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Service changes at City of York Council

Published Wednesday, 25 March 2020

Many of the services City of York Council provide for residents, businesses and visitors are changing due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

The safety of the public and staff is paramount, therefore we are ensuring  social distancing guidance set out by the Government is followed where ever possible. This has led to widespread changes to the services we offer.

This includes:

Volunteering

So far, 1,400 residents have signed up to volunteer which is a wonderful response. We’re still looking for more, so please sign up

Parking and Car Parks including free parking for key workers and food workers

  • Key workers who work in the NHS or are health and social care related services or work in supermarkets and food outlets without parking (this does not include takeaways) will be able to park for free in council car parks to support the fantastic work they are doing during the corona virus pandemic. Our only ask is that they put in the windscreen a letter on their employers headed paper confirming that they are a key worker in one of the services mentioned above. They will not need to pay.
  • During the outbreak the council are mindful that people may not be able to move their car whilst they self-isolate some discretion is being shown to people who park legally provided they are not causing an obstruction or wilfully breaking the law.
  • Any urgent enquiries on this can be sent to parking@york.gov.uk  where officers will get back to you as soon as possible.
  • Please note Fossbank and Piccadilly car parks are currently closed.

Public Toilets

Public toilets in the city centre will be closed until further notice.. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

Parks and open spaces

All council-run parks in the city will remain open for exercise but we’re asking visitors to ensure they adhere to social distance best practice. From this weekend, Rowntree Park will reopen following the flooding earlier this year.

Play areas will be closed from today and this includes basketball courts, skateparks, caged five a side areas and tennis courts. Notices are being placed in all play areas instructing the public of this decision.

To ensure we follow the government’s guidance on social distancing the York Bar Walls are closed.

Roadworks

We are suspending all non-essential roadworks across the city, including replacing traffic signals on Monkgate, following the government’s advice on social distancing. If possible we will remove cones and temporary traffic light to ensure the minimum amount of disruption is caused for those making essential journeys. This also ensures that we are able to redeploy staff if necessary to ensure essential services, such as refuse collection, continue to run.

Bulky Waste Collections

Our bulky waste collection services, which collections bulky items from households has now temporarily stopped. This is to ensure we can continue providing essential services across the city, including collecting your household waste (black bins).

Household Waste Recycling Centres

Our Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRC), including Hazel Court and Towthorpe, are now closed.

This is on the basis that a visit to the HWRC cannot be considered essential – in line with recent national advice

We will be keeping Hazel Court open for commercial use – e.g. small builders, as they are currently allowed to continue to operate whilst adhering to social distancing. They will be required to produce a ‘duty of care’ transfer note on arrival.

Register Office

Unfortunately all ceremonies have been postponed following the governments advice. We have contacted everyone who has made a booking to look at rescheduling for a later date. The Register Office is currently only open to register a death. We are asking people to only go to the register office if they have a pre-booked appointment and are not showing any symptoms. We’re are also asking for only one person to attend each appointment to ensure social distancing guidance is followed.

Crematorium

From immediate effect funeral services will still go ahead but with only 10 (ten) mourners to being allowed inside the White Rose Chapel and 5 (five) inside the Ebor Chapel. This is restricted to close family only (spouse/partner, parents/carers, brothers/sisters and children and their partners). This is to minimise the number of people gathering.

Adult social care

In partnership with the NHS, we are prioritising the safe and supported return home of people currently in hospital.

We’re closely working with care home providers to monitor capacity in care homes across the city.

We’ve shared updated Govt advice on shielding online to protect the most medically vulnerable residents.

Fraud prevention

Advice from Trading Standards on how to spot or avoid scams can be viewed here https://www.york.gov.uk/FraudPrevention

Housing

We’re contacting all vulnerable households and tenants aged over 65 to check on their needs.

All housing landlord services will be run online or by phone to protect tenants, their families and our staff.

No face-to-face appointments can be run at the moment and tenants are being asked to use online and phone services only.

We’re reminding tenants that they must continue to pay their rent, but any who are struggling with their rent should contact their Housing Management Officers (HMOs) as soon as possible. We’re taking a flexible approach on enforcement.

We’ve shared details of benefits advice and where to make new claims or update existing ones is people’s circumstances change.

Housing adaptations

The priority areas are for minor adaptations to residents’ homes to enable safe hospital discharge and to fit key safes to enable carers to support them at home.

Homelessness services

In addition to our established hostels, we are working with private providers to place single homeless people with lower support needs in single rooms. These can be used to self isolate if needed. We are currently sending food to these customers and plan to use volunteers to support staff doing this.

In our hostels we are mitigating risks with extra sanitising measures and using social distancing. We are staffing hostels at levels which meet residents’ welfare needs and protect staff.

Rough Sleeper services are operating in the same way: for a bed, please go to 63, Lawrence Street or call them on 01904 416562

We are continuing with our services for people concerned about being homeless, and these will be done online or by phone. Anyone concerned about homelessness should call City of York Council on 01904 554500 or visit www.york.gov.uk/homelessness/housing-options.

Noise nuisance

We ask residents to show tolerance and consideration for neighbours at this difficult time and as we get used to new ways of living: it’s important that we all work together.

We are asking people to think about what they can do to live with levels of noise from neighbours, such as using a room in a quieter part of the home or using headphones to help concentrate. If this doesn’t work, in most cases, being neighbourly and considerate can resolve the majority of problems.

Our service is here to investigate criminal levels of noise nuisance and activate legal enforcement. If you do not think that what you are experiencing needs this, please consider safe contact with your neighbours to reach an agreement.

Stray dogs

Our stray dog service is currently suspended.  If you find a stray dog or have lost your dog please phone our Dog Warden on 01904 552299 who may have had contact from owners and finders and can put you in touch.