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

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.

Bins - garden waste collections: Our garden waste service  has started again and is running as normal.

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 can collect bulky household waste but you may have to wait a little longer than usual if you need an electrical item collected. This is because we can only collect a limited number of electrical items each week.

Replacement bins: We are now delivering all New, replacement and extra bins.

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 now open 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

Representations on planning applications: We are currently receiving a large number of comments on planning applications. If you have sent in a comment and it has not yet been published on our site, please be assured that we are working as quickly as possible to get all representations published.

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.

Licensing

Updates on our service due to Coronavirus

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 licensing@uttlesford.gov.uk

You can see current applications on our Applications made for tables and chairs on the public highway page.

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.

New driver applications: We are now able to accept valid applications (containing all the documents) by email to licensing@uttlesford.gov.uk 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 or hackney carriage driver licence page. Postal applications will be returned to the sender.

Driver medicals: 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 [544.0KB] by Wednesday 30 September to licensing@uttlesford.gov.uk

August renewals - Drivers will need to submit a medical with their renewal to make it valid - reminder emails will be sent out

Video conferencing: We are unable to carry out face to face interviews for drivers. If needed 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.

Collection of Badges and Plates: we will inform operators and drivers of dates and times when they can collect badges and plates. This is down to the availability of staff but it is generally weekly on Wednesadays and Fridays at 1pm.

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.  

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

Day centres

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

Leisure centres

Lord Butler Leisure Centre, Great Dunmow Leisure Centre and Mountfitchet Romeera Leisure Centre have now reopened. Bookable gym sessions are now available at all sites, and both virtual and instructor-led group exercise classes are available at Lord Butler and Great Dunmow. The pool at Lord Butler Leisure Centre will be reopening on 1 September, and the pool at Great Dunmow Leisure Centre is planned to reopen during October. If you have any queries, then please contact the leisure centres directly.

For further details, please check the 1Life page for each centre:

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 11:27 on 24 September