Braintree District Council would like to thank all residents, businesses and community groups for bearing with them with the changes that are taking place across council services in response to the challenges faced by Coronavirus (COVID-19).

They have now closed all our Council buildings to the public including leisure centres, as well as stopping all street market events and council meetings for the foreseeable future to limit the spread of the virus. 

This is a fast-moving situation and they are reviewing government advice and our services on a daily basis so we can minimise disruption. They will keep you updated using our email alerts and social media channels. 

It is important to support our most vulnerable residents in these difficult times, so they are working on a project with Essex County Council to get food and supplies out to those in the district who are at their most vulnerable. If you would like to volunteer to support this project please sign up here.

They also have a dedicated web page about the coronavirus to make sure you have the very latest guidance, advice and information. 

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BDC Services operating as usual:

Council tax, business rates and benefits: All teams are working normally but the service is dealing with very high demand, which is expected to continue for some time.

You can contact the teams via email in the first instance: 

If your income has been stopped or reduced as a result of coronavirus, you may be eligible for Council Tax support. All the latest Council Tax details can be found on our website. 

Street care services: All street cleaning is continuing.

Grey bins, food waste and recycling collections, and glass from bring bank sites:These services are continuing to run as normal. 

Business support: The team are still here working to help and support local businesses during these tough times. You can email the team at economicd@braintree.gov.uk or visit our dedicated business and employers web page.

Noise and nuisance enforcement: These services are operating normally. You can report a nuisance via our website. 

Customer service: You can email our Customer Service Centre at csc@braintree.gov.uk or contact them via our online form for enquiries. For those who do not have access to the internet, they can call 01376 552525.

BDC Services operating with some changes:

Housing: The housing team is responding to all housing enquiries as usual. If you think you may be at risk of homelessness, please report to Streetlink as soon as possible. 

Car parks: All of our car parks are open as usual, however we have decided to close access to the upper floors of the George Yard Multi-Storey car park and so the lifts will not be available to use. 

Free parking for NHS and Key Workers

To support their efforts in dealing with this global pandemic, we are working in partnership with the North Essex Parking Partnership (NEPP) to allow NHS and key workers to park in the Council’s owned car parks free of change by issuing digital permits. Any NHS staff and critical key worker may apply for this permit. To find out more information and to apply for a permit, visit the North Essex Parking Partnership website for more details.

Halstead Town Council manages the car parks in Halstead and is also offering free car parking for NHS and Key Workers. For more information visit https://www.halsteadtowncouncil.org.uk/

Cemetery chapels: All three of our chapels (Braintree, Bocking and Witham) are now closed for services until further notice, however our cemeteries do still remain open. 

Weekly market: This will be operating Wednesday and Saturday in Braintree, and Saturdays in Witham, but only with stalls selling essential food and groceries until further notice.

Street Market: We have cancelled our Braintree Street Markets for April and May. We’ll be keeping this under review, and we’ll update you if this arrangement changes.  

Planning: We have had to make some changes to our planning service, including street naming and numbering, pre-application advice and duty planning officer arrangements. Full details available on our website. 

Licensing: The licensing team have stopped their proactive licensing visits until further notice, however they can still be contacted by emailing licensing@braintree.gov.uk. Special Treatments will not be carried out at this time and no new applications will be accepted until further notice. Whilst our offices are shut, special arrangements are in place for driver and vehicle renewals. 

Food hygiene and health and safety: The team have stopped visits at the current time. Anyone wishing to start up a food business at this time must register and contact the department to discuss how they intend to operate and what they wish to sell. Please contact the Food Safety Team at HealthProtection@braintree.gov.uk. If you have concerns about any business that is currently trading and should not be, please contact us at HealthProtection@braintree.gov.uk

Parks: Our BDC owned parks and public spaces are still open but equipped play areas, outdoor gyms and public toilets are closed.

BDC Services closed:

We are doing all we can to maintain service levels where we can but further changes may be necessary in the coming weeks. At this stage we do not know when we will be able to reinstate services, and will be dependent on Government guidance and the resources to deliver services. We will of course keep you updated when they are back up and running. 

Committees and meetings: All scheduled Council meetings for April have been cancelled at present.

Garden waste bin collections: We have suspended the service until further notice.

Leisure centres: All four of our leisure centres have been closed until further notice. 

Play areas and outdoor gyms: All our play areas and outdoor gyms are closed until further notice to maintain social distancing and to help limit the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). If you have concerns about people congregating, please call the local police on 101 who have been given temporary powers to disperse people in any public areas.

Bulky waste collections: We have suspended bookings until further notice. We will be undertaking any bookings that have already been received and paid for. 

Handyman service: This service has been suspended for 3 months to maintain social distancing with elderly and vulnerable residents following Government guidance. 

Essex County Council recycling centres: These are not currently open to the public. 

Essex County Council libraries: Essex County Council closed all their libraries on the 20 March 2020 for up to 3 months. Visit the Essex libraries website for more updates.

Essex County Council country parks: Essex County Council has closed their country parks (such as Great Notley country park) from 22 March 2020 until further notice.