First Minister, the virus continues to present a very significant risk to public health. A new strain of the virus, together with a steeply rising trend of infections across the country, is causing significant concern.

    In that context, mainland Scotland, including East Lothian, has moved from COVID-19 Protection Level 4 to a temporary lockdown which will be in place for at least the rest of January. This is aimed at protecting the NHS and curbing the spread of the virus.

    It is very clear that this new lockdown will present further challenges to the delivery of public services here in East Lothian, as well as to many individuals, families and business across local communities.

    In the aftermath of the First Minister’s announcement, the council issued an initial public statement highlighting the key points, with quotes from the Depute Leader. You can read the statement on the Council website – www.elc.gov.uk.

    The First Minister’s key message was that the single best way of staying safe is for people to stay at home. As a result it is only permissible to leave home for a purpose such as work which cannot be done from home, caring responsibilities, essential shopping, exercise and being part of an extended household.

    Shielding People

    The Scottish Government’s clear advice is that people in the shielding category who cannot work from home should not go into work at all and should work from home if possible – the Chief Medical Officer is writing afresh to everyone who now falls into this category. Full shielding is not being advised in Scotland at this time. Instead, those in the shielding category can still access essential food shops and are encouraged to exercise outdoors where possible. We are aware that many will have support from family, friends and neighbours but anyone who does require extra support can call the council’s dedicated helpline on 01875 824300. Extra advice can be found on the Scottish Government website.

    Support for our communities and vulnerable residents

    The support provided by our wonderful local Community Resilience Groups to the most vulnerable in our communities during the first lockdown early in 2020 cannot be underestimated. They were a lifeline to many.

    However, as there is more support in place now than in March last year, we are not asking the resilience groups to start operating again at this time.  We will continue to monitor demand for support and any changes in government guidelines and we will be in touch if this position changes.

    Many community volunteers continue to provide informal ‘good neighbour’ support which is really valuable in helping reduce loneliness and isolation during this difficult time.

    Help for those who are self-isolating for any reason is available on our website and includes:

    ·        Self-isolation support grants

    ·        Other financial support for individuals and businesses

    ·        Access to emergency community food provision

    ·        Warm clothing grants

    ·        Crisis grants

    ·        Winter fuel grants

    ·        Mental health support

    ·        Befriending via the Royal Voluntary Service

    ·        Digital support

    NHS Hearing Aid batteries can be obtained from either visiting the council’s main offices or libraries or by contacting the Audiology service directly by email:  audiology@nhslothian.scot.nhs.uk or by phone on 0131 536 1637 during the following hours:

    Mon – Fri 10 am – 1 pm and 2 pm – 4 pm.

    Main council office and library opening hours are as follows:

    John Muir House, Haddington                                  Mon – Fri 9 am – 1 pm

    Brunton Hall, Musselburgh                                         Mon – Fri 10 am – 12 noon and 1 pm – 4 pm

    Musselburgh Library                                                      Mon – Fri 10 am – 1 pm and 2 pm – 4 pm

    Haddington Library, John Gray Centre                    Mon – Fri 10 am – 1 pm and 2 pm – 4 pm

    Dunbar Library, Bleachingfield Centre                                   Mon – Fri 10 am – 1 pm and 2 pm – 4 pm

    North Berwick Library                                                    Mon – Fri 10 am – 1 pm and 2 pm – 4 pm

    Pharmacies can deliver medicines, patients just need to contact their local pharmacy directly to arrange this.

    If you are approached by anyone in your community who needs extra assistance, you can point them to our website for more information or they can call our dedicated Coronavirus helpline on 01875 824300 at any time.

    Financial assistance

    The council has received £327,000 from the Scottish Government to support individuals at financial risk over the winter months. This funding is being used to:

    ·        Increase the grants available under the Scottish Welfare Fund, specifically Crisis Grants and Community Care Grants.

    ·        Increase the Discretionary Housing Payment Fund to assist tenants who have experienced new/increased rent arrears in 2020/21.

    ·        Create a new Fuel Insecurity Fund which can provide financial assistance to households in financial hardship and with fuel debts who may not be eligible for a Crisis Grant from the Scottish Welfare Fund.

    ·        Support to tackle food insecurity in our communities by providing support for community based food initiatives and support for the Fareshare Hub.

    ·        Additional funding for emergency payments from Children and Adult Social Work to support families, young people and vulnerable adults in financial hardship.

    Details of these funding streams are available in the Financial Support during COVID-19 leaflet on the council website.

    Some other key points from the First Minister’s announcement:

    Exercise and gatherings

    Unlike the lockdown last year, the frequency of outdoor exercise is not being limited. However, the rule on outdoor gatherings has changed. Up to six people from two households were previously able to meet outdoors. Given the greater transmissibility of the new variant of the virus, gatherings are now limited to a maximum of two people from up to two households being able to meet outdoors.

    Children aged 11 and under will not be counted in that limit, and they will also be able to play outdoors in larger groups, including in organised gatherings. However, for everyone else – including 12 to 17 year olds – outdoor exercise should only take place in a way which is consistent with the two people from two households rule.

    Travel

    In addition, strict travel restrictions remain in place across Scotland. People living in a Level 4 area – like East Lothian – cannot leave home except for an essential purpose. When you do go out, stay as close to home as possible and stay away from crowded places.

    Additionally, no-one is allowed to travel into or out of Scotland unless it is for an essential purpose.

    Other key points

    Places of worship will be closed during this period for all purposes except broadcasting a service, or conducting a funeral, wedding or civil partnership.

    While up to 20 people will still be able to attend funeral services, wakes will not be possible during January. And a maximum of five people will be able to attend wedding and civil partnership services.

    Schools

    It was announced before Christmas that most school pupils would learn remotely – rather than in school – until Monday 18 January.

    The Government has now decided to extend the 18 January date and keep schools closed to the majority of pupils until 1 February. This will be reviewed in mid-January with pupils learning remotely.”

    Penny Short

    Garvald Emergency Resilience Team Co-ordinator

    Dog Fouling

    Concerns have been raised by members of the community, recently, regarding an increase in incidences of dog fouling in and around the village. Of particular concern is those who let their dogs foul grassy verges which, in the absence of pavements, people have to walk on when cars go past. It is an offence to fail to clean up after a dog, in a public area, which can attract a fine of up to £500.

    Please see the information on the East Lothian Council website where there is also a link to report dog fouling:

    Dog fouling | Litter and street cleaning | East Lothian Council

    Christmas Message from East Lothian Council

    We would like to share a short YouTube video, created by the ELC Communications team, ‘A festive message to our communities’, featuring the EL Provost, John McMillan and the Lord Lieutenant, Michael Williams, reflecting on this unprecedented year we are about to leave (thank goodness) thanking  communities, throughout East Lothian during COVID 19, for their enthusiasm, commitment and extraordinary efforts:

    https://youtu.be/nZPvREyAJ-4