Coronavirus - effects to Lancaster City Council services


March 17, 2020

Following the Prime Minister’s announcement that further social-distancing measures are required to limit the further spread of the coronavirus, an urgent meeting took place this morning of Lancaster City Council’s Pandemic Consequences Group.

Coronavirus

Coronavirus

This group is coordinating the response from the city council focused on three main areas: keeping vital services running, protecting vulnerable residents, and supporting businesses.

The group made a number of decisions in relation to the provision of services, with the main impact being on those buildings accessed by the public.

Councillor Dr Erica Lewis, Leader of Lancaster City Council, said: “These are difficult times and the measures we have introduced today are a proportionate response to ensure we are doing all we can to limit the spread of the disease while also maintaining vital services.

“There are no plans to reduce or stop frontline services so people should expect to still have their bins emptied and for the streets to be swept.

“Those staff who are affected by these closures will be deployed to other areas within the council which are expecting additional demand to provide vital support to our communities.

“As a council we are determined to do everything we can to protect the most vulnerable, and we would also know that there is a wealth of experience, knowledge and enthusiasm local that can also assist. Anyone who believes they can help should email us at [email protected] We are also working Lancaster District CVS to support the response of voluntary, community and faith sector organisations.

“We have published guidance on our website for businesses on the additional Business Rate reliefs that were announced in the Budget, to help them through these difficult times.

“We are continuing to work closely with the NHS, Public Health England, the Lancashire Resilience Forum and our community partners and would urge people to continue to visit our website for further advice and help.”

 The following closures will be in effect after close of business today (Tuesday March 17):

 The Platform – all events have been cancelled until the 18th April at the earliest. Ticket holders should contact the box office on 01524 582803 for refunds.

 Williamson Park – The café and zoo will be closed until further notice. Any pre-booked weddings may still go ahead, but only small gatherings will be permitted. Staff will be contacting those with weddings booked to discuss individual circumstances. Measures are in place to ensure animals in the zoo continue to be cared for.

 Salt Ayre Leisure Centre – The café, Energy soft play, Xheight, Gravity, Tranquil Spa and the Hub will close until further notice. The gym, exercise classes and swimming pool will remain open with additional precautionary measures being put into effect in relation to cleaning and hygiene.  If you are a current member at the Leisure Centre and have any questions or queries about your membership, please contact [email protected] to discuss the options that are in in place to support you at this time. We are also offering to freeze gym memberships.

 Museums – the City, Maritime and Cottage museums will be closed until further notice.

 White Lund Garden Centre - the centre will be closed until further notice.

 The Storey – The Printroom café and all public meeting spaces will be closed until further notice. Tenants are not affected.

 Citylab - public meeting rooms will be closed to external visitors until further notice. Tenants are not affected.

 Visitor Information Centres in Morecambe and Lancaster will be closed until further notice.

 Lancaster and Morecambe town halls – Public meeting rooms will be closed until further notice and any pre-booked events cancelled. The customer service centres will remain open with additional measures being taken to reduce the spread of infection.

 Arnside and Silverdale AONB – The offices will be closed to the public until further notice.

While customer service centres at Lancaster and Morecambe town halls remain open, people are being encouraged to only visit them if absolutely necessary.
Many things, such as bill payments and reporting issues, can be done on the council’s website Lancaster.gov.uk and people can also contact the council by phone on 01524 582000.

If anyone needs to access the customer service centres, they are asked to follow the latest guidelines, which include regular, thorough hand washing and staying at home if you’re feeling unwell.

A webpage has been created on the city council’s website for more information on the council’s response to coronavirus. It will be kept regularly updated with more information and can be accessed at Lancaster.gov.uk/coronavirus.