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Council announces latest service updates

Published 27th Mar 2020 by Shaida Khan

​As Calderdale Council strongly urges local people to stay at home and away from others to slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), it has made further changes to its services.

Cllr Tim Swift, Calderdale Council’s Leader, said:

“In this incredibly trying situation, thank you to everyone who is staying at home, keeping their distance from other people and contributing to the COVID-19 response – together, you are all doing your bit to protect the NHS and save lives.

“It’s vital that we all keep doing this, and I urge everyone to think twice before leaving the house. Is your trip really essential?

“We have made more changes to Council services – in addition to those we’ve already announced – to ensure the national guidance can be followed and to reduce the spread of the virus.”

Please read and follow the Government guidance on staying at home and away from others.

The Council’s latest service updates are as follows:

Birth registrations

Registering a baby’s birth is a significant moment for a new family. However, to help protect residents and staff, and in line with the national advice from the General Register Office, the Council has postponed birth registrations until further notice. This is because birth registrations have to be made in person by one or both parents. New parents can still make a claim for child benefit or universal credit prior to registering their child’s birth.

Death registrations

The Council understands how important it is to continue to support bereaved families at this difficult time, so it is still offering a service for registering deaths in a safe and sensitive way. The Government has introduced special measures to allow death registrations to take place over the phone. You can book a phone appointment in Calderdale at www.calderdale.gov.uk and a Registrar will call you.

Citizenship ceremonies

People usually have to book their citizenship ceremony within three months of receiving their invitation from the Home Office. This period has now been extended nationally to six months. No adverse decisions will be made on applications because of delays caused by COVID-19.

Parks, playgrounds and public rights of way

In line with Government guidance, the Council wants to continue to give people the opportunity to exercise once a day. Therefore, all of its parks, open spaces and public rights of way across Calderdale remain open (but please note that Ogden Water is fully closed). However, the following facilities within parks are closed until further notice:

  • Playgrounds
  • Skate parks
  • Outdoor gym equipment
  • Bowling greens
  • Tennis courts
  • Children’s bike tracks

The Council is aware that some people are putting up signs on footpaths and other public rights of way, saying that they are closed due to COVID-19. This is not the case and it is not up to individuals to decide to close any public areas, including footpaths.

The Council urges anyone who is exercising outside in Calderdale to stay at least two metres apart from other people, to use gloves when opening gates or crossing stiles, and to wash their hands thoroughly, for 20 seconds, when they are back home.

For advice on safely using allotments during the pandemic, please see the National Allotment Society's guidance.

Food parcels

The Council is expecting a nationally-arranged delivery of food parcels for extremely vulnerable people needing support during the COVID-19 outbreak. The Council will be advised who these people are and will arrange delivery of the food parcels. People who don’t qualify for a food parcel but still need support with food are encouraged to approach their local food bank.

For up-to-date and reliable information about COVID-19, use trusted sources such as:

www.gov.uk/coronavirus

www.nhs.uk/coronavirus

www.calderdale.gov.uk/coronavirus

As well as social distancing, you can reduce the risk of catching COVID-19 by washing your hands with soap and water often, for at least 20 seconds, avoid touching your face and follow the ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ guidance.

Calderdale Council continues to work on all aspects of the response to COVID-19. At its Cabinet meeting on Monday 16 March, the Leader of the Council, Cllr Tim Swift, announced a 10-point plan detailing how the Council will respond to the risks related to COVID-19.

The Council continues to closely monitor the rapidly developing situation and rigorously follow national guidelines. All services are ready to adapt as necessary.

Keeping well, physically and mentally, is really important if you’re social distancing. Your usual sports club may not be running, but there are lots of things you can do to stay active and still practise social distancing – go to https://active.calderdale.gov.uk/ for some great ideas. Equally, make sure you look after your mental health. This advice from the BBC gives you some ideas on how to do that.


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