Update on Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council’s response to Coronavirus (COVID-19) from the Council Leader, Councillor Bob Cook.
We continue to provide these updates on the last working day of the week and our main focus is on keeping you informed of changes to Council services. However this week I also want to reiterate the importance of staying safe when lockdown rules change this weekend.
Despite a number of lockdown restrictions being lifted tomorrow, it remains vitally important everyone follows social distancing to keep us all safe.
Lockdown easing is a welcome sense of normality slowly returning, but it’s crucial we all approach the changes with caution and respect the rules which are in place to minimise the risk of the virus spreading.
Social distancing works effectively as a preventative measure when all of us follow the guidance. I urge you all to play your part and help us be in a stronger position in our fight against Covid-19.
Protecting each other and particularly our most vulnerable residents is still of paramount importance.
Local Covid-19 Control Plan
We published our Local Covid-19 Control Plan this week, this document forms the blueprint for local management of Covid-19 in the Borough.
A summary version of the plan is available on our website https://www.stockton.gov.uk/coronavirus
We are now able to resume some more services as national guidance changes. Here is a summary of the changes to come over the next few weeks:
Weddings and civil partnership ceremonies
Weddings and civil partnership ceremonies will resume from tomorrow.
Our play areas will re-open from tomorrow. Please note there are a number of play areas in the Borough that we don’t run and these parks may reopen on a different date.
Stockton High Street
Use of the fountains and Stockton Flyer will resume from tomorrow.
Face to face appointments for registration of births will resume from Monday, July 6 at the registry office.
Cremations and burials
The limit on the number of mourners at Maplewood Chapel at the Crematorium is being lifted to 30 from Monday, July 6. The number permitted at Bluebell Chapel will remain at 15. The number of people able to attend to watch the service via the outside screens will also be increased to 15.
The limit on the number of people able to attend the graveside for burial service will increase to 30 and the 15 minute limit on services is to be removed.
From Monday, July 6 our larger libraries – Billingham, Norton, Stockton, Thornaby Central and Yarm – will open for book returns and book collections only, operating from 10am to 2pm on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
From Monday, July 20 the service at the larger libraries listed above will be extended to include limited browsing and access to ICT facilities from 10am to 1pm and 2pm to 4.30pm Monday to Friday.
The cashiers desks in our Customer Service centres will re-open from Monday, July 20.
Preston Park Museum
Preston Park Museum will re-open on Monday, July 20 and a number of measures will be in place to ensure everybody’s safety, including a requirement that people book their visit in advance. Details will be available in advance on the Preston Park Museum website www.prestonparkmuseum.co.uk.
Green waste collections will return to normal full service from Tuesday, July 21 with collections from Tuesdays to Fridays. Weekend green waste collections have now stopped with immediate effect.
The normal service will start on red week and run until Friday, November 13.
For the time being residents can still put green waste out in reusable bags (which will be returned), plastic carrier bags or bin liners.
For more information, visit https://www.stockton.gov.uk/coronavirus/wasteandrecycling
The annual fireworks display has been cancelled this year. Although this will be disappointing for many, I am sure it will come as no surprise.
All events remain cancelled until further notice, although SIRF at Home begins at the end of the month.
And finally a reminder for businesses.
Phase 2 of the extended local business grants fund scheme – for small businesses significantly impacted by the pandemic – opened last week.
The extension means a number of new categories of businesses are now eligible for grants. Applications must be in by Sunday, July 12.
Full details and an application form can be found on our web page www.stockton.gov.uk/coronavirus/businesssupport.