Council Service update Friday 26 June
26 June 2020
Please find details below of the current state of play of Council services on Friday 26 June. All information is available on our website at - www.derrystrabane.com/coronavirus where it is updated regularly and also shared on our Facebook and Twitter social media platforms in an effort to keep everyone informed.
New information is highlighted in blue.
✅Council civic offices and public buildings – Council’s Civic Offices in Strand Road, Derry and Derry Road, Strabane remain closed to the public.
Council services continue to operate and the public are encouraged to contact Council by phone at 📞028 71 253253 or by email at [email protected]
The Guildhall will reopen to the public on 14 July with restrictions in place and on reduced hours and no external events.
The Tower Museum will reopen to the public on 14 July with restrictions in place and reduced hours, Monday to Friday from 11am to 4pm
Harbour House will reopen to staff and elected members from 29 June with restrictions in place.
The Alley Theatre and Conference Centre in Strabane will reopen to the public with restrictions from July 14. It will open Monday to Friday from 11am to 4pm, while it is not taking any external bookings it will continue to provide tourist information for the Strabane area and an online programme of activities. The theatre café remains closed.
A full schedule of meetings for July can be found here - https://bit.ly/2XJB2ZJ. Physical, socially distanced committee meetings and Council meetings will resume from next week at the Guildhall with the first meeting, the Governance and Strategic Planning Committee taking place on June 30.
✅Mayor’s Office – The Mayor Cllr Brian Tierney is set to recommence a limited number of socially distanced external meetings in the Mayor’s Parlour and Whittaker Suite from May 29. The Mayor is very keen to engage with the public and his office is contactable for members of the public – you can get more information via the website at - https://www.derrystrabane.com/mayor/contact
✅Leisure centres- All Council owned leisure centres remain closed and following the latest Government advice preparations are underway to make arrangements for the reopening later in the summer. It is anticipated that it will include the reopening of gyms and classes at Templemore, Riversdale, Foyle Arena and Derg Valley Leisure Centres. The return of swimming is subject to Government advice but it is anticipated that it could be late summer/early autumn before it returns. Council is engaging with swimming clubs to discuss the resumption of swimming activity and proactively responding to easements so we can put in place measures for access to sport and leisure. Anyone who has any queries regarding their leisure membership are reminded that they should contact – [email protected]
✅Community centres – All Council owned community centres remain closed to the public with plans in place to open dependent on Government advice. A number of our facilities continue to be open to accommodate work being carried out by the community and voluntary sector to assist with the COVID19 response.
✅Pitches and sports pavilions – All Council owned pitches and sports pavilions are currently closed however following new Government guidance, arrangements are being progressed to reopen for groups of up to 10 for non-contact sports and training next week. Plans are being progressed to introduce a COVID19 booking system to ensure compliance with risk assessments and safe systems of works and will be made available next week.
✅Play Parks - All Council owned play parks are currently closed and following the NI Executive guidance that they can reopen on 10 July, Council is currently making arrangements to be facilitate this. Inspections and maintenance works are ongoing in anticipation of reopening and Council is working with the ROSPCA in relation to guidance on cleansing, hygiene and signage.
✅Public Parks – All Council public parks and open spaces remain open to the public for exercise purposes 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.
✅Cemeteries - All Derry City and Strabane District Council owned cemeteries remain open to the public daily from 2.30pm to 9pm and are not accessible in the mornings to allow for funerals to take place and to facilitate necessary maintenance works. Stewarding at the City Cemetery is being stepped down from this weekend with the public being encouraged to adhere to social distancing. Please adhere to the guidelines in place regarding social distancing and co-operate with staff at all times. 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. More info is available at www.derrystrabane.com/cemeteries
✅♻️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.
If you have any specific queries relating to waste please contact our Service line at 028 71 374107.
• Please leave your bins out for collection at 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.
• 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.
✅♻️ Household Recycling centres ♻️
The following Household Recycling Centres are open to the public – they are Pennyburn, Strathfoyle, Claudy, Strahans Road in Strabane, Donemana and Claudy.
The Glendermott Recycling Centre remains closed temporarily closed to the public and we continue to review traffic management arrangements within the wider Glendermott complex. Council is working proactively with the HSE to look at alternative arrangements for reopening. Once these are agreed we will communicate them with the wider public. In the interim, the public are being encouraged to use Household Recycling Centres at Pennyburn, Claudy, Strathfoyle, Strahans Road, Donemana and Newtownstewart.
The following Household Recycling Centres are open as follows:
• Pennyburn – from 8am to 8pm, Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm on Saturdays. Sunday, from 1-5pm
• Strathfoyle – from 8am to 8pm, Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm on Saturdays. Sunday from 1-5pm
• Newtownstewart from 10 am to 6.45pm Monday to Friday, 10 am to 4.45pm on Saturdays
• Donemana from 10 am to 6.45pm, Monday to Friday, 10am to 4.45pm on Saturdays.
• Claudy – from 8am to 5pm Monday to Saturday
• Strahan Road Strabane - from 10 am to 6.45pm, Monday to Friday, and on Saturdays from 10am to 4.45pm.
Our remaining household sites at Eglinton, Plumbridge and Park will continue to be closed to the public under review.
Vans and trailers
Van drivers who use the Household Recycling Centres within the Derry City and Strabane District Council area are being advised that large vans with trailers will only be permitted to Strathfoyle and Strahans Road sites during the following revised times - Strathfoyle, between 8 and 9am Monday to Saturday, and at Strahans Road between 10 and 11am Monday to Saturday.
No large vans with trailers will be accepted at Pennyburn however, large vans will only be permitted access between 8 and 9am, Monday to Saturday.
These new arrangements are in place to assist with traffic management arrangements and in the interests of the health and safety of staff and site users.
Temporary waste disposal service at Castlederg
A temporary waste disposal facility set up 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 current COVID-19 pandemic, continued to operate two days per week, every Tuesday and Thursday, from 9 am to 4pm, to dispose of general and green waste 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.
General advice for visiting the sites
Please adhere to the restrictions and controls in place at all of our centres. These measures are to ensure the health and safety of staff and the public using the site and have been taken in consideration of social distancing requirements.
In addition to having in place a one-way system, the number of cars accessing the sites at any one time will continue to be restricted.
Only one person will be permitted to leave their vehicle to dispose of waste with staff unable to provide assistance during this emergency period.
Please 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/bulkywaste or contact by phone at 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.
✅♻️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 are-
✅ 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.
Or alternatively phone on - 02871374107.
✅♻️Street cleansing ♻️ – Street cleansing services are continuing with our staff out keeping our city and town centres clean and tidy as well as our parks, green spaces and rural communities. There are some changes in place with regard to social distancing measures and health and safety measures as we continue to protect our staff and 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. They are updating this information as it is released on the Business Support social media platforms. You can follow on Facebook @Business Support Derry Strabane and Twitter @dcsdbusiness
To make an appointment to speak with one of our Business Advisers, please find details below:
✅Car parks – Following the announcement by the Department for Infrastructure to re-introduce parking enforcement and on street parking charges from Monday 29 June, Council will reintroduce parking charges in its off-street car parks across the District from Wednesday 01 July. For the first week advisory notices will be issued only, issuing of PCNs will commence from 8th July. When using the car-parks, and in line with public health guidance and staying safe we encourage all carpark users to go cashless. Cashless parking system is available for all charged off-street car-parks and is provided by JustPark. You can register your vehicle and method of payment with JustPark by visiting the website. Once registered you can pay for and manage your parking using mobile phone, mobile app or online https://www.justpark.com/
If users don’t have a smartphone they can call 028 91248440 and pay using a mobile phone.
✅Births deaths and marriage registration –✅Births deaths, marriage and civil partnership registration –The Council’s Registration of Births, Still-births, Deaths, Marriages and Civil Partnership service is continuing to operate and following Government legislation is continuing to provide remote death registration without the attendance of an informant at the Registrar’s Office. The Registrar’s Office in Derry operates by appointment only for birth registration and collection of Marriage Schedules. Preparations are underway to open the Strabane Registrar’s office to the public soon. Following new guidance from the NI Executive, small religious and civil marriages and civil partnerships can take place indoors with up to 6 people present and outdoors with up to 10 people attending. Social distancing guidance must be adhered to. 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
✅Public Toilets - Council owned public toilets at Strabane, Sion Mills, Plumbridge, Donemana, Cranagh, Barnes Gap and Moorlough are all currently closed in line with Government guidelines. Council buildings with toilets accessible to the public also remain closed at present. Any plans to reopen any of our public conveniences will be in line with the Government’s Pathway to Recovery legislation where appropriate risk assessments and health and safety procedures will be put in place to ensure they are safe to use. The Council is also involved in the Community Toilet Scheme, a partnership between Councils and local businesses across the Council area which allows the public to use their toilet facilities for free without having to make a purchase. Some of the premises that have signed up to this programme remain closed as a result of the emergency situation. It is hoped this service will become operational again once all the businesses are reopened following Government advice. Any plans to reopen these facilities will be done so in keeping with Government and PHA guidance and advice with the appropriate measures around health and safety, social distancing and cleansing all being put into place.
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. Site visits have recommenced on a phased basis with rural sites initially and progressing to urban open air sites in the coming weeks. Planning staff continue to receive new applications by post and progressing existing applications in the normal manner, using technology to engage with customers where necessary and issuing decisions in the office on a rota.
July’s Planning Committee meeting is scheduled for 01st July in the Guildhall.
The Planning Enforcement Service is progressing in dealing with complaints as far as possible with restrictions on some site visits, however, rural and emergency and priority cases are taking place and under regular review. In addition, consultation on LDP Draft Plan Strategy Representations has been suspended and the position remains under review.
You can contact the service directly at [email protected] or contact the main office at 📞028 71 253253.
✅Building control service–– Following changes in government advice in respect to Covid19, the necessary risk assessments and safe systems of work have now been developed to enable external site inspections to resume while internal site inspections are being limited to unoccupied properties only and subject to compliance with preconditions set out on Council’s Building Control web page being met by contractors. Where appropriate, virtual inspections will continue for occupied properties until further notice. The service is continuing to provide the other aspects of its service to the public including plan assessments and its officers are available to provide advice and assistance – contact via email at [email protected] or get more information relating to its service arrangements during COVID-19 at –www.derrystrabane.com/Services/Building-Control – Tel 028 71 253253.
✅Environmental Health Services – Environmental Health staff are carrying out inspections of business on a limited basis 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
Health and Safety at Work
Pavement Café Licences - Council this week approved a revised Pavement Café licensing scheme enabling businesses to submit an application to operate a pavement cafe from 03 July. However, under the current COVID19 restrictions premises currently permitted to serve food for takeaway are not permitted to allow food and drink to be consumed adjacent to their premises or provide seating. These requirements will remain in place until the NI Executive review the legislation which is expected could take place before the 3rd of July to allow for the reopening of businesses within the hospitality retail sector.
Businesses wishing to avail of a pavement café licence is urged to contact the Council directly and are being advised that although a statutory 28 day consultation period applies for each application, Council has agreed not enforce the regulations during the consultation period subject to no representations being received from DFI and/or PSNI. If there no objections are received during the consultation period a temporary pavement café licence will be issued for a period of six months. Members approved this temporary arrangement and also agreed to waive the licence fee to assist businesses recover from the pandemic situation and restore the local economy
✅Dog Control Services - the Dog Control Service continues to operate with a number of restrictions and measures in place to ensure the safety of staff and members of the public. Stray dogs continue to be taken to the Pound where they can be reclaimed by their owner with five days. If 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]
✅Community Services staff are continuing to work 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. Community Development Staff are working with Community & Voluntary groups across the Council area to ensure the effective delivery of the £280,000 funding package provided by Council to support community led responses and to assist the most vulnerable. The funding package saw an initial £15k for each of the District electoral areas supporting local responses and a further investment of £80k where additional need has been identified. The Council has also worked with the Community Foundation NI’s Acorn Fund to deliver an additional £50k which has ensured the swift delivery of funds to Community & Voluntary sector organisations providing a vital response across the Council area.
✅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 weekly basis and is available via the following link - bit.ly/2ybyRVY
✅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 Walled City Markets (06 June), the Waterside Half Marathon and the Sperrin Walking Festival.
Details of a virtual arts and cultural programme at the Alley Theatre – further details are available on the Alley’s social media channels and on the events pages at – www.derrystrabane.com/whatson
The City of Derry Jazz Festival was cancelled in its usual format back at the beginning of May, Council held a hugely successful virtual jazz festival with a series of virtual performances by local artists. You can still view the videos online at www.cityofderryjazzfestival.com
The team were also involved in organising a very successful virtual Tea Dance for the previous Mayor that was broadcast live on BBC Radio Foyle’s Mark Patterson Show. It is available for listen back at https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000j9xn
Meanwhile, all events in Council owned facilities have been cancelled up until the end of August, under review.
A programme of events for the annual Halloween celebrations are currently being devised and will be announced later in the summer. The Council will continue to review all future events in line with Government and public health guidance.
✅Sports Development - Sports Development are currently designing a series of physical activity programmes accessible online that participants can do at home while respecting government guidelines and social distancing. For further information please follow Council’s social media or for general enquiries, please contact [email protected] All officers have access to this email and will be followed up by the 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