You should expect service disruption as a result of Covid 19 and specific changes to services will be listed here.
All statements are up to date at the time of viewing. Previous statements are removed and replaced with the most current information we have about each service.
Havering Town Hall, Public Advice and Service Centre (PASC) and Mercury House closed
In order to follow Government directives on staying at home and social distancing, and to make sure Council staff can continue to offer the best possible service to the public, Havering Town Hall and the Public Advice and Service Centre (along with Mercury House) are closed.
Buildings will remain accessible to staff on a strictly limited basis.
Anyone needing to speak to a specific department or service should telephone:
Adult Social Services: 01708 432000
Children’s Social Services / Safeguarding Team: 01708 433222
Council Tax: 01708 433997
Environment / Streetcare: 01708 432563
Housing Benefit: 01708 433996
Housing Services (Repairs / Rents/ PSL): 01708 434000
Housing Solutions / Homelessness enquiries: 01708 432824
Payment line: 01708 433993
Planning and Building Control: 01708 433100
Registrars: 01708 433481
School Admissions: 01708 434600
Main switchboard: 01708 434343
Arts and leisure
Fairkytes Arts Centre
Please call 01708 456308 or email
All of our libraries will be closed on 5 and 6 November 2020.
From Saturday 7 November all our libraries will move to a click and collect service for the period that the government’s Covid 19 restrictions apply.
You can only attend our libraries if you have an appointment booked via our
libraries app or by telephoning our libraries.
You can only attend a library to pick up a book/audiobook, or to attend a pre-booked computer slot during times the libraries are open.
You should only make an appointment to use a computer if it is essential.
That means you need to use a computer to do something like apply for a job, pay an urgent bill online, send emails about urgent health or welfare matters, or book a supermarket delivery slot.
Please wear a mask to your appointment.
The libraries will not be open for general browsing.
Centres are closed.
Please see our
coronavirus business support page for information about opening safely and assessing risks. Licensing
To prevent any delays in your application we currently advise you to use the online option and not send us paper copies.
Go to links to online premises licence applications Child performance
In compliance with current government lockdown guidance, we will only consider applications for:
self-recorded content from the child’s home with no production personnel entering the home
outdoor work (open air) where the child plus parent will not meet more than 4 people from outside of their household eg production personnel
Each consideration of the above will be made on a case-by-case basis and will be subject to strict risk assessment.
Any licence issued will be subject to revocation should future government updates indicate the type of performance would represent a risk to the child.
We will not be considering any indoor performances except those outlined above until further restrictions are lifted.
Children in Reception, Year 1, and Year 6 whose parents are choosing not to return their children to school are unlikely to be licensed for shoots during school hours.
Children and families
Children's centres and MyPlace
Some online sessions are being run so please contact us for details,
email@example.com or 01708 432636.
Staff will be available Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm, to respond to all emails or telephone enquiries.
Havering Council's Leaving Care Team continue to support young adults. Where possible they will be working remotely, using Skype and telephone communication.
In essential cases we will still provide home visits to vulnerable young adults who live alone however for the most part this support will be provided through their foster carers or staff at their semi-independent accommodation.
Council and democracy
We currently have a reduced complaint service due to the re-deployment of staff into essential areas.
As a result, it is unlikely your complaint will be dealt with within published timescales.
Please be assured this decision has not been taken lightly but resources need to be re-directed to front line services during the coronavirus pandemic.
We will try to complete any existing complaints as soon as possible, and any new complaints received during this period of lockdown, will be dealt with in order of date of receipt.
We apologise for this and appreciate your understanding at this unprecedented time.
Elections and voting
The Elections team are working from home and are unable to send out registration forms as quickly as they normally would. Please complete a registration form online if you are able to.
Register online on the GOV.UK website Requests for information (FOI, EIR, SAR and ERASURE)
The Access to Information Team will make every effort to respond to requests for information within the statutory timescales however you are likely to experience delays as resources are re-directed.
We apologise for this and appreciate your understanding and patience.
Meetings are being held virtually and you can view them, and we announce them, on our
meeting videos page
Housing Farnham Road
The Farnham Road office is closed until further notice.
We are currently experiencing large volumes of applications to join our housing register and apologise for any inconvenience caused by delays.
Please allow 42 days for a response to your application.
For further information or assistance please contact us on 01708 434130.
Housing repair visits
In Housing Services we continue to work extremely hard to deliver all services to our residents, especially repairs.
Since the original lockdown was lifted, we have been focusing on ensuring essential and emergency repairs are carried out, with over 98 per cent of emergency repairs completed or made safe within 4 hours.
Our heating contractor has maintained their service and helped Havering ensure the safety of its residents, however as we enter the heavy usage heating season we are seeing an increase in the number of enquiries and this has led to some increased times to resolve more complex heating issues.
The welfare of our residents is of paramount importance to us, and during this second lockdown period we continue to work closely with our repairs contractors to deliver the best service possible and we are grateful for our customers understand at this challenging time.
Repair and maintenance work in occupied properties will be assessed against a number of safety and practicality criteria.
Only essential work will take place in homes where occupants are self-isolating or shielding.
If residents have a concern for their health, we will reschedule planned works.
Contractors will be subject to risk assessments and follow government guidance on safe working, including PPE provision.
Procedures on safe working will be explained to residents prior to work taking place.
Tenants are expected to inform us if they are isolating or shielding, and must maintain a two-metre distance from staff and contractors.
Home Ownership and Right to Buy Teams
In order to maintain our services, the Home Ownership and Right to buy team, would prefer in these exceptional circumstance if any written communication to Homeownership or Right to Buy could be sent via email.
If this is not an available option, please contact us on 01708 433015.
We will aim to respond to you as swiftly as possible.
Parking services are running as normal.
Please use parks with consideration for others and follow the guidance on posters that will be displayed in play areas.
Playgrounds are open but tennis courts, outdoor gyms and multi-games areas are not to be used.
If you and your family are using these areas, please ensure that you social distance at all times from other households.
Use sanitiser to clean hands before and after using any equipment, and wash your hands when returning home.
Please don’t use these areas if anyone in your household has coronavirus symptoms.
Our parks and grounds maintenance teams will be making sure that the general safety of the equipment is maintained.
Planning and Building Control Duty Planner
The duty planner service is via telephone appointments only.
Appointments can be booked for advice (for householders and small businesses) on 01708 433100 and will be available Monday, Wednesday and Fridays between 9.30am and 11.30am.
Planning pre-application advice
Telephone conferencing facilities are available for meetings with multiple participants.
All site visits have been replaced with a photograph review.
All applicants and planning agents are asked to submit their planning applications electronically wherever possible.
Any paper based submissions must be sent directly to: Planning Applications, PO Box 17308, Birmingham, B2 2DF.
All applicants and planning agents are asked to pay their applications fees electronically or over the telephone wherever possible. Card payments can be made by calling 01708 433100 and following the options.
Anyone wishing to submit a representation on a planning application is asked to do that electronically wherever possible. Please use the online comment form which you can access after you have
searched for an application or email firstname.lastname@example.org quoting the application reference. Building Control
All applicants and agents are asked to submit their applications electronically wherever possible.
All applicants and agents are asked to pay their applications fees electronically or over the telephone wherever possible. Card payments can be made by calling 01708 433100 and following the options.
Unless required in connection with a dangerous structure call-out, all in person site inspections will cease, with the focus switched to telephone based inspections and a photograph review.
Customers will still be able to make a same day booking for a call with a Building Control Surveyor.
Please call 01708 433100 and follow the options to make a booking.
Please raise any new enforcement complaint via our
enforcement page or through email wherever possible. Street naming, highways register and local land charges services
Local land charges are currently experiencing a high volume of searches, which has meant our estimated return time for official searches has increased to 20 working days.
The reason for the delay in the increased volume. In October 2020 we received a 77 per cent increase of searches compared to October 2019.
Personal searches will be dispatched electronically. If you are a Personal Search Agent, please continue to book your search in the usual way.
If you normally contact us by post, please could you in the first instance email
email@example.com and we will respond accordingly. General enquires from solicitors and others
If you are a solicitor or property owner making an enquiry about planning history or obtaining copies of documents, please email
firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01708 433481 if you have an urgent registration query.
email@example.com or call 01708 433155 if you have a query regarding a ceremony.
Due to the current situation regarding Covid 19 the volume of emails and telephone enquiries has increased.
We apologise if there is a longer delay than normal in our response to you.
Langtons House is currently open for pre-booked appointments only, for the registration of new births and notice of marriage or civil partnerships and pre-booked ceremonies.
Unfortunately we are unable to speak to customers outside the building regarding any other issues.
Please email any questions or enquires to
firstname.lastname@example.org Death registrations
Death registration continues to be taken over the phone. There is no need to contact us to make an appointment.
We will contact you once we have received the Medical Cause of Death Certificate from the medical practitioner with your contact details.
Death registration certificates
We aim to produce within a 1 day of your registration and you will normally receive them within 4 days, as we are dependent on the Royal Mail Service.
book your birth registration online.
Birth certificates will be given to you at your appointment.
Birth by Declaration
If you have registered your birth at another registration office please do not request copy certificates until 7 clear days after your appointment as we will be unable to produce your certificates.
Please be aware we currently have large volumes of requests for copy certificates, we aim to process your request within 10-14 working days.
Please note, due to Covid restrictions we are unable to offer the fast track service currently.
Applications for corrections can be accepted. They must be posted to us with the required evidence.
Please see the GOV.UK website for the correct guidance.
Payment will be taken on receipt of the correct forms and evidence being received.
Please note the all corrections must be authorised by the General Register Office.
If you submitted an application prior to March 2020 and have a case reference number from them you will need to check the progress with the General Register Office by calling 0300 1231837.
We are currently working through re-registration applications handed in before the March 2020 lockdown.
New applications can be accepted however we are unable to give a timeframe as to when it will be possible to complete them.
All applications along with the original certificates need to be posted to us at: Havering Register Office, Langtons House, Billet Lane, Hornchurch RM11 1XJ
In line with the Government announcement of a second lockdown on 31 October 2020, ceremonies, including weddings, can now not take place from Thursday 5 November to Wednesday 2 December 2020.
The only exception to this is emergency weddings whereby one of those getting married is seriously ill and not expected to recover.
These weddings are limited to 6 people including two registrars.
An email has been sent to all those affected and the Registration service is following up with contact by telephone to all customers who have a booking with the Havering Registration Service, to offer either postponement at no extra charge, or cancellation and a full refund.
Please be assured that if this affects you, we will do our best to help you under very difficult circumstances and we ask for your patience as we telephone each customer with a booking with us starting with bookings on 5 November 2020.
As and when we are notified of any changes over this position, we will update this page.
Should you need to, please contact us at
email@example.com Notice of Marriage of Civil Partnership
If you require an emergency notice of marriage or civil partnership please email
firstname.lastname@example.org with details of your ceremony.
Burial and cremation services
We have carried out risk assessments based on current government guidance which states that a modest number of close friends and family may attend, whilst maintaining two metre distancing.
Up to 30 mourners allowed in the South Chapel, up to 15 in the East Chapel, 18 in Upminster and Rainham Cemetery Chapels, 20 in Romford Cemetery Chapel and 30 at graveside at any of our cemeteries.
Toilets are open at all sites, providing hand-washing facilities and sanitiser is available on entry and exit to chapels.
Hymn books and donation boxes have been removed from all chapels for the time being.
Current guidance states that singing, chanting or playing instruments that are blown, should be specifically avoided.
NHS Test and Trace registering at our chapels
The details of the person arranging/booking the funeral will be retained for Track and Trace purposes.
In addition posters are displayed at our sites displaying the track and trace ‘QR’ code for visitors/mourners to check in upon arrival.
Cemetery grounds and chapels
The cemeteries at Romford, Hornchurch, Rainham and Upminster are open 9am to 7pm but please note from 1 November to 31 March they will close at 4pm, and please remember to observe distancing rules.
The chapels in the Rainham and Romford cemeteries are now open following renovation.
South Essex Crematorium Gardens of Remembrance are open. South Essex Crematorium
The Tea Room at South Essex is take out only.
The Hall of Remembrance and Chapel of Meditation are also closed until it is possible to reopen these confined areas safely.
The reception office is closed to walk in visitors but you can make an appointment to pick up loved ones remains or to discuss laying cremated remains to rest and to arrange a memorial.
You can now book a Witnessed Committal.
Staff can be contacted via telephone 01708 434433 or email
For anyone showing symptoms of Covid 19 our advice is that you do not attend a funeral but be encouraged to participate remotely and to that end we continue to offer a reduced fee of £30 for webcasts.
Funeral directors can still pick up ashes from the crematorium.
Both car parks are fully open.
Read more on the changes at South Essex Crematorium Audio visual services
Families may still order webcasts for funeral services in either the South or East Chapel at South Essex Crematorium for the reduced fee of £30.
Please note, they will not be provided automatically.
Unfortunately no guarantee can be given that your webcast will be uninterrupted or error free, particularly at times of high demand.
We will email the applicant for the cremation, a password and a login id before the funeral. Due to heavy demand this may be as late as the day before the service.
You will be able to view the service as it takes place and during the following seven days.
DVDs/CDs/USBs are not available to order until further notice, instead if you wish to order a service recording, it will be provided as a link to a download.
Romford Market will continue to operate on Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays but without stalls selling non-essential items.
Stalls offering food and drinks will be permitted to remain open providing take-away services only.
Rubbish and recycling
Please check the
rubbish and recycling page for updates about missed collections.
Due to the continuing need to prioritise waste and recycling collections, deliveries of orange sacks, green bins and compostable sacks may be slightly slower than usual.
Schools and colleges Havering Adult College
Havering Adult College is running with some distance and online lessons. School open events
Due to the current covid 19 pandemic and the strict government guidelines on social distancing, there is a possibility that it may not be possible for secondary school open events to take place in the usual format.
Please see our
list of school open events to see what is taking place. Primary and secondary school closures
Please check with your school for details about opening times and classes.
The appeals timetable has been adjusted.
Go to our appeals page Family Services Hub
For general information about early years, childcare and funding, including the availability of places
go to the hub