Council Service update Friday, 22 May 2020
22 May 2020
Please find details below of the current status of all our services today, Friday, 22 May 2020. Please note the changes to services are highlighted in blue and are mainly around site visits by Building Control, Planning and Environmental Health officers as well as updated information regarding birth registrations starting from next week. Please note that there has been no change to recycling centre information with a further update expected early next week.
All information is available on our website at - www.derrystrabane.com/coronavirus and on Facebook and Twitter in an effort to keep everyone informed.
✅Council civic offices and public buildings – All Council owned buildings – including the Civic Offices in Derry and Strabane, the Tower Museum, Guildhall and Alley Theatre - remain closed to the public until further notice.
Critical services ae continuing to operate and the public can contact Council by phone at 📞028 71 253253 or by email at [email protected]
✅Committee meetings – All committee meetings will resume in June in virtual form –including the Planning Committee. The Full Council meeting is scheduled to take place on Thursday, 28 May while the AGM is scheduled to take place on 01 June.
✅Leisure centres- All Council owned leisure centres remain closed until further notice. Anyone who has any queries regarding leisure membership should contact – [email protected]
✅Community centres – All Council owned community centres remain closed until further notice.
✅Play parks, pitches and sports pavilions – All Council owned play parks, pitches and sports pavilions remain closed in line with Government advice to stay at home.
✅Cemeteries - Derry City and Strabane District Council cemeteries remain open to the public daily from 2.30pm to 9pm. They will not be accessible in the mornings to allow for funerals and to facilitate necessary maintenance works.
The Council has put in place these temporary measures to ensure cemeteries are open in compliance with Government regulations to facilitate funerals and social distancing measures to protect the public and staff.
Specifically with regard to the City Cemetery, a number of additional temporary measures are in place including a one-way system to ensure that those visiting are able to socially distance and some restrictions with regard to the maximum number of people who are in the cemetery at any one time.
Visitors to the Cemeteries are reminded that they must adhere to social distancing guidelines and respect the needs of everyone who wants to visit as Council is not able to facilitate high numbers of visitors at the same time.
Social distancing and operational changes are also in place at other cemeteries across the Council area including Ballyoan, Altnagelvin, Strabane, Mountcastle and Castlederg.
Signage is erected across all sites reminding people of the temporary changes that are in place to protect them and guidance and assistance will also be available where necessary. The Council is reviewing all these measures on a regular basis.
Members of the public with any enquiries are advised to contact the Cemetery office via telephone at 028 71 362615.The public are advised that should contact be required social distancing requirements must be maintained at all times.
✅Public Parks – All Council public parks and open spaces currently remain open. As per Government advice these will remain open to allow the public to exercise only. The Council is continuing to advise the public to adhere to the Public Health Authority guidelines in relation to social distancing to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, and to act responsibly when out and about using our public parks and open spaces. Large public gatherings ARE NOT permitted within public parks. Additional signage reminding people of their responsibilities regarding social distancing have been erected across Council parks and spaces.
✅♻️Bin Collection Services♻️
Our refuse collection service continues to remain operational and the public are encouraged to continue to use their scheduled bin system using all of the bins provided.
Council are rolling out a Brown Bin Scheme for garden/green waste with the first collections starting the week commencing 04 May 2020. Further details on this scheme including the areas covered can be found at www.derrystrabane.com/greenwaste
✅♻️COVID 19 Waste Service and Helpline♻️
The bespoke COVID-19 Waste Services Helpline has been stepped down as a number of our Household recycling centres have reopened. Please note that we continue to take your calls and queries using our Bulky Waste Service line at 028 71 374107.
Please note that Refuse Collection Services continue to operate as normal including Bank Holiday Monday
You can help us by
• leaving your bins out for collection at an earlier time of 7am to allow crews to get around all households.
• Please do not leave out black bags - Council cannot collect additional black bags left beside bins, please use the blue, black and brown bins provided appropriately, making sure to separate waste as usual according to recycling guidelines and dispose of waste responsibly.
• You should have adequate bin capacity as long as you are not dumping unnecessary additional items. Please do not put additional pressure on Council waste services resources and staff during this emergency period.
To assist us limit the spread of the virus, we would encourage the public to;
• Clean the lids and handles of bins before and after collection.
• Dispose of tissues and disposable cleaning wipes separately placing them in TWO plastic bags, tying and storing inside for 3 days before putting in the external black bin.
• Place all food waste in compostable bags and ensure that they are tied before putting in your BROWN BIN.
• Bring bins out either the night before their scheduled collection day or before 7am on collection day.
• Park considerately so lorries can access streets to service bins.
✅♻️ Recycling centres ♻️
Currently 5 of our 11 Recycling Centres are open to the public.
The five recycling centres at Pennyburn, Strathfoyle, Glendermott Road, Claudy and Strahan Road in Strabane, and will be open from from 8 am to 8pm, Monday to Friday, and 8 am to 6pm on Saturdays.
Pennyburn, Glendermott Road and the Strahan Road sites will also open from 1-5pm on Sundays. The remaining six sites will remain closed for now, with Council regularly reviewing this and an updated expected early next week.
A number of restrictions and controls will be in place at all centres to ensure the health and safety of staff and the public using the site, in consideration of social distance requirements.
In addition to having in place a one-way system, the Council has advised that in keeping with the DAERA guidelines, the number of cars accessing the sites at any one time will be restricted.
Please note large vans or trailers will not be permitted access to the sites when sites initially reopen to improve traffic flow and reduce waiting times. Only one person will be permitted to leave their vehicle to dispose of waste with staff unable to provide assistance.
The public are asked to avoid bringing bulky waste onto the site during the initial reopening phase and encouraged to continue to use the Bulky Waste Collection Service and to also avoid visiting the recycling centres during peak times.
Anyone intending to dispose of black bags must ensure they are double bagged and have been stored for a 72-hour period before disposal, as per PHA guidelines.
In order to protect staff and the wider public, social distancing is required within all the sites and the public will be required to unload their own waste. Members of the public experiencing symptoms or who are self-isolating must not enter the recycling centres.
Council will have staff on hand to offer guidance only however, it is imperative that the public adhere to their instructions at all times and co-operate fully with them as they continue to provide an important public service during this challenging time. Abusive behaviour will not be tolerated.
Members of the public with bulky waste are advised that they must avail of the Council’s free Bulky Waste Collection Service as they will not be permitted access to the sites with bulky waste at this time. Bookings for this service can be made online via the Council website at www.derrystrabane.com/recycle or contact 028 71 374107
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/recycling
✅♻️Street cleansing ♻️ – Street cleansing services are continuing but with some changes to ensure the health and safety of the officers and the public.
✅♻️Bulky Waste service♻️ – Derry City and Strabane District Council’s Bulky Waste Collection Service is fully operational. Members of the public wishing to avail of this service are advised however that it is only for those who have bulky items of waste and have no space in their home or garage to store them during this emergency situation.
Those wishing to avail of the service are being encouraged to book online.
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. Please note that we are currently accepting mattresses.
Among the items accepted for the Bulky Waste Service re -
✅ Bulky furniture – wardrobes, chests of drawers, bedside lockers, sofas
✅ Carpets, lino
✅ Electrical appliances e.g. TV
✅ White goods e.g. fridges, washing machines and cookers
✅ Large toys, bikes etc
Among the items that are not accepted are:
❎ Bags of general waste
❎ Glass furniture/mirrors
❎ Building material e.g. concrete, wood, tiles
❎ Fencing, sheds
❎ Wooden flooring
❎ Bathroom suites
❎ Kitchen units
❎ Paint Tins
❎ Recyclable materials
The public are advised that waste accrued as a result of work carried out in your home, such as bathroom suites, kitchens or fireplaces will not be lifted as part of this service. Arrangements must be made with your building contractor to remove these items or alternatively, you can organise removal by an authorised waste collection company or hire a skip.
Members of the public wanting to book a Bulky Waste Collection should fill out the online form on the website at –www.derrystrabane.com/service/wasterecycling/bulkywaste.
Or alternatively phone on - 02871374107.
✅Births deaths and marriage registration –The Council’s Registration of Births, Still-births, Death, Marriages and Civil Partnership service is continuing to operate and following new Government legislation is continuing to provide remote death registration without the attendance of an informant at the Registrar’s Office. Please note that from Thursday, 28th May, the Registrar’s Office in Derry will reopen for birth registrations by appointment only. The Strabane Registrar’s office remains temporarily closed and restriction measures remain in place at the Derry office. Anyone with any queries please telephone 📞02871 253253 or 📞02871 376520 or email [email protected] To view all the details relating to the changes to services and to access the relevant online forms please visit www.derrystrabane.com/district-registration
✅Community Services staff are working with the Department for Communities, local community groups and advice services to ensure that resources being made available in this emergency situation are delivered on the ground as soon as possible. They are also working this week to help distribute the £280,000 funding package announced by Council to support community led responses to assist the most vulnerable. The funding package saw an initial £15k for each of the District electoral areas to support local responses and a further investment of £80k will be released on a rolling basis subject to need and the availability of regional funds. The Council is working with the Community Foundation NI’s Acorn Fund to deliver an additional £50k to ensure the swift delivery of funds.
✅Car parks – Council owned car parks remain open as normal and the Department for Infrastructure has announced the temporary suspension of all on-street and off-street parking enforcement.
✅Planning Service has put into place a number of measures, including the provision of a reduced number of back office staff to allow it to provide a range of services to keep the service operational and from Monday, 25 May, site visits will recommence, phasing in with rural sites initially.
Planning staff are working to proceed as far as possible with planning applications already in the system and with the delivery of issuing of planning decisions, albeit at a slower capacity. While all office meetings, FoI and officer appointments and pre-determination hearings have been temporarily been suspended, new planning applications are being accepted. Current and new PADS and Pre-inquiries are not being processed at the minute and this remains under review. Following new Government legislation Planning Committee meetings will resume next month and will be held virtually.
The Enforcement Service is progressing complaints as far as possible with restrictions on site visits in emergency and priority cases only which is now under review. In addition consultation on LDP Draft Plan Strategy Representations has been suspended.
Anyone looking for planning information on application forms, planning fees and planning applications are encouraged to visit the planning portal: https://www.planningni.gov.uk/public-access-info
Or contact the service directly at [email protected] or contact the main office at 📞028 71 253253.
✅Building control service–– From Monday, 25 May, external site inspections will resume while internal site inspections will be limited to unoccupied properties. Virtual inspections will continue for occupied properties until further notice. The Building Control service has put into place a number of measures such as Risk Assessments and Safe Systems Of Work to facilitate the site visits and each inspection will be considered on an individual basis and will be carried out when it is safe to do so. The service is continue to provide other aspects of its service. Please contact the service directly at [email protected] or get more information relating to its service arrangements during COVID-19 at –www.derrystrabane.com/Services/Building-Control
✅Environmental Health Services – Environmental Health staff will be carrying out site inspections at food premises and businesses on a limited basis from Monday 25 May following the completion of Covid 19 Risk Assessments and Safe Systems of Work procedures. All inspections will be considered on an individual basis and carried out when it is safe to do so. The Environmental Health team have put into place a number of measures to allow it to operate as many other services as possible and staff can be contacted via the main office at 📞028 71 253253 or via the website at https://www.derrystrabane.com/Subsites/Health-Community-Wellbeing
Please contact the service areas directly via email at:
✅Dog Control Services - it is currently operating its dog control service with a number of restrictions in place for staff protection that includes self distancing.Stray dogs continue to be taken to the Pound where they can be reclaimed by their owner with five days. Where the owner cannot be identified then Council will liaise with any available dog homing charities who are willing to assist in finding the dog a new home.Complaints about attacks on livestock, dogs or members of the public continue to be investigated. Please contact 02871253253 E:[email protected]
✅Animal Welfare Service: Calls continue to be prioritised and investigated, providing it is safe for staff to do so and within the Government guidelines. The service remains under review on an ongoing basis. Many animal charities have closed therefore there may be no provision in place to rehome animals. Contact details: 📞028 82256226 E:[email protected]
✅Council Events – A large number of Council organised events up until the end of September have been cancelled – they include:, the North West Angling Fair, the Strabane Lifford Half Marathon, the Foyle Maritime Festival, the Strabane Summer Jamm, the Walled City Markets (06 June) and the Battle of the Atlantic VE Day commemorations, as well as the Waterside Half Marathon and the Sperrin Walking Festival.
While the City of Derry Jazz Festival was cancelled in its usual format, a hugely successful virtual jazz festival was held earlier this month with a series of virtual performances by local artists. You can still view the videos online at www.cityofderryjazzfestival.com
The Lifelong Learning Festival, scheduled for (18-24 May) will now be held in virtual form with details of the programme to be unveiled next week.
Meanwhile, all events in Council owned facilities have been cancelled up until the end of August.
✅Business support - The Council Business team are available to offer advice and assistance to local businesses on the level of Government business support available. They are updating this information and uploading it via the website at - https://www.derrystrabane.com/businessupdates
In addition, Councils Business Boost Programme will be rolling out a second round of support initiatives to help local businesses to navigate the current Covid-19 crisis, this includes a series of programmes aimed at SMEs with less than 50 employees in the Council area. These are FREE and applications are now open for the following programmes: 1. Get Your Business Online Programme; 2. Business Reboot Programme; 3. Financial Management for Non-Accountants and 4. Tourism, Hospitality and Retail Support Programme
To register – https://www.derrystrabane.com/Business/Updates-And-Support/Resilience-Workshops
✅Sports Development - All Sports Development programmes/delivery have been postponed until further notice. Officers are available to assist and follow up on any queries from the public. For any general enquiries please contact [email protected] All officers have access to this email and will be picked up be relevant officer.
✅Community Safety Wardens – Community Safety Wardens are assisting in patrolling our public parks to help with social distancing and providing reassurance and advice to the public. They are also continuing to provide vital community service in an effort to provide reassurance and protection to our communities and keep people safe at this difficult time for many. Contact details – TRIAX/Waterside (07709 457690) / Outer North/Outer West 📞 (07736 213140) and Rural Waterside 📞 (07736 213152).
✅City of Derry Airport – A significant number of changes have been made by the airlines to some flight schedules operating at the Airport. The public are urged to visit the airport website for live flight information and regular updates. For more information visit –www.cityofderryairport.com