You should expect service disruption as a result of Covid 19. 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
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.
Given the directive from government, 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.
Read our full statement
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 but we are currently looking into innovative ways of how we can deliver these sessions online.
Read more Leaving care
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
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.
The decision has been taken to suspend all meetings of Council, Cabinet and committees with immediate effect for a period of six weeks.
All mayoral engagements have been postponed until further notice.
A full review of all decisions that are due to be made has been undertaken and necessary day-to-day decisions will continue to be made under the Council’s scheme of delegation, whether by The Leader, Cabinet Member or officer.
We have taken the decision to temporarily suspend the complaint policy and procedure from 25 March 2020.
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
The grass cutting service has been suspended but we will maintain enough resources to enable us to 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 office closed
Due to the impact of the Covid-19 outbreak, the Farnham Road office is now closed until further notice.
Housing repair visits
Our contractors can only offer essential emergency repairs at this time.
We are prioritising vulnerable tenants where possible.
All contractors have Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), hand cleaning facilities and where residents are self-isolating they will be asked to move into a separate room.
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.
In line with Government advice, any eviction procedures underway for Council tenants are currently suspended until 30 May 2020.
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.
CBL and direct lettings
Given the Government’s rules on social distancing during this outbreak, and advice to avoid moving home unless absolutely necessary, we have temporarily suspended any advertising or letting of council or housing association properties.
We will continue to support and provide shelter for anyone displaced by the Covid-19 outbreak.
We will look to restore lettings as soon as it is practical and safe to do so. In the meantime, if you need help please contact the Housing Choice and Applications Team.
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.
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.
We are not closing parks at this stage as we are mindful of the health and well-being benefits of being outside.
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.
Payments to the Council
Changes to payments will be published here.
Planning and Building Control Duty Planner
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.
We receive the Medical Cause of Death certificate by email from the doctor, hosptal or hospice and an information sheet.
We will then contact you to make a phone appointment to complete the registration.
Birth registration appointments are cancelled until 14 April 2020. This may be extended if Government advice changes.
Notice of marriage
We have cancelled all notice of marriage appointments until 14 April 2020.
You can reschedule or cancel with a full refund.
Any weddings up to 14 April are cancelled. You can reschedule from October onwards or you can have a full refund. There is no update for weddings after 14 April at this time.
Reduced copy certificate service
We are offering a reduced copy certificate service and are unable to guarantee the 24-hour fast track 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 at
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.
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.
Romford market is closed.
Rubbish and recycling Garden waste service
Collections and the renewal of contracts for garden waste have now stopped. This also includes the compostable sack service.
We advise you to compost as much of your green garden waste as you can at home.
Orange and black sack collections
Staff shortages for our contractors SERCO at this time means there are some delays in collections. Please check the
rubbish and recycling page for updates. Orange sacks
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.
We are not taking bulky waste orders at this time.
Gerpins Lane closed
The Reuse and Recycling Centres at Gerpins Lane is closed to the public and local businesses until further notice.
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
Schools in Havering and across the UK will close as part of the government’s response to curb the spread of Coronavirus (Covid-19).
From Friday (20 March 2020) schools will be closed until further notice but will remain open to children of
key workers and vulnerable children.
Read our full statement on schools
We have some
homeworking resources you may find useful. 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. Key workers and schools
Children with a parent or carer who is listed on the government’s critical worker list should be considered for a school or nursery place, as long as their parent’s or carer’s job cannot be done from home.
However, every child that can be safely cared for at home should remain at home to help stop the virus from spreading.
If both parents/carers are key workers and one of them is able to provide childcare they should do so.
Please contact your individual schools and nurseries to find out about the provisions they have in place.
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.
Family Services Hub
For general information about early years, childcare and funding, including the availability of places.
Go to the hub