Coronavirus

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Coronavirus: Advice on Council Services

Dudley Council is working closely with Public Health England to stop the spread of coronavirus, but we need you to play your part, protect our borough and help us avoid a local lockdown. We are updating these webpages regularly with the latest national advice and guidance and key local information.

All public meetings have now been cancelled and we are continuing to work with partners in the NHSPublic Health England and neighbouring councils to ensure we stay on top of delaying the spread of the virus. Please do not come to a council building or any other public place if you have any symptoms of the Coronavirus, including a new continuous cough or a high temperature.

Elected members are still working in communities across and are still available for contact. Surgeries are affected in line with the government’s advice on social distancing. Here’s a handy guide to who your local councillor is and how to contact them.

Some of the council's services are continuing to operate as normal but staff are following government advice in limiting contact with the public wherever possible.

Latest statements from the council

Wednesday 1 April

Tuesday 31 March

Thursday 27 March

Wednesday 26 March

Tuesday 25 March

Monday 24 March

Friday 20 March

Thursday 19 March

Wednesday 18 March

Tuesday 17 March 

Monday 16 March

Friday 13 March

Tuesday 10 March

Monday 9 March

Thursday 5 March 

Tuesday 3 March

Services

Dudley Council Plus

If you need help and advice with any council service call Dudley Council Plus on 0300 555 2345 or email dudleycouncilplus@dudley.gov.uk for face to face services see opening times in the download PDF below.

Adult Learning

We are preparing to welcome learners back into our centres soon. We have implemented new processes and cleaning schedules for COVID-19 so that you feel safe in our learning centres. We are also continuing to provide our popular online courses which are free. Click here for more information.

Adult Social Care

We continue to deliver adult social care services across the borough at this difficult time, aiming to leave no vulnerable person without the support they need.

We may however need to deliver our services in a slightly different way, for example face-to-face visits may have been replaced by phone calls and we have had to close some of our facilities.

The following buildings are closed until further notice:

  • Dementia gateways
  • Queens Cross Network
  • Assisted Living Centre
  • Dudley Carers Hub - however people can contact the Carers Advice line on 01384 818723 or email dudleycarershub@dudley.gov.uk Mon – Fri 9am – 5pm
  • The Unicorn Centre

Care Act Easements

As a result of the coronavirus outbreak, the government has made provision for councils to temporarily ‘ease’ certain social care responsibilities if necessary, to help manage any extreme pressures. This would allow the council to respond to a major increase in requests for urgent social care support and a corresponding reduction in the availability of social care staff.

 Easements must only be triggered if it becomes absolutely essential, as local authorities must do everything possible to meet their existing duties under the Care Act without taking these new measures.

 What does this mean in Dudley?

At this time we are currently at level 2 and do not need to trigger easements to our existing responsibilities under the Care Act. Services continue to be delivered albeit in some cases in a different way. Our services are being closely monitored to ensure we continue to meet the needs of local people. We will continue to adapt services as required to ensure we minimise any potential risks in providing our social care services.

Support for Care Providers

We have been working with care providers during the pandemic to ensure that they are supported.

Benefits

Some council residents could be eligible for council tax relief as the council has been allocated £3million from the government’s hardship fund, which aims to provide council tax relief to help vulnerable people and households most affected by coronavirus.

The government has said it can be used to reduce the council tax bills of working age people already receiving council tax reduction and to provide further discretionary support to vulnerable people.  

The council is in the process of looking at the detail and at how these additional reductions can be applied to bills as soon as possible. If you are entitled to the extra help you do not need to contact the council, we will be in touch with you shortly.

The council’s benefits staff are working to ensure the maximum flexibility in the system is applied to you if coronavirus affects your financial circumstances. This means that for some people debt recovery will be temporarily suspended.  If you have a repayment arrangement in place, it can continue.

People applying for Universal Credit, Employment Support Allowance or other benefits should not go to a jobcentre but apply for them online

People will continue to receive their benefits as normal, but all requirements to attend the jobcentre in person are suspended. These changes will be in place for 3 months from 19 March 2020

Face-to-face assessments for all sickness and disability benefits have been suspended.  This affects claimants of Personal Independence Payment, those on Employment and Support Allowance and some on Universal Credit, as well as recipients of Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit. These changes will be in place for 3 months from 17 March 2020.  The suspension of face-to-face assessments also covers new claims to those benefits.

If you are a Carer, welfare benefits officers are providing a telephone helpline during this pandemic on Wednesdays.  The number to call is 01384 818723.

A Benefits Advice Line has been set up for other Dudley Borough residents affected by Covid 19. The number to call is 01384 815002, available Tuesdays and Thursdays 9.30am - 1.00pm and 2.00pm - 4.30pm. 

You may also find our factsheets useful.

Bereavement Services and Support

All cemeteries (Stourbridge, Gornal Wood, Dudley, Dudley New, Lye and Wollescote, Cradley, Halesowen and Brierley Hill) are open.

Funerals are limited up to 30 people. This does not include wakes, other than for religious ceremonial purposes

Our offices are closed but people can still speak to staff over the phone or get more information online

Support and advice on both end-of-life and bereavement is available at Lets Get

Bin Collections

The green waste collection was reinstated in late April, with the service running its original duration, plus two missed weeks added on at the end.

Regular weekly collections and fortnightly recycling collections are continuing as normal but there is extra advice for people self-isolating because of coronavirus symptoms. This can be found on our bins and recycling webpage. 

Please continue to put your bins, boxes and bags out as normal, but make sure they are on the edge of your property by 6.15am on your collection day.

The Household Waste Recycling Centre in Stourbridge is operating a booking system only for Dudley borough residents.  The service should only be used if no alternative arrangements can be made for safe storage.

We expect extremely demand for this facility and we ask you to be patient as in the short term we are offering a limited capacity per hour, which will be reviewed in the coming weeks. 

Please note: anyone who arrives at the site without a slot will be turned away. 

If you have an appointment, please do not turn up early as this causes unnecessary queuing problems.

If you are unable to attend your appointment - follow the link on the confirmation email to quickly and easily cancel.  Alternatively, please notify us by ringing 0300 555 2345. It is important you let us know as we will be able to offer cancelled appointments to other residents.

To find out more, including how to book, visit the following page: household waste recycling centre page.

For excellent advice about recycling and rubbish during the Coronavirus, visit the Recycle Now website. 

Direct Payments

 Advice and guidance for people regarding direct payments and employing staff during the coronavirus outbreak.

Financial Support

Dudley Council is offering help and support for its council housing tenants who might be financially impacted from the coronavirus outbreak. 

Anyone who is facing loss of income or other financial strains related to the outbreak can call the council rent income team on 0300 555 0010 for help and advice. View the council statement in full
A Benefits Advice Line has been set up for other Dudley Borough residents affected by Covid 19. The number to call is 01384 815002  available Tuesdays and Thursdays 9.30am - 1.00pm and 2.00pm - 4.30pm. 
You may also find our factsheets useful.
View Government advice on the implications of COVID-19 on managing your money or your rights to sick pay and changes to claiming your benefits.

Housing

Housing Repairs and Maintenance (1 June update) 

Dudley Council is aware that residents living within our Council’s social housing stock may have received a letter from the Government recently (18 May 2020) outlining how Councils will shortly be recommencing carrying out routine repairs to their home in addition to the ‘essential repairs only’ policy we were required to adopt during the enforced COVID-19 lockdown period.  

If you have not received the letter, a copy is available on the gov.uk website:  

Coronavirus (COVID-19): letter to social housing residents

Following this guidance the Council is currently working on a recovery plan to enable us to start increasing the type of repairs and maintenance we can safely undertake to your home. It is important that we carry out these repairs safely, taking into account appropriate social distancing measure to ensure the continued safety for you as residents, and also for our operatives and our contractors. Whilst we have only been carrying out essential repairs throughout the last 10 weeks or so, we have built up a back-log of non-essential works, and as the Government has pointed out this will take some time for us to deal with them all. Nevertheless, we are aiming to recommence carrying out some non-essential repairs starting from 1 June, but we will not be at full capacity for a number of weeks, and we hope you understand that repairs may take longer than usual.  

We are required to undertake a range of ongoing safety checks such as gas safety checks, which have been ongoing during the lockdown period, but we have not sought to force entry where access is inappropriate due to residents’ self-isolating or shielding. During this period we have also continued with necessary fire safety and passenger lift checks in communal areas of flatted developments. We will continue this approach for safety checks and from 1 June onwards we will also start to slowly recommence electrical safety tests in your home, where required, and by appointment. The same approach around self-isolation and shielding will apply, and operatives will follow approved, safe working practices.   

Over the past week or so, we have also recommenced work on some of our new build schemes and other projects. We will continue to recommence external planned maintenance and building works where we can, having undertaken appropriate risk assessments and following appropriate Government guidance about working safely during coronavirus (COVID-19).

This work will include recommencing works to some empty homes to enable them to be re-let, although we may not be working in every empty home or new empty homes immediately, they become empty for some weeks yet. Where we are allowing some re-let of properties we will do so safely, and we will be prioritising voids in accordance with housing need. We will keep customers informed of progress when we have some news. Our officers continue to work during this period, although in different ways, but our offices will remain closed to the public until further notice.

External planned works and works in communal areas such as door entry systems and planned redecoration will also start to resume shortly, and where any of this is planned to recommence, you will be notified in writing before any works start.

At this point in time we are not proposing to resume internal planned maintenance programmes such as kitchens, bathrooms, and central heating, or external door and window replacement. We will update this guidance when we believe these can start to commence.

To reiterate Government guidance, no work will be carried out in any household which is isolating or where an individual is being shielded, unless it is absolutely necessary to remedy a direct risk. In such a case, prior arrangements will be made with you to avoid any face to face contact, for example when answering the door and / or asking you where possible to be in another room in your home. Safety and your consent is critical, and our operatives and contractors will be up to date with the latest guidance on how to work safely.

Our Housing Maintenance Team continue to provide an emergency repairs service 24/7 to Dudley Council tenants. Tenants should call 0300 555 8283.

Allocations and Lettings - We are continuing to advertise empty properties however we will only be progressing lettings where it is essential that people need to move for example:

  • victims of domestic abuse and people fleeing other forms of violence
  • people who are living in severely overcrowded accommodation
  • people who need to move-on from temporary accommodation
  • people who need to be discharged from hospital to free-up bed space for others requiring care
  • people living in unsafe accommodation, or without settled accommodation, which poses a risk to their health

Housing Support – we are providing telephone support, our Drop-In sessions have now closed and we are in the process of setting up the drop-in service via telephone initial contact can be made via our duty line which is 01384 814154.

Homeless Service -  we continue to provide preventative support to avoid homelessness, emergency service 24/7, provision of emergency accommodation.

Housing Occupational Therapy Team -  we are supporting tenants and residents with assessments and advice over the phone whilst  keeping them informed regarding any further assessments we will need to arrange, when it is safe to do so.

Private Sector Housing - Up to date information for private tenants or private landlords is available from Shelter.  Advice for landlords regarding gas safety information, please check the Gas Safe Register.

Planning

Reception at 4 Ednam Road, Dudley, closed until further notice.  For all enquiries relating to Planning, Building Control, Policy, Enforcement & Trees please email: development.control@dudley.gov.uk or telephone 01384 814136

Schools and Childcare

National government have confirmed schools will close at the end of the school day on Friday (March 20) for most children until further notice.The government releases a list of key workers who may still be able to access childcare. Dudley borough schools and nurseries are making arrangements directly with parents about what this could mean for them. Childcare providers open to keyworkers.

Guidance for parents and carers - closure of educational settings and resources.

Changes to the Dudley parenting service due to COVID-19.

 

Buildings

Astley Burf

Astley Burf is closed until further notice. 

Borough Halls (live entertainment)

Rolling programme of cancellations. The venues will be contacting people directly about refunds and alternative dates. Buildings closed.

Dudley Register Office

For the latest advice and information about weddings as well as the births, deaths and marriage registration service visit our Dudley Register Office page

Family Centres

Our borough Family Centres are now open, but with limited walk-in services.

You can however get information and support by calling the centres below between 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday:

  • Stourbridge Family Centre- 01384 818780
  • Halesowen Family Centre- 01384 813954
  • Brierley Hill Family Centre-01384 813322
  • Dudley North Family Centre- 01384 813096
  • Dudley Central Family Centre- 01384 812440

Himley Hall

Himley Park is open 7.00am to 7.00pm 7 days a week.

Himley Hall is currently operating a restricted service in line with government guidelines on Covid-19.  Car parking charges now apply and the parking area is operating a maximum capacity restriction and will turn away vehicles once reached.

The Coffee Lounge remains closed for the time being, but there is a fabulous take away service on the North Terrace from Tuesday to Sunday, open 11.00am to 4.00pm.

Indulgent Afternoon Teas are being offered most Wednesday afternoons, plus additional Thursdays - see the website for details.

For more information visit Himley Hall and Park.

Leisure centres

Halesowen and Stourbridge’s Crystal leisure centres will be re-opening their gyms and offer fitness classes and badminton from Monday August 3, with the pools to re-open on Thursday August 6. The leisure pool at Crystal will remain closed.

Dudley will now re-open its pools, classes and for badminton on Thursday 6 August. Additional measures are being put in place before the gym at Dudley will re-open. Members will be kept informed directly. 

The Dell Stadium re-opened on Monday July 27.

View the FAQS regarding centre memberships and closure.

You can still keep fit and healthy while self—isolating with these handy online exercise classes from the NHS  

Libraries

  • As of Monday 6th July, library and archive services in Dudley will begin to reopen in a phased manner. The libraries that open for browsing from 10am - 3pm, Monday to Saturday are as follows:

    •Brierley Hill Library | 01384 812874
    •Dudley Library | 01384 815560
    •Halesowen Library | 01384 812983
    •Kingswinford Library | 01384 812740
    •Sedgley Library | 01384 812790
    •Stourbridge Library | 01384 812945

     

  • As of Tuesday 1st September,  the libraries at Coseley, Cradley, Gornal, Long Lane, Lye, and Wordsley will be open from 10am-3pm Monday to Saturday. Netherton Library will open Mon-Fri 10am-3pm.
  • This means that all libraries in Dudley borough will now be open for borrowing books, music and films as well as ‘walk-in’ computer use, from 1st September.
  • The opening hours for each location may have changed, so it’s important to check your local library page for more information. 

    Dudley Archives & Local History Centre will open Tuesday to Saturday 10am to 3pm and customers are required to make an appointment on 01384 812770 before visiting.

Please note that all service points are operating under the necessary social distancing protocols including maximum occupancy levels. It is also mandatory for face coverings to be worn during your visit.

Find out what library services are available and what to expect

Outdoor Activity and Parks

If you are visiting our borough parks please observe social distancing measures. Posters are on display to remind people of this.

Play areas and outdoor gyms (where applicable) have re-opened at the following:

  • Mary Stevens Park, Stourbridge
  • Priory Park
  • Wordsley Park
  • Stevens Park, Quarry Bank
  • Leasowes Park
  • Huntingtree Park
  • Silver Jubilee Park
  • Netherton Park
  • Cot Lane, Kingswinford
  • Abbey Street, Lower Gornal
  • Buffery Park
  • Grange Park
  • Wollescote Park
  • Sedgley Hall Farm Park
  • Hurst Green Park
  • Homer Hill, Cradley
  • Clayton Park, Coseley
  • School Drive

Toilets are open at Himley, Mary Stevens Park (both in the hub and in the cafe) and Wollescote Park. The toilets at Priory Park are open when the cafe is open, which is Tuesday to Friday 9am to 2pm. We're hoping to get the rest open at other parks as soon as we can.

Allotments

A large number of our allotment sites are manage by individual allotment associations and we have advised them of the following:

As you know, as the allotment sites are self-managed the final decision sits with yourselves, however, the Council’s Public Health Team have looked at the guidance produced by the government and our view is that visiting and working on an allotment could be counted as a person’s daily allowance of exercise, as set out in the statement by the Prime Minister on Monday 23 March.

It is really important that people visiting allotments for exercise keep at least 2 meters away from other people (other than people they live with) when working on their allotment. This must be the only exercise they take in a day and they must limit the time they spend on the allotment - so that they are reducing the time they are out of the house and potentially in contact with others. They absolutely must not congregate with other people on the allotments.

However, it would be up to the individual allotment holders to follow the Governments guidelines. The latest guidance from the National Allotment Society, echoes the government’s current position. It is vitally important that allotment holders follow all the advice about social distancing, whilst on their plots.

Livestock and horses

If you have livestock/horses, you should be aware of the following during the coronavirus pandemic:

If you have no symptoms:

  • You may leave your house once a day for exercise - your visit to your livestock is classed as that daily event
  • Spend no more time than is necessary, minimising time spent outside of your home
  • Remain at least 2 metres away from others, as you follow the social distancing restrictions
  • Wash your hands/hand sanitiser before and after any contact with your animals, and when opening closing assets such as gates

If you, or anyone in your home, has symptoms

  • If you have symptoms, stay at home for 7 days. If you live with other people, they should stay at home for 14 days from the day the first person got symptoms
  • If your horse is in livery, you should contact your yard manager or vet by phone to make welfare arrangements
  • If you have livestock, arrange for someone else who is not self-isolating, ie not living within your household, to look after your animals
  • In the worst case scenario, and you have to continue looking after your animal as you are unable to find anyone else to sort their basic needs:
    • Go out for the shortest time possible
    • Wear a face mask
    • Keep at least 2 metres away from others
    • Wash hands/hand sanitiser before and after handing your animals and before you leave your house & as soon as you arrive home for at least 20 seconds
  • If you are too unwell to care for your animals, contact us on 0300 555 2345 or use our website to raise an enquiry

If your livestock needs attention from a vet or your horse needs urgent attention from a farrier

  • Telephone your farrier / vet to discuss
  • If attention is required, remain at least 2 metres apart from the farrier
    • Wash hands/hand sanitiser before and after contact with the horse and before you leave your house & as soon as you arrive home for at least 20 seconds

Further government advice. 

Red House Glass Cone and Dudley Museum at the Archives

The site is now open to the public.

Monday to Friday 10am to 3pm and Saturday & Sunday 11am to 4pm.

Social distancing measures are in place on site and visitors are required to wear a face covering when entering the visitor centre and individual studios.

The shop is open and is offering a new range of gifts.

The cone structure remains closed whilst essential repairs and maintenance is carried out. There will be no live glass blowing demonstrations and the craft programme has been suspended for the time being.

Why not download our Augmented Reality App and explore the site and see a virtual glass blowing demonstration. 

Find out about our digital learning

Sycamore Adventure

Sycamore Adventure is closed until September.