OPAL

Information and Advice for Adults in East Dunbartonshire

Category: Uncategorized (Page 2 of 3)

Pay & display increase parking availability in East Dunbartonshire

Pay & display parking meters have helped to boost the turnover of spaces in Bearsden, Kirkintilloch and Milngavie.

Charges were introduced in seven East Dunbartonshire Council car parks in July 2016, with the first two hours of parking free and then a sliding scale thereafter.

A report to the Council’s Place Neighbourhood & Corporate Assets Committee has revealed the average daily turnover for each space in charge-levying car parks has increased from 1.2 to 4.6 – a rise of nearly 300%.

It means more spaces are available for shoppers and visitors to local town centres.

Councillor Jim Gibbons, Convener of the Place, Neighbourhood & Corporate Assets Committee, said, “Car parks where charging has been introduced have shown significant improvements in turnover and customer access to our town centres. It’s good news for traders and we are continuing to look at ways of improving usage.”

At a meeting on Thursday (2 November) the Committee agreed to introduce the charging scheme in the Bearsden Community Hub car park and Kenmure Drive car park, Bishopbriggs – subject to the promotion of amendments to off-street traffic regulation orders.

Meanwhile, motorists are being asked to take extra care when entering car registration details into pay & display parking meters.

Vehicles parked in charge-levying car parks in Bearsden, Kirkintilloch and Milngavie must display a valid ticket between 9am and 5.30pm, Monday-Friday.

The first two hours of parking are free during those times, but you must still display a ticket with the correct registration details.

In cases where the wrong registration details are displayed, enforcement action is likely to be taken to prevent any potential misuse of the two-hour period of free parking.

Councillor Gibbons said, “Please take care when you are entering your registration details. The meters will check if the same information has been used previously that day, but they do not verify with the DVLA that it’s a valid registration.

“Council pay & display parking meters require drivers to type in correct vehicle details or there is a risk that enforcement action will be taken.”

Please note, cars parked outwith marked bays or in spaces designated for blue badge holders, motor cycles and electric vehicles, are at risk of enforcement action at all times.

* Blue badge holders properly displaying a valid badge do not have to obtain pay & display tickets in Council car parks with charges.

[Full article available on East Dunbartonshire Council website]

Best practice guide for staying safe online

Follow this best practice guide for staying safe and protecting yourself online:

1. How would this come across?

Whenever you’re about to post something online, pause and just imagine how it would look on the front page of a newspaper. Feel uncomfortable? Don’t post it.

2. Got a nickname?

Use a nickname or other alias instead of your real name when signing up to a microblogging site like Twitter. This helps to protect your identity and keep your professional self separate from the wild world of social media.

3. Check your settings

Use the privacy and security settings on social media sites so that only friends and family can see your pages. Remember, the people you are connected with can also be a gateway to your information, so encourage those on your lists to check their settings also.

4. Mother’s maiden name

You don’t actually have to use your mother’s REAL maiden name as security answer, just pick an unrelated name that you remember which is more secure.

5. Guard personal information

Never post any personal information like your address, email address or mobile number. This could be all a person needs to  find out even more about you.  Providing your full date of birth makes you more vulnerable to identity fraud.

6. Photos and videos

Once you share a photo online, other people can see it and are able to download it or at very least ‘screen-grab’ it for whatever purposes. Be careful sharing media that reveals too much – avoid photos of your home, work, school or places you’re associated with.

7. Check what’s needed

Don’t give out information online simply because it’s asked for – question why it is needed? Always provide the minimum information possible.

8. Direct message if you can

Unless you don’t mind sharing your conversation with millions of other users, use direct messaging or the private message function. Or go old-school with an email..

9. Delete old accounts

If you’ve stopped using a social media site or forum, then close your account down. There’s no point in leaving personal information out there unnecessarily.

10. Get anti-virus software

Have anti-virus software installed and be vigilant of what you download or install on your computer.

 

Full ‘Share Take Care’ article available on BBC Website

and for further tips visit Ready Scotland: Online

Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash

Tips to ‘weather-proof’ your home

Aside from looking out your good festive jumper and wearing two pairs of socks to bed, follow these tips and keep your home warm this Winter when the cold weather rears its ugly head, once again..

  • Check the terms of your household insurance policies, and find out what cover you have for risks such as flood or storm damage, or for the costs of temporary accommodation if your home is not habitable. Consider taking out insurance if you don’t have any.
  • Have a shovel and a supply of grit to keep any important pathways clear of snow or ice
  • Know how to turn off your electricity supply at the mains.
  • Know where your stop valve is and how to turn off your water.
  • Follow Scottish Water’s advice on protecting your pipes.
  • Make your home energy-efficient. Call the Scottish Government’s Home Energy Scotland Hotline on 0808 808 2282.
  • If you need to evacuate your home for any reason (and if it’s safe and time permits) turn off the water and electricity, grab your emergency kit, and secure your premises.
  • Think about what else is important for you and your family to get by during an emergency e.g. pet supplies, food supplies and formula/baby food.
  • LP gas users can get advice on stocking up this winter from the UKLPG website.

Full article on Ready Scotland

Photo by Kate on Unsplash

Photo by Cris Saur on Unsplash

How important is sleep?

People across the UK will wake up having gained an hour’s sleep on Sunday morning, as the clocks go back heralding darker evenings and shorter days. But how much do we know about sleep and its impact on our lives, from our health and mood, to how long we’ll live?

1. We’re told to get our eight hours.

Studies carried out around the world, looking at how often diseases occur in different groups of people across a population, have come to the same conclusion: both short sleepers and long sleepers are more likely to have a range of diseases, and to live shorter lives.

Short sleepers are generally defined as those who regularly get less than six hours’ sleep and long sleepers generally more than nine or 10 hours’ a night.

2. What happens in your body when you don’t sleep enough?

A review of 153 studies with a total of more than five million participants found short sleep was significantly associated with diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, coronary heart disease and obesity.

3. We need different types of sleep to repair ourselves.

After we fall asleep we go through cycles of “sleep stages”, each cycle lasting between 60 and 100 minutes. Each stage plays a different role in the many processes that happen in our body during sleep.

4. Shift workers who have disturbed sleep get sick more often.

Researchers have found shift workers who get too little sleep at the wrong time of day may be increasing their risk of diabetes and obesity.

Shift workers are significantly more likely to report “fair or bad” general health according to a 2013 NHS study, which also found people in this group were a lot more likely to have a “limiting longstanding illness” than those who don’t work shifts.

5. And many of us are feeling more sleep deprived than ever.

A big piece of research looking at data from 15 countries found a very mixed picture. Six showed decreased sleep duration, seven increased sleep duration and two countries had mixed results.

Lots of a evidence suggests the amount we sleep hasn’t changed that much in recent generations.

But if you ask people how sleep deprived they think they are, a different picture emerges.

  • Average sleep time is 6.8 hours, below the average 7.7 hours people feel they need
  • More than half (54%) have felt stressed as a result of poor sleep
  • More than a third (36%) have eaten unhealthy food as a result of poor sleep
  • Almost four in 10 (37%) have fallen asleep on public transport.

6. But we didn’t necessarily always sleep this way.

Roger Ekirch, a history professor at Virginia Tech in the USA, published a paper in 2001 drawn from 16 years of research.

Dr Ekirch uncovered more than 2,000 pieces of evidence in diaries, court records and literature which suggest people used to have a first sleep beginning shortly after dusk, followed by a waking period of a couple of hours, then a second sleep.

7. Phones are keeping teenagers awake.

Bedrooms are supposed to be a place of rest but are increasingly filled with distractions like laptops and mobile phones, making it harder for young people to nod off.

68% of young people think using phones at night affects school work

45% check their phone after going to bed

10% do so more than ten times per night

8. Testing for sleep disorders is on the up.

More people are turning up at their doctors complaining of problems sleeping.

Analysing data collected by NHS England, the BBC found in June that the number of sleeping disorder tests had increased every year over the past decade.

9. Are other countries doing it differently?

One study looked at sleep habits in 20 industrialised countries.

It found variations of up to an hour in the time people went to bed and woke up, but overall sleep duration was fairly constant across countries. Generally, if a population on average went to bed later, they woke up later too, although not in every case.

Researchers have concluded that social influences – hours worked, timing of school, leisure habits – play a far bigger role than the natural cycle of light and dark.

10. Morning larks, night owls?

About 30% of us tend towards being morning people and 30% towards being evening people, with the other 40% of us somewhere in the middle – although marginally more people prefer early rising to late nights.

We do have some control over our body clocks, however. Those who are naturally late to bed and late to rise can try reducing their exposure to light in the evenings and making sure they get more light exposure in the daytime.

 

Full article available on BBC

Number of Scots eating less than 5-a-day is now even lower

Recent research by the Scottish Government indicates that the average amount of daily fruit and veg consumed by people in Scotland has fallen.

Dropping from 3.3 items in 2015 to 3 items in 2016, figures also highlighted not much had changed in regards to drinking, smoking and exercising in the previous year.

The survey also showed the proportion of adults eating no fruit or vegetables the previous day (12%) was the highest since 2008, when the annual survey began.

More information on the BBC News website

Missing out on a council tax reduction for ‘mental impairment’? Here’s the steps to make your claim

Tens of thousands of people are entitled to a ‘mental impairment’ council tax discount:

25% discount

if you live with someone with a severe mental impairment and no other adults, or only adults who are also disregarded for council tax purpose.

100% discount

if you have a severe mental impairment and live alone.

The steps to claim your discount are available on the MoneySavingExpert or see below:

How to claim the discount

The process for making a claim varies by area, so you’ll need to check your local authority’s procedure. But here are the basics (for England, Scotland and Wales – for Northern Ireland see below):

  • First, you’ll need a doctor’s diagnosis. A registered medical practitioner must have diagnosed a condition causing severe mental impairment. In some cases you’ll need to attach a written diagnosis to your claim – in others you just give your doctor’s details and they’ll be contacted for confirmation.
  • Then get a claim form from your council. You’ll need to contact your local authority for a claim form to register for a council tax discount (find contact details via the Government’s ‘Apply for Council Tax Reduction’ service).
  • Fill the form in and send it off to your council. You may be asked to attach some supporting evidence, such as the doctor’s diagnosis or evidence of eligibility for relevant benefits.

Procedures vary by council, so if you want to know how long it will take for the discount to be applied, it’s best to check with yours.

Winter flu warnings: should the UK be worried?

On the back of a record breaking bad winter for flu in Australia and New Zealand – which is often an early predictor for what’s to come for this side of the planet- the UK is bracing itself for its worst winter flu epidemic in 50 years.

It’s not all bad news as the vaccines currently being administered have been proven to fight the flu strains active in these areas, but is still cause for concern as scientists warn of a virological drift: which means that one vaccine that works in one country may be ineffective a few months later in another country.

[Express Newspaper]

The NHS offers a free flu jab to those who are likely to develop further health problems from catching the flu, including young children with long-term health conditions, the elderly 65+, pregnant women, and those with long-term health conditions such as;

  • chronic (long-term) respiratory diseases, such as asthma
  • bronchitis or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • chronic heart disease, such as heart failure
  • chronic kidney disease
  • chronic liver disease, such as hepatitis
  • chronic neurological conditions, such as Parkinson’s disease or motor neurone disease
  • diabetes
  • problems with your spleen – for example, sickle cell disease or if you have had your spleen removed
  • a weakened immune system as the result of conditions such as HIV and AIDS or medication such as steroid tablets or chemotherapy

[Coventry Telegraph]

For those not eligible for a free jab, it is also possible to pay for your own vaccine with local pharmacies such as Boots and Lloyds offering this service.

 

Writer in Residency Opportunity

OPAL partner Ceartas is currently seeking a Writer in Residence to facilitate a creative writing project “My Voice, My Choice”.

Thanks to funding from the Big Lottery, Investing in Ideas Award, Ceartas are delighted to announce that they will be running a Creative Writing Project, My Voice, My Choice, in the autumn of this year.
My Voice, My Choice will encourage participants to explore and use the written word to record their experiences. Facilitating a group which supports people to tell their stories in this new format will help to develop confidence and empower members of the community who often feel discriminated against or excluded.

This project will culminate in a publication which will be used to challenge and break down the stigma around “service user land” and associated conditions. The publication will also be used as a tool to raise awareness and understanding of the benefits of independent advocacy, by giving examples of advocacy within context that will help explain just how advocacy can support you.

You can download the Writer In Residence Role Description here, if you would like to chat about the project or the role, please call Sharon Bairden on 0141 775 0433 or email sbairden@ceartas.org.uk.

Volunteer Hotlist – June 2017

Lennox Park Skate Park – Developments in Milngavie

A new skate park has been developed on the site of an existing skate park -originally built in 2005- in Milngavie. The £120,000 investment by East Dunbartonshire Council has has helped create a modern facility at Lennox Park where skateboard, BMX and scooter users of all levels of ability can hone their skills.

Councillor Gibbons, convenor of the Council’s Place, Neighbourhood & Corporate Assets Committee, said, “I’m delighted that this exciting project has now been completed and I’d like to thank the Trust and pupils from Douglas Academy for all their assistance and hard work in helping to make sure Lennox Park is improved for residents and visitors.

“Since this facility has opened keen skaters, scooter and BMX riders from all over East Dunbartonshire and central Scotland have been using the impressive new facility and feedback from these users has been very positive.

“I hope it will help attract more people to the park and help ensure it continues to be an excellent resource for local skaters and bikers for many years to come.”

 

Quote and source article available here

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