Coronavirus has had an impact on the way we deliver services and a number of changes as a result of Covid 19 are also listed on this page.
Service disruption due to Coronavirus (Covid 19)
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
email@example.com Avelon Road and Yew Tree Day Centres
The Avelon Road Centre for adults with learning disabilities and the Yew Tree Resource Centre for adults with physical and sensory disabilities are closed until further notice. Contact 01708 432000 for support.
All libraries are closed until further notice.
Click and collect is currently suspended.
Automatic renewals will be in effect from 7 December 2020 and we are not charging fines.
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 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,
firstname.lastname@example.org 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 March 2020 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.
Dorrington Gardens and Viking Way remain closed until further notice while they are used as locations for mobile testing units.
Please use parks with consideration for others and follow the guidance on posters that will be displayed in play areas.
If you and your family are using shared facility 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, but please see below for Building Control visits.
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. 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.
Due to the current Covid 19 virus restrictions we are only carrying out risk assessed physical site inspection
Please book site inspection’s in the normal manner.
Once book an inspector will do one of the following
Telephone you to discuss the works being carried out and the best way to proceed and whether the a physical site inspection can and is possible and if not the submission of photographic evidence is appropriate. If no inspection is carried out then the lack of inspection will not prevent the issue of a completion certificate when works are complete on site.
Attend site and carry out an onsite risk assessment and carry out the physical site call if possible.
Unfortunately, unless the works are very minor a completion inspection will be required and if this can’t be carried out then the completion certificate won’t be able to be issued.
Please note that you should book for every site visit so that they can all be recorded if this is not done then it may prevent the issue of a completion certificate.
Site visits are carried out Monday to Friday between 11am and 3pm.
Timed appointments can’t be given but morning (between 11am and 1pm) or afternoon (1pm to 3pm) can be requested.
To book calls telephone 01708 433100 Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm. If called before 10am calls will be carried out the same day.
Alternatively you can book calls through LABC app, which can be downloaded from the
LABC website. Planning enforcement
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 25 working days.
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
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 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 closed for face to face appointments unless exceptional circumstances.
Unfortunately we are unable to speak to customers outside the building regarding any other issues.
Please email any questions or enquires to
email@example.com. 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 4 days of your registration and you will normally receive them within 7 days, as we are dependent on the Royal Mail Service.
Due to high infection rates in Havering there will be very few birth appointments available. We will open them back up as soon as we can.
To book, please
book your birth registration online however please be aware appointments are limited at this current time due to the pandemic response and the need to prioritise death registrations at this time.
If you feel you require an urgent birth registration please contact us at
Please note that the requirement to register births within 42 days has been relaxed currently due to the on-going pandemic situation.
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, from 18 December 2020 we will not be offering fast trace service until further notice.
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 accordance with Government guidelines, wedding ceremonies can only go ahead in exceptional circumstances for up to 6 people up to 28 March 2021.
Please contact us by email
firstname.lastname@example.org to state what your exceptional circumstances are and if you have a wedding booked with us.
We will be contacting all those couples with a ceremony booked up to 12 April to see how they wish to proceed. We are very sorry about this situation, and appreciate the frustration and distress this has caused.
Marriages and Civil Partnerships in England
Current national restrictions remain in place and there are no changes for marriages and civil partnerships in England prior to 29 March. The changes planned are:
Step 1 (2nd stage): From 29 March – Legal limit of 6 attendees but no longer limited to ‘exceptional circumstances’
Step 2: No earlier than 12 April - Legal limit of 15 attendees (dependant on individual risk assessments in rooms).
Step 3: No earlier than 17 May – Legal limit of 30 attendees (dependant on individual risk assessments in rooms).
Step 4: No earlier than 21 June – No legal limit on attendees (subject to the outcome of the scientific Events Research Programme – from April the government will run pilots for events such as large weddings to help determine how measures such as enhanced testing might allow large groups to attend without social distancing.) Notice of Marriage/Civil Partnership
If you have booked a ceremony before 31 July 2021 and have not attended a Notice Appointment, please email us with the following details:
Date of Ceremony
Nationality eg British / EU / Non-EU Ceremonies from 1 August 2021
Please contact us after 1 May 2021 to discuss current options
Please note you must have a ceremony booked before a notice appointment is offered.
Please see the
citizenship page for details.
Burial and cremation services
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.
The outside speakers and screens in all our chapels will not be in operation during the lockdown.
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 remain open 9am to 4pm but please note from 1 April we move to summer opening times when they will close at 7pm. Please follow the current government social 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.
The reception office is closed to visitors. You can ask your funeral director to pick up cremated remains or we will continue to hold them free of charge until further notice. You can make an appointment to lay cremated remains to rest and may arrange a telephone appointment with an advisor to discuss a memorial.
You can still book a Witnessed Committal; a maximum of six people are permitted to attend, in addition to your celebrant.
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.
Please check the
Romford Market Facebook page for the latest updates.
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 Family Services Hub.