The first council meeting since the Covid-19 lockdown will be held virtually on June 24. The Labour group and I welcome this opportunity to thank everyone who has worked so hard to keep us healthy, safe and fed in the last few months.

We will rightly praise our key workers in the public, voluntary and private sector for all their work caring for our sick and vulnerable; providing our communities with the basics of daily living, food, shelter and protection during this extremely difficult time.

Since lockdown began we have continued to raise your representations, concerns and scrutinise council decisions and actions throughout the last few months by virtually meeting the chief executive and senior council officers weekly.

This is our first real opportunity to direct council officers to our local political priorities during the pandemic. We have submitted a number of motions that I believe will cover the priorities you have had, and will be concerned about for the coming months.

We will firstly express our greatest sympathies and regret at the large numbers of deaths in care homes throughout Scotland and the UK. We will urge that care home residents and staff will now be able to get tested for Covid-19 on a regular basis.

Our health and care staff have been working in extremely challenging circumstances to protect our elderly and vulnerable residents often in the absence of timeous national guidance.

The Labour group will also call on the return of staff and pupils to schools to be carefully risk assessed with staff, parents and trade unions, to ensure safety is our number one priority as we begin the process of a new blended model of teaching that will include both classroom tuition and distance learning at home.

Infection control measures should also be in place in our schools. These should be widely advertised to raise awareness, and there should be clear written instructions for staff to follow in the event of any individual displaying Covid-19 symptoms.

To support all of this, our schools should also have enhanced cleaning and maintenance to minimise the risk of cross contamination. The cleaning regime must be regular and must use approved cleaning products that are effective against Covid-19.

In addition we should use the summer holiday period to give our most deprived young people any support we can, to try and assist them while their education has potentially suffered greater during the closure.

Lastly, we will call on additional help and support for any children whose mental health has suffered during these extreme and challenging circumstances.