Elected Members welcome continuation of critical services over Easter
10 April 2020
Elected members of Derry City and Strabane District Council today heard how all critical Council services will continue as normal over the Easter period as Council continues to provide as many key functions as possible during the current emergency COVID-19 situation.
Members attending the online briefing this afternoon, heard how the Council’s civic offices at Strand Road, Derry, and Derry Road, Strabane, would be closed to the public, but the majority of Council functions will continue to operate and be contactable by phone at 028 71 253253 on Good Friday and Easter Monday and Tuesday.
Members heard that among the critical services that will continue to operate as normal over the Easter period will be Refuse Collection services, with the public being reminded how they must maximise the use of their existing black/blue/brown bins and do all they can not to put additional pressure on the service during this emergency period.
Other critical services such as street cleansing, cemetery provision, waste enforcement and grounds maintenance works will also continue, as will the Registration of Births, Deaths and Marriages.
Members were given an update in relation to the new COVID 19 Waste Service and Helpline, set up earlier this week to advise people how to deal with excess waste issues and informed that it too will remain operational over the Easter period. The number 028 71 376590 will be staffed from 9am to 5pm on Good Friday, Easter Monday and Tuesday with a reminder that the helpline is only for those with issues around excess residual black bin, recyclable/blue bin or grass cuttings.
It was reiterated to members that since the introduction of Government’s restrictions on movement, all Council recycling centres and cemeteries remain closed to the public, while our leisure centres and community centres, play pitches, sports pavilions and children’s play facilities continue to be closed to the public.
While our public parks and open spaces currently remain open for people to exercise, the Council will be actively reminding the public on its social media platforms over the Easter period, that they must adhere to the Government instruction regarding self-distancing, with no public gatherings permitted. Additional signage has been erected across Council owned areas and our park wardens and community safety wardens will continue to patrol these areas encouraging people to abide by social distancing measures.
Elected members heard that all other services, including business support, planning, building control, environmental health, community services, sports development will all be contactable over Easter to deal with priority calls and issues.
The Council’s Chief Executive John Kelpie provided an update on all services and staff resources, and the work being done in partnership with the other Councils to look at mechanisms to reclaim emergency expenditure incurred during this emergency period.
He said Council continued to work with the Health services and statutory agencies to provide any support they require. He said officers continue to work proactively in terms of rolling out a range of community support programmes, adding that the Council’s Community Support Programme funding, is being issued through the Local Growth Partnerships, while Council is providing support to DfC through the Community Hub to identify vulnerable people in need of food parcels and support. He added that Council is also taking a proactive role in signposting and assisting groups to avail of other funding and volunteering opportunities.
He added that the Council’s Business and Culture team continue to reach out to local businesses to offer a range of services including webinars and advice to the relevant support services and government departments that are available so they can source funds to lessen the impact of COVID 19.
The proactive work by Derry City and Strabane District Council was once again acknowledged by all Elected Members, who said the Council was showing best practice in terms of dealing with the current emergency. Front line staff and those working over the Easter period to continue to provide public services were also acknowledged for their commitment and dedication.
Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council Cllr Michaela Boyle said Derry City and Strabane District Council continued to show strong leadership throughout this difficult time and welcomed the fact that many services will be continuing over the Easter period.
She once again encouraged the public to be responsible and to take heed of the Government instruction to stay at home. She urged people not be tempted to take advantage of the warm weather by visiting local beauty spots and urged everyone to do their bit to prevent the spread of COVID-19 by staying at home.
Extending a Happy Easter message to the public, the Mayor praised the people of Derry and Strabane for their continued support and resilience.
“We all have our role to play in this. For many of us it is a simple one. Be safe, Be sensible, Be responsible and Stay at Home.”
Members of the public can continue to contact the Council over the Easter period at 📞028 71 253253 or by email at [email protected]
All information relating to Council’s response to the COVID-19 situation is available on our website at - www.derrystrabane.com/coronavirus and regular updates posted on Facebook and Twitter in an effort to keep everyone informed.