Changes to services

You will find updates and changes to services due to the current coronavirus situation. If you are unsure about a service or event that isn't listed below, please contact the service directly and they will be happy to advise you on what is happening.

Thank you very much for your understanding.

Schools

Key service changes: schools will reopening in September. No longer a need for separate key workers' children school place applications.

Understandably it may be an anxious time for parents, teachers and children themselves as schools reopen in September.  The government has set out controls for schools to minimise contact and to maintain social distancing wherever possible.

Your school should be in contact to let you know the arrangements for your child. If you need any information, please contact your child’s school directly.

As schools are preparing to open fully to all pupils at the start of term in September 2020, there is no longer a need for specific applications for key workers' children so we are no longer processing these.

As schools return in September, buses, as the most common transport mode for schoolchildren are likely to see the biggest increase in demand. To help manage this Transport for London (TfL) have added over 200 extra buses to the network during peak times and are planning to prioritise some of these school services, find out more and check to see if your route is affected.

Please watch TfL's back to school travel tips video and see what changes have been made to help keep the buses to safe and clean.

Walking, cycling or scooting to school is a great way to keep healthy and to create space for others on the network. TfL's new STARS Safer Journey Planner can help you plan your journeys and provides useful travel advice.

Do not send your child to their nursery, childminder, school or college if:

  • they are showing coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms
  • someone in their household is showing symptoms
  • they are told by the NHS Test and Trace service that they have been in close contact with a positive case and they are asked to self-isolate
  • they have travelled to a country not on the travel corridor list when you must quarantine on return to the UK

If anyone in your household is displaying symptoms you must all stay home and self-isolate.

Arrange a test if you or your child develops symptoms. Inform your nursery, childminder, school or college of the results.

If the test is positive, follow guidance for households with possible or confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) infection, and help NHS Test and Trace reach your contacts.  If you or anyone in your family feels that they cannot cope with their symptoms at home, their condition worsens, or their symptoms do not get better after seven days then use the NHS 111 online service.  If you do not have internet access call NHS 111, and for a medical emergency dial 999.  

Remember to regularly wash your hands and encourage children to do so too.  Keep a safe distance from other households, including at drop off or pick up times and use a face covering in line with guidance from your school or college. Following these rules supports the action your schools, nursery, childminder or college is taking and helps keep us all safe.

Read the latest back to school advice from the Greater London Authority (GLA), including travelling to school, face covering, health advice and looking after mental health. 

Face coverings

Current Government guidance on face coverings for schools in areas of England where the transmission of the virus is high states:

  • Face coverings should be worn by adults and pupils in secondary schools when moving around the school, such as in corridors and communal areas where social distancing is difficult to maintain
  • It will not be necessary to wear face coverings in the classroom, where protective measures already mean the risks are lower, and where they can inhibit learning.

This guidance also applies to further education colleges and will be reflected in guidance to universities.  Face coverings are not required for children in primary schools or early years settings where the risks are lower.

Find more information on face coverings including how to make your own face mask on the GLA face-covering guidance page.

Vaccinations 

Before children start school in September, it is really important that they are up to date with the vaccinations to protect them from several contagious and potentially serious diseases.

Parents can book an appointment with their GP.  All London GPs have adapted their delivery of vaccinations to ensure that they are safely vaccinating children in COVID-19 secure venues with social distancing, Personal Protective Equipment and infection control measures in place. Visit the NHS website for more information.

Students, parents, carers and teachers are all likely to be feeling anxious about returning to nursery, school or college.  Help and resources for schools to support the mental health of their staff and students can be found in the Schools Mental Health Toolkit.

For parents and carers, the Government has produced guidance on supporting children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing during the coronavirus outbreak.

Take a look at GLA's Coronavirus and looking after your mental health webpage for tips and advice to help keep yourself mentally well.

School Admission Appeal Panel Hearings will now take place virtually. Parents will be sent an electronic link to join the hearing remotely.

 

Waste and recycling

Key service changes: Most services have resumed. 

Find out when your next recycling or refuse collection is

Our services have resumed. 

If you have  COVID-19 symptoms: Please double bag your rubbish, especially used tissues, disposable cleaning clothes or other personal waste and leave for 72 hours before placing out for collection. 

Please do not put any tissues or kitchen roll in your recycling boxes.

  • Your rubbish and recycling is being collected separately again
  • Bin and blue box deliveries have resumed
  • We begin collecting at the earlier time of 6 am, please ensure your rubbish is out for collection before this time

Garden waste

We are collecting green garden waste, your collection day may have changed.

Bulky waste

Bulky waste collections have resumed. We have a huge demand for this service and need to take more time at each collection to disinfect the item, which means waiting times of up to 5 weeks. We are doing the best we can to make collections safely and as quick as possible. We would like to apologise for any inconvenience.

If you booked a bulky waste collection before the suspension of the service and you have let us know that you still need it, these collections will be made.

Our reuse and recycling centres are open. Please see our reuse and recycling centre page for full details.

 

Customer contact centre

Key service changes: Please only call for urgent enquiries. Lynton House contact centres open by appointment only.

We are asking customers to only call with urgent enquiries so we can prioritise our most vulnerable customers. You can still use our online contact form

Please see the contact us page for more information.

We are open for telephone appointments. Please use our online contact form for enquiries. If you need to speak to us, please call our customer service advisors on 020 8554 5000 who will be able to help you with your enquiry or direct you to where you can access more information.

You can call us between 8am to 6pm Monday to Friday. Telephone appointments will be scheduled between 9 am to 4 pm as per opening times. Calls outside of these hours including weekends will be answered by our out of hours service.

Our Face to face service is appointment only.

For contact numbers and information please see our Contact Us page.

 

Housing

Key service changes: the Housing Needs Service is only available for urgent needs and only via phone or email. Urgent repairs only. 

For help, support and the latest information and advice for landlords and tenants, please see our coronavirus support page.

We will be dealing with health and safety matters and emergencies and will be running a normal caretaking and grounds maintenance service.

In line with Government guidance, children’s play areas will be out of bounds and wherever possible locked or taken out of commission. We are advising residents not to use any play areas that cannot be locked.

The Orchard Housing Office in Woodford Green is currently closed. We are planning to prepare the office to re-open: the date will be published once this is confirmed.

Resident Engagement: we are sending periodic emails and text messages to you to keep you informed of housing service information.  Housing staff are also making individual contact with residents who need support at this time.

For urgent issues, council tenants and leaseholders should call 0208 708 6355 or 020 8708 8316.

Repairs

We are running an emergency repair service and will only attend to the following jobs until further notice:

• Leaks
• FED door locks not locking
• Blocked WC and Sinks
• Heating Breakdowns (Morrison for individual boilers or Atlas for communal boilers)
• Gas Service, where possible

We will not be able to carry out any other repairs. If you need any other repair, please wait until further notice before contacting us.

If you have an appointment for a surveyor or operative or non-urgent works ordered, these are now suspended until further notice.

For repairs please call 0800 39 39 94.

 

Capital Works

In line with Government guidelines, we have decided to allow limited major works to the outside of buildings and to communal areas. Please note, this will not include works within residents’ homes. Contractors and consultants are providing us with plans to ensure safe systems of working to protect both residents and contractors. These plans will be reviewed for their suitability and no works will start until such systems are in place. Preparations and work will begin progressively from 18 May.

Work being undertaken inside residents’ homes will be suspended until further notice but we will not leave any resident without essential services.

All exterior major works will be paused. All sites will be closed and made safe.

Where works have been agreed, but not yet started, work will not start until further notice. Costs are not expected to increase.

Where works are underway, work will be suspended and made safe and secure until further notice. Costs are not expected to increase.

If you require further information about Capital Works delivery during normal working hours please contact Tony Churton: tony.churton@redbridge.gov.uk.


Fire Safety

All Fire Risk Assessments (FRA) have been completed for this financial year. The next Fire Risk Assessments are scheduled for June and will consist of a Type 1 survey of communal areas but we will review this in mid-May when the impact of COVID-19 is better known.

Fire Safety Management reviews will cease until further notice. Residents are asked to keep communal areas tidy and free from any fire hazards and the Caretakers will be checking these areas.

If you require further information about Fire Management or Playgrounds on housing estates across the housing estate please contact John Kempster: john.kempster@redbridge.gov.uk

We take very seriously the need to protect customers and staff, and maintain social distancing. Therefore, we will not be operating a walk-in service at the customer Contact Centre in Lynton House. We will only be operating emergency services and will not be able to provide information or assistance with non-emergency issues.

If you need help with any of the following issues, please use the contact information provided below:

  • Homelessness
  • Emergency Housing advice
  • An urgent problem with temporary or private sector accommodation provided by the Council

Telephone: 0208 708 4002

Additional staff will be answering telephone lines to ensure you can get through as quickly as possible. Please continue to ring the above numbers or use the email address provided until you get through as you will not be seen if you attend the Customer Contact Centre.

We will arrange a call back within:

  • one hour for urgent issues
  • two hours for all non-urgent issues

E-mail: housing.options@redbridge.gov.uk

Emails will be answered within:

  • one hour for urgent issues
  • two hours for non-urgent issues

Out of hours (6pm-8am): 020 8554 5000

The following are not emergency services and we will not be able to help you with these until further notice:

  • Housing Register applications
  • Allocation of social housing
  • Reviews of homelessness decisions
  • General housing advice

The Customer Contact Centre is not providing a face-to-face service at the current time.
We recognise that many people sleeping rough will be at high risk from COVID-19 and, we are working closely with our partners, other London authorities and Government departments to maximise the support and accommodation available across London.

If you or someone you are assisting is current sleeping rough, you can access advice, support and accommodation services from the Welcome Centre:
The Welcome Centre
2-6 St Marys Road
Ilford
Essex
IG1 1QX

Tell someone about a rough sleeper

If you want to tell us about someone sleeping rough, you can contact Street Link on 0300 500 0914 who will take note of all the information that you provide and arrange for the rough sleeper to get access to local services and support.

For help, support and the latest information and advice for landlords and tenants, please see our coronavirus support page

Property Licensing

We will continue to process applications for all property licence types. Applications and application payments should continue to be submitted on-line.

Inspections and Visits

Advisory and compliance visits on proposed HMO licence applications have been temporarily suspended and will resume when it has been deemed safe to do so.

Landlords unable to access an advisory visit will still be able to get advice on HMO space, amenity and fire precaution standards from a Housing Enforcement Officer by emailing their enquiries to Prslicensing@redbridge.gov.uk You can also find all necessary advice on our website.

Proactive visits to suspected unlicensed HMO's have been temporarily suspended.

Tenants can still report disrepair in privately rented properties. Visits will be undertaken where there is evidence of disrepair that poses a risk to vulnerable persons or the disrepair is serious.

Before any visit you will be contacted and asked if you are self-isolating or have symptoms of Covid 19. If a visit is carried out we ask that you keep your distance from the Officer and allow them to work alone by staying in a different room. These precautions are for your health and safety as well as that of our Officer.

Complaints about suspected HMO properties will be taken and given priority when normal service can resume.

For help and support including how to access financial support, please see our private tenants support page.

For financial advice and support please see our benefits support page.

 

Parking

Key service change: key worker exemptions will end for non NHS, care and emergency workers. Commuter zone restriction has commenced.

We are no longer processing applications for exemptions. The exemption will end for current users apart from NHS, care and emergency workers over the summer.

End dates:

  • Monday 29 June: for workers who are not NHS, care and emergency workers, transport workers and teachers
  • Friday 24 July: for teachers and transport workers

Parking exemptions will remain in place for NHS, care and emergency workers until further notice.

Please visit the key worker parking page for more information. 

The 1 Hour Commuter Zone restriction has commenced and Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs) will be issued.

 

Events and meetings

Key service update: Face to face public council organised or led events have been cancelled due to take place in the borough. This will remain in effect until further notice.

Redbridge Central Library is re-opening on Monday 6 July

All face to face events are currently suspended. 

For information about virtual events and activities see Vision's do more at home page.

All engagement events, forums and information events are currently suspended.

Cabinet, Overview Committee, Licensing Sub-Committee and Planning Committee, will continue online. All other formal meetings of the Council have been postponed until further notice. 

Redbridge Youth Council face-to-face meetings have been postponed. 

 

Streets and highways

Key service updates: Some services are reduced

Some services are reduced, we will prioritise clearance of fly-tips, emptying litter bins and clearance of litter. The Great British Spring Clean 2020 is postponed until September. 

Skips, hoardings and scaffolding: you may experience delays in the delivery of some services

Roadworks and closuressome services are reduced and you may experience delays in the delivery of some services

Street parties applications: you may experience delays in the delivery of some services

Disabled parking bay applications: you may experience delays in the delivery of some services

 

Planning and Building Control

Pre-applications: postal pre-applications are not able to be accepted. Online and email applications are being accepted. 

Duty planner appointments will now take place by phone.

Planning enforcement: postal reports are not being accepted. Online and email applications are being accepted. 

Business as usual has resumed

Jobs and Adult education

Key service updates: Work Redbridge offering virtual appointments. Learning centres are closed.

Face to face appointments are currently suspended. Service offered by email, telephone calls and skype. Details of job opportunities including temporary roles will be kept updated on our web pages and regular vacancy pack. 

The Redbridge Institute of Adult Education will not be open for classroom teaching or to members of the public.

The Mildmay Neighbourhood Learning Centre is closed until further notice.

 

Leisure, sports, arts and libraries

Key service updates: some libraries and cultural facilities are closed. Leisure centres and parks are open.

People can spend time in the park while maintaining social distancing. Our tennis courts, games areas and skate parks are now open.

Children’s play areas, outdoor gyms and the bouldering facility at Fairlop Waters are now open.

  • Kenneth More Theatre and Redbridge Drama Centre: Redbridge Drama Centre public performances are suspended until further notice. Kenneth More Theatre is open.
  • Redbridge Music Service: Music school activities, groups and ensembles are suspended until further notice. Parents will be contacted about tuition.
  • Redbridge Museum and Heritage Centre: Redbridge Museum and Heritage Centre is closed.

Redbridge Central Library is open with reduced opening hours of 10am to 5pm, Monday to Saturday.

South Woodford Library is open with the reduced hours of Monday to Friday 6am to 7pm and Saturday-Sunday 8am to 6pm.

Goodmayes Library is open with the reduced hours of Monday to Tuesday 10am to 5pm, Thursday to Friday 10am to 5pm and Saturday 10am to 4pm.

Wanstead Library is open with the reduced hours of hours of Monday to Friday 10am to 5pm and Saturday 10am to 4pm.

Fullwell Cross Library is open with the reduced hours of Monday to Friday 10am to 5pm and Saturday 10am to 4pm.

All other libraries are currently closed, but we are working to make it safe and ready. We do not have a timescale for this at the moment.

A fines amnesty is in place which means that there will be no charges for overdue materials for the time being and books will be automatically renewed. 

Access E-books, online newspapers and magazines and other services online.

Redbridge Cycling Centre is open with the reduced opening hours of 10am to 6pm, Monday to Sunday.

Ashton Playing Fields is open with limited opening hours.

All leisure centres are open but using the facilities will be different.

Owls Play Centre, Fairlop Outdoor Activity Centre and Cricklefields remain closed until further notice.

 

Register office

Key service updates: Redbridge Register Office is now open, on a limited basis, for the registration of births and urgent notices of marriage and civil partnership. Deaths will continue to be registered by telephone. Admission to the office will be strictly by appointment only. Due to potential short notice changes to government guidelines, we may need to cancel or reschedule appointments.

  • Marriage/Civil Partnership ceremonies: we are working to resume these safely. We will update you when we have a date for starting ceremonies again.
  • Notice of Marriage/Civil Partnership appointments: on hold apart from urgent notices
  • Priority certificate application service: on hold until further notice
  • Group and Private Citizenship Ceremonies: we are working to resume these safely.
  • No visitors to attend the office without prior appointment
  • No children to attend the office
  • All birth/death/marriage/civil partnership/certificate enquiries to be emailed to register.office@redbridge.gov.uk
  • All citizenship enquiries to be emailed to citizenship@redbridge.gov.uk
  • Cemeteries: these are open but visitors must observe social distancing guidance.
  • Post-dated passports: for information about post-dated passports, please see our FAQs

Deaths are registered by telephone appointment. Relatives do not need to collect the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death from the hospital, care home or GP. A scan of the signed certificate can be sent to the registrar by them.

The green certificate for burial or cremation will be sent electronically to the funeral director, crematorium or cemetery office.

The office is closed to the public and customers should not attend in person. Please make an appointment via telephone or email.

To make an appointment please fill out our online form.

If you have experienced a bereavement, please see our bereavement support and guidance pages.

Birth registrations have resumed but priority is being given to outstanding registrations and we are registering births in sequential order, meaning those who have waited longest to register their baby will be given priority in booking appointments to do so. We know that new parents may be concerned and keen to formally register their child's name. We want to reassure you that this will not affect your child's status and you will not be penalised for late registration.

Registrations will be done by appointment.

You are still able to make a claim for child benefit or universal credit if you have been unable to register.

There are safety measures in place at the town hall, please make sure you follow all the safety guidelines.

The Town Hall is open births and urgent notices of marriage. Due to potential short notice changes to government guidelines, we may need to cancel or reschedule appointments.

We are committed to keeping our Town Hall being safe for you and our staff.

When you visit

When you visit for your appointment, please:

  • Only arrive up to 5 minutes before your appointment and not earlier so we avoid overcrowding
  • If you are early, we cannot allow you access to the building as we try to maintain social distancing. If you are late, we may not be able to see you and you may need to rebook.
  • Wear a face covering when you come to your appointment
  • If you are showing any signs of coronavirus then please do not attend the appointment and reschedule with us
  • Do not bring children or babies to appointments
  • Make sure to wash your hands before you leave for your appointment and as soon as you can after your appointment.
  • Only essential visitors only. For birth registrations, if the parents are married to each other or in a civil partnership only one parent should attend.  If the parents are not married or in a civil partnership, you should both attend.

Our safety measures

We have put in the following safety measures:

  • Hand sanitizer will be available to use
  • Perspex shields are installed around the registration desks
  • You will be asked to fill out your information online beforehand to reduce face to face time, you will be asked to confirm your answers at your appointment to check the information has been entered correctly
  • You will be asked to pay in advance for the birth certificates that you require. They are £11 per certificate payment is by debit/credit card only.  The certificates will be available for you to take at the end of your appointment. If your appointment has to be rearranged the payment will be carried forward.

 

Please see guidance for small weddings and civil partnerships.

The government have said marriage and civil partnership ceremonies can start again from 4 July if social distancing and safety measures are met. 

We are committed to making sure you and our staff are safe so we are working really hard to put in all the safety measures in place.

We will update you as soon as we have a date that we will start ceremonies again.

 

 

Environment

Key service update: some services are limited

Pest control services are limited. Rat treatments are being prioritised.

 

Youth services

Key service update: face to face appointments and sessions cancelled

All the Youth Service and Connexions team face to face sessions and appointments are currently suspended, this includes Hainault Youth Centre, the Youth Bus, Duke of Edinburgh’s Award and Youth Council and the Child Friendly Redbridge Ambassadors. 

Redbridge Connexions: Advice  available over the telephone. 

Youth Council: virtual meetings can be joined. 

 

Public health

Key service update: some services reduced or suspended

NHS Health Checks: Suspended until further notice. 

Exercise On Referral: All leisure centres are now closed and staff are working from home or at home for the next 3 weeks.

Living streets walking project: On hold until further notice.

Fit For Fun: Sessions suspended until further notice. 

R3 substance misuse services: A reduced service is being provided, but it is not open to walk-ins. Individuals must call or email (tel: 0300 303 4612, email: info.r3@wdp.org.uk). In addition, the service is providing crisis support via telephone for individuals that are not currently supported by the service. All group work and face to face interventions have been stopped, however, keyworkers are contacting clients via telephone. The service continues to prescribe medication and is now providing prescriptions over a longer period to support clients in reducing social contact and support self-isolation.

For more help and support, please see our addiction and dependency support page.

0-19 Universal Service: Healthy Child Clinics and Infant feeding cafes have been stopped as well as any other group activities. The service continues to support families with information, signposting and advice on our website and via telephone (see contact details)

Sexual health services: Our sexual health services have reduced capacity.

BHRUT Sexual Health: 

Sexual Health services at Queen's Hospital, Loxford and Hainault clinics are closed.

Services are open at Outpatients East, Barking Community Hospital, Upney Lane IG11 9LX. Please visit their website or call 020 8924 6674 between 8am and 4pm to book an appointment, further information or advice.

Sexual health services are by appointment only. Residents can attend without an appointment if you are under 18, require HIV PEPSE, emergency contraception, or have been sexually assaulted.

Bart’s Health  - All-East:

Some satellites are still operating but all walk-in appointments have been cancelled. For information on services visit their website

Residents can also contact sites located at Ambrose King Centre: 0207 377 7306 and Sir Ludwig Guttman Centre: 0208 496 7237 for further information.

Pharmacies:  operating but it will be risk assessed and prioritised

GPs: limited to no service for Long-LARCS and Chlamydia screening

Positive East: No outreach or face to face contact- Residents who need support or advice can telephone 020 7791 2855 or email talktome@positiveeast.org.uk. Visit their website.

Bewize (Redbridge YP Sexual Health): outreach has stopped which is the main contract but any enquiries, email bewize@wdp.org.uk

Smoking cessation: Everyone Health is delivering the smoking cessation service using telephone appointments and online support to enable ‘remote’ face-to-face sessions. They are posting the Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) to patients’ homes by registered mail. They are offering patients additional support and motivation through the One You Smokefree App.

 

Office and administrative

Key service changes: please use email rather than post

Service of court proceedings, applications, notices and any other legal documents should be sent by email to Legal.Services@redbridge.gov.uk rather than posted.

 

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