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Source: City of Stoke-on-Trent

The city’s two tip sites will open for longer and accommodate more vehicles from tomorrow (Saturday, 6 June).

Stoke-on-Trent City Council has announced that both household waste and recycling centres in Hanford and Federation Road, Burslem will revert to their summer opening times, with restrictions still in place for the safety and wellbeing of visitors and workers, in response to the coronavirus.

The facilities will now be open on the following times:

  • Hanford will open Wednesday-Friday 8am-5.30pm and weekends 8am-4.30pm.
  • Federation Road, Burslem will open Monday, Tuesday and Friday 9am -5.30pm and weekends 9am-4.30pm.

The number of vehicles that can be accommodated at each site is also increasing:

  • Hanford is increasing from four vehicles to eight.
  • Burslem is increasing from three vehicles to five.

Existing permit holders will also be able to use both sites. Traffic management will remain in place at both centres, but some changes will be made at Federation Road, with vehicles no longer being able to queue onto Westport Road. This is to ensure access remains clear at the adjacent St Nathaniel’s Academy. Instead, more vehicles will be accommodated to queue safely onto the tip site, and to queue along Federation Road as before.

Both sites remain open to Stoke-on-Trent residents only, and the same health and safety and on-site restrictions remain in place for the wellbeing of visitors and workers, and to ensure social distancing can be maintained. Residents are still advised to only visit the tips if it is essential at this time.

Both sites reopened with restricted access in place on 14 May, in line with national guidance in response to the coronavirus.

Since then, 6,463 vehicles have unloaded a total of 222 tonnes of waste at both sites – the equivalent weight of 550 race horses. A total of 62 per cent of waste unloaded at the tips has been black bag/household waste – some 137 tonnes worth. In comparison, during the whole of last year, a total of 39 per cent of all the waste unloaded at the tips was black bag/household waste. A total of 25 tonnes of garden waste has been brought to the tips since 14 May, and the amount of wood waste taken to the tips has risen from a monthly average of 10 per cent to 14 per cent.

There has also been a 20 per cent increase in the weight of all waste types in the city, since the coronavirus restrictions were introduced in March. Significantly, this includes blue bin recycling collections, with bins containing more glass bottles, particularly with an increase in people drinking at home while the pubs are shut.

Councillor Brown said: “It is down to residents following the restrictions and using the tip sites responsibly that we have been able to accommodate so many vehicles at the centres, and we’d really like to thank people for continuing to follow the rules.

“We are extending the opening hours and accommodating more vehicles on site, with careful consideration for social distancing. Our staff will be on hand to support people to ensure that public health guidelines continue to be followed.

“We still encourage people to only make a visit to the tip if it is essential, there will still be queues and people should allow plenty of time for the visit. Staff on site have been tremendous in keeping services going at this time.”

Meanwhile, routine housing repairs and planned maintenance activities equal to some £26m worth of major works to council housing across the city will begin to restart from Monday (8 June).

During the lockdown, Unitas, the authority’s housing repairs and maintenance company, has invested in a new 24/7 online repairs reporting service so that residents can log a routine repair and book a routine appointment at a time convenient to them. It means that residents will no longer need to call the contact centre for routine repairs. They simply need to email their name and address to enquires@unitas.co.uk, and the service will make the necessary arrangements.

For urgent repairs residents are asked to call 01782 234100. Residents will then be asked if anyone at home is displaying any symptoms of the coronavirus or if they are self-isolating. If they are, repairs can still be undertaken, with a number of safety measures followed. Residents will be asked to open the front door when staff arrive, and residents must isolate themselves in a room in the property away from where the repair work is required. Workers will then enter the property and once the job has been completed, workers will leave, closing the door.

Residents are advised that there will be a backlog of repairs that workers will be addressing, and that it may take longer than usual to carry out more non-essential work.

Councillor Brown said: “During the lockdown to date, Unitas, has been working to continue to deliver essential gas and electrical safety inspections. Workers have also supported the #StokeonTrentTogether initiative and the logistical arrangements to deliver thousands of food parcels to vulnerable residents across the city.

“We have been working towards Unitas restarting some services, and we’re pleased that this will now happen from Monday.”

Meanwhile, the council is updating residents on registration services for births, deaths and marriages. Coronavirus restrictions have meant that face-to-face appointments for the service have not been possible. However, legislation passed in response to the pandemic has meant that deaths can be registered over the phone. This service has continued throughout the lockdown, with telephone appointments available by calling 01782 235260, Monday to Friday 9am-5pm.

Latest government guidance has been published this week for birth registration, and notice of intension for marriages and civil partnerships. However, there still remains no guidance on when marriage, civil partnership and citizenship ceremonies can begin again.

Councillor Brown said: “Preparations are now being put in place for when services can reopen again for face-to-face registrations and appointments. This work will follow national public health advice to protect visitors and our staff, and we will be able to give more details on this in the coming weeks, following national guidance.”

Residents are advised that when the registration service does resume, it will take some months to work through a backlog of appointments.

For more information and advice on coronavirus (Covid-19) please visit Public Health England:

https://publichealthmatters.blog.gov.uk/2020/01/23/wuhan-novel-coronavirus-what-you-need-to-know/ and the NHS: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/.

All residents are reminded about the critical importance of regular handwashing with soap and hot water for 20 seconds. The significance of this action cannot be underestimated.

For more information on digital services, visit www.stoke.gov.uk, download the MyStoke App, or follow the city council’s social media channels.

MIL OSI United Kingdom