More than a year ago Allerdale Borough Council closed its offices to the public due to the pandemic, since then the customer service team have carried on delivering business as usual with most of the team working from home and a skeleton crew manning the offices.
Their team have answered more than 80,000 customer telephone enquiries and dealt with many more online enquiries.
With the relaxation of restrictions, the council is reopening its offices on an appointment-only basis to ensure the safety of customers and our staff. There will no longer be a walk-in service. Offices will open for face-to-face appointments from tomorrow.
Public toilets in Workington town centre and Maryport remain open on a reduced basis to help prevent the spread of coronavirus and the council asks all users to follow the COVID-secure guidelines.
Toilets in Harrington and Caldbeck remain closed.
Markets in Workington, Wigton and Keswick will resume from tomorrow in line with the Government’s roadmap.
The various safety measures that were in place at the markets prior to lockdown, such as hand-sanitiser stations and reduced stall numbers if applicable, will be in place when they return.
At Keswick Market in particular the one-way system, revised layout and street marshals will also be in operation. These measures will be under regular review.
A team of street marshals on behalf of the council will be out and about across Allerdale throughout April to help keep people safe and support the easing of coronavirus restrictions.
Their roles include providing advice to members of the public where social distancing is not being observed, signposting people to the council’s or government website for more information, note fly-camping, littering anti-social behaviour and parking issues, and note businesses that may be breaching COVID regulations.
The marshals will be working seven days a week across a variety of locations in the borough.
From tomorrow, the council’s leisure partners GLL (who operate as Better) will be reopening the leisure centres in Workington and Cockermouth as well as The Wave Centre in Maryport for indoor activities in line with COVID-19 restrictions. The gym at the leisure pool site in Keswick will also reopened.
All of the council’s car parks are open for use and the multi-storey in Workington town centre is available from 7am to 7pm Monday to Sunday.
Car park customers are encouraged to use the MiPermit mobile app, where applicable, to pay for parking and it may be beneficial to download the app before arriving in one of our car parks.
NHS free parking
The council will continue to provide free parking for NHS workers, care workers and NHS volunteers. For these staff, passes are available through NHS Trusts, local authorities and the Royal Voluntary Service.
All staff making use of the scheme whilst working, need to provide evidence in their vehicle from their employer or voluntary organisation to prove their eligibility.
Those eligible for free parking can make use of any of the council’s owned car parks, except Workington’s multi-storey car park. Check the car park you use with the NHS pass is a council-owned car park and is part of the scheme. Anyone with queries should contact the council’s parking services team on [email protected]
When using short stay car parks where the relevant maximum duration of stay still applies users should clearly show their time of arrival, such as with a parking disc, as well as their essential worker permit. The short stay car parks are: Ladies Walk and Udale Street at Workington; Tithebarn Street, Bell Close at Keswick; Fairfield, Sainsbury’s at Cockermouth. The use of a parking disc is not required in long-stay car parks.
The council’s bereavement services team will continue to provide support to the recently bereaved. In line with government guidelines, funerals can be attended by a maximum of 30 people, and it is advised that only close friends and family attend. Linked ceremonial events such as stone settings and ash scatterings can also continue with up to six people in attendance. Anyone working is not included.
Social distancing should be maintained between people who do not live together or share a support bubble.
From April 12 the number of people able to attend a wake rises to 15.
Benefits, community support and help with self-isolation grants
There is a range of financial support for eligible individuals in Allerdale. More information on these schemes can be found on the Allerdale council website.
Eligible businesses can now take advantage of the Restart Grants Scheme. This scheme is broken down into two strands and supports businesses in the non-essential retail, hospitality, leisure, personal care and accommodation sectors.
The grant amounts will be a one-off payment for each eligible property, based on the rateable value. Due to the Government increasing the information councils to collect from each business and the level of checks required to carry out before payment, you will have to apply for the grant even if the council have already paid you one of the other business grants.
Waste and recycling collections are continuing as normal and garden waste collections resumed in March.
Continue to help keep bin crews and your neighbours safe by cleaning bin handles, lids and any black boxes you may have. And remember to wash your hands after putting your bin out and collecting it back in too.
Play areas and parks
Allerdale Borough Council manages some play areas in the borough and these are open for use. The council urges everyone to practice social distancing and keep hands clean when using them.
The council is aware that the surface at Harris Park play area is in a poor condition and apologise for the inconvenience. However, they will soon be installing new wet-pour surfacing to address this problem and a new piece of multi-play equipment will be installed to replace an existing item.
The play area will be closed for two or three weeks while the refurbishment works take place, which is likely to be in the second half of April. A date will be confirmed in due course.