Home > Coronavirus > Coronavirus: Impact on ESBC Services

Coronavirus: Impact on ESBC Services

Last updated 16:00 - Friday 3rd July

This page will post updates on East Staffordshire Borough Council services affected by the Coronavirus. Please see our dedicated page for business support and advice.

Bin Collections

The brown bin (garden waste) collection service resumed Monday 20th April.

This service will continue to be monitored on a daily basis and the Council cannot rule out further suspensions in the future. For this reason, please continue to check our website for the latest information. 

Residents should present their brown bins for collection by 6.30am on the same day as their usual blue bin collection. All collection days and frequencies of collection will remain the same.

Brewhouse Arts Centre and Burton Town Hall

We have made the difficult decision to cancel all live performances at both the Brewhouse and Burton Town Hall.

The Brewhouse and Civic Function Suite at Burton Town Hall are closed. The Civic Function Suite is supporting essential services that continue to be delivered such as Blood Donation.

Bulky Waste Collection

The Council's bulky waste service resumed on Thursday 21st May.

We won’t collect any items from a property if any members of the household have symptoms of Covid-19.

Business Closures and Enforcement

The Council has published a list of business types that are required to close or remain closed until otherwise directed. For businesses that wish to amend their service so that they can continue to trade, for example a restaurant may wish to offer takeaway or food delivery, they will need to email planning to let us know their intentions and ensure that they comply with their premises licence conditions.

Burton Market Hall

The Market Hall reopened on Monday 15th June and the outdoor market reopened on Thursday 4th June, both with a range of social distancing measures to ensure everyone can shop safely.

Car Parks

Car parking charges were reintroudced on Monday 29th June and the changes to the parking tariff, which were due to be introduced on 1st April, are now live.

Council Tax - Hardship Fund

Council Tax payers who pay their council tax instalments over 10 months can contact us and we will extend their payments to 12 months in the financial year. Please call us on 01283 508030 or email council.tax@eaststaffsbc.gov.uk to extend your instalment payments.

Council Tax payers who receive Council Tax Reduction due to receiving low incomes will soon be entitled to a reduction in their Council Tax via the Hardship Fund recently announced by Government.

We collect Council Tax on behalf of Staffordshire County Council, Fire, Police and Parishes. It is vitally important that Council Tax payers continue to pay in accordance with the instalments shown on their bills so that local services can continue to be provided and vulnerable people in our society can be supported, especially during the current pandemic.

Customer Service Centres

The customer service centres in Burton and Uttoxeter are to close with immediate effect. 

The decision to close the customer service centres has been made following the measures announced by Government on Monday 23rd March.

Residents can still contact the Council by going to the website www.eaststaffsbc.gov.uk, where a number of our services are available online. Alternatively residents can call or email reception@eaststaffsbc.gov.uk(link sends e-mail) for further help and guidance.

  • To make a payment telephone please call 01283 508223.
  • To speak to someone about Council Tax or Business Rates, telephone 01283 508030.
  • To speak to someone about Housing Benefit or Council Tax Reduction, telephone 01283 508422
  • If you are homeless or at risk of being homeless please telephone 01283 508120 between 9am and 5pm, or in an emergency outside office hours please ring 01283 508126. Alternatively you can email the Council at housingoptions@eaststaffsbc.gov.uk(link sends e-mail) and we will aim to respond the same working day. If you are a Rough Sleeper please call 0800 130 3415. The YMCA’S dedicated Outreach team are available 24 hours a day, if for any reason there is no answer please leave a voicemail with your contact details.

Elections

East Staffordshire Borough Council has announced that The Returning Officer has taken the decision to suspend the Eton Park Ward By-Election with immediate effect. The election will take place on a date which will be confirmed when appropriate.

Councillors Ken Builth (Labour) and Deneice Florence-Jukes (Independent), both of whom are ward members for Horninglow, will represent Eton Park constituents until a by-election can be held in the future.

Leisure Centres

Everyone Active have closed Meadowside and Uttoxeter Leisure Centres and Shobnall Leisure Complex with immediate effect as of 20/03/2020. More information on memberships and online activities can be found here https://www.everyoneactive.com/coronavirus/

Licensing - Taxis

Information and advice relating to the Coronavirus is changing on a daily basis and we advise you to keep updated on the current Government & NHS Guidance and adhere to this at all times.

Can I continue to drive as a Licensed Driver?

At present we have not been advised that Licensed Drivers must stop driving but the decision whether to continue to work is with the individual. If you are in the “vulnerable” category or have underlying health issues then you should follow the current Government & NHS Guidance.

Licensing Service

The Licensing Department continue to operate a service but in-line with current guidance we are avoiding all unnecessary face to face office contact with all members of the public.

We are currently not accepting any New Driver or Vehicle applications.  We will consider new vehicle applications should they be a replacement for accident damaged vehicles or for vehicles going off the road due to the age limits.

All other applications will still be accepted and an appointment will still need to be made with the Licensing Office. We are requiring that all documentation is sent via e-mail prior to the appointment therefore removing the need for any applicant/driver coming into the office.

We have been in contact with all of our testing stations who have confirmed that they are all at present still opening and trading for MOT and essential works.  The current situation may change with some opting to operate reduced opening hours or even implementing a full closure.  We have asked that they notify the Licensing Office before closing so we can inform the trade.

Should drivers not wish to work or want to take vehicles off the road and not submit renewal paperwork we ask that they call the office first so we can outline the process.

Current Process

  • Driver/applicant to call licensing office to make appointment as normal- 01283 508585, 508310, 508692, 508505, 508684
  • Driver/applicant will send all documents into the office e-mail address prior to their appointment - e-mail address- licensing@eaststaffsbc.gov.uk(link sends e-mail) 
  • Driver/applicant will be contacted on their appointment date/time for the licensing officer to confirm all correct documentation has been received and any online checks will be carried out and any payments required will be made at this time. You will then be advised of date & time when to collect your plate/badge.
  • Any inspections that are required will be done on plate/badge collection which will be done outside the office

PLEASE NOTE ANYONE ATTENDING THE OFFICE WITHOUT AN APPOINTMENT WILL NOT BE SEEN

INFORMATION FROM THE DEPARTMENT FOR TRANSPORT

Please see the following for information on the current situation regarding the continued working of taxis and private hire vehicles:

Taxis and private hire vehicles can continue to work. But the advice is absolutely clear - people should stay at home if possible. That is the way to save lives and protect our NHS. The public should avoid travel unless absolutely essential. The only reasons to leave our houses are set out in the government guidance.

Clearly if absolutely necessary to travel by taxi or private hire vehicle, best efforts should be used to follow the guidance as far as is practically possible, including washing your hands as soon as you get home.

Critical Worker Status

Taxi and private hire drivers should not generally be considered Critical Workers. Those undertaking Home to School transport or the transport of ‘extremely vulnerable’ people may be considered Critical Workers on a case-by-case basis. Critical Workers should also whenever possible make suitable arrangements for their children to stay at home; requests for children to attend school should be discussed with the school.”

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Parks and Open Spaces

Following changes to the Government’s guidance on meeting in open spaces we have reopened the Council’s directly operated tennis courts, basketball courts and the Bramshall Bowling Green.

A complete list of what has been reopened can be found on Parks and Open Spaces page. 

Playgrounds and outdoor gym equipment will reopen on Saturday 4th July.

Planning

The Planning and Local Land Charges department are currently working off site. The preferred method of contact is via email at dcsupport@eaststaffsbc.gov.uk(link sends e-mail).

The Council has issued more information on those businesses which must close. For businesses that wish to amend their service so that they can continue to trade, for example a restaurant may wish to offer takeaway or food delivery, they will need to email planning to let us know their intentions and ensure that they comply with their premises licence conditions.

Planning Enforcement

Officers have considered our approach to planning enforcement. We will continue to acknowledge and investigate all formal complaints that are received in writing/e-mail (not anonymous). We would however request full details of the alleged breach of planning control with evidence using photographs of the building or details of the use eg. times/frequency a use is occurring,  further formal enforcement action is discretionary to the LPA.  Our current policy is to investigate all reported matters following a desktop triage process but it is recognised that we could change our policy to reduce what we investigate.  

It is acknowledged that there will be ongoing enforcement matters which we might need to tolerate for a temporary period because of the current situation - we should not force people to move or travel.  A pragmatic approach will be required.

A Written Ministerial Statement was published on Friday 13 March which urges local planning authorities to apply pragmatism to the enforcement of restrictions on food and other essential deliveries at this time. Local planning authorities should also use their discretion on the enforcement of other planning conditions which hinder the effective response to COVID-19.  

Furthermore, the government has relaxed planning regulations allowing cafes and restaurants to offer take-away facilities.

It is considered that we could reduce the complaints that are formally registered for a temporary period whilst we are dealing with the pandemic by not registering certain breaches for example:

  • Breaches of planning conditions relating to delivery times to essential businesses
  • Changes of use of cafes/restaurants to take-aways
  • Householder development (unless the person reporting demonstrates significant harm)
  • Breaches of construction traffic management plans (unless the person reporting demonstrates significant harm)
  • Adverts

 In other cases, please consider that there may be a delay in dealing with the matter.

Public Toilets

ESBC public toilets are now open.

Selective Licensing Scheme

East Staffordshire Borough Council has announced that it has paused its proposed Selective Licensing Scheme due to the coronavirus outbreak. The announcement follows guidance issued by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government on 28th March that selective licensing schemes that are not yet in force should be paused.

A ten week consultation on the proposal was launched on 20th January 2020, in which people who are likely to be affected were encouraged to make representations on the proposal.

The consultation closed on 30th March 2020 and following government advice for selective licensing schemes that are not yet in force to be paused, a decision has been made to pause the proposal at this stage.

A meeting has been requested by Landlords who wish to speak to Leaders of the Council about the proposal, however due to restrictions imposed by the Covid-19 outbreak, the Council is unable to arrange this at the current time.

Councillor Bernard Peters, Deputy Leader for Regulatory Services and Community Support, said: “Having received Government guidance, the Council is now in a position to be able to pause the proposed Selected Licensing Scheme. This will give the Council the opportunity to meet with landlords once social distancing restrictions and have been lifted and the Selective Licensing Process can recommence. The date and location of this will be communicated once confirmed.

“Although the consultation period has ended, it has been confirmed that this meeting will be included with all the other consultation responses and representations made during the consultation period, to form a consultation response document. This will be in the form of a summary of responses received and will demonstrate how these have either been acted on or not, giving reasons, and will be made available to the local community.”

Stapenhill Cemetery

The cemetery office is only receiving queries via telephone and email. All burials will now be restricted to a maximum of 12 mourners. On the day of the funeral, only the funeral cortege will be allowed in to the cemetery. The chapel and cemetery gates will be closed until further notice.

If a member(s) of the public with limited mobility would like to visit a grave at Stapenhill Cemetery then they may contact the cemetery office and schedule an appointment. These appointments are for visitation purposes only, and does not include extensive work on gravesites.