Service updates

Updates on our services and any impacts due to Coronavirus.

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The following services are affected:

Customer service centres  

Customer Service Centre: Our offices are now closed to the general public. Our Customer Service Centre remains open for phone and email enquiries, although we may make some changes to the way we operate.

To contact us you can still use our online forms to report incidents or apply for services. To make a payment you can call our automated payment line on 01799 510551 or 01799 510552. 

Community Information Centres: Our Community Information Centres at Great Dunmow Library and Town Street Thaxted will be closed from Wednesday 18 March.

Our affected services


Housing repairs: We will only be carrying out urgent or emergency council housing repairs until further notice.

These include:

•  Heating and hot water
•  Water leaks
•  Electrical issues
•  Health and safety works
•  Sanitary plumbing
•  Home security issues

Non-essential repairs such as decorating, plastering, adjusting doors or non-emergency surveys will temporarily be put on hold. We are unfortunately not able to accept any new non-essential repair requests at this time.

For tenants requesting an urgent repair, please be advised that our repair customer service staff will ask if anyone in your household is self-isolating. This is to ensure we have adequate measures in place to avoid the spread of the virus and to protect our tenants, staff and contractors.

Apply for a council or housing association home: Apply for a council or housing association home: Following the government's advice that people can now move house, the council will restart advertising council and housing association properties that are available for allocating to applicants on the council's housing register as from Friday 22 May.

Therefore the next HomeOption Freesheet  will be published on the HomeOption website as from 9.00am on Friday 22 May and every Friday thereafter. Shortlists close every Wednesday at 1pm.

Waste and recycling

Bins - how to deal with waste if you are self-isolating or have Coronavirus: What you need to do to get rid of waste if you are self-isolating or you have Coronavirus.

Bins - waste and recycling collections: Waste collections are continuing as normal at this time but may be a little later than normal in collecting your bins. We do have contingency plans in place and will communicate those if/when those plans kick-in.

Bins - garden waste collections: Our garden waste service  started again from the week beginning Monday 20 April, after a short break to ensure the health of the public and staff, and so that the teams could prioritise the remainder of the waste and recycling service.

Bins - missed bins: We are unable to return for any missed bins. You can put any extra waste or recycling out in bags next to your bin ready for your next scheduled collection - extra waste should be only put out with your black (rubbish) bin collection and any extra recycling should be put out with your green (recycling) bin. Additional waste placed next to your green recycling bin must be in clear bags, carrier bags, white bags or cardboard boxes only, as we will not accept black sacks.

Bulky waste collections: We started our bulky household waste collections again from Tuesday 21 April, after a short break to ensure the health of the public and staff, and so that the teams could prioritise the remainder of the waste and recycling service.

Replacement bins: We will no longer be able to deliver replacement or additional bins. We will still be delivering bins to new build properties.

Weekend skip service - the garden waste weekend skip service resumed on Saturday 30 May.

Waste and recycling sites (the dump): 15 recycling centres, including the one at Thaxted Road in Saffron Walden, are due to open on Monday 18 May for waste or recycling which cannot be stored at home without causing a health or safety risk. The Saffron Walden site will be open from 9am to 5pm every day.

Planning and building control

Planning duty officer: The planning duty officer will not be available from Wednesday 18 March. We are looking to offer an alternative service and will let you know as soon as we have further details.

Building control: We intend to provide a site inspection service during the current crisis. However in order to minimise the risk of transmitting/catching the virus we will be taking sensible precautions when on site and where possible only doing 'outdoor' inspections. We will continue to inspect excavations, drains and structural elements.

Please call us on 01799 510453 or 01799 510538 to request visits.

We will not be doing completion inspections inside occupied dwellings until the situation changes (unless critical for conveyancing).

Food and Health and Safety enforcement

Restaurants, pubs, bars and takeaway services: The government has issued new guidance for people who work in or run restaurants, pubs, bars, cafes or takeaways.

Food premises operators: There are new emergency regulations stopping most food premises from being open. Find out more.

Food hygiene inspections: Environmental Health will temporarily defer all routine food hygiene inspections/ site visits unless there is an  imminent risk to health or public safety. Officers remain available to offer advice and guidance as required by email or phone

Imported food Service: Clearance for both animal products and non animal products continues but we will prioritise higher risk/urgent consignments.

Level 2 Award in Food Safety in Catering: Courses in July and September have been cancelled. November/December and February 2021 courses will be confirmed at a later date.

Pests and animal nuisance

DialAPest, the council's contractor for pest control, are currently operating a restricted service due to the current coronavirus situation.

If you or a member of your family are currently self-isolating, they will be unable to enter your property and ask that you do not proceed with a booking at this time. If you or a member of your family is in a 'High Risk' group, they ask that you consider carefully if a pest treatment is appropriate at this time.

DialAPest have also suspended all spray treatments for bed bugs, fleas, moths etc. This is due to a requirement for residents to vacate the dwelling for a minimum of 4 hours in contravention of government guidelines.

You can still book treatments for rats, mice and squirrels as long as you are not self-isolating or a member of your family is in a 'High Risk' group.


Tables and chairs on the public highway: The government has issued new Guidance in regard to Tables and Chairs or pavement license on the Highway. As a result of this change Uttlesford will now be charging £100 for any permit. This will be effective immediately for any new or renewal permit. Permits will however last until 30.09.21. Please see Icon for pdf our licence application form [325.63KB]. This should be completed and emailed to

New driver applications: From 00.01 hrs on Monday 29 June 2020 we will only accept full valid applications (containing all the documents) by email to using the new Icon for pdf Driver Licence application for Hackney Carriage and Private Hire vehicles [302.13KB] forms that are on the private hire and hackney carriage pages. Postal applications will be returned to the sender.

Driver medicals: We have delayed the need for medicals for renewals from March by up to 6 months. A number of companies are now offering driver medical assessments and we have therefore decided that:

•  August renewals - Drivers will need to submit a medical with their renewal to make it valid - reminder emails will be sent out
•  Those drivers who required a medical from March, but were unable to have one taken at that time should now book an appointment and submit a medical using the Icon for pdf medical form [629.63KB] by Wednesday 30 September to

Safety tips for taxi and private hire vehicle drivers and passengers: The Essex Residence Forum has put together a list of some things you can do to protect yourself and your passengers from coronavirus (COVID-19). And for passengers there are some similar safety tips. These are based on the latest government guidance on working safely in a vehicle.

Travelling and working in vehicles: the government has issued guidance for passengers and for people who work in or from vehicles.  

Licensing: We are unable to carry out face to face interviews for drivers. Video conferencing software will be used for DBS and Right to Work checks. Please email copies of your specified documentation with your renewal or application. 

Continued working of taxis and private hire vehicles: Read the Department for Transport guidance

New plates: We are now able  to accept applications  for new plates. New licensed vehicles must have a physical plate on it - not a paper plate. I'm grateful for 3 of my colleagues volunteering to attend our offices in Saffron Walden. They will only attend one at a time and when we have a specified number of plates to print - so they will not be in every day - so please do not send chasing emails or phone calls. When they are in we will contact operators on the day their plates will be produced to offer them the opportunity of collection on that only. This will unfortunately be no more than a couple of days a week. Unfortunately there will be no negotiation on the time or day of the week when the plates can be picked up.

Renewal plates: We continue to service these - plates can either be picked up with new plates or emailed to vehicle owner in a paper template format.

Vehicle renewals: We are able to process these; MOT and inspections remain in place. Please email all documentation to Plates can either be picked up with new plates or emailed to vehicle owner in a paper template format.

Day centres

Day centres: All our day centres will be closed from Tuesday 17 March.

Leisure centres

Leisure centres: The Mountfitchet Romeera Leisure Centre Stansted , Great Dunmow Leisure Centre and Lord Butler Leisure Centre Saffron Walden will all be closed from Friday 20 March until further notice.

Whilst our leisure centres are closed 1Life are offering an online activity and coaching package to help you stay healthy at home.

Saffron Walden Museum

Saffron Walden Museum: The museum will be closed from Wednesday 18 March.


Elections and voting

Contacting electoral services: Our electoral services team are now all working remotely and can be contacted by email.

Council meetings

Some meetings are being cancelled in light of current government advice. Please see our calendar of council meetings for the most up to date information. Please don't attend a public meeting if you feel unwell or if a member of your household is self-isolating.

Cabinet 1 April:  The Cabinet meeting on 1 April has been cancelled due to the Coronavirus situation. As a result of this, the Leader will make use of Executive powers and determine the items, which would have been considered at that meeting, by executive decision.

Governance, Audit and Performance Committee 24 March: The Governance, Audit and Performance Committee (GAP) meeting scheduled for 24 March was cancelled due to the Coronavirus situation. As a result of this, the Director - Finance and Corporate Services will make use of delegated powers and determine the 'Council Tax Discount' item, which would have been considered at that meeting, by an officer delegated decision.

Your information

Privacy notice: We have published a privacy notice telling you how we will deal with your data during the current coronavirus crisis.


Updated 11:02 on 26 June