19 March 2020
As communities across west Cheshire respond to a new phase of the COVID-19 pandemic, Cheshire West and Chester Council is responding with some changes to its services and facilities. These are required to reduce risks to the safety of residents, to reflect shortages of staff who are following advice from Public Health England to self-isolate, or to allow staff to be re-deployed onto high priority support for the most vulnerable people.
The changes will ensure the continuity of the highest priority services, and to make sure those communities that need help the most are getting it.
Andrew Lewis, the Council’s Chief Executive said: “The Council is facing an unprecedented challenge, but our staff are demonstrating great commitment and dedication. Our residents are at the heart of everything we do, and particularly our most vulnerable residents who rely most on our support. With our NHS partners, we will do everything possible to maintain our most critical services, and ensure support to those affected by this virus. Please bear with us as some of our other services and facilities are reduced as a consequence.”
The Council website has a dedicated page for the latest information, including advice for families and businesses, health advice plus the details of buildings and services that are affected: https://www.cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk/coronavirus
Buildings and services currently suspended include:
In addition there are postponements and cancellations of sporting and cultural events across the borough including the Rural Touring Arts spring season, the Passion plays and a rearranged date for the half marathon.
- Brio Leisure centres will be closed from Friday 20 March at 5pm (last entry 4pm)
- Chester crematorium and Blacon cemetery – the office is closed to the public unless an appointment has been made
- Cheshire Record Office - closed to the public. Remote services are available including enquiries, online resources, remote volunteering projects
- Libraries – all libraries will be closed from 5pm Friday 20 March.
- Register offices remain open for appointments to register births, deaths and marriages and for pre-arranged ceremonies only
- Schools – following yesterday’s announcement by government, all schools in England will close at the end of the day on Friday, 20 March until further notice
- Waste collections - from Friday 20 March all collections of garden waste will be suspended so that resources can be concentrated on maintaining a regular household refuse collection service
- Work Zones - are closed to the public. Mentoring appointments and registrations are still available online and by phone
- all markets in the borough are remaining open mostly for groceries and food takeaways. Other traders may elect to remain open if they wish. Markets will be reserving the first hour of opening for more elderly and vulnerable customers. A delivery service is also available; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or Phone: 01244 973040 or please contact traders direct to arrange
- Chester library at Storyhouse - a mini library has been set up in the entrance of Storyhouse, open daily from 9am until 5pm
- Vivo - day services for people with learning disabilities and older people will close from Monday 23 March
The response times for some other services may also be affected, and some may need to be suspended at short notice.
The Council, Cheshire West Voluntary Action and the rest of the community and voluntary sector are working closely together on a coordinated community response to COVID-19 : Pledge your support for the community response.
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