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
Adult Social Care
Yew Tree and Avelon Road Centres
We’ve temporarily closed the Yew Tree and Avelon Road Centres for adults with learning disabilities.
If you need further help because of this decision, please contact the Havering Access Team on 01708 432000.
Arts and leisure
Havering Music School and Fairkytes Arts Centre are closed.
The music school is offering virtual lessons.
Find out more on the music school website
The pre-school on the Fairkytes site will be open in line with government guidance on schools.
Havering Council’s arts and sports events and activity programmes are all cancelled.
The centres are closed.
Please see our
coronavirus business support page for information and grant application forms. 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 Children and families
Read all the changes with the adoption service Children's centres and MyPlace
Children's centres and MyPlace closed.
firstname.lastname@example.org or 01708 432636 if you require any assistance for any of the services that run from the Children’s Centres in Havering.
Staff will be available Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm, to respond to all emails or telephone enquiries.
Fostering information session changes
We are still going ahead with our scheduled information sessions and are looking to deliver these online.
Havering Council's Leaving Care Team will continue to support our 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
Elections and voting
In line with government guidance on coronavirus a number of our buildings are now closed.
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 and SAR)
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 to front line services because of Coronavirus.
We apologise for this and appreciate your understanding and patience.
We will be running meetings virtually and will announce them on our
meeting videos page
All mayoral engagements have been postponed until further notice.
We have taken the decision to temporarily suspend the complaint policy and procedure.
Please be assured this decision has not been taken lightly but because of the Coronavirus resources need to be re-directed to front line services.
We will try to complete any existing complaints as soon as possible, but you may find responses will not be sent within the usual timescales.
We apologise for this and appreciate your understanding at this unprecedented time.
Grounds Maintenance Service
Some grass cutting is taking place and we will respond to any emergencies, manage line of sight issues caused by roadside grass verges and shrubs and continue to clear litter in our parks.
Our enforcement team will continue to make sure people are behaving responsibly in our parks.
Housing Farnham Road
The Farnham Road office is closed until further notice.
Housing repair visits
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
Due to Government guidelines around coronavirus all members of the Home Ownership and Right to Buy team have now been instructed to work from home.
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.
It is important that all tenants continue to pay their rent during this time, and we want to offer support and financial advice to any tenant who may struggling to keep up with payments.
Please do not hesitate to get in touch if you do need help or support during this difficult time.
Libraries are closed.
A fines amnesty has been introduced, which means there will be no charges for overdue materials for the time being.
library web pages are also available, providing online access to audiobooks, eBooks, magazines and more.
Our ebooks and audio books, and some online resources, have been extended to temporary members.
We have placed a hold on all permit purchases or renewals so there is no need for you to purchase or renew any permit at this time.
Parking enforcement of permit zones, pay and display bays, business and shared use bays has ceased for the time being in order to help key workers, people working from home, those self-isolating, or shielding vulnerable or sick residents.
We will still enforce parking restrictions where there are double or single yellow lines, zig zag lines (by crossings, for example), disabled parking bays where a vehicle doesn't display the correct blue badge, or obstructive parking on footpaths or across driveways.
We are continuing to enforce moving traffic offences (bus lanes, banned turns and yellow boxes) across the borough.
We are providing free car parking for all customers during the coronavirus outbreak.
This will help key workers, residents, those working from home, self-isolating to park in on-street bays and in council owned car parks without having to worry about cost or time restrictions.
Our parks are open.
However, you must rigidly observe the Government and NHS advice on social distancing such as keeping 2 metres away from other people.
Play areas, tennis courts and outdoor gyms should not be used at this time.
People who need to stay at home and self-isolate must do so. Our enforcement team will continue to make sure people are behaving responsibly in our parks.
If the guidance is not followed this position on parks and open spaces will be reviewed.
Planning and Building Control Planning regulations
The Government has permitted builders and construction companies additional leeway during the pandemic to work hours outside of those previously restricted by condition, or to apply to vary the hours and have their application determined quickly.
The Government has also allowed additional flexibility outside of their usual permitted hours for supermarket and food deliveries.
Usual enforcement action may therefore not be taken in order to help ensure vital food supplies can continue to be delivered throughout the pandemic.
There are no extensions to compliance timeframes for planning enforcement notices or breach of conditions notices.
If you get a notice you should still continue to comply as instructed.
New enforcement notices will continue to be served as appropriate throughout the pandemic in order to protect public amenity and building standards.
We intend to continue the duty planner service but with telephone appointments only.
All face to face appointments have been cancelled and current appointments will be re-booked.
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
All face to face meetings are being replaced with a telephone call. Telephone conferencing facilities are available for meetings with multiple participants.
All site visits are being 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 email@example.com quoting the application reference.
All site visits will cease, with the focus switched to a photograph review.
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.
Customers are asked to raise any new enforcement complaint via our
enforcement page or through email wherever possible.
Most site visits will cease, with the focus switched to a photograph and/or evidence review.
Street naming, highways register and local land charges services
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 post, please could you in the first instance email
firstname.lastname@example.org 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
email@example.com or call 01708 433481 if you have an urgent registration query.
firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01708 433155 if you have an urgent booking query. Langtons House
Langtons House is closed.
The way we register deaths has changed.
Find out how on the death registration page Birth registration
We are unable to offer any birth registration appointments at this time.
If you have a birth registration appointment taking place up to 31 May 2020 then you would have received an email advising you it has been cancelled.
Notice of marriage
All notice of marriage appointments up to 31 May 2020 are cancelled. Full refunds will be given.
Weddings and ceremonies
Any weddings and ceremonies up to 31 May 2020 are cancelled. You can reschedule from October onwards or you can have a full refund.
Reduced copy certificate service
Until further notice, any certificates ordered for collection will be sent by standard 2nd class post.
We are unable to offer a collection service at this time so, if ordering online, please do not select that option.
If you select a signed for recorded delivery, please note the following information from Royal Mail.
“Due to the current coronavirus situation Royal Mail are no longer asking recipient’s to sign for items delivered on or after Saturday 14 March 2020. We will still capture the recipient’s name and confirmation of delivery which can be viewed on the
Royal Mail tracking website.”
Certificates may take longer than normal to be produced.
The Citizenship Ceremonies Support Team Nationality Group at the Home Office have suspended the sending of all citizenship certificates until further notice.
Your invitation states you must book your ceremony within 3 months, this has been extended to 6 months until further notice.
Burial and cremation services
In line with Government guidelines on social distancing and the impact of Covid 19, all cremation services will be limited to 10 mourners in attendance until further notice.
Read further details on the guidelines
All witnessed ashes burials have been postponed at this time.
Cemetery chapel services and graveside services will also be limited to 10 mourners.
The cemeteries at Romford, Hornchurch, Rainham and Upminster are open 9am to 7pm but please remember to observe distancing rules.
South Essex Crematorium Gardens of Remembrance are open. South Essex Crematorium
Following Government guidance, the Tea Room at South Essex is closed until further notice
The reception office is closed to face-to-face callers. Staff can be contacted via telephone 01708 434433 or email
Hymn books and donation boxes have been removed from all chapels for the time being.
Funeral directors can still pick up ashes from the crematorium.
We have suspended provision of grave selection at this time.
The South Chapel car park is currently closed. East Chapel car park is open with limited spaces.
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 but not during the following seven days as advertised.
Instead, a few days after the funeral, (it may be longer at peak times) we will send the applicant a new download link. This will be live for seven days and once downloaded if you save it to your hard drive you will have a permanent record of the service.
DVDs/CDs/USBs are not available to order until further notice.
Rubbish and recycling
Please check the
rubbish and recycling page for updates about missed collections. Garden waste service
Due to the continuing need to prioritise waste and recycling collections deliveries of green bins and compostable sacks may be slightly slower than usual. Please bear with us while we get your containers to you as soon as possible.
Renewals and refunds
You can now renew, change or cancel your contract or become a subscriber.
If you had already renewed your subscription at the previous rate of £55 then you can request a refund of £4.40 for the period the service was not running in March 2020.
garden waste service page for more details. Sacks
Garden waste sack customers can renew subscriptions.
Sacks remain at £55 per year are are not subject to the refund process.
Running out of orange sacks? Put your recycling in a bag that is either clear or as see-through as possible, and label it as recycling.
Schools and colleges Havering Adult College
Havering Adult College is closed and has suspended all face-to-face services. Distance and online lessons are continuing where available for existing courses. Primary and secondary school closures
Please check with your school for details about opening times and classes.
In year admissions applications
Our application process is open but we won't process applications until schools resume.
Go to our application portal for further details. Appeals
The appeals timetable has been adjusted.
Go to our appeals page Free meals
Pupils who are eligible for free school meals have the option to claim weekly shopping vouchers from their schools during the coronavirus outbreak.
Schools across the borough are currently providing meals for children, but parents can also ask for the £15 weekly vouchers to spend in a number of supermarkets.
Please contact your child's school for further information.
If you’re aged 16-19, in further education and were eligible for free meals while studying, please contact your individual college for information about how you can continue to access your meals.
Family Services Hub
For general information about early years, childcare and funding, including the availability of places
go to the hub