Coronavirus - (COVID-19)

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Council continues to tackle Coronavirus: Update on services and facilities

Published Wednesday, 25th March 2020

Rendering of a virus

This is an update and recap on council services and facilities that have been closed or stopped, along with information and examples of important services still open and running at this time.

Updates:

  • the Civic Centre has now closed to the public (apart from Registration Services by appointment) and the vast majority of office based council staff are working from home and/or being redeployed to other critical services where possible. Systems are in place to ensure emergency issues are dealt with. If an issue cannot be resolved through our website, residents should call 01702 215000
  • registration services (based at the Civic Centre) is still open by appointment only to register deaths. Weddings for the next three weeks have been cancelled to comply with the national guidance regarding gatherings. If national guidance allow deaths to be registered by phone, people will no longer have to visit the Civic Centre to do this. We are not registering births at this time.
  • Leigh Marshes and Stock Road recycling sites are closed
  • waste and recycling collections, bulky waste and garden waste collections are currently still operating. However, these services are being reviewed as the situation develops. If needed priority will be focussed on waste and recycling services
  • parks remain open, but playgrounds and park toilets are closed. People exercising in these parks are asked to observe social distancing rules
  • the council is looking at how parks staff and teams can operate within the guidance issued by Government on Monday night, and whilst they remain open for exercise
  • Belfairs Golf Course is closed, and the start of the bowls and cricket seasons have been suspended
  • parking enforcement has been scaled back to focus on safety and issues such as obstruction.
  • the Public Health and resilience teams are working across the council to coordinate the overall response to the Coronavirus, as are social care, youth offending, homelessness and community based teams, to ensuring that vulnerable people are looked after at this time and liaise with care providers and the hospital regarding care packages and discharges from hospital
  • highway teams are still working to ensure roads are safe for emergency vehicles and deliveries for example. Potholes are being filled on a ‘find and fix’ basis, so there is no need for local people to report them
  • office based functions and services such as council tax, benefits, essential living fund, business rates, accounts payable, business support, licensing and planning are still operating from home as we react and deal with the various Government measures and funding being announced daily and to also ensure that our suppliers and contractors delivering vital services are being paid promptly
  • community safety and CCTV staff are still operating
  • children and learning staff are working to support schools, parents and the community to open for key workers
  • children Centres are open for health appointments only

Recap:

The following facilities were shut last week:

  • Palace Theatre, Southend Pier and Visitor Centre, Central Museum, Focal Point Gallery, Beecroft Gallery and Southchurch Hall
  • library services at the Forum and all branches, the Home Library Service, library delivery service (to care homes)
  • all leisure centres are closed, including Belfairs Swim Centre, Chase Sports and Fitness Centre, Shoeburyness Leisure Centre and Southend Leisure and Tennis Centre
  • the Tickfield training centre
  • Southend Adult Community College sites

Cllr Ian Gilbert, leader of the council, said: “We all know this is an unprecedented time, and we are working around the clock and alongside our partners and contractors to ensure we are able to continue delivering key services. We are also looking quickly at where services have been reduced or stopped, and how those staff and teams can be adapted and redeployed into key critical services at this time.

“We have to do all we can to help our high risk and vulnerable members of the community and to do this we need to unite as a community and do all we can to minimise the impact of Coronavirus locally.

“This means following advice from Government and the NHS, looking out for elderly relatives and neighbours and remembering that if you are able to work from home, to please do so. This is not something that should be taken lightly. The virus can spread at a rapid rate, and congregating in groups can and will put people at risk. Please adhere to Government guidance on social distancing as this will save lives.”

For trusted information, please visit our Cornoavirus information pages.