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Source: Northern Ireland – City of Derry

14 July 2020

Please find details below of the current state of play of Council services on Friday 10 July. 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.

 ✅Council civic offices and public buildings – Council’s Civic Offices in Strand Road, Derry and Derry Road, Strabane, and the Harbour House are open for staff and elected members with a view to possibly reopening to the public later this month. Council services continue to operate and the public are encouraged to contact Council by phone at 📞028 71 253253 or by email at [email protected]

The Guildhall will reopen to the public with restrictions from Tuesday 14 July. It will 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 we 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.  We look forward to welcoming you back to the #HeartoftheCity!

The Tower Museum will reopen to the public with restrictions from Tuesday 14 July. It will 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.  We look forward to welcoming you back to the #HeartoftheCity!

The Alley Theatre in Strabane will reopen to the public with restrictions from Wednesday 15 July and will operate 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.  We look forward to welcoming you back.

Committee meetings – All committee meetings are being held in the Guildhall. While they are closed to the public, they can be viewed online.

A full schedule of meetings for the remainder of July can be found here – https://bit.ly/2XJB2ZJ.

Please note these will be broadcast live on the Council’s Youtube page –

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCbGxNiLfdgs_ZR2CBl0msvA/videos

Mayor’s Office – The Mayor Cllr Brian Tierney is very keen to engage with the public and his office is contactable for members of the public – you can get more information via the website at –  https://www.derrystrabane.com/mayor/contact.

 ✅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– Council is currently making arrangements for the reopening of leisure centres.  Final dates have yet to be agreed by elected members when they meet at Full Council later this month. We anticipate that when our facilities do reopen, it will be for gym and classes only, with swimming set to resume at a later date. Council is seeking feedback from the public with regard to its reopening plans by encouraging them to take part in an online survey that will help  Council plan for the reopening of leisure facilities, the survey can be found at –https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/DCSDCLeisureReopening​ and participants are in with a chance of winning a free month’s all-inclusive membership to use when the facilities are up and running again. Regular updates will be available on the website at www.derrystrabane.com/leisure.  Anyone who has any queries regarding their leisure membership should contact – [email protected].

 ✅Community centres – All Council owned community centres remain closed to the public with plans in place to open in late summer/early autumn, dependent on Government advice. A number of our facilities continue to be open to accommodate work being carried out by the community and voluntary sector to assist with the COVID19 response.

 ✅Sports pitches and sports pavilions – A new booking system has been put in place for sports clubs and organisations looking to use our pitches and outdoor recreation facilities for training purposes only. Clubs looking for 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 at http://derrystrabaneleisure.com/bookings/  and sports clubs can request a booking by sending a booking application form and all required supporting documentation to [email protected].

Council is working with community organisations to reopen MUGAs across the city and district.

Play Parks – Council owned play parks reopened to the public last week following recent new Government guidelines. Prior to reopening, Council has undertaken 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 will be restrictions in place for users of the play parks with everyone being asked to sanitise their hands before and after using the facilities and to abide by social distancing rules at all times. We will also be asking people not to consume food or drink in our play parks and to stay if you or anyone in your bubble is feeling unwell or showing any symptoms of COVID-19.

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 remain open to the public daily from 2.30pm to 9pm and are not accessible in the mornings to allow for funerals to take place and to facilitate necessary maintenance works. Please adhere to the guidelines in place regarding social distancing and co-operate with staff at all times. Members of the public with any enquiries are advised to contact the Cemetery office via telephone at 028 71 362615.The public are advised that should contact be required social distancing requirements must be maintained at all times.  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 operates by appointment only to register births and for couples to collect their Marriage Schedules. Preparations are underway to open the Strabane Registrar’s Office to the public as soon as possible. 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 [email protected] , for Death Registration please email [email protected], or for Marriage or Civil Partnership or a general enquiry please email [email protected] 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 in line with Government advice. The Council is also involved in the Community Toilet Scheme, a partnership between Council and local businesses across the Council area which allows the public to use their toilet facilities for free without having to make a purchase. Some of the premises that are participating In the scheme have now reopened following Government advice. Further details of toilets available for the public use are available on the council website https://www.derrystrabane.com/Subsites/Environmental-Health/Health-Housing-Public-Conveniences/Public-Conveniences

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. The Environmental Health team have put into place a number of measures to allow it to operate as many other services as possible and staff 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:

Environmental Protection [email protected]

Food Safety – [email protected]

Health and Safety – [email protected]

Health & Housing- health&[email protected]

Port Health – [email protected]

Licensing  – [email protected]

Health and Safety at Work

Members of the public seeking advice and information regarding new regulations on health and safety legislation at their work can contact the Council’s Environmental Health team to find out how Council can assist them in ensuring their workplace is safe. For more information visit – https://derrystrabane.com/subsites/Environmental-Health/Health-Safety-and-Consumer-Protection-Team/Health-Safety-at-Work.

As businesses are reopening they can find advice and guidance at –   https://www.derrystrabane.com/Subsites/Health-Community-Wellbeing/Covid-19

Health & safety advice for businesses in hospitality sector

The Health and Safety & Consumer Protection Team has added to its range of health and safety guidance available on Council’s website, to now include guidance for businesses from within the tourism and hospitality sectors – such as restaurants and pubs/bars and for Close Contact Services such as hairdressing, barbershops, beauty, nail bars and tanning studios etc.​  Available at: https://www.derrystrabane.com/Subsites/Health-Community-Wellbeing/Covid-19

Licensing and Pavement Café Licensing

Applications for pavement café licences are 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:  

https://www.derrystrabane.com/Licensing/Pavement-cafe-licences

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: 
Telephone:  0759503778 (Businesses based in Derry)  / 07548162347 (for Strabane Businesses) Email: [email protected] / [email protected] 

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 and Claudy.

Our recycling centres at Plumbridge and Park reopened to the public from this week, Monday 13th July.

The Park recycling centre will be open to the public from 12noon to 8pm Monday to Friday, and from 8 am to 5pm on Saturday.

Due to health and safety issues around access to the  Plumbridge site, a booking system is in place with access permitted by appointment only. The public can book a slot from Friday, 10 July by ringing 028 71376 590.The site will be open for bookings from 10am – 6.20pm,  Monday to Friday and from 10am – 4pm on Saturdays.

The public are urged to arrive on time​ for their appointments and not to arrive early as this may cause traffic management issues. People who don’t have a booking made will not be permitted to access the Plumbridge site. 

The Glendermott Road and Eglinton Recycling Centres remain closed temporarily closed to the public and we continue to review traffic management arrangements within the wider Glendermott and Eglinton complexes. 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
  • Strathfoyle – from 8am to 8pm, Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm on Saturdays. Sunday from 1-5pm
  • 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 Monday 13th) – from 12moon to 8pm, Monday to Friday, and 8am to 5pm on Sunday.
  • Plumbridge Recycling Centre (appointment only from Monday 13th) – 10 am to  6.20pm Monday to Friday and 10am to 4pm on Saturdays.

 Our remaining household site at Killen will continue to be closed to the public under review.

Vans and trailers

Van drivers who use the Household Recycling Centres within the Derry City and Strabane District Council area are being advised of new arrangements that are currently in place.

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.

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 has set up 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.

For more information visit www.derrystrabane.com/flytipping 

✅♻️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

✅      Mattresses

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

❎    Tyres

❎    Trees

❎    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.

Members of the public wanting to book a Bulky Waste Collection should fill out the online form on the website at – www.derrystrabane.com/bulkywaste ​

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. 

 ✅ Planning Service has put into place a number of measures, including the provision of a reduced number of back office staff to allow it to provide a range of services to keep the service operational. Site visits have recommenced on a phased basis with rural sites initially and progressing to urban open air sites in the coming weeks.

Planning staff continue to receive new applications by post and progressing existing applications in the normal manner, using technology to engage with customers where necessary and issuing decisions in the office on a rota.  

July’s Planning Committee meeting was held over two days on 01 and 02 July and can be viewed online at – https://derrycityandstrabanedistrict.public-i.tv/core/portal/home

The Planning Enforcement Service is progressing in dealing with complaints as far as possible with restrictions on some site visits, however, rural and emergency and priority cases are taking place and under regular review.  In addition, consultation on LDP Draft Plan Strategy Representations has been suspended and the position remains under review.

 Anyone looking for planning information on application forms, planning fees and planning applications are encouraged to visit the planning portal: https://www.planningni.gov.uk/public-access-info

Or contact the service directly at p[email protected] or contact the main office at 📞028 71 253253.

 ✅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 external site inspections to resume. While internal site inspections are being limited to unoccupied properties only and subject to compliance with preconditions set out on Council’s Building Control web page being met by contractors.  Where appropriate, virtual inspections will continue for occupied properties until further notice. The service is continuing to provide the other aspects of its service to the public including plan assessments and its officers are available to provide advice and assistance – contact via email at [email protected] or get more information relating to its service arrangements during COVID-19 at www.derrystrabane.com/Services/Building-Control – 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. Stray dogs continue to be taken to the Pound where they can be reclaimed by their owner with 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 protected]

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. Many animal charities have closed therefore there may be no provision in place to rehome animals. Contact details: 📞028 82256226 E:[email protected]

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. 

Council Events – A large number of Council organised events up until the end of September are cancelled and include – the North West Angling Fair, the Strabane Lifford Half Marathon, the Foyle Maritime Festival,  the Walled City Market (06 June), the Waterside Half Marathon and the Sperrin Walking Festival.

Plans are currently being explored in relation to hosting a Walled City Market over the summer – details of which will be provided in the coming days.

Details of a virtual programme for the Strabane Summer Jamm festival have been announced as well as a virtual arts and cultural programme at the Alley Theatre – further details are available on the Alley’s social media channels and on the events pages at – www.derrystrabane.com/whatson

The Learning Festival– scheduled to take place in May, was rescheduled and took place virtually 01 and 02 July – details are available at www.derrystrabane.com/business/Learning-Cities/Lifelong-Learning-Festival

The City of Derry Jazz Festival was cancelled in its usual format back at the beginning of May, Council held a hugely successful virtual jazz festival with a series of virtual performances by local artists. You can still view the videos online at www.cityofderryjazzfestival.com

The team were also involved in organising a very successful virtual Tea Dance for the previous Mayor that was broadcast live on BBC Radio Foyle’s Mark Patterson Show. It is available for listen back at https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000j9xn

Meanwhile, all events in Council owned facilities have been cancelled up until the end of August, under review.

A programme of events for the annual Halloween celebrations are currently being devised and will be announced later in the summer. The Council will continue to review all future events in line with Government and public health guidance.

Sports Development – Sports Development are currently designing a series of physical activity programmes accessible online that participants can do at home while respecting government guidelines and social distancing.  For further information please follow Council’s social media or for general enquiries, please contact [email protected]  All officers have access to this email and will be followed up by the relevant officer.

Community Safety Wardens – Community Safety Wardens are assisting in patrolling our public parks to help with social distancing and providing reassurance and advice to the public. They are also continuing to provide vital community service in an effort to provide reassurance and protection to our communities and keep people safe at this difficult time for many. Contact details – TRIAX/Waterside (07709 457690) / Outer North/Outer West 📞 (07736 213140) and Rural Waterside 📞 (07736 213152).

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

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