Council Service Update for Friday, 22nd April 2022
Council has received formal notification from UNITE the Union, in relation to Strike Action commencing at 00:01 hours on 25th April 2022 and continuing up to 1st May 2022 when the action will conclude at 23:59 hours and commencing at 00:01 hours on 3rd May 2022 and continuing up to 8th May 2022 when the action will conclude at 23:59 hours.
There will be disruption to a range of services including refuse collection, street cleansing, recycling centres and leisure facilities.
The latest information on the impact on services will be posted on www.derrystrabane.com/strike-action
Please note that all the most up to date information on COVID 19 are all available on the NI Direct website and are updated regularly in accordance with information provided by the NI Executive – https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/campaigns/coronavirus-covid-19.
New Waste and Recycling App
Last month Council officially launched its new Derry Strabane Recycling App. It allows the public to sync the bin collections in their area to their calendar so they never miss bin day again!
It is also useful to find out up-to-date info on all the local Recycling Centres, top tips on how to recycle better and how to reduce waste at home. It is free to download now on Apple and Android.
Summer opening hours
Just a reminder that summer opening hours are in operation from April 01 at all Council Cemeteries which will open from 8am – 8pm, seven days a week.
Opening times have also changed at some recycling sites – please check out your local site information at https://recycling.derrystrabane.com/recycling-centres/opening-times/
Council civic offices and public buildings – Council's Civic Offices in Strand Road, Derry and Derry Road, Strabane remain open to the public. Screens are in place and the public will be asked to sanitise on entering and leaving the buildings and adhere to an in-house management system and social distancing guidance. The public are being encouraged to use Council's online systems where possible and are advised that they can contact Council by phone at 028 71 253253 or by email at [email protected]
The Harbour House is open for staff and elected members only.
The Guildhall is open to the public – Monday to Friday 9am-8pm and on Saturday and Sunday from 9am to 6pm.
The Tower Museum is open to the public – its opening hours are from 9am to 5.30pm daily.
The Alley Theatre and Visitor Information Centre in Strabane is open to the public from Monday to Friday from 10 am to 4.30pm.
Council meetings –All Council committee meetings scheduled for April will be held in a hybrid form and can be viewed online via the Council's YouTube channel. Full Council meetings will continue to be held virtually. This is being reviewed regularly. The full list of meetings can be found at http://meetings.derrycityandstrabanedistrict.com
Mayor's Office – The Mayor Alderman Graham Warke is the current Mayor of the city and he is available for pre-booked meetings and events and is keen to engage with the public. He can be contacted via his office at [email protected]
For more info on the Mayor visit www.derrystrabane.com/mayor.
Please note that summer opening hours are now in operation at recycling centres across Derry and Strabane, which means some centres will stay open later over the coming months.
Full details of opening times and other information regarding access is listed below.
· Pennyburn Recycling Centre - 8am to 8pm Monday to Friday, 8am-6pm Saturday and 1pm-5pm Sunday
· Glendermott Road Recycling Centre - Monday to Friday 9:30am - 12noon, 1pm - 4:30pm Monday to Friday, site open to all from 6-8pm with the exception of Thursday night. 8am-6pm on Saturday for bookings and 1pm-5pm on Sunday for bookings. Please note that there is no access for trailers at this site.
· Strahans Road Recycling Centre - 10am to 4.45 – booking is required for large vans
· Strathfoyle Recycling Centre - 8am to 8pm Monday to Friday, 8am-6pm Saturday and 1pm-5pm Sunday
· Eglinton Recycling Centre - 8am -6pm - booking system, 6-8pm site is open to all. Saturday bookings 8am-6pm (last booking at 5:30pm) Please note that there is no access for trailers at this site.
· Claudy Recycling Centre - 8am-5pm Monday to Saturday. Vans can have access between 8am-9am no booking required
· Park Recycling Centre - 8am -5pm Monday to Saturday.
· Donemana Recycling Centre - 10am to 4.45pm
· Plumbridge Recycling Centre - 10am-4.45pm
· Newtownstewart Recycling Centre - 10am-4.45pm
· Spamont and Castlederg temporary facility - Monday to Friday from 9am to 4pm
· Please note that arrangements for accessing Recycling Centres remain under regular review and while we have lifted some restrictions at some of our sites we are continuing to encourage the public to be cautious and to co-operate fully with our stewards and to plan your journey to our facilities by trying to avoid busy periods.
Van drivers access information
Van drivers who use the Recycling Centres within the Derry City and Strabane District Council area are being advised of the following revised arrangements. A new online booking service is now available for large vans attending Council's main recycling centres at Pennyburn, Strathfoyle and Strahans Road.
Visitors must book an appointment online at www.derrystrabane.com/clicktorecycle or by phone at 028 7137 6590. Phone lines remain busy so please avail of this online service if possible. Exceptions apply for wheelchair accessible vehicles.
Access to Glendermott Road and Eglinton Recycling Centres is by appointment only during the day and booking is essential. Booking is not required later in the evening at these sites. Cars and small vans will be able to book daytime slots online – there is no access for trailers at this site.
www.derrystrabane.com/clicktorecycle. Alternatively T: 02871376590. For any waste related queries call 02871374107.
If you are travelling to recycling centres please try to do so at quieter times later in the day, allow extra time for your journey, follow the signage and guidelines and co-operate with our staff.
Recycling Centre Closures
Killen Recycling Centre remains temporarily closed. Opening has been extended at the temporary waste disposal site Spamount which is now open five days per week; Monday to Friday from 9am to 4pm to dispose of general and green waste only. Cars and small vans are permitted and large vans can access the site between 9 am and 10 am only. Any queries regarding the Killen site, please contact Council on 02871 374107.
Temporary waste disposal service at Castlederg
A temporary waste disposal facility continues to operate at Spamont Playing Fields in Castlederg to assist those in the rural area of Killen, Castlederg and Killeter, to dispose of additional waste during the pandemic. The service is now open five days per week - Monday to Friday from 9am to 4pm to dispose of general and green waste only. Cars and small vans are permitted and large vans can access the site between 9 am and 10 am only.
Those wishing to dispose of larger items of waste are encouraged to use Council recycling centres at Newtownstewart and Strahans Road, Strabane, or to avail of Council's free Bulky Waste Collection Service that can be booked online at www.derrystrabane.com/bulkywaste
The public are advised that in keeping with the Government regulations, a queuing system will be in place and pedestrians will not be permitted on this site.
Bulky Waste Service
Council’s free bulky waste service has resumed and those wishing to avail of this service are being encouraged to book online via the Council website at www.derrystrabane.com/bulkywaste or contact by phone at 028 71 374107.
All bookings for collection must be made in advance and items must be left out on the kerbside before 7:30am on the day of the confirmed collection.
Street Cleansing Services
Street Cleansing services are operating as normal – it may take some time to empty all litter bins but crew are working to get back up to speed as soon as possible.
Waste Enforcement Services
Please note that waste enforcement services are fully operational. Flytipping continues to be an issue for Council and our enforcement team are on the ground actively investigating all incidents of fly-tipping. It is an offence to dump indiscriminately and you could face a Fixed Penalty Notice or a fine imposed by the court. Protecting our environment and keeping our streets, laneways and greenways clean are still a priority and everyone has their role to play.
For more information visit www.derrystrabane.com/flytipping
General leisure information
Leisure centres are now operating at full capacity with all areas opened for public use including:
· Swimming sessions, health suite and fitness classes remain bookable through our Leisure app and centre reception desks to secure places – please note that booking is no longer essential and walk ins are accepted subject to availability
· Gym sessions do not need to be booked in advance
· Sports halls are open for casual court activities and close contact sports
· Birthday parties are bookable - please contact the relevant centre for further information
Please download our leisure app to find all the latest information on all our centres and to book
We would like to remind our users that while restrictions have been relaxed we would encourage everyone to be mindful of good hand hygiene, and to use the sanitization stations provided. Please be mindful of others around you and give people plenty of space while training.
Please note that the Foyle Arena is operating as a leisure facility and is no longer being used as a Mass Vaccination Centre. For information on where to book a vaccination please go to https://covid-19.hscni.net/get-vaccinated/
New online leisure booking system
A new online system that will make it quicker and more convenient to book swimming sessions has been introduced at Council leisure centres.
The new booking system is now fully active and can be used to book both public sessions and lane swimming. Those who book can be fast tracked in line to avoid queuing at leisure centres. Regular users are advised to download the Council leisure app for convenient access to information and booking.
You can download the app at Google Play or the App Store. For more information go to http://derrystrabaneleisure.com/
Prehen Pontoon works
Contractors are currently working on site at the Prehen Boathouse on the creation of a pontoon and the upgrade of the existing car park, as well as the installation of an external platform at the site. This will mean there will be no access to the boathouse lower level and water access steps for a number of weeks. We will be communicating directly with user groups to advise them of this and to ask for their co-operation.
Bay Road Park disruption – Please note that there will be some disruption at Bay Road park this weekend and next week to facilitate the installation of the Our Place in Space event. The main pathway adjacent to the River Foyle within the Bay Road park will be closed from Monday 11 April to 21 April. Signage will be erected across the site advising the public.
Business support – The Council Business team are available to offer advice and assistance to local businesses on the level of Government business support available and are updated regularly on the Business Support social media platforms. The Business team are working closely with Government department, statutory agencies and partners as well as other teams across Council to plan and provide support to businesses. For regular updates you can follow on Facebook @Business Support Derry Strabane and Twitter @dcsdbusiness
To make an appointment to speak with one of our Business Advisers, email: [email protected] - 07872423755
Car parks - Council car parks are open and fully operational - For information on all Council carparks - www.derrystrabane.com/carparks
Please note that we have reduced capacity in Foyle Street and Foyle Valley Railway car parks to accommodate the About Us event programming from 8th March to 23rd March. There will also be further reduced capacity in Foyle Street, Strand Road and Bishop Street car parks on St Patrick’s Day to accommodate the Council’s Spring Carnival parade.
Environmental Health Services
Environmental Health staff are continuing to engage proactively with local businesses to provide advice and support to businesses and the public across the Council area. Officers are continuing to carry out programmed Food Safety and Health and Safety inspections of businesses. For more info visit - at https://www.derrystrabane.com/Subsites/Health-Community-Wellbeing
Health and Safety at Work
Members of the public and employees seeking advice and information regarding COVID-19 and health and safety at work requirements are encouraged to contact the Council’s Health and Safety and Consumer Protection Team to find out how Council can assist them in ensuring workplaces are safe. For more information visit –www.derrystrabane.com/subsites/Environmental-Health/Health-Safety-and-Consumer-Protection-Team/Health-Safety-at-Work
All sectors need to consider the relevant guidance and risk assess their work activities to ensure risks associated with the potential spread of coronavirus are suitably and sufficiently addressed and all statutory health and safety obligations are met. The HSENI have developed an example COVID-19 risk assessment that shows you the kind of approach that a small business needs to take when carrying out a risk assessment for COVID-19 in the workplace – https://hseni.gov.uk/news/example-risk-assessment-covid-19-workplaces
Our Health and Safety and Consumer Protection Team would like to remind businesses that a range of Health and Safety guidance is available from :
For further information and assistance you can email the Health and Safety and Consumer Protection team at [email protected]
A variety of useful information, advice and guidance is also available on the Council website at – https://derrystrabane.com/Subsites/Health-Community-Wellbeing/Covid-19.
Covid Safe Scheme for Businesses
The Council’s s Business and Environmental Health teams introduced a "COVID Reassurance Mark" to support local, economic recovery and revitalisation whilst respecting the public health controls needed to maintain public health and minimise community transmission of Coronavirus. This initiative was geared towards boosting customer confidence to return to our town centres and villages in the knowledge that businesses are taking positive steps to keep their customers and staff safe via a risk assessed process.
Licensing and Pavement Café Licensing
Applications for pavement café licences continue to be accepted. Use of outdoor space may assist hospitality businesses, such as bars, cafes and restaurants to reopen safely, while maintaining social distancing. Guidance on making an application for a pavement café licence is available at:
Since restrictions on indoor entertainment have been relaxed, businesses across our Council area are reminded they will require a current Entertainments Licence to permit them to operate. Please contact our Licensing section for advice & assistance – 028 71 253253.
Dog Control Services – Animal Welfare Services
Dog licences can be obtained online at http://council. direct/
Please contact 07512280760 If you are reporting a lost or stray dog.
Please note that Council no longer accepts unwanted dogs. If you wish to rehome your dog please contact one of our two local animal rehoming charities: Pet FBI (Tel: 07512 280760) or Rainbow Rehoming Centre for Rescue Cats and Dogs (Tel: 028 71 812882).
If you have any queries regarding the Council’s dog control service please email [email protected]
Flytipping continues to be an issue for Council and our enforcement team are on the ground actively investigating all incidents of fly-tipping. It is an offence to dump indiscriminately and you could face a Fixed Penalty Notice or a fine imposed by the court.
Protecting our environment and keeping our streets, laneways and greenways clean are still a priority and everyone has their role to play.
For more information visit www.derrystrabane.com/flytipping
The Planning Service
Planning Service continues to operate most services as normal with staff continuing to work from home and the provision of a reduced number of back office staff providing a range of functions to keep the service operational. Site visits have also re-commenced for open air urban and rural sites and dynamic risk assessments are carried out to undertake more complex sites. Some Planning Committee Member site visits have recommenced following dynamic and approved Health & Safety risk assessments.
Planning staff continue to receive new applications and are progressing existing applications in the normal manner, issuing decisions and using technology to engage with customers where necessary. New applications and revised drawings or any additional information can also be dropped off at the Reception of Strand Road Council Offices. However, the Department is unable to offer external meetings in person but we continue to engage with customers through virtual meetings and phone calls. We are aware that due to operational issues with NI Planning Portal System, there may be slight delays in processing some current planning applications.
From March 2022, Planning Committee meetings will be held as hybrid/social distancing meetings in the Guildhall for Elected Members and Senior Officers. Arrangements will be made to facilitate registered speakers to join the meeting remotely via Webex and meetings will be livestreamed so members of the public can view proceedings via the Council's YouTube Channel . This month’s Planning Committee Meeting took place on Wednesday 06 April. The scheduled list of applications for discussion at forthcoming Planning Committees are published on https://www.derrystrabane.com/Services/Planning one week prior to Committee meetings.
Further information regarding the operation of ‘The Operation of Planning Committee Meetings’ and 'Addendum to the Operation of the Planning Committee Protocol . Virtual Committee Meetings' can also be viewed on our website: https://www.derrystrabane.com/Services/Planning. If you wish to request Speaking Rights at any Planning Committee Meeting, please contact our office directly at: [email protected] or the main office at *028 71 253253 and ask to speak to a member of the Planning Service.
The Planning Enforcement Service continues to progress and deal with complaints as far as possible with restrictions on some site visits. However, rural and urban open air sites are now being inspected along with emergency and priority cases being progressed and under regular review.
The Local Development Plan Team has recently prepared and published a Schedule of Proposed Changes to the LDP draft Plan Strategy, accompanied by Addendums to the Sustainability Appraisal, the draft Habitats Regulation Assessment, the Equality Impact Assessment and the Rural Needs Impact Assessment. The documents were subject to a formal 8-week public consultation from 9th December 2021 to 3rd February 2022, to which approximately 25 Comments were received. The Council is now finalising documents, moving towards formal Submission to DfI / PAC at the end of February / early March 2022. All of the LDP documents can be viewed at: www.derrystrabane.com/ldp. They are also available for inspection during normal office opening hours, strictly by appointment only due to COVID 19 restrictions, at the Council's two main offices in Derry and Strabane.
If you do require to inspect them in hard copy, please write to us or submit an email to the [email protected] or telephone the LDP Team during normal office hours on 028 71 253253. Arrangements will be made for an appointment or for alternative arrangements to be made. The Local Development Plan Team also continues to review and issue Tree Preservation Orders, undertaking site visits where necessary.
Building Control Service - The Building Control service will continue to operate with some restrictions. Essential risk assessments and safe systems of work have been developed to enable site inspections to be carried out under controlled conditions. Full plan applications, building notices and regularisation applications are being accepted, registered and assessed. Property certificates are being accepted and processed.
Site inspections – All routine external inspections are being undertaken but internal site inspections are generally limited to unoccupied properties only (i.e. new builds or existing properties that have been vacant for in excess of 72hrs) and were these conditions are met then normal Completion Certificates will be issued. By exception, some internal site inspections of occupied properties may be undertaken but only where it is genuinely impractical to vacate the property. Under these circumstances, officers will agree the inspection conditions with applicants. Dangerous structure inspections are also being undertaken as normal. Virtual inspections, using video and/or photographic evidence along with supporting paperwork, will continue for occupied properties and the resultant Completion Certificates will note the inspection methodology utilised accordingly.
The Building Control service is continuing to provide the other aspects of its service to the public (e.g. postal numbering and street naming) and officers are available to provide advice and assistance – contact via email at [email protected] or from at our website at www.derrystrabane.com/services/Building-Control.
Easy Read version – For those living with pan disability issues, the Council has put together an Easy to Read version of its latest COVID 19 information. This information is updated on a regular basis and is available via the COVID information section of our website.
City of Derry Airport - The public are urged to visit the airport website for live flight information and regular. For more information visit –www.cityofderryairport.com
Visit Derry – The Centre is open to the public and more info is available at – www.visitderry.com
City of Derry Jazz Festival – While the 2021 City of Derry Jazz Festival was unable to proceed in its usual format we are delighted to confirm that we are advancing with planning and programming for this year’s event that will take place over the May 2022 Bank Holiday weekend. Full details of the festival will be launched on 21 March so watch this space. In the meantime you can get updates on gigs at www.cityofderryjazzfestival.com
Sunday 15 May – Strabane Lifford Half Marathon
04 September - Waterside Half Marathon -
Halloween 2022 - Council is delighted that the 2021 Halloween Festival was a fantastic success. A key element of the celebrations was the focus on outdoor events and making sure people attending felt safe. You can watch back some of the videos and view images from the event on the Halloween website at www.derryhalloween.com or on the Derry Halloween social media channels. We are already in the planning for next year with tentative dates as follows – 28 -31 October 2022.
Foyle Maritime Festival and Clipper Race – It has been confirmed that the Clipper Round the World Race 2019-20 that was cancelled as a result of the pandemic will recommence in February 2022 with a planned stopover in Derry~Londonderry on 20-24 July this year. More information is available on our Derry Strabane Whats On website and social media platforms.
Christmas 2022 – Plans are in place to host another hugely successful range of events for Christmas Light Switch On parade in Strabane and Derry following the success of the events last year. More info is available on the Whats On section of our website and on our Whats On Derry Strabane social media platforms.
Other up and coming events and dates of note
Our Place in Space – 22 April to 22 May – The Bay Road will be brought to life with the incredible Our Place in Space installation that is part of a 10km sculpture trail of the solar system which will animate the city’s riverside for four weeks and feature an epic programme of events. For more info – www.ourplaceinspace.earth/trail/derry-londonderry
Green Space Dark Skies, part of UNBOXED: Creativity in the UK, from April to September 2022. Green Space Dark Skies is one of 10 major creative projects commissioned by UNBOXED: Creativity in the UK, a celebration of creativity taking place across the UK in 2022, designed to reach millions and bring people together. UNBOXED features free large-scale events, installations and globally accessible digital experiences in the UK’s most ambitious showcase of creative collaboration.
Each event will depend on confirmation of landowner permissions, approval of event plans and local stakeholder engagement and therefore event locations and dates may be subject to change: Lagan Valley AONB (30 April); Sperrin AONB (25 June); and Causeway Coast AONB (2 July). If you would like to take part in Green Space Dark Skies register at https://greenspacedarkskies.uk/get-involved/