Walled City Market is first casualty of new restrictions

Fri, 02/10/2020 - 19:37 -- Editor

Members of Derry City and Strabane District Council agreed a number of measures are to be implemented across some Council services in response to the introduction of new restrictions placed across the Council area by the NI Executive yesterday. 

 

Members heard how Council had activated its Emergency Plan last night in response to the situation and were working at a regional level with all relevant departments across Government to keep across all emerging issues over the coming days and weeks. 

 

It was agreed that in line with the NI Executive guidelines, the Guildhall, Tower Museum in Derry, and Alley Theatre in Strabane, would close with immediate effect to the public. Arrangements will remain in place however to facilitate pre-booked, risk assessed weddings that are compliant with NI Executive guidelines.
 

 

Members agreed to cancel the Walled City Market scheduled to take place tomorrow, Saturday, in Guildhall Square, in the interests of the health and safety of staff, traders and the wider public.

 

In relation to leisure and sports provision, it was agreed that all playing pitches and 3g pitches would remain open for up to 15 people for training purposes only, with restrictions in place that are compliant with the current NI Executive guidelines. This will remain under review subject to the publication of the new regulations next week.

 

Members agreed to keep all tier one leisure centres open for individual activities only – ie gym and lane swimming only, all gym classes and households swims are not permitted. This, will also be kept under review, ahead of publication of the new regulations that will be published next week.

 

Members were informed that the greyhound track at the Brandywell would also be reviewed in line with new regulations that will come into place from in next week but it was likely it would return to trials only. It was agreed that all Council owned and maintained community centres remain open but for essential services only.

 

The Council’s Registration of Births Deaths and Marriages Service will continue to be operational in both Derry and Strabane, under review, while public toilets across the Council, which have been closed throughout the pandemic, will remain closed.

 

Refuse collection services will continue to be operational with the public encouraged to be patient and expect some delays as Council continues to adapt to new working practices of staff bubbling and rotating shift patterns to keep staff and wider public safe. The public are also reminded to sanitise bins and take the necessary safety precautions.

 

Household recycling centres at Pennyburn, Strathfoyle, Claudy, Strahans Road in Strabane, Newtownstewart, Donemana, Claudy, Plumbridge and Park will remain operational. The public are being encouraged to adhere to the government guidelines around unnecessary travel, and to use the bins provided and the free bulky waste collection service to manage their waste. The public are urged to co-operate fully with staff and adhere to signage in place and allow time for their visits to the facilities.

 

Environmental Health teams will continue to work with NI Executive officials and the PSNI over the coming days in relation to possible new enforcement measures and officers would be on the ground providing advice and assistance to businesses over the coming days.

 

Council Chief Executive John Kelpie said that while the majority of Council services are up and running, Council continues to face a number of challenges in the current environment and the patience and understanding of the public is needed over the weeks ahead.

 

He said some services are still affected by first wave of restrictions, including tier two leisure centres, some of the recycling centres, public toilets, sports facilities, and festival and events. He said these closures are necessary to allow Council to comply with the Government regulations and to keep our staff and the public safe.

 

Members heard how a small number of staff currently 12 out of a workforce of 1,000 - have tested positive and a small number of staff are self-isolating and all measures to protect staff are in place.

 

Members were reminded that every effort would be made to retain all essential services and that possible impacts on services was inevitable over the coming days and weeks as managers adapt to new working practices and possible further staff issues.

 

Reassurance was once again provided to members in relation to the work that is being done across the Council to keep staff and the public safe. Staff who can work from home are being encouraged to continue to do so, signage and cleaning procedures are in place at all centres, revised risk assessments and safe systems of work carried out across all services, including the bubbling of crews and staggered shift times where possible, as well as a wide range of HR support mechanisms in place.

 

Mayor Cllr Brian Tierney thanked officers for their work and their continued efforts to keep Council services operational in difficult circumstances. He urged the public for their continued co-operation and patience and acknowledged the efforts of all Council staff, particularly those working on the frontline.

 

He said he was continuing to engage with a wide range of stakeholders and groupings including politicians, local churches, community and voluntary sector and businesses, as well as neighbouring councils, to reinforce the public health messaging and to appeal to the public to adhere to the restrictions and guidelines to curb the current spread of the virus.

Members of Derry City and Strabane District Council agreed a number of measures are to be implemented across some Council services in response to the introduction of new restrictions placed across the Council area by the NI Executive yesterday.

 

Members heard how Council had activated its Emergency Plan last night in response to the situation and were working at a regional level with all relevant departments across Government to keep across all emerging issues over the coming days and weeks.

 

It was agreed that in line with the NI Executive guidelines, the Guildhall, Tower Museum in Derry, and Alley Theatre in Strabane, would close with immediate effect to the public. Arrangements will remain in place however to facilitate pre-booked, risk assessed weddings that are compliant with NI Executive guidelines.

 

Members agreed to cancel the Walled City Market scheduled to take place tomorrow, Saturday, in Guildhall Square, in the interests of the health and safety of staff, traders and the wider public.

 

In relation to leisure and sports provision, it was agreed that all playing pitches and 3g pitches would remain open for up to 15 people for training purposes only, with restrictions in place that are compliant with the current NI Executive guidelines. This will remain under review subject to the publication of the new regulations next week.

 

Members agreed to keep all tier one leisure centres open for individual activities only – ie gym and lane swimming only, all gym classes and households swims are not permitted. This, will also be kept under review, ahead of publication of the new regulations that will be published next week.

 

Members were informed that the greyhound track at the Brandywell would also be reviewed in line with new regulations that will come into place from in next week but it was likely it would return to trials only. It was agreed that all Council owned and maintained community centres remain open but for essential services only.

 

The Council’s Registration of Births Deaths and Marriages Service will continue to be operational in both Derry and Strabane, under review, while public toilets across the Council, which have been closed throughout the pandemic, will remain closed.

 

Refuse collection services will continue to be operational with the public encouraged to be patient and expect some delays as Council continues to adapt to new working practices of staff bubbling and rotating shift patterns to keep staff and wider public safe. The public are also reminded to sanitise bins and take the necessary safety precautions.

 

Household recycling centres at Pennyburn, Strathfoyle, Claudy, Strahans Road in Strabane, Newtownstewart, Donemana, Claudy, Plumbridge and Park will remain operational. The public are being encouraged to adhere to the government guidelines around unnecessary travel, and to use the bins provided and the free bulky waste collection service to manage their waste. The public are urged to co-operate fully with staff and adhere to signage in place and allow time for their visits to the facilities.

 

Environmental Health teams will continue to work with NI Executive officials and the PSNI over the coming days in relation to possible new enforcement measures and officers would be on the ground providing advice and assistance to businesses over the coming days.

 

Council Chief Executive John Kelpie said that while the majority of Council services are up and running, Council continues to face a number of challenges in the current environment and the patience and understanding of the public is needed over the weeks ahead.

 

He said some services are still affected by first wave of restrictions, including tier two leisure centres, some of the recycling centres, public toilets, sports facilities, and festival and events. He said these closures are necessary to allow Council to comply with the Government regulations and to keep our staff and the public safe.

 

Members heard how a small number of staff currently 12 out of a workforce of 1,000 - have tested positive and a small number of staff are self-isolating and all measures to protect staff are in place.

 

Members were reminded that every effort would be made to retain all essential services and that possible impacts on services was inevitable over the coming days and weeks as managers adapt to new working practices and possible further staff issues.

 

Reassurance was once again provided to members in relation to the work that is being done across the Council to keep staff and the public safe. Staff who can work from home are being encouraged to continue to do so, signage and cleaning procedures are in place at all centres, revised risk assessments and safe systems of work carried out across all services, including the bubbling of crews and staggered shift times where possible, as well as a wide range of HR support mechanisms in place.

 

Mayor Cllr Brian Tierney thanked officers for their work and their continued efforts to keep Council services operational in difficult circumstances. He urged the public for their continued co-operation and patience and acknowledged the efforts of all Council staff, particularly those working on the frontline.

 

He said he was continuing to engage with a wide range of stakeholders and groupings including politicians, local churches, community and voluntary sector and businesses, as well as neighbouring councils, to reinforce the public health messaging and to appeal to the public to adhere to the restrictions and guidelines to curb the current spread of the virus.