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:
- Guildhall Winchester
- Visitor Information Centre
- Housing Options and Homelessness
- Housing Repairs
- Temporary changes to waste collections
- Pest Control
Winchester City Council’s public reception on Colebrook Street will be closed from Thursday 26 March 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 services are available online, by email and by phone, including those that are usually available from the kiosks in reception areas.
We are sorry for the inconvenience to our customers and thank them for their support in following public health advice.
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
Is the Guildhall still open?
In line with Government advice, the Guildhall is currently closed. However the team at Guildhall Winchester are doing all they can to support customers and hirers. If you have an existing booking please email firstname.lastname@example.org
- What if I want to hire a room later in the year?
What if I’ve booked a ticket for an event?
Many bookings are being postponed or in some cases cancelled, and we would urge to you to check with the organiser or ticket provider before planning to travel to any event.
Is eighteen71 café still open?
In line with Government advice, our café closed on 20th March. We are now undertaking planned essential works to welcome a new operator to the café in the near future but would like to thank all our customers for their support over the past ten years.
Please email email@example.com for more details.
Please note that the Visitor Information Centre is currently closed in accordance with Government guidance to reduce the spread of Coronavirus, but you can still contact the team by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org for the latest advice.
We are constantly working with our partners in the visitor industry including attractions, event organisers, eateries, retailers and accommodation providers to keep you updated as far as we can with regards to any changes that may impact on your visit in response to national guidance on COVID-19.
The priority is to reduce the spread of coronavirus, and to safeguard the health and safety of employees, residents and visitors.
Please do keep an eye on our website and social media channels for further information or contact our Visitor Information Centre on 01962 840 500. Whilst we endeavour to publish as much information on our website as we can, the public health advice is changing by the day and we advise visitors to check with individual event organisers, visitor attractions before you book tickets or plan your visit.
We thank you for your understanding and support in these uncertain times. Our thoughts are with those in our community and beyond who are affected by COVID-19.
- 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 848 136.
- Alternatively you can contact us by email email@example.com.
- 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.
- 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 www.streetlink.org.uk 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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 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: HAllocations@winchester.gov.uk
- At present and over the coming weeks we anticipate that there will be a significant reduction in properties advertised on Hampshire Home Choice due to restrictions and advice from the Government. However, we are working hard to ensure that all other services relating to Hampshire Home Choice continue to function as normal.
- 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 email@example.com
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.
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: www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance/stay-at-home-guidance-for-households-with-possible-coronavirus-covid-19-infection#cleaning-and-disposal-of-waste
Extra waste bags
Biffa teams cannot collect extra waste or recycling left alongside your bin at this time.
We want to take care of our crews so they can continue to work for as long as possible and we want to avoid them coming into direct contact with waste.
If you have extra waste or recycling , please bag it up securely and store it.
Please put it in your bin for the next scheduled collection.
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
- 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 – currently closed
The district’s textile banks – managed by the Salvation Army - are closed for the time being.
Household Waste and Recycling Centres
Hampshire County Council has confirmed the reopening of three of the district’s Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs) as of Monday 11 May 2020 for those who cannot store waste safely at home. 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. All sites reopen under temporary revised daily opening hours of 10am to 6pm. (6pm close time is from May 23)
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.