Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

Big plans, bright future

There are a number of disruptions to Council services because of Coronavirus (COVID-19). Please check the link below before accessing any of our services.

For details of disruptions and for advice and guidance visit www.stockton.gov.uk/coronavirus

Coronavirus (COVID-19) – Service Disruptions

As part of our response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, we are scaling back a number of non-essential services to ensure we can focus our resources on those services that protect the most vulnerable. Details of all the changes to our services are set out in this A to Z listing:

Births

In line with national guidance all birth registration appointments will be deferred until after the pandemic period. For the same period parents are allowed to make a claim for Child Benefit or Universal Credit prior to the birth being registered.

Capital projects

Work on the following capital projects, which have not yet got under way, will be postponed until further notice:

  • Mandale Bridge repairs
  • Ash Trees Academy
  • Egglescliffe School main hall
  • Redhill Family Hub entrance
  • Sandown Road refurbishment
  • Myton Park SEN extension
  • All Saints Church of England Academy extension and library conversion
  • Coastal footpath
  • Devonport play area
  • Black Path WiFi
  • A174 roundabout enhancements
  • Norton Road Townscape Heritage Scheme

Cashiers

The cashiers desks in each of our Customer Service centres have closed until further notice. If you use the desks to pay Council Tax, you can pay online by going to our website www.stockton.gov.uk/ctpay or by calling 0330 555 6780. If you are unable to pay via either of these methods please do not worry about it – we will make arrangements with you after this crisis is over and we are able to reopen our Customer Service centres.

Cemeteries

Cemeteries remain open as normal; they are not affected by the closure of parks and play areas.

Council meetings

Having received national guidance on council meetings, a meeting of the Statutory Licensing Sub-Committee was held on Tuesday, May 26 using a combined virtual and physical approach with appropriate social distancing measures in place. Similar arrangements will be in place for a meeting of Planning Committee on Wednesday 3 June. The experiences from theses meetings will inform decisions about future meetings. Meeting dates can be found here.

Cremations and burials

We are very sorry to inform people that we must follow national public health guidelines and put in place a number of restrictions on attendance at cremations and burials.

This means attendance at cremation ceremonies will be restricted to a maximum of 15 people in the chapel, and 8 people outside of the chapel. Chapel waiting rooms will be closed. For burials, only immediate family members will be able to attend at gravesides and graveside services will be limited to 15 minutes per burial.

Our Bereavement Services office is closed to the public except by appointment only. We cannot handle applications for memorials and the testing of memorials, as well as the collection and scattering of cremated remains, but we can assure families that cremated remains will be kept safe and secure.

Non-essential services such as family history searches will cease until further notice.

Customer Service points

The Customer Service points in our three main town centre libraries in Billingham, Stockton and Thornaby are now closed until further notice, but our phone lines remain open as normal.

Day centres and services

The Allensway Day service, the Halcyon Centre, Lanark Close and community-based day options services have been reduced to only provide services to those who cannot be supported, short term, by families or others in the community. STEPS, Sporting STEPS and the Livewell Dementia Hub are closed until further notice. These changes will ensure services continue for those who need it most and we will be in regular contact with families of those not attending. 

Deaths

We are registering all deaths and stillbirths by telephone appointment only. This is in line with national guidance. Appointments can be made by calling Registration Services on 01642 527 720.

Events

In line with national Coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance to reduce social interaction and to avoid events with large groups of people, we have decided to cancel all our events until further notice. This includes major events like Supercar Saturday, the Fire Engine and Vintage Vehicle Show, Stockton Cycling Festival and Armed Forces Day celebrations. There are a number of reasons for this, including the lead in times required for proper event planning and for booking acts and suppliers. SIRF will go ahead as a virtual festival called SIRF at Home.

Family Hubs

Our four Family Hubs – Billingham, Redhill, Stockton and Thornaby – are closed to the public. There will be limited access for staff by appointment. Family Hub staff will still be available by telephone on 01642 527225 or you can call your local hub direct on the following numbers:

  • Billingham Family Hub 01642 524731
  • Redhill Family Hub 01642 527224
  • Stockton Family Hub 01642 528977
  • Thornaby Family Hub 01642 528947

FOI and Complaints

Response times to FOI requests and complaints may be impacted by capacity linked to COVID-19.

Free school meals

The COVID-19 national voucher scheme is open to those eligible for benefits-related free school meals and you can contact your school with any queries. You can also check your eligibility, and make an application, at www.stockton.gov.uk/freeschoolmeals

Green waste collections

Green waste collections are now taking place monthly. You can find full details at www.stockton.gov.uk/coronavirus/wasteandrecycling

Homelessness

The usual point of contact in Stockton’s Customer Service Centre is closed but we are continuing to provide a service via telephone on 01642 528389 or email [email protected]

If you are homeless in an emergency outside of office hours call the Emergency Duty Team on 01642 524552, 5pm - 8.30am Monday - Thursday, 4.30pm Friday and all day weekends (including bank holidays).

Household Waste and Recycling Centre, Haverton Hill

The Household Waste and Recycling Centre at Haverton Hill has reopened to Stockton-on-Tees residents – but you must book an appointment to use it. You can find full details at www.stockton.gov.uk/coronavirus/wasteandrecycling

Household waste and recycling collections

Regular household waste and recycling collections (and bulky waste collections) are continuing as normal. Our waste crews are working to arrangements that enable them to maintain social distancing, please help us to keep our waste and recycling crews safe. Our crews empty thousands of bins a day, which means touching thousands of bin handles every day. Please disinfect your bin handles.

If anyone in your house has symptoms of Coronavirus, you must bag your waste and wait 72 hours before putting it into your wheeled bin. Put your waste in a bag and tie it securely, then put it in another bag and tie that securely too before waiting 72 hours to put it in your bin. This is especially important if the waste includes things like tissues used by the person with symptoms. Make sure the bag is stored somewhere away from children. Please don't put bagged waste into your white bag or blue recycling box and ensure you wash all recyclable items before placing into your white bag or blue recycling box for collection.

Please note that if you have requested a new wheeled bin, delivery times may be slightly longer than usual. This is due to factory closures linked to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Learning and Skills Service

The Learning and Skills Service has ceased all face to face and classroom activity until further notice. Staff are working to maintain online teaching and learner support wherever possible.

Libraries

Our libraries and mobile library are closed until further notice. We have extended the borrowing periods for all books that are currently out on loan. The library service offers a wide selection of ebooks and audiobooks which you can access from your own home. For information about all online resources visit www.stockton.gov.uk/libraries

Outdoor markets

The outdoor markets in Stockton, Thornaby and Billingham reopened to all stalls on Monday, June 1. Social distancing arrangements and signage are in place.

Parking fees, permits and Disabled Badge Holders

Parking fees are suspended in all Council-run car parks and for on-street parking meters until further notice.

The renewal of residents’ parking permits is suspended until further notice and existing permits will be considered valid, even if they have expired.

Residents are now able to apply for a Blue Badge via the Gov.uk website        

Parks and play areas

All of our parks are open for pedestrians and cyclists however the play areas and public toilets (with the exception of Preston Park) and other facilities remain closed. When using our parks, people should follow national guidance on social distancing at all times and we are putting signage in place to remind people of this. The car parks at Preston Park and the Country Parks at Billingham Beck, Wynyard Woodland Park and Cowpen Bewley Woodland Park are now open.

Preston Park Museum

Preston Park Museum is closed.

Public Health Services 

Public Health services delivered by our partners are still continuing but may have new access and opening times, please contact the service directly.

Rediscover Stockton, Visitor Information Shop

The Rediscover Stockton Shop on Stockton High Street is closed.

Rosedale Centre

Unfortunately, we can no longer permit visitors to the Rosedale Centre, our short-term residential rehabilitation and assessment centre, as the previously announced restricted visiting arrangements did not prove to be workable.

School Admissions Appeals

In response to the COVID-19 situation the Department for Education has now issued Regulations and Guidance regarding the holding of this year’s school admission appeals.

Find out more here.

School Crossing Patrols

We are working with schools to monitor attendance numbers closely so we can ensure there are school crossing patrols where they are needed.

Short Breaks

We want to continue to offer support through the Short Breaks grant for eligible families.  To do this we talked to Stockton Parent Carer Forum about some options that we hope will give parents a break in the home that will also be appreciated by young people.

Find out more about the grant and how to apply here.

Stockton High Street

Use of the fountains and Stockton Flyer is suspended until further notice, as is our feature lighting programme.

The one exception was on Thursday, March 26 when we turned the feature lighting blue in a show of solidarity and support for the NHS and key workers.

Street cleansing and grass cutting

Street cleansing and grass cutting services have been cut back but are being maintained where possible with social distancing observed.

Taxis and Private Hire Vehicles

The Department for Transport has issued advice and guidance for taxi and private hire vehicles who are providing services during the Coronavirus pandemic. Read more in their letter and Q&A document.

Weddings and civil partnership ceremonies

We are not able to take any new wedding or civil partnership ceremony bookings, including notices of marriages or civil partnerships, until further notice.

 

School closures

From 1 June at the earliest, primary schools can begin a phased return of more children and young people.

The approach Stockton-on-Tees is taking in response to this is explained in a letter to all parents and carers here.

Secondary schools can also begin to introduce more face to face contact for Year 10 pupils, though this will not necessarily involve whole year groups returning to school.

Special schools will continue to undertake risk assessments to determine if the needs of more pupils could be met in school.

Specific provision for vulnerable children and children whose parents/carers are key workers with a critical role in the response to COVID-19 who cannot be cared for at home will continue. 

Visit our schools and childcare page for more information and contact numbers if you have a query, or if your school/setting closes and you need to find an alternative.