20 March 2020
Derry City and Strabane District Council remains committed to providing key essential services during this difficult and challenging time. Senior management and elected members continue to monitor the situation on a daily basis and have contingency measures in place to ensure that vital services are provided and that as many of our other services as possible will be provided for as long as possible.
The senior management and elected member team also continue to engage with other key stakeholders in the city to assess and prepare the emergency response to the COVID-19 situation.
The Council urges the public to be patient during this challenging time as it works to prioritise essential Council services and keep its staff and the public safe.
The Council endeavours to provide regular updates over the coming days and weeks in relation to our services and these will be communicated via the media and on our social media platforms on Facebook and Twitter.
Please see below the current status of our services: -
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 Friday 27 March when the decision will be reviewed. The public are asked to note that both the Alley and the Guildhall will not be responding to phone calls or queries relating to refunds or bookings over the weekend but will be contactable from Monday by phone and email. Essential services continue to operate as normal and the public can continue to contact Council by phone at 028 71 253253 or by email at [email protected]
Mayor’s office – All Mayor’s diary of engagements have been cancelled including the Mayor’s Tea Dance and the Mayor’s Civic Ball.
Committee meetings – All Council committee meetings have been suspended except for a Special Planning Committee meeting scheduled for 24 March that will go ahead but is closed to the public. The Full Council scheduled for 26 March will also go ahead with restrictions in place.
Leisure centres- All Council owned leisure centres remain closed until Friday 27 March, under review.
Community centres – All Council owned community centres are closed until Friday 27 March, under review. Community centres and arts facilities that have a service level arrangement with Council, have been informed of Council’s plans to assist them in making informed decisions about their own premises.
Play parks – All Council owned Play parks are currently being closed. The public are advised that it could take a number of days to get signage erected but that they should please act responsibly and deter from using these facilities in the interim.
Public Parks – All Council public parks and open spaces remain open. The Council would encourage the public to adhere to the Public Health Authority guidelines in relation to social distancing and to act responsibly when out and about using our public parks and open spaces.
Bin collections – Bin collection services remain operational.
Street cleansing – Street cleansing services are continuing.
Recycling centres – Council recycling centres remain open with some adaptations having been made to limit the number of cars entering sites at the one time in an effort to encourage social distancing.
Bulky Waste service – this service has been temporarily suspended to facilitate other essential waste service provision.
Births deaths and marriage registration –The Council’s Registration of Births Deaths and Marriages service is continuing to operate, however due to Government recommendations aa number of changes have been made to service provision to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. They include the temporary closure of the Strabane Registration Office and a number of measures put in place reduce the number of visitors visiting the Derry office to ensure the continuation of this essential service. From this week the District Registration Office located at 14 Magazine Street, Derry/Londonderry will be closed to visitors unless they have a pre-booked appointment only. Please telephone 02871 253253or 02871 376520 or email -[email protected]. During this period no children should attend appointments and in birth registrations, one parent should attend except when both parents need to sign a joint registration (when parents are not married). Please note you have six weeks to register your baby. Only person should attend to register a death and those submitting marriage or civil partnership notice are advised to scan or post them to the office with the relevant documents and ring the office to arrange to pay the fee. Forms can be downloaded at www.nidirect.gov.uk.
Civil Marriage Ceremonies - All ceremonies at the Registration office and council venues have been cancelled and no further bookings are being taken. At the moment we are continuing to officiate at other wedding venues where the number attending the wedding does not exceed 5 (Bride, Groom, 2 witnesses and the officiant) however this may change in the near future.
(*A pre-questionnaire (COVID-19) must be completed prior to the wedding.)
Cemeteries – All Council cemeteries are open but with some operational changes to protect the health and safety of staff, mourners and the wider public.
Planning service – Planning Service is operational with a number of restrictions in place with regard to site visits, please contact the service directly with any questions at .[email protected].
The consultation on LDP Draft Plan Strategy Representations has been suspended. Anyone looking for planning information, application forms, planning fees and planning applications are encouraged to visit the planning portal: http: //www.planningni.gov.uk/
The Special Planning committee meeting scheduled to take place next week will go ahead but with no public access.
Building control service– Building Control service is operating with some restrictions in place with regard to site visits. Please contact the service directly at [email protected] for more information.
Environmental Health Services – Environmental Health is operating with some restrictions in place with regard to inspections and site visits. Please contact the service areas directly at:
Council Events – The following events have been cancelled – the City of Derry Jazz Festival, the North West Angling Fair, the Strabane Lifford Half Marathon, the Foyle Maritime Festival, the Strabane Summer Jamm, the Worker’s Rights and Social Justice Week and the Battle of the Atlantic VE Day commemorations. All other events remain under review.
Business support – The business team are available to assist businesses who have queries relating to latest information and advice provided by the Department of Finance regarding rates relief and business support services. The team are available to advise at – insert email and no. Businesses seeking advice are advised to visit - https://www.derrystrabane.com/businessupdates
City of Derry Airport – the Airport is open and some changes are expected to flight schedules. The public are urged to visit the airport website for live flight information and regular updates. For more information visit –www.cityofderryairport.com