BDC News April 1st 2020

Apr 1, 2020
Service update corona

Coronavirus service update 

In the space of just a few days, life has changed completely for all of us. We hope you are managing to adapt during this very difficult time and whatever happens, we are still here to help and support you.

As a result of government guidance on staying at home & social distancing, we have had to make changes to the delivery of some services, but otherwise we are operating as normal and our teams are working around the clock to keep things going. 

We’ll stay in touch over the coming weeks and we’ll be keeping this page constantly updated: Please do check it if you need more detailed information about our services or if you need to get in touch with us. 

Here is the latest information on our services as of Wednesday 1st April 2020... 

operating as normal corona

Council tax, business rates and benefits: All teams are working normally but the service is dealing with very high demand, which is expected to continue for some time.

You can contact the teams via email in the first instance: 

If your income has been stopped or reduced as a result of coronavirus, you may be eligible for Council Tax support. All the latest Council Tax details can be found on our website. 

Street care services: All street cleaning is continuing.

Grey bins, food waste and recycling collections, and glass from bring bank sites: These services are continuing to run as normal. 

Business support: The team are still here working to help and support local businesses during these tough times. You can email the team at or visit our dedicated business and employers web page.

Noise and nuisance enforcement: These services are operating normally. You can report a nuisance via our website. 

Customer service: You can email our Customer Service Centre at or contact them via our online form for enquiries. For those who do not have access to the internet, they can call 01376 552525. 

operating with changes corona

Housing: The housing team is responding to all housing enquiries as usual. If you think you may be at risk of homelessness, please report to Streetlink as soon as possible. 

Car parks: All of our car parks are open as usual, however we have decided to close access to the upper floors of the George Yard Multi-Storey car park and so the lifts will not be available to use. 

Free parking for NHS and Key Workers

To support their efforts in dealing with this global pandemic, we are working in partnership with the North Essex Parking Partnership (NEPP) to allow NHS and key workers to park in the Council’s owned car parks free of change by issuing digital permits. Any NHS staff and critical key worker may apply for this permit. To find out more information and to apply for a permit, visit the North Essex Parking Partnership website for more details.

Halstead Town Council manages the car parks in Halstead and is also offering free car parking for NHS and Key Workers. For more information visit

Cemetery chapels: All three of our chapels (Braintree, Bocking and Witham) are now closed for services until further notice, however our cemeteries do still remain open. 

Weekly market: This will be operating Wednesday and Saturday in Braintree, and Saturdays in Witham, but only with stalls selling essential food and groceries until further notice.

Street Market: We have cancelled our Braintree Street Markets for April and May. We’ll be keeping this under review, and we’ll update you if this arrangement changes.  

Planning: We have had to make some changes to our planning service, including street naming and numbering, pre-application advice and duty planning officer arrangements. Full details available on our website. 

Licensing: The licensing team have stopped their proactive licensing visits until further notice, however they can still be contacted by emailing Special Treatments will not be carried out at this time and no new applications will be accepted until further notice. Whilst our offices are shut, special arrangements are in place for driver and vehicle renewals. 

Food hygiene and health and safety: The team have stopped visits at the current time. Anyone wishing to start up a food business at this time must register and contact the department to discuss how they intend to operate and what they wish to sell. Please contact the Food Safety Team at If you have concerns about any business that is currently trading and should not be, please contact us at

Parks: Our BDC owned parks and public spaces are still open but equipped play areas, outdoor gyms and public toilets are closed. 

stopped for now corona

We are doing all we can to maintain service levels where we can but further changes may be necessary in the coming weeks. At this stage we do not know when we will be able to reinstate services, and will be dependent on Government guidance and the resources to deliver services. We will of course keep you updated when they are back up and running. 

Committees and meetings: All scheduled Council meetings for April have been cancelled at present.

Garden waste bin collections: We have suspended the service until further notice.

Leisure centres: All four of our leisure centres have been closed until further notice. 

Play areas and outdoor gyms: All our play areas and outdoor gyms are closed until further notice to maintain social distancing and to help limit the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). If you have concerns about people congregating, please call the local police on 101 who have been given temporary powers to disperse people in any public areas.

Bulky waste collections: We have suspended bookings until further notice. We will be undertaking any bookings that have already been received and paid for. 

Handyman service: This service has been suspended for 3 months to maintain social distancing with elderly and vulnerable residents following Government guidance. 

Essex County Council recycling centres: These are not currently open to the public. 

Essex County Council libraries: Essex County Council closed all their libraries on the 20 March 2020 for up to 3 months. Visit the Essex libraries website for more updates.

Essex County Council country parks: Essex County Council has closed their country parks (such as Great Notley country park) from 22 March 2020 until further notice. 


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