Source: Northern Ireland – City of Derry
20 November 2020
Service update Friday, 20 November 2020
Please find details below details of the current status of Council services on Friday, 20 November 2020 in line with the regulations set out by the NI Executive in an effort to suppress the escalation of COVID-19. The most recent changes are highlighted in blue text. Please note that we will have a full update on Monday to reflect any changes to our services as a result of the NI Executive new regs that are set to come into force from 27 November.
All our services remain under regular review and every effort is being made to keep as many services operational as possible in the current challenging climate.
The Harbour House remains open for staff and elected members only.
The Guildhall is closed to the public with arrangements in place to facilitate weddings that are compliant with the Government guidelines.
The Tower Museum is currently closed to the public.
The Alley Theatre in Strabane is currently closed to the public.
Full Council will take place on Thursday 26 November at 4pm. This meeting is available for viewing on the Council’s Youtube channel.
Leisure Centres – Please note the following update from Leisure and Sport Services – Following yesterday’s announcement by the Northern Ireland Executive, our centres will close for 2 weeks from Friday 27th November. In the interim the following will still apply:
• Our Fitness Suites at Foyle Arena, Derg Valley Leisure Centre, Riversdale Leisure Centre and Templemore Sports Complex will remain open for individual training including bookable Gym Sessions and Lane Swimming only. In line with the Executive restrictions, group fitness classes have been suspended.
• Outdoor pitches: Council’s grass and artificial pitches are open for elite clubs only
Officers will continue to follow NI Executive updates with a view to reopening activities when legislation permits.
Other Leisure Centres – Tier two leisure centre facilities at Brooke Park, City Baths, Melvin and Bishop’s Field will remain closed as effective social distancing is problematic at these sites. They will remain closed under regular review.
Sports Development Programme – Council’s popular Everybody Active Programme is delivering a range of activities to suit all ages and abilities while adhering to all current Government guidelines.
The Sports Development team are currently working with partners to tailor the Macmillan Move More and PARS programmes within the restrictions.
MUGAs- All Council owned community managed MUGAs are currently closed for all activity except at elite level due to Covid-19 Government guidelines.
Community centres – Community Centre(s) remain closed apart for those Centre(s) that are providing an essential service in line with government guidelines.
Play Parks – Council owned play parks remain open. The public are advised that Council undertakes regular 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 are restrictions in place for users of the play parks with everyone being reminded to sanitise their hands before and after using the facilities and to abide by social distancing rules at all times. The public are also advised that they will not be permitted to consume food or drink in our play parks and if you or anyone in your bubble is feeling unwell or showing any symptoms of COVID-19, you should stay away from parks.
Play Park/Outdoor Areas Temporary Closures – Please note the following Council play and outdoor facilities remain closed on a temporary basis to allow for essential maintenance works to continue:
• Douglas Bridge Play Park
• Crilly Park Play Park, Killeter
• Drumnaspar Picnic Area, Plumbridge
• A section of Riverside Path at Claudy Country Park
• A section of Mourneside Walk, Sion Mills
Please note that the Riverview Play Park, Fountain Hill, Derry,has partially reopened to the public as work continues to complete the works.
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 are open and operational from 8am to 4.30pm.
Business support – The Council Business team are available to offer advice and assistance to local businesses on the level of Government business support available and updated regularly on the Business Support social media platforms. You can follow on Facebook @Business Support Derry Strabane and Twitter @dcsdbusiness
Car parks – Car parks are operating as normal.
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.
Health and Safety at Work
All sectors needs to consider the relevant guidance and risk assess their work activities to ensure risks associated with the potential spread of coronavirus are suitably and sufficiently addressed and all statutory health and safety obligations are met. The HSENI have developed an example COVID-19 risk assessment that shows you the kind of approach that a small business needs to take when carrying out a risk assessment for COVID-19 in the workplace –https://hseni.gov.uk/news/example-risk-assessment-covid-19-workplaces.
Licensing and Pavement Café Licensing
Applications for pavement café licences are currently 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:
Dog Control Services – Animal Welfare Services
The Council Dog Shelter at Pennyburn Industrial Estate, Derry opening times remain as normal: Mon – Fri: 10.00am – 11.00am & 3.30pm – 4.30pm, Saturday: 11.00am-12.00pm.
To prevent an unnecessary journey please contact the Dog Wardens to determine if there are any dogs in the dog shelter. Dog Wardens will not be at the dog shelter during the listed opening times if there are no dogs present as they will be carrying out other enforcement and education duties.
Please note that Council no longer accepts unwanted dogs. If you wish to rehome your dog we recommend that you contact one of our two local animal rehoming charities: Pet FBI (Tel: 07512 280760) or Rainbow Rehoming Centre for Rescue Cats and Dogs (Tel: 028 71 812882).
♻️Bin Collection Services♻️
We are appealing for the public to be patient and work with our staff as they continue to provide essential services in a challenging environment.
· 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.
If you have any specific queries relating to waste please contact our Service line at 028 71 374107.
♻️ Household Recycling centres ♻️
The following Household Recycling Centres are open to the public – they are Pennyburn, Strathfoyle, Claudy, Strahans Road in Strabane, Newtownstewart, Donemana, Claudy, Plumbridge and Park.
Please note that ❄️ Winter opening hours have been introduced at all our recycling centres from Monday 26th October.
· Strabane Recycling Centres including Strahan’s Road, Newtownstewart, Donemana and Plumbridge – 10am – 4.45pm Monday – Saturday.
· Strathfoyle Recycling Centre – 8am to 6pm Monday to Saturday, 1pm to 5pm Sunday
· Park Recycling Centre – 12noon to 8pm Monday to Friday, 8am – 5pm Saturday, Closes Sunday
· Claudy Recycling Centre – 8am to 5pm Monday to Friday, 8am to 5pm Saturday and Closed Sunday
· The 6pm to 8pm slot for Glendermott Road will no longer operate during the Winter months, therefore last bookings will be now 4:10pm Monday to Friday. Slots are available Monday – Friday from 9.30am-12noon, 1pm – 4.30pm. Saturday: 8am – 6pm, Sunday: 1- 5pm. Access to the centre will be by booking only. No one will gain admission without an appointment. Slots can be booked by calling 02871376590, with lines open from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. Please note that access is limited to cars and small vans only. No large vans or trailers will be permitted, however, Council continues to work on a booking system to facilitate these vehicles, with details available in due course.
· Pennyburn Recycling Centre – 8am to 8pm Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm Saturday and 1pm – 5pm on Sunday.
Please note the guidance from Govt regarding unnecessary travel and where possible use the bins provided and the Council’s free bulky waste collection service to deal with excess waste. If you are travelling to recycling centres please allow time for your journey, follow the signage and guidelines and co-operate with our staff.
Recycling Centre Closures
Killen Recycling Centre remains temporarily closed, there is an alternative waste disposal site available at the Spamount site, every Tuesday and Thursday from 9am-4pm. Any queries regarding the Killen site, please contact Council on 02871 374107.
Eglinton Recycling Centre remains temporarily closed to the public and we continue to review traffic management arrangements. 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.
Recycling Centres opening hours at a glance:
· Pennyburn – 8am to 8pm Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm Saturday and 1pm – 5pm on Sunday.
· Glendermott Rd Recycling Centre – Slots are available from 9.30am-12noon, 1pm – 4.30pm) Saturday: 8am – 6pm, Sunday: 1- 5pm.
· Strathfoyle – 8am to 8pm Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm Saturday and 1-5pm Sunday.
· Newtownstewart – 10am to 4.45pm Monday to Saturday, closed Sunday.
· Donemana – 10am to 4.45pm Monday to Saturday and closed Sunday.
· Claudy – 8am to 5pm Monday to Friday, 8am to 5pm Saturday and Closed Sunday.
· Strahans Road Strabane – 10am to 4.45pm Monday to Saturday, Closed on Sunday.
· Park Recycling Centre – 12noon to 8pm Monday to Friday, 8am to 5pm Saturday and Closed Sunday.
· Plumbridge Recycling Centre – 10am to 4.45pm from Monday to Saturday. Closed on Sunday.
Vans and trailers
Van drivers who use the Recycling Centres within the Derry City and Strabane District Council area are being advised of the following arrangements.
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.
Entry to vans is permitted at Claudy Recycling Centre from 8 am -9am ONLY.
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 continues to operate 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 9am to 4pm, to dispose of general and green waste only.
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.
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.
♻️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
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
❎ 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.
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.
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.
Community Development Staff are working with Community& Voluntary groups across the Council area to ensure the effective delivery of a further £280,000 funding package provided by Council to support community led responses and to assist the most vulnerable. Council staff are also working with the Local Community Growth Partnerships, Food Banks and Social Supermarkets to deliver an Access to Food programme to support vulnerable families across the Council area. Officers are working with our Advice Services partners, including Advice North West, Dove House and Resource Centre Derry as well as the Local Community Growth Partnerships to extend Advice Services opening hours and develop local referral mechanisms in order to offer help and support at this challenging time.
Planning Service continues to operate most services as normal with staff continuing to work from home and the provision of a reduced number of back office staff providing a range of functions to keep the service operational. Site visits have also recommenced for open air urban and rural sites and dynamic risk assessments are carried out to undertake more complex sites.
Planning staff are receiving new applications and progressing existing applications in the normal manner, issuing decisions and using technology to engage with customers where necessary. New applications and revised drawings or any additional information can now also be dropped off at the Reception of Strand Road Council Offices. However, the Department is unable to offer external meetings in person but we continue to engage with customers through virtual meetings and phone calls.
The Planning Enforcement Service continues to progress and deal with complaints as far as possible with restrictions on some site visits. However, rural and urban open air sites are now being inspected along with emergency and priority cases being progressed and under regular review.
Building control service–– The Building Control service will continue to operate with some restrictions. Essential risk assessments and safe systems of work have been developed to enable site inspections of unoccupied buildings to be carried out. Full plan applications, building notices and regularisation applications are being accepted, registered and assessed. Property certificates are being accepted and processed.
Council Events – A large number of Council organised events have been cancelled. The Council held a very successful Halloween at home virtual festival last month – you can look back and enjoy some of the videos at -www.derryhalloween.com and has commenced its extensive online Christmas festival celebrations.
Events in Council owned facilities, with the exception of weddings, have been cancelled and will be reviewed going forward.
Details of the planned Christmas 2020 campaign have been launched and include details of the virtual Christmas Switch Ons that are planned to take place in both Derry and Strabane this weekend.
All events planned will be subject to Government restrictions and guidelines and the Council will continue to review all future events in line with Government and public health guidance.
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 regular basis and is available via the COVID information section of our website.
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
Visit Derry – The Visitor Information Centre in Waterloo Place is currently closed to the public in compliance with Government guidelines.