Advice for residents and service changes (COVID-19)
The latest information on services and advice is available here
- Waste, recycling and street cleaning
- Council Tax & Benefits
- Public transport
- Leisure Centres, play areas and open spaces
- Public meetings
- Markets & Car boot sales
- Seasonal events
Winchester City Council’s public reception on Colebrook Street remains closed for general access until further notice. This decision has been taken to protect residents and staff in line with public health guidance on reducing the spread of COVID-19.
Our council teams are busy working behind the scenes and we are operating a telephone or virtual appointment system for critical services only.
Customer Service Centre: 01962 840 222
Waste: 0300 300 0013
Housing: 01962 848 400
Payments: 01962 848 512
For online payments - www.winchester.gov.uk/pay
For parking permits - www.winchester.gov.uk/parking/parking-permits-and-season-tickets
To apply for council services - www.winchester.gov.uk/apply
Where can I find information on housing and benefits?
We have created a new central hub for all housing questions and COVID-19. This can be found here
What is happening to my waste collection?
All waste collections remain fully operational at this time however there will be some temporary changes, to find out more click here: https://www.winchester.gov.uk/covid19/service-changes
Due to collections taking longer, we need to start some rounds earlier. Please place bins out for collection the evening before your scheduled collection day, or by 6.15am on your collection day as per your waste calendar. This is 45 minutes earlier than the usual time to allow the staff to stagger their start times and reduce their contact with others.
Please take extra care to disinfect or clean the handle of your wheeled bin or box when you put it out and after collection. This is an extra precaution for the crews and you to reduce the risk of passing any infection
Personal waste (such as used tissues) and disposable cleaning cloths can be stored securely within disposable rubbish bags. These bags should be placed into another bag, tied securely and kept separate from other waste. This should be put aside for at least 72 hours before being put in your usual external household waste bin. Other household waste can be disposed of as normal.
Can I continue to take waste to household recycling sites?
Hampshire County Council has introduced an appointment system for residents looking to visit an HWRC. If you visit an HWRC without an appointment you will be turned away. Sites will be open from 9am to 4pm seven days a week, however you will have to book a 30-minute slot up to 48 hours in advance. You can book a slot by phone or online by following the link here.
There are additional measures in place to ensure the safe operation of the sites – please visit their website for more information.
- What if I am unwell?
What should I do with my waste if I have COVID-19?
The government have provided guidance on how to dispose of your waste correctly. LINK Anyone who has tested positive or is displaying symptoms of COVID-19 should double bag their waste and it should be put in a suitable and secure place and marked for storage.
Please find further information here: https://www.letsrecycle.com/news/latest-news/defra-coronavirus-waste-disposal-advice/
For further information about our waste, recycling and street cleaning services, click here
Advice on bonfires
During this time, we’re asking residents not to burn garden or household waste.
With more people at home susceptible to the side effects of inhaling smoke due to respiratory illness like Covid-19, it’s likely that your neighbours will be adversely affected by bonfires. Our advice is either to compost garden waste or keep it in a safe place until these restrictions are lifted.
If you’re affected by smoke caused from bonfires, please do speak to your neighbour first (and be mindful of social distancing) as they might be unaware of the impact it is having on you.
What happens if I can’t pay my Council Tax?
The Benefits & Welfare team can provide specialist advice and support to residents struggling to pay their rent or pay their Council Tax. Council Tax Reduction can help pay your Council Tax if you’re unemployed, on a low income or claiming benefits.
If you are single and pay Council Tax but share your home with another adult who is on a low income and does not pay rent, you may be able to get Second Adult Rebate on your Council Tax.
For more information about council tax, click here
How can I apply for universal credit?
You can make your Universal Credit (UC) claim online by visiting the GOV UK website.
If you need help making a claim for Universal Credit:
- Contact the Freephone Universal Credit helpline on:
Telephone: 0800 328 5644
Textphone: 0800 328 1344
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm
Council tax support
We’re committed to helping residents who may be struggling financially due to the limitations placed on households as we look to reduce the spread of COVID-19. There is a range of measures we have in place to support you.
If you are struggling to pay your Council Tax then please contact our team on 01962 848 288 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll provide helpful assistance based on your individual situation and work with you to arrange a suitable payment plan.
If you currently pay your Council Tax over 10 months we can spread those instalments over 12 months or alter the timing of your payments for you. Please see the back of your Council Tax bill for details.
If you are:
- claiming benefits; or
- on a low income
Our Benefits & Welfare team can help you to claim Council Tax Reduction. This will help you to pay your Council Tax.
- Residents of working age, who already benefit from some Council Tax Reduction, will receive an additional £300 off their Council Tax bill. Eligible households will receive this automatically. A revised Council Tax bill will be issued shortly.
For further information or assistance on Housing Benefit, Council Tax Reduction, Second Adult Rebate and Discretionary Housing Payments, or to make a claim for these benefits, please visit www.winchester.gov.uk/benefits or phone 01962 848 539.
If your financial circumstances have not changed and you are able to pay your Council Tax then you will help the council to help those that are struggling by not asking to amend your payment plan – thank you.
How are Park & Ride services operating
Park & Ride services in Winchester are operating every seven minutes at peak times, please remember that there have been changes made to keep you safe.
- Wearing a face mask
- Waiting for others to get off the bus before you get on
- Using contactless to pay if you can
- Sitting with at least two metres between you and other passengers
If you can see it’s too busy to do this, please wait for the next bus – they are running every seven minutes at peak times – thank you.
Park & Ride parking charges
To support the NHS and other Critical Care workers at this time, we are providing free parking in car parks across the district and in our Winchester Park & Rides.You will need a pass for your windscreen so if you fall into this category please contact us at: email@example.com
Standard parking charges remain in place across our car parks for all other drivers.
- Outdoor leisure activities
Indoor leisure activities
You can book indoor sport facilities with your household. Book online at Meadowside Leisure Centre here. Check your local provider for further information.
Are playgrounds open?
Our playgrounds are open for use but please remember to follow social distancing guidelines to keep each other safe. Check the posters on site for extra guidance.
You may also now return to skate parks which reopened on Monday 29 March. Remember to follow social distancing guidelines when in skate parks and take care when to avoid accidents.For full COVID-19 guidance on skate boarding visit Skateboard UK.
Sports pitch bookings
You can now book a tennis court through our new online booking system for River Park from Thursday 1 April. Tennis courts will be available free of charge until Saturday 1 May, when temporary toilets will then be provided and charges will start again.
The 3G pitch isn’t quite ready for pre-bookings but existing ‘block booking customers’ can contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org to make sure they are all set up to continue their regular slot once we reopen.
How can I follow council meetings if they’re being held virtually?
Council meetings are taking place virtually – replacing the physical gatherings in locations at the Guildhall. Details about virtual meetings and how public participation currently works can be found here
Most public meetings will continue to be live streamed with a playback option, and a day after meetings are held they can also be viewed on YouTube