Coronavirus (COVID-19)

We are publishing frequent updates about the impact the Coronavirus outbreak is having on council services, along with health guidance and other key information for residents and businesses.

swindon.gov.uk/coronavirus

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Coronavirus (COVID-19) - main page

We will keep this page updated with information about council services affected by COVID-19. You can also access the latest health advice and information on the government’s response to the ongoing pandemic.

Information on the latest government guidance for employees, employers and businesses can be found on the GOV.UK website.

There is support available from central government for extremely vulnerable people at the GOV.UK website.

Here for Swindon: Council measures to support residents and businesses

Read the council measures to support residents and businesses during the Covid-19 outbreak.

Latest information about council services

Last updated: Thursday, 2 April 2020 at 3.45pm

Buses

We do not operate bus services. For information about bus services in Swindon, visit the website or social media accounts of your provider. This will either be Swindon’s Bus Company or Stagecoach West.

Business advice and support

The Government has announced support to assist companies through the period of disruption caused by COVID-19.

We have identified businesses in Swindon that fit the Government’s criteria. We are now working to process these grants and make the money available to businesses as soon as possible.  

Eligible businesses will receive a letter from us on either Saturday, 28 March or Monday, 30 March providing details about how to access the funding.  

Any business that believes they fit the criteria and do not receive a letter by Tuesday, 31 March should visit the website on that day for advice. 

More information: COVID-19 - Government support for businesses

For ensuring businesses and venues close in line with government guidelines, and to report overcharging and rogue trading, visit the webpage: COVID-19 - Trading Standards help for consumers

Council meetings and democratic services

Limited meetings will take place at the Civic Offices until Thursday, 21 May 2020. A review will take place at the end of April to assess the situation. For more information visit the meetings calendar.

Crematorium and cemeteries

Kingdown Crematorium is closed to visitors except to people attending funerals. Our three cemeteries are open for pedestrian visitors, but only if this forms part of their single instance of daily exercise. We ask visitors to observe social distancing guidelines, by keeping two metres apart.

The crematorium office has a reduced service and is only taking urgent enquiries by telephone.

Cremation services are still taking place but with only the immediate family being able to attend.

More information at the webpage: Kingsdown Crematorium

Customer Services

To allow us to protect this service for our most vulnerable residents, we encourage you to try to pay, report or apply for services online. Use the search bar at the top of the page to get started.

Customer Services reception on Princes Street is closed until further notice.

Our main telephone contact centre is open. However, we have significantly higher levels of demand than normal. This means call waiting times will be very high.

Education and social care transport

Service operating as normal.

Elections and referendums

The government has announced that local elections scheduled for Thursday, 7 May 2020 are postponed for 12 months.

Homelessness support

Service running as normal. However, please avoid visiting Customer Services reception on Princes Street unless it is absolutely necessary. Call 01793 445503 or email hoptions@swindon.gov.uk for homelessness assistance, including any concerns about your income/rent/mortgage, or if you have received an eviction notice.

If you are concerned about the welfare of a rough sleeper, contact us 24 hours a day, seven days a week on 01793 445503.

Homeline

Emergency response operating as normal.

There are delays for new customers unless supporting a care package or hospital discharge.

Household Waste Recycling Centre ('the tip')

The tip is closed to both household and trade customers until further notice.

Housing repairs

We are only taking requests for urgent repairs (for example. leaks, blocked toilets or electrical  faults).

All existing routine appointments will be moved to August in order to allow us to carry out urgent repairs.

All non-essential home improvements such as bathroom and kitchen upgrades, roof renewal works and planned maintenance are postponed until further notice.

Please do not attempt to book a repair that is not urgent. We will be reviewing our service daily and updating changes here.

Regular safety checks

In line with the latest guidance, we are continuing with our gas service/safety check programme. However, we will postpone safety checks to homes where any family member is over 70 years old or has an underlying health condition. If you have any concerns regarding your safety check appointment, phone 01793 464372 or e-mail gassafetycheck@swindon.gov.uk.

Housing services

Service running as normal, but please avoid coming to the Civic Offices unless it's absolutely necessary. Instead, call 01793 445503.

If you have financial concerns with housing, see our webpage: COVID-19 - Support for council housing tenants

Libraries

All libraries are closed until further notice. Due dates for current loans have been extended.

Any memberships due to expire before the end of June will automatically be renewed for a further six months.

Our eBook, eAudiobook and eMagazine services are still available. Further information:

If you're not a member, you can join online and immediately begin using our digital services:

We’ll continue to use our social media channels and blog to share useful resources for people at home, as well running a live-streamed Story and Rhyme time every Tuesday at 11.00am. 

More details and contact information are on our webpages: Libraries

Parking

We have introduced the following measures, but remind people of the government's instruction to stay at home except for shopping for basic necessities, daily exercise, any medical need and travelling to and from essential work.

NHS and social care staff

All NHS and social care staff can apply for a free permit in all our surface level car parks, and on-street pay and display parking bays. You can apply by e-mail PBusinessSupport@swindon.gov.uk with the following information:

  • name
  • e-mail address
  • phone Number
  • a scanned copy of your staff ID badge, or paperwork confirming you are working/volunteering for the NHS or social care during the pandemic

The permit will be valid for 12 weeks from the date it is issued.

On-street parking bays are located in Wood Street and Market Square in Old Town, and Commercial Road, Harding Street and Sanford Street in the town centre.

This scheme does not include barrier-controlled car parks.

Parking enforcement

In all our residents’ parking zones we are only issuing tickets where vehicles are either a) causing and obstruction or b) are parked in a dangerous location. As far as possible our enforcement officers will be pragmatic. This applies until further notice and started on 24 March 2020. 

Tickets issued before 24 March 2020 will remain in force, although the usual early payment discount remains along with the appeals process. Please respond to any Penalty Charge Notice issued before 24 March 2020 in line with the legislation in place. Details will be included in paperwork received. 

Resident parking

Civil Enforcement Officers are not issuing Penalty Charge Notices to resident permit holders parked in shared use, resident parking bays and limited waiting bays. This is to help key workers care for the most vulnerable, and also residents who are at home. Resident permit holders can also park in surface level car parks, with their resident permit on display.

Civil Enforcement Officers will only issue tickets to vehicles that have parked either:

  • dangerously
  • on yellow lines
  • in a disabled bay

We will be keeping a close eye on numbers to ensure demand does not exceed capacity and we acknowledge that changes may need to be made at short notice. This may include resuming normal enforcement. Please check here daily for any further updates.

Car park closures

The following car parks are completely closed:

  • Brunel North
  • Bristol Street
  • Spring Gardens
  • Wroughton Park and Ride

The following car parks are open with no lift access:

  • Brunel West
  • Fleming Way
  • Whalebridge

All surface level car parks where you pay and display are open for essential journeys.

Car park tariffs are in operation.

Parks and leisure

Following government instructions on non-essential travel, the car parks are now closed at the following locations until further notice:

  • Lydiard Park
  • Coate Water
  • Stanton Park
  • Barbury Castle

At Lydiard Park the children’s play area, cafes, toilet facilities, Lydiard Hotel and Lydiard Hotel are also closed until further notice.

All our parks are open for exercise, where people are not travelling by motor vehicle to reach them.

Planning applications

We are taking steps to ensure the continuation of the service and help keep the local economy moving. However, please bear with us if delays occur in registering and determining applications or responding to queries and enquiries.

If you're submitting a planning (or related) application, please do so electronically. This is because we are facing difficulty in processing paper applications at this time.

We have had a high percentage of applications dealt with under delegated powers for a long time, and this will continue. At present we are currently reviewing the position regarding the holding of planning committees and will advise you if this impacts on your applications.

The Planning Inspectorate is also affected and is publishing updates about the impact in its services here: GOV.UK website - Coronavirus (COVID-19) - Planning Inspectorate guidance

Registrations and wedding ceremonies

Registrations

Appointments for registering a birth and giving notice of marriage are suspended. Appointments for registering a death remain available.

Weddings and ceremonies

All weddings and ceremonies, whether in the Civic Offices or at one of our approved venues, are suspended until further notice. This includes marriages, civil partnership formations, naming ceremonies and renewal of vows ceremonies.

Schools

Schools will be closed to the vast majority of pupils from Monday, 23 March 2020 until further notice.

Please visit school websites to find out what provisions are being made to support children of key workers. Schools should also communicate their plans directly to parents and carers. 

STEAM - Museum of the Great Western Railway

STEAM is closed until Friday, 1 May 2020. This includes the Platform 1 cafe and the schools and public events programme.

Swindon Museum and Art Gallery

Swindon Museum and Art Gallery is closed until Friday, 1 May 2020.

Waste and recycling collections

We are experiencing significant disruption to recycling box and plastics collections.

Garden waste collections are suspended from Thursday, 26 March to Wednesday, 8 April 2020. This is because of resourcing issues. We have sent customers a full explanation by e-mail. 

We provide a daily report about the status of collections. You can check this for updates between 3.30pm and 4.30pm.

The Household Waste Recycling Centre is closed to both household and trade customers until further notice.

Help us keep our staff safe 

When you put waste in your wheelie bin:

Please wash your hands before you put anthing in your bin, and wipe the bin lid and handles afterwards.

If you're suffering COVID-19 symptoms:

Waste tissues produced by someone who has, or suspects they have, COVID-19 should be placed in a plastic bag, which should be tied when full. Disposable cloths or wipes used to clean hard surfaces such as kitchen worktops and bathrooms should also be placed in the same bag. This plastic bag should then be placed in a second bin bag, which should also be tied when full.

You should keep bin bags containing these plastic bags should be kept in a secure place until the person’s test results are known. The bags should not be put out for collection or placed in communal waste areas until negative test results are known or the waste has been stored for at least 72 hours (three days). After being stored for at least 72 hours, please place these in your black wheelie bin or blue bags.

You can also read the latest Defra guidance on cleaning your home and disposing of waste.

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