Council Service Update for Tuesday, 19 July 2022
19 July 2022
Please note that all the latest information on COVID 19 is available on the NI Direct website and updated regularly in accordance with information provided by the NI Executive –https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/campaigns/coronavirus-covid-19
Update on Strike Notification
Derry City and Strabane District Council has confirmed that following further positive and constructive negotiations with both the NIPSA and Unite unions, that Unite the Union, on the basis of an improved pay offer presented by Council and as a matter of good faith, has confirmed it will be suspending strike action planned for next week to allow Council to consider further proposed adjustments to the pay offer.
On Thursday of last week, Elected Members attending a Special Council meeting agreed an improved pay offer proposal that was brought before today’s local Joint Consultative Negotiation Committee ( JCNC) meeting.
During the meeting, the unions jointly acknowledged the improved proposals and ongoing positive engagement with Council and advised that the decision to suspend the strike will allow time for the finalisation of the improved pay offer.
Council welcomed the decision to suspend the strike and paid tribute to the positive engagement with the unions. Council advised it remained committed to continuing with further and final negotiations this week to arrive at a definite resolution to the pay dispute.
The Council reaffirmed its commitment to supporting and valuing its staff, adding that it is dedicated to reaching a mutually agreed and constructive outcome on this very important issue.
New Waste and Recycling App
Council has a Derry Strabane Recycling App. It allows the public to synchronize 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 premises
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/
Cemetery database upgrade
Users of the Council Cemetery Database should note that it is currently offline to facilitate essential maintenance. The Museum Service holds an extensive collection of archive materials and work is underway to digitise records to make them more accessible to all via the collections website. We hope to have this information available online in the coming weeks. An updated link will be posted on the Tower Museum Facebook page as soon as we can..
Bishop Street revitalisation works
Work has started on the provision of a new outdoor seating and dining area on Bishop Street in the city, which will promote a pedestrian friendly environment and support local businesses. The works are being carried out under the Covid Recovery Revitalisation Scheme, which is supported by funding from the Department for Communities. It’s a temporary pilot will be in place for an initial trial period of 18 months and forms part of the projects initially launched and consulted on by Derry City and Strabane District Council in 2021 under its Streetlife & Vibrant Places strategy. The work on the project will take approximately seven weeks to complete and Council have advised that disruption to businesses, pedestrians and traffic will be kept to a minimum during this period. Due to the extension of the pavement as part of the project, a small number of on-street parking spaces will be unavailable, however, there will still be in the region of 450 off-street and on street car parking spaces for use in the local vicinity. Additional accessibility car parking spaces will also be available at Bishop Street car park.
Work on Bishop Street is expected to last for a period of seven weeks. For any further queries, please contact [email protected]
Council civic offices and public buildings – Council's Civic Offices in Strand Road, Derry and Derry Road, Strabane remain open to the public. 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 July are being 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/mgCalendarMonthView.aspx?XXR=0&M=9&DD=2020&ACT=Go
Mayor's Office – Following the AGM in June, the Council elected a new Mayor and Deputy Mayor. The Mayor Councillor Sandra Duffy is the current Mayor of the city and she is available for pre-booked meetings and events and is keen to engage with the public. She can be contacted via her office at [email protected] – For more info on the Mayor visit www.derrystrabane.com/mayor/contact.
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.
Update re small trailer permissions at Eglinton and Glendermott Rd Recycling Centres:
Cars and small vans with single axle trailers can now access our recycling centres at Eglinton and Glendermott Rd. Please note that daytime bookings are still essential for these sites. Book your slot at https://recycling.derrystrabane.com/recycling-centres/book-a-slot-online/
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 is can be booked online via the Council website at www.derrystrabane.com/bulkywaste or 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.
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/
Council summer schemes
Plans are in place to keep kids active this summer with the launch of Council’s summer leisure programme. The July/August Summer Sports Camp programme is now open with places still available at Melvin Sports Complex and Templemore Sports Complex (Foyle Arena is now booked up) alongside a wide range of sports and leisure activities for all ages and abilities. The Summer Camps will feature four hours of activities each day and are open to children aged 6-13, children must be aged six on the first day of camp. As well as introducing the kids to new sports there will be a mix of other fun activities such as dodgeball, tag games and races for all to enjoy. Over the course of the summer Council will also be running intensive swim lessons, climbing courses and National Pool Lifeguard courses.
Fitness enthusiasts can also avail of an additional all-inclusive package with the £60 for 60 Days promotion which is currently live.
Online booking is open and customers can also contact the centres directly by phone from these dates. The full timetable of events and booking information is available at www.derrystrabaneleisure.com/summercamps
Prehen Pontoon works
Contractors continue to be on site at the Prehen Boathouse as they put the final touches to the work to create a new pontoon facility and install an external platform lift. Works to upgrade the existing car park storage is also nearing completion. Access to the boathouse lower level and water access steps are limited and Council is currently liaising with all the user groups to update them on progress at the site and possible dates for reopening.
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 contact 028 71 253253 and ask for the Business team.
Car parks - Council car parks are open and fully operational - For information on all Council carparks - www.derrystrabane.com/carparks
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]
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 recommenced 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 July at 2pm and a rescheduled meeting was held at 2pm on Thursday 07 July and can both be viewed back on our Youtube channel. 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.
Local Development Plan (LDP) is submitted to DFI 26th May 2022
The Local Development Plan Team submitted the Derry City & Strabane District Local Development Plan (LDP 2032) – draft Plan Strategy and supporting documents to the Department for Infrastructure on 20th May 2022 as part of the Independent Examination process.
Please note: there is no opportunity to make further representations at this stage.
All LDP submission documents can be viewed in the LDP dPS submission documents (Hyperlink to - https://www.derrystrabane.com/Subsites/LDP/LDP-draft-Plan-Strategy-(dPS)/LDP-dPS-Submission-Documents-May-2022). They are also available for inspection during normal office opening hours, 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 [email protected] or telephone the LDP Team during normal office hours on 028 7125 3253. Arrangements will be made for an appointment or for alternative arrangements to be made. Social distancing measures will apply to anyone visiting the offices. The documents are also available in alternative formats upon request.
The submission of the LDP dPS to DFI is the next step towards an Independent Examination (IE) and then the adoption of the LDP Plan Strategy. In accordance with Regulation 21 of the Planning (LDP) Regulations 2015. The following public notice (create hyperlink to press release on website) will shortly be advertised in the local press. Interested LDP stakeholders will also be written to.
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
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 –.The Foyle Maritime Festival programme is a mix of both river and land based activity and animation including interactive experiences, tours of the Clipper Race yachts, water-based taster sessions including kayaking and the Foyle bubble Challenge, tall ships, boat tours, street theatre, markets, LegenDerry food and live music.
Kick off the celebrations early with the LegenDerry Street Food Festival this weekend which is set to whet the appetite from 15th - 17th July. McFarland Way will host the welcome party for the arrival of Clipper 2019-20 Race participants due to arrive in port from Thursday 14th July, showcasing the very best of local street food and craft drink producers with live DJ Sets and a totally unique dining experience. The main Maritime Festival programme officially begins on July 20th featuring the lively Maritime and Merchant Markets, al fresco performance on the Festival Village stage, and plenty of riverside family fun activities, from workshops to funfair attractions. The festivities will reach a spectacular pinnacle at the Festival Showcase Event on Friday evening, July 22, with a magical evening of music, dance and theatre culminating in the enchanting Parade of Light on the River Foyle set against the backdrop of a stunning pyrotechnic display. Finally, the Clipper Race fleet will leave our shores once again as we bid them bon voyage in the dramatic Parade of Sail on Sunday July 24th.
Find out more about all the magic of the Foyle Maritime Festival at www.foylemaritime.com
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
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/