Coronavirus: Service disruptions and updates

Coronavirus: Service disruptions and updates

Adult Learning Services

Important information about Adult Learning: Covid-19

Due to the developing situation with the Coronavirus (Covid-19), there will be some disruption to the Adult Learning services. Please contact your learning provider directly to check about the delivery of your course as the situation develops. We thank you for your understanding and patience during this time.

You can find the full list of providers and their contact details on the Adult Learning page

Births, Deaths, Citizenships, Marriage and Civil Partnership

As the global situation around Coronavirus (Covid-19) has developed and in line with the latest Government and Health Authority guidance, we’ve taken the difficult decision to close all non-essential appointments until June 2020 and onwards. Non-essential appointments are as follows:

  • birth appointments
  • Notice of Intention appointments for both marriages and civil partnerships
  • re-registrations appointments
  • public and private Citizenship Ceremonies
  • application to make a correction to a birth, death, marriage or civil partnership certificate

This is an unprecedented situation and our Registrars are working their way through calls and emails. You may find your questions have already been answered in our newly created FAQs so do please read them carefully.

FAQs

Can I still register the birth of my baby?

Congratulations on the birth of your baby. In light of Covid-19, we have taken the difficult decision to close all birth appointments until June 2020.

What about the 42-day deadline?

We are facing unprecedented circumstances, so you should not worry about the 42-day deadline.

I am in the process of planning my marriage or civil partnership. When is the earliest I can make an appointment to give notice of intention?

Following Public Health and Government guidelines, all appointments for notice of intention to marry or enter into civil partnership can be booked from June 2020 onwards.

Can I register a non-essential appointment over the telephone?

There are no provisions to register a non-essential appointment over the telephone or via any digital documents.

Can I book a marriage or civil partnership ceremony?

In line with the government’s most recent advice on prevention of the spread of Covid-19 by reducing social contact, a notice of intention to marry or enter into civil partnership can be booked from June 2020 and onwards.

Am I able to book a public or private citizenship ceremony?

In line with the government’s advice, we are unable to conduct either a public or private citizenship. Due to Covid-19, The Home Office has suspended sending naturalisation certificates to Register Offices in England and Wales so you will be contacted once you are able to book yourself a ceremony.

Can I still come in person and order a birth, death, marriage or civil partnership certificate?

We are no longer accepting certificate orders in Chelsea Old Town Hall. To apply for a certificate, please fill in our form online and the certificate will be posted out to you. We have currently suspended the provision to apply for a priority service.

Who do I contact for more information?

We will assist you as best as we can through this unprecedented time. If you have any questions or need urgent advice about a non-essential appointment, please email us at: registrars@rbkc.gov.uk or call us on tel: 020 7361 4100. 

Children's Centres

Following the Government's announcement about new social distancing measures, we have closed all children’s centres in the borough until further notice.

We know these are difficult times for many families but it is important that we put your health and safety first.

We are committed to supporting you and your family and will be offering virtual one-to-one support. We will be contacting all families on our database by email or text to see what support you may require in the coming months.

We have already invited families across the borough to safely collect some home play resource packs for your children and we will be making more available soon. We will update this web page and our Family Information Service website with more details.

Our Family Information Service website now hosts some “sing and sign” and “stay and play” group activities and we will be adding more.

Families who need one-to-one advice, guidance and support over the phone are encouraged to call our staff for support on 020 7938 8400.

One-to-one support for families is also available by calling Early Help on 020 7598 4601 or 020 7361 4129 or by emailing us at earlyhelp@rbkc.gov.uk

For access to all of our information and resources  visit the Family Information Service website

Youth Club providers are developing plans on how they may be able to continue to support young people remotely and online and in line with public health guidance. Updated information will be added to this page.

The following centres are closed:

  • Chelsea Youth Centre, SW10 0EQ
  • Lancaster Youth Centre, W11 1QS
  • Earl’s Court Youth Club, SW10 9AF
  • Golborne Youth Club, W10 5QJ
  • Harrow Club, W10 6TH
  • Dalgarno Club, W10 5LE
  • Rugby Portobello Trust, W11 4EY
  • Al-Manaar Youth Club, W10 5YG

Community Centres

Closure of the Curve Community Centre

The Curve Community Centre has now closed for general access to the community. This is to help reduce the spread of Coronavirus and protect residents and staff. We will be setting up a service initially for those residents identified by our NHS colleagues.

As you know we are developing a community and voluntary sector/health and Council partnership to support our isolated residents who may need help with food and shopping deliveries. The Curve will be deep cleaned and will then be used to help with the logistics of providing support to those most vulnerable to the impacts of Covid-19.

Council and Committee meetings

Following the Government's announcement on Friday 20 March about new social distancing measures, we have cancelled Select Committees until further notice.

Once legislation that allows councils to hold decision-making meetings, like Planning and Licensing, is passed by Government, we will look at how the local community can continue to participate in local decision making.

We will continually review the situation and update this web page with any further information. Read the full guidance on social distancing and protecting older people and vulnerable adults on the Government website.

The Leadership Team scheduled for Wednesday 25 March is now not going ahead. The next meeting will be held on Wednesday 29 April.

The two items for decision will be taken by the relevant Lead Members. They will be published on the Council’s website and open to comment for five working days before the decisions are confirmed.

The decisions are:

Procurement of managed services partner for the provision of temporary agency resources which will be taken as a key decision by Cllr Elizabeth Campbell.

Use of homes for social and intermediate rent, Kensington W10 which will be taken as a key decision by Cllr Kim Taylor Smith.

Construction sites   

Whilst the guidance from Government may change in future, for the time being construction sites are permitted to remain in operation. However construction sites of any size that are operating during the Coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic need to ensure they are protecting their workforce and minimising the risk of spread of infection.      

It is also vital that the health and safety requirements of any construction activity must not be compromised at this time. If an activity cannot be undertaken safely due to a lack of suitably qualified personnel being available, or social distancing being implemented (keeping 2 metres apart), it should not take place.

Council Tax     

Council Tax bills for 2020/21 were sent out a few weeks ago. We know that since then, the impact of COVID-19 on households in the borough has been difficult and will be significant over the next few months. Financially, for some this is a worrying time. We want to help you.         

The Government has identified funding for Councils to help support individuals in paying their Council Tax. The Council already has an established Council Tax Reduction Scheme, which provides support to households and is one of the most generous in the country. In line with the new Government guidance, we will also be reducing bills by up to £150 for all working age households that receive some help through the Council Tax support scheme but still currently pay something towards their council tax. 

You do not need to do anything. The Council will be issuing new Council Tax bills as quickly as possible.                 

If you do not currently receive support with paying your council tax and, as a result of COVID-19, your financial circumstances have changed and you think you will find it difficult to pay your Council Tax over the next few months, please get in touch. Full details on how to apply for support can be found on the Council Tax reduction webpage.

Customer Service Centre

As a result of the latest Government advice, all Kensington and Chelsea Council reception areas across the borough have been closed with immediate effect.

This includes the Customer Service Centre at Kensington Town Hall, which will remain shut until further notice and we urge all residents not to attend in person.

For support, the Customer Contact Centre (our customer phone line) can be contacted between 8:30am and 5:30pm, Monday to Friday:

  • Social Service Line: 0207 361 3013
  • Housing Line: 0207 361 3008
  • Housing Benefit Line: 0207 361 3006
  • Local Support Payments Line: 0207 745 6464
  • Resident Parking Line: 0207 361 4381
  • Council Tax Line: 0207 361 3005
  • Environmental Health Line: 020 7361 3002
  • Switchboard: 0207 361 3000

A telephone providing access to the Housing Line for residents without a phone is situated on the wall outside of the Customer Service Centre on the Freeman Suite side of Kensington Town Hall. The phone is available 24/7 and will be regularly cleaned.

Housing 

Housing Needs and Homeless

Closure of Kensington Town Hall – Homelessness and Housing Needs Services

Following the latest Government advice, the Council has had to take the difficult decision to close the Town Hall to residents.

We continue to deliver urgent housing needs and homelessness advice and support by telephone and email.

Do not come to the Town Hall even if you think your situation is urgent.

If you think you are about to be made homeless

The Government has announced that no-one can be evicted from their home until further notice, whether you are a private sector tenant, council tenant or housing association tenant.

We strongly urge our residents not to ask family or friends to leave their homes. These are exceptionally difficult times, and we appreciate life is becoming very difficult for many of our residents. However, we will try to offer advice and support in your current homes – it may become far more difficult to do this if residents are made homeless and relocated elsewhere.

  • if you still need advice, email HHAT@rbkc.gov.uk (Homelessness and Advice Team) or call 020 7361 3008 (HousingLine)

If you are experiencing or worried about domestic abuse

Please see our dedicated advice.

If you are living in temporary accommodation and have an urgent repair

If you are living in temporary accommodation and experiencing hardship

For example, you have been advised to self-isolate for a long time or have fallen ill and cannot get food or necessary medicines for yourself.

If you live in another Borough, we expect that you will receive support from the Council where you live, not Kensington and Chelsea Council. We are working hard to confirm this. For now, please contact the Council where you live or visit their website (look for `Coronavirus Hub’) for further information.

Other housing enquiries

If you have any other enquiry, please email us at: housing@rbkc.gov.uk.

If you are currently being supported by the Housing Needs and Homelessness Department, please bear with us. Due to the need to focus on residents in the most urgent need, there may be a delay in responding to non-urgent enquiries. We apologise for this.

Other Homelessness Housing Needs services

Rough sleepers

We are working with the Mayor of London to provide a greatly enhanced offer to rough sleepers, ensuring they have accommodation made available to them.

If you wish to report someone sleeping rough you can email us at streetoutreach@rbkc.gov.uk. Alternatively you can contact StreetLink by telephone on 0300 500 0914 or via www.streetlink.org.uk

Temporary accommodation repairs

We are working with temporary accommodation letting agents to ensure that urgent repairs can still go ahead. We will work with agents to minimise the health risks to our residents.

Housing Register and mobility

Until further notice, we have suspended all applications to the Housing Register and to options for moving home while we direct resources and our staff to our most urgent priorities.

Leighton House Museum and 18 Stafford Terrace

Following the latest government public health advice on Coronavirus, and in response to increasing concerns, we have taken the decision to close Leighton House Museum and 18 Stafford Terrace today until further notice.

The office hours continue as 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday, with staff working remotely. For general enquiries please email us at: museums@rbkc.gov.uk and we will get back to you as soon as we can.

All our public events have been cancelled and this includes costumed and conventional tours, pre-booked visits from schools and community groups and our free Holland Park guided walks. If you have booked a ticket, you will receive a separate message with details about how to receive a full refund.

If you have booked a private event to be hosted at Leighton House Museum, please contact our Events Manager, Sam Butler, on email: sam.butler@rbkc.gov.uk, who will be able to assist.

While Leighton House Museum and 18 Stafford Terrace remain closed, we are already working on exciting content to share with you through our digital channels, please follow us on our platforms: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and keep an eye on our regular enewsletter. 

We will all be working hard on plans for the ‘new’ Leighton House following the completion of the capital project. Please see the Hidden Gem to National Treasure page.

Leisure

Following Government advice, Kensington Leisure Centre, Chelsea Sports Centre, and St Luke’s pitches will be closed until further notice and we will automatically freeze all memberships.

We are working closely with local public health authorities so that we can keep you informed and we will continue to keep providing you with any new updates.

Libraries

Following the Goverment's announcement on Friday 20 March all libraries in the borough will be closed until further notice. We have also cancelled all library events and activities.

We have extended due dates for all borrowed items and you will not be charged overdue fees.

Our libraries offer many free online resources, including ebooks and emagazines which can be accessed via the libraries web pages.

New customers can now join online and immediately access, stream or download our wide range of eBooks, eAudiobooks, eMagazines, eNewspapers and language courses to their devices.

We will also be looking at how we can give residents access to computers.

For enquiries please call 020 7361 3010. To contact our Local Studies Library, please email centrallocalenquiries@rbkc.gov.uk

Markets and Street Traders

Given the latest Government announcement around social distancing and due to to falling footfall at Portobello and Golborne Markets, we have made some changes to how our markets operate while trying to ensure residents can still access what they need safely.

Only food stalls (fruit and veg and fishmongers etc) as well as household goods (selling cleaning products etc) will operate. This allows local residents to buy essential goods. All other stalls i.e. antiques, will not operate .

The reduced number of stalls will be spaced out at a two market stall gap between each stall to encourage social distancing.

The same conditions will apply to the three Farmers Markets in the borough (South Kensington, Notting Hill and Portobello Spanish School) which operate every Saturday.

We understand that the current pandemic may be impacting your businesses. To support you we will be waiving charges for sites and parking bays for 12 weeks from 6 April 2020. This will be reviewed again in June 2020.  We are reviewing how we can help casual traders and storage holders in relation to their rents. 

Business financial advice is available on the GOV.UK website. If you have specific street trading question or would like to be added to our markets mailing list by email, please email us at: street.trading@rbkc.gov.uk, or call tel: 020 7727 7684.   

Noise and nuisance

Our capacity to respond to noise complaints is severely limited. We will not be visiting your property to assess the noise you are experiencing to limit interactions with the general public. We will try to deal with noise complaints via phone. Our Noise and Nuisance Team officers are focused on enforcing against any pubs, restaurants and cafes that are not following the government’s direction to close during the current pandemic.

The government has not asked construction sites to close but we are  contacting sites and asking them to show extra consideration during these challenging times and to try and curtail very noisy works.

Parking

Relaxing enforcement around hospitals

We have relaxed parking enforcement for essential hospitals workers. We are working with Brompton, Chelsea and Westminster and Royal Marsden hospitals to log vehicle details of those workers so our officers are aware of which vehicles to not enforce against. We are only enforcing obstructive parking around hospitals. We ask that other drivers are mindful when parking in the borough and not to park around hospitals unless it is essential so that we can protect the space for hospital workers.

Permit renewals

We understand that not everyone will be able to renew their parking permits due to illness or social distancing. Until further notice our officers will not take enforcement action in the borough where cars are displaying expired permits including: 

  • residents’ parking permit 
  • blue or purple badge 
  • car club
  • doctors permits

You will be able to make your application retrospectively at a later date when social distancing guidelines have been lifted.

If you are able to renew or apply for your parking permit now and wish to do so, please do not come to the Customer Service Centre at the Town Hall. Renew online or call 0207 361 4381 where a customer service advisor will be able to provide you with guidance. 

There are forms online to complete if you are a new resident or require a change of vehicle. Please email your application to parkingapplications@rbkc.gov.uk. Please ensure you title the email with your home address including post code. 

For all general resident parking enquires please email us at: residentparking@rbkc.gov.uk.

Parks and playgrounds

We will continue to keep our parks across the borough open as we know how important they are for residents’ mental health and wellbeing and, so that our residents can continue to exercise. 

However to help protect our residents, we have taken the decision to close our playgrounds and outdoor gyms in parks and on housing estates from Tuesday 24 March.

This is subject to change as the situation around Coronavirus evolves.

If you or someone in your household is experiencing symptoms of Coronavirus, we advise that you stay home. For further guidance, please visit the NHS website.

Public toilets 

Automated and accessible toilets are closed until further notice in the following locations: 

  • Sloane Square
  • Old Brompton Road
  • Gloucester Road, outside Underground Station (including the accessible toilet in Courtfield Road)
  • Earl’s Court Underground station, inside underground Station, (including the accessible toilet) 
  • Kensington High Street
  • Kensington Church Street
  • Notting Hill Gate
  • Lonsdale Road
  • Tavistock Piazza
  • Westbourne Grove

Schools

  • All schools have now closed until further notice, for all pupils except children of key workers and children who are most vulnerable. 
  • The Department for Education has published a list of Key Workers whose children will be given access to schooling during general closures because of Coronavirus.  The Key Worker guidance states that if you think you meet the criteria you should have a conversation with your local school. If you are unsure check with your employer.

  • We have contacted headteachers in the borough to find out which children’s parents are classified as Key Workers, to understand how many pupils will still need to come into school. Additionally the government has asked that vulnerable children continue to attend schools. 
  • The Government has advised that schools need to speak to their school catering provider to see if they can prepare meals or food parcels that could be delivered to, or collected by families. They are developing a national approach to providing support through vouchers and will provide further details shortly but schools are being told that if they close and cannot provide meals or food parcels, they should offer an alternative such as ordering supermarket and shop vouchers directly from retailers.
     

    Please refer to the guidance: COVID-19: free school meals guidance

Waste Collection and Street Cleansing Services

  • Household Waste Recycling Centres in Smugglers Way and Cringle Dock are closed

  • residential waste and recycling collections are currently running as normal

  • commercial waste collections are currently running as normal

  • garden waste collection service is currently running as normal

  • food waste collection service is currently running as normal

  • Too Big For The Bin service is not operating

  • street cleansing services are currently running as normal

  • council officers will not be searching waste bags left out at the wrong time or wrong day for the foreseeable future

  • do not attempt to collect recycling bags from any of our collection points -wait for your next delivery or if that is not possible call Streetline on tel: 020 7361 3001

  • TRAID is not operating the home collection service for unwanted electric and electrical equipment and textiles