Service changes due to COVID-19

We are working hard to keep public services running, but some unavoidable changes are now in place due to public health advice, or as we focus resources on critical services to support you during this difficult time.

We will keep this page updated with information about affected services as we get new information. We apologise for any inconvenience and thank you for your patience.

We have had to make changes to our services as shown below:




Housing Options and Homelessness

  • Housing Reception
    • There is a Housing Options duty officer available by telephone during the office hours of 09.00 – 17.00 Monday to Friday (16.30 on a Friday), except on a Wednesday when duty will start at 13.00. The Housing Options duty line is 01962 848 163
    • Alternatively you can contact us by email
    • Our council reception is closed as we try to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and but if you can not contact us by phone or online we have a telephone in the lobby and you should dial 2163 to be put through to the Housing Options duty officer.
    • For out of hours emergencies, please contact our out of hours service on 01962 865 405.
  • Rough Sleepers
    • If you are rough sleeping or at risk of rough sleeping, please contact the Housing Options duty officer on 01962 848 163 who will be able to help you.
    • We have an outreach service in place to check on rough sleepers on a daily basis which ensure people are well, provided with up to date public health information and critically, not displaying symptoms of COVID-19. We are sourcing a variety of accommodation options to ensure rough sleepers can be supported during this period. Alongside key partners, we are monitoring this situation extremely carefully taking account all relevant guidance as it is published, to ensure that the needs of vulnerable homeless people are met.
    • Should you find someone sleeping rough within the district please contact StreetLink.
    • StreetLink is the national service set up to enable rough sleepers to become connected with the support they need. There are three ways that you can contact StreetLink to tell them about a rough sleeper:
    • Call 0300 500 0914. This is a free phone number and lines are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
    • Visit and click ‘Tell us about a rough sleeper@ and fill in as many details as possible.
    • Download the mobile app (available for free from the iTunes and Google Play stores) and follow the same steps as the website.
    • Any details you may provide about the rough sleeper will be sent to both the housing options team at the City Council and to Trinity Winchester, the local day centre providing support for the homeless, who will aim to make direct contact the rough sleeper in order to provide relevant advice and assistance. A few days later StreetLink will follow the case up with the City Council and can provide you with an update.
  • Housing Options Telephone Appointments
    • As part of our approach to reduce the spread of COVID-19, we are now only offering telephone appointments. Please do not make an unnecessary visit to our offices and help reduce the spread of the infection. If you already have an appointment your Housing Options officer will have been in contact already to rearrange the appointment. 
    • If you need to contact your Housing Options officer by telephone or email, please do so.  If you are unable to locate their direct contact details, please call the duty line on 01962 848 163 or via email:
    • Our Housing Options team will be working to prevent your homelessness as best they can given the current circumstances.
  • Hampshire Home Choice and Allocations services
    • If you have a query in respect of your Hampshire Home Choice application there will be an Allocations Team member available via the Allocations Duty telephone line 01962 848 356 during the hours of 09.00 – 17.00 Monday to Friday (16.30 on a Friday). Alternatively you can contact us by email:
  • Temporary Accommodation
    • If you are a resident in temporary accommodation you will have been contacted directly by our temporary accommodation team to advise what support we can offer you.  If you fall into difficulties as a result of COVID-19, please contact the temporary accommodation team directly on 01962 856 368 or by email


Housing Repairs

  • Temporary Reduced Repairs Service

    Your safety is our prime concern and we will continue to visit council homes where an urgent repair is required. In order to help reduce the spread of Coronavirus, all other non-urgent repairs will be logged and scheduled for a later date. During this period the usual green card system will be suspended and replaced with a direct acknowledgement email or telephone call from our Customer Liaison Officer .

    Should you already have an appointment date for a non-urgent repair, we will be in touch to reschedule the date.


Temporary changes to waste collections

We’re working hard to minimise disruption to regular waste collections. There are some changes that we need your help and support with now (Monday 30 March).

  • Longer collection running times

    It is taking longer for crews to complete their rounds as:

    • there is more waste produced as people stay at home…
    • leading to more trips during individual rounds to offload the waste
    • the teams are also observing social distancing guidance during the rounds
    • and the departures from the depot are also being spaced out to support this guidance too
  • Putting bins out earlier

    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.

  • Managing waste responsibly from household with suspected Coronavirus

    If you or someone in your household has COVID-19 – or shows symptoms of COVID-19 - please help us prevent the spread of the virus by taking the following steps with materials that may be contaminated, such as waste tissues, disposable cloths or wipes used to clean surfaces.

    • Step one – Place materials into a plastic bag and tie it when full
    • Step two - Once the bag is full, double bag it in a second bin bag or plastic bag and tie it up.
    • Step three - Store the bags for 72 hours (three days) and then place them in your normal wheeled bin.

    If you don't receive a wheeled bin collection, please make sure a council-issued bag label is placed on the outside of the double-bagged waste.

    For more information, visit:

  • Extra waste bags

    Residents should be able to now put out any additional recycling in a clear bag, and it will get picked up by Biffa.

  • Disinfect bin handles

    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

    Additional guidance:

    • Continue to place your wheeled bin, glass box or bag out at your normal collection point.
    •  Please collect your wheeled bin, glass box or bag as soon as possible following the collection.

    Hampshire County Council Household Waste Recycling Centres are now open again (from May 11) but a reminder to please do not put of the following items in your refuse bin:

    • Stones or brick rubble
    • DIY materials
    •  Paint / chemicals or oil
    • Hot ashes
    • Clinical waste (we continue to provide a free domestic service for this)
    • Commercial, trade or industrial waste
    • Scrap metal
    • Poisonous or noxious waste
    • Garden waste
    • Electrical products
  • Bulky waste collections - restrictions 

    Bulky waste collections can be booked with extra measures in place to keep you and our contractor team safe. We do expect the service to be popular, so you may have a slightly longer wait than usual. Thank you for your patience.

    Please bear the following in mind when you book your collection:

    • Collections take place on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays
    • Our contractor, Biffa, is not currently able to enter your property to remove items
    • Please leave the item for collection inside your property boundary but where we can easily collect it
    • If anyone in your household has COVID-19 symptoms, please let us know when you book as there may be specific measures you need to take before we can collect your item. Please see the advice here.

    Call 01962 670706 to book your collection.

  • Textile recycling banks 

    You can give your unwanted clothes, towels, linen and shoes a new lease of life by taking them along to one of the 19 textile banks across our district.
    The district’s textile banks are managed by the Salvation Army, find your nearest clothing bank here

  • Household Waste and Recycling Centres

    Hampshire County Council has confirmed that from Monday 15 June you must have an appointment to visit an HWRC. If you visit an HWRC without an appointment you will be turned away. Sites will be open from 9am to 6pm seven days a week, however you will have to book a 30-minute slot up to 48 hours in advance. From Thursday 11 June 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. Residents should only travel to a HWRC if the build-up of waste in your home may pose a risk of injury or to health. 



Pest Control 

  • Pest Control Services

    To keep our teams and customers safe at this time, we are currently only able to offer pest control services for outside areas. If internal treatment is needed, our officers can offer advice and recommendations, including the option of alternative providers of indoor pest control services.