Council service update Friday 18 September
18 September 2020
Please find details below of the current state of play of Council services on Friday, 18 September 2020. 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. Any recent changes are highlighted in blue text
Council civic offices and public buildings – Council's Civic Offices in Strand Road, Derry and Derry Road, Strabane are open to the public with restrictions. Screens have been erected and the public will be asked to sanitise on entering and leaving the buildings and adhere to an in-house management system and strict social distancing guidance. The public are being encouraged to use Council's online systems where possible or to contact Council by phone at 📞028 71 253253 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Harbour House remains open for staff and elected members only.
The Guildhall is open to the public with restrictions. It is open Monday to Sunday from 11am – 4pm with limited access only. Due to COVID-19 safety measures, the premises is operating at a limited capacity and they are currently unable to take external bookings. The public accessing the premises will be asked to adhere to strict guidelines in place and to co-operate fully with our staff.
The Tower Museum is open to the public with restrictions. It is open Monday to Sunday from 11am – 4pm. Due to COVID-19 safety measures, the premises is operating at a limited capacity and the public accessing the premises will be asked to adhere to strict guidelines in place and to co-operate fully with our staff.
The Alley Theatre in Strabane is open to the public with restrictions and operates from 11am – 4pm daily, Monday to Friday, primarily for tourist information provision and the online programme of activities. Due to COVID-19 safety measures, the premises is operating at a limited capacity and we are currently unable to take external bookings at this time. The theatre café will remain closed, under review. The public accessing the premises will be asked to adhere to strict guidelines in place and to co-operate fully with our staff.
Full Council is scheduled to take place next Thursday 24 September. All the meetings can be viewed online via the Council’s Youtube channel.
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 our website at- bit.ly/2ybyRVY.
Leisure centres – The following four leisure centres – Foyle Arena, Templemore Sports Complex, Riversdale Leisure Centre and Derg Valley Leisure Centres are open and operational, subject to Government regulations, for gym and classes and swimming as part of Council's phased reopening of leisure centres. Swimming resumed at these centres on Monday 31 August. Please note that the Riversdale Leisure Centre has reopened to the public today following a temporary closure yesterday.
The public can book over 50 classes at Foyle Arena, Templemore Sports Complex, Derg Valley and Riversdale Leisure Centres. Casual bookings for classes are now also available to book one day in advance, payment will need to be made at time of booking.
Online classes will continue to promote health and wellbeing on Council's YouTube channel.
Gyms & Classes – You can book classes via our website. Fitness classes and gym sessions will continue to operate on current arrangements, paid members can book 7 days ahead and casual members 1 day ahead. Previous members can now reactivate their memberships by contacting their home club.
Online classes will continue to promote health and wellbeing on Council's YouTube channel.
Users must arrive 'gym ready' as shower and changing room facilities will be closed. Vending machines will be operational but on-site cafes remain closed and drinking water stations will be placed out of use so users are advised to bring their own drinking water. Users will be required to sanitise on arrival and departure and to adhere to strict social distancing measures.
Swimming Leisure Centres – Return to Swimming Update
Swimming pools at Foyle Arena, Riversdale Leisure Centre and Templemore Sports Complex are open for lane swimming, household swims and club/group usage (subject to booking application, terms and conditions apply). Unfortunately the pool at Templemore Leisure Centre remains closed this week for maintenance work to be carried out. All bookings have been cancelled. We hope to have the facility reopened as soon as possible.
There are a number of changes in place including pre booking your slot, coming 'beach ready' to the facility,
Local arrangements are in place at each facility, with limited access to changing rooms and a 'quick change zone' system in place at the end of your session. Locker and shower facilities are not available but this is being kept under regular review.
There is limited capacity, all activities must be booked in advance. Swim sessions will last for 60minutes. Paid members will be able book 7 days in advance from 24th August and casual users 1 day in advance. Swim sessions can be booked through www.derrystrabane.com/leisure There will be no spectator facilities at any of our centres.
We request all users adhere to guidance on social distancing that will apply at all times.
Other Leisure Centres - Tier two leisure centre facilities at Brooke Park, City Baths, Melvin and Bishop's Field will remain closed as effective social distancing is problematic at these sites. They will remain closed under regular review.
Leisure Membership– Council is currently accepting new fitness memberships, these can be signed up online with gym induction slots available to book online. It is important to note that all new members will be requested to watch an induction video prior to their physical gym induction, and respond to additional health questions online to ensure adherence to health and safety guidelines. Anyone who has any queries regarding their leisure membership should contact – email@example.com
Sports Development Programme - Council's popular Everybody Active Programme has resumed with a wide range of activities to suit all ages and abilities. Highlights of the programme will include the return of the summer sports camps for kids, the Everybody Active 50+ programme, the EBA cycle and EBA Walk jog/run programmes.
The EBA Disability Hub will also return with inclusive cycle sessions, delivered in partnership with DSNI. All sessions must be booked in advance, either online or by phone.
The Sports Development team are currently working with partners in planning a return to the Macmillan Move More and PARS as well as further sports development programmes to be announced in September .
Community centres – All Council run community centres have reopened to the public.
Sports pitches and sports pavilions – A booking system remains in place for sports clubs and organisations looking to use our pitches and outdoor recreation facilities. Clubs seeking more information and keen to book the outdoor pitches are urged to fill out the online form at the link below. Full information and the booking form can be accessed via http://derrystrabaneleisure.com/bookings/
Leisure & Sport artificial pitches are open and operational for constituted organisations. The open call for block bookings for Council pitches are currently closed and any booking application received moving forward will only be considered subject to the remaining availability at each individual site. Artificial pitches available to book include Bishop's Field, Brooke Park, Caw, the Felix McCrossan Pitch at Melvin Sports Complex, Foyle Arena (2G & 4G pitches) and the Ryan McBride Brandywell Stadium pitch.
MUGAs- All Council owned community managed MUGAs have reopened and are operational.
Play Parks - Council owned play parks have reopened. Council undertakes regular maintenance checks and risk assessments to ensure that the play equipment is safe to use and that all sites have been cleaned in preparation for use. There are restrictions in place for users of the play parks with everyone being reminded to sanitise their hands before and after using the facilities and to abide by social distancing rules at all times. The public are also advised that they will not be permitted to consume food or drink in our play parks and if you or anyone in your bubble is feeling unwell or showing any symptoms of COVID-19, you should stay away from parks.
Play Park/Outdoor Areas Temporary Closures - Please note the following Council facilities will be closed from Monday 17th August for 10 weeks in order to facilitate essential maintenance works:
• Riverview Play Park, Fountain Hill, Derry.
• Douglas Bridge Play Park
• Crilly Park Play Park, Killeter
• Drumnaspar Picnic Area, Plumbridge
• A section of Riverside Path at Claudy Country Park
• A section of Mourneside Walk, Sion Mills
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 are set to return to their normal opening hours of 8am to 7pm from tomorrow Saturday 19 September. The public are reminded that they must continue to adhere to the guidelines regarding social distancing and co-operate fully with Council staff at all times. It is important to note that when funerals are taking place, some areas within the cemeteries will be cordoned off to ensure health and safety measures are in place and to allow mourners the space and privacy to grieve and pay their respects in a safe and controlled environment. The public are also advised that as a result of the current pandemic these arrangements are subject to change and there will be instances where the facilities may have to close at short notice to comply with COVID 19 regulations. The cemetery offices will remain closed with no public access however all enquiries or queries regarding geneaology or headstone permits can be made by telephone at 028 71 362615 or email. More info is available at www.derrystrabane.com/cemeteries
Births, still-births, deaths and 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 new 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 remains open and operational by appointment only to register births and for couples to collect their Marriage Schedules.
Indoor Marriages and Civil Partnerships will not have the same restrictions. It will be up to each individual venue to decide when they want to open for indoor events and they must have also carried out a risk assessment to decide how many can attend the event. Social distancing guidelines should be adhered to at all times. The limit of 30 people attending an outdoor marriage or civil partnership has been removed. But it is important that the number of people attending is discussed and agreed with the venue provider in advance. The venue provider must carry out a risk assessment to decide how many can attend the event. Social distancing guidelines should be adhered to at all times. The TEO guidance has not been finalised yet but this will be available soon for guidance for registrars, celebrants and officiants. Anyone with any queries please telephone 📞02871 253253 or 📞02871 376520 or email – for Birth Registration, please email firstname.lastname@example.org , for Death Registration please email email@example.com, or for Marriage or Civil Partnership or a general enquiry please email firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 under review with a report to come before members of the Council's Health and Communities Committee in September for consideration.
The reopening of public toilet 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.
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. Staff for each service area 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:
Health and Safety at Work
Health & safety advice for businesses
The Health and Safety & Consumer Protection Team has added to its range of health and safety guidance available on Council's website, this now includes guidance for businesses from within the tourism and hospitality sectors, hairdressing, barbershops, beauty, nail bars, tanning studios, community centres, retail businesses, takeaways and off licences, offices, banks and building societies, garden centres, car dealers, non-retail businesses, golf clubs and a range of other advice and guidance related to the coronavirus pandemic etc. All this information is available at: https://www.derrystrabane.com/Subsites/Health-Community-Wellbeing/Covid-19
Licensing and Pavement Café Licensing
Applications for pavement café licences are currently being accepted. Use of outdoor space may assist businesses, such as bars, cafes and restaurants to reopen safely, while maintaining social distancing. The normal fees have been waived to support businesses at this time. Licences will be issued for an initial period of 6 months. Guidance on making an application for a pavement café licence is available at:
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 has reintroduced parking charges in its off-street car parks across the District from Wednesday 01 July.
♻️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 has concluded its current roll out of the Brown Bin Scheme for garden/green waste. Plans are being progressed to commence the third and final phase of the scheme. Further details on this scheme including the areas covered can be found at www.derrystrabane.com/greenwaste
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, Newtownstewart, Donemana, Claudy, Plumbridge and Park.
Changes to Waterside Recycling Centre Opening hours -Entry to the Glendermott site will be strictly by appointment only from 1pm-5pm on Sunday afternoon - No vans or trailers allowed. Call 02871376590 to book a slot.
Opening hours for Glendermott Rd Recycling Centre will be as follows:
6-8pm Mon-Fri - Closed Saturday - 1-5pm Sunday
People must call 02871376590 to book a slot.
Strathfoyle opening times will be:
8am-8pm Mon-Fri, 8am-6pm Sat, 1-5pm Sunday
Killen Recycling Centre is temporarily closed, there is an alternative waste disposal site available at the Spamount site, every Tuesday and Thursday from 9am-4pm. Any queries regarding the Killen site, please contact Council on 02871 253 253.
Eglinton Recycling Centre remains temporarily closed to the public and we continue to review traffic management arrangements. 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 our other Household Recycling Centres.
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
· Glendermott Rd Recycling Centre - 6-8pm Mon-Fri. Closed Saturday. Open 1-5pm Sunday (booking essential)
· Strathfoyle - 8am-8pm Mon-Fri, 8am-6pm Sat, 1-5pm Sunday
· 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.
· Park Recycling Centre – from 12moon to 8pm, Monday to Friday, and 8am to 5pm on Sunday.
· Plumbridge Recycling Centre – 10 am to 6.20pm Monday to Friday and 10am to 4pm on Saturdays. Please note that it is no longer required to book visits to the facility in advance.
· Our remaining household sites at Killen and Eglinton will continue to be closed to the public under review.
Vans and trailers
Van drivers who use the Recycling Centres within the Derry City and Strabane District Council area are being advised of the following arrangements
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. From Monday, 27 July, Council will be permitting entry to vans at Claudy Recycling Centre from 8 am -9am ONLY.
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 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 current COVID-19 pandemic.
It will continue to open 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.
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.
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 carried out to undertake more complex sites.
Planning staff are receiving new applications and 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 now 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.
The September Planning Committee was held, Wednesday 2nd and 3rd September 2020 and can be viewed online on the Council’s Youtube channel.
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 reconsultation on the LDP Draft Plan Strategy stage will run for a period of eight weeks from 11 September to 06 November. All documents are available online or for inspection by appointment only at the Council offices on Strand Road, Derry, or Derry Road, Strabane. Information is also available at all Council leisure centres and at all public libraries within the Council area. For more information and to book an appointment – visit – www.derrystrabane.com/ldp
or contact the service directly at email@example.com or the main office at 📞028 71 253253 and ask to speak to a member of the Planning Service.
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 site inspections of unoccupied buildings to resume. 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 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. Dangerous structure inspections are also being undertaken as normal. Virtual inspections will continue for occupied properties and resultant Completion Certificates will be qualified 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or from at our website at www.derrystrabane.com/Services/Building-Control or by phone at – Tel 028 71 253253.
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. Dog owners are advised to licence their dogs online, please visit https://council.direct/ Stray dogs continue to be taken to the Pound where they can be reclaimed by their owner within 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@example.com
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. Contact details: 📞028 82256226 E:firstname.lastname@example.org
New proposed Dog Control Orders to promote responsible dog ownership across the City and District are currently out for consultation. For full information visit https://bit.ly/dcsdcdogcontrol.
Council Events – A large number of Council organised events up until the end of September are cancelled, while events in Council owned facilities, with the exception of weddings, have been cancelled and will be reviewed going forward.
The Council is delighted that Imelda May has rescheduled her performances until next May for the 2021 City of Derry Jazz Festival at the Millennium Forum – www.millenniumforum.com
Details of Halloween 2020 programme of events were presented to members of the Business and Culture committee this week – for more information visit - https://bit.ly/3m8v5RA
Details of the planned Christmas 2020 campaign was also presented to members of the Business and Culture Committee this week – for more information visit - https://bit.ly/3bF2MFn
The Council will continue to review all future events in line with Government and public health guidance.
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