All Council and Committee meetings have been suspended on Government instruction to avoid gatherings of people.
The council offices are currently closed to visitors. The website is updated to provide the latest information on services. Staff are attending the office on a limited basis and working from home to comply with government requirements to stay at home if possible.
Information on Cemeteries
Following clarification from the Ministry of Justice under Section 5 (8) of the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020 cemeteries will be closed for the preparation of burials and maintenance of the site.
In order to manage social distancing and further protect our staff, Stephenson Way Cemetery and West Cemetery are now being used as a base for our Works Section employees.
On this basis it is estimated that Stephenson Way and West Cemetery will be closed between 8am to 4pm Monday to Friday.
Pedestrian access is permitted outside of these times on evenings and weekends.
When visiting the cemetery, the public are requested to adhere to current social distancing rules and hand washing and sanitising advice.
Guidance for funerals
Public Health England (PHE) has issued further guidance for those managing or organising funerals during the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. The guidance aims to ensure that bereaved people are treated with sensitivity, dignity and respect, while protecting individuals, communities and those in the funeral industry from the risk of infection.
The advice includes:
• those who have symptoms of coronavirus COVID-19 must not attend and must stay at home
• limiting the numbers in attendance to as low as possible to ensure safe social distancing. Only the following should attend, alongside the Funeral Director and funeral staff:
• members of the person’s household
• immediate family
• or if the above are unable to attend, close friends
• Celebrant or Minister of choice, should the bereaved request this.
• observing social distancing guidance across all aspects of attending a funeral
• people who are extremely clinically vulnerable (shielded) can attend with measures put in place to reduce their risk
• people self-isolating because someone in their household is ill may attend if they do not have symptoms themselves
Following advice from The National Allotment Society, allotment tenants may continue to tend their allotments.
Access is restricted to tenants and the family of tenants residing at the same address.
When possible, tenants should walk to their allotment rather than driving but we aware that this is not always possible.
When visiting the allotment, tenants are requested to adhere to current social distancing rules and hand washing and sanitising advice.
Oakleaf Sports Complex
The Sports Complex is currently closed due to Government instruction
Oakleaf Golf Complex
The Golf Complex is currently closed due to Government instruction. The course is being maintained to enable it to be opened again when the current crisis is over.
The Pre-school based in St. Oswalds Park is open for Key Worker children to attend. It has also been open over the public holiday period for Key Worker children to enable them to carry on with their essential work.
The Pre-school has also accommodated children of Key Workers who are not present clients of the Pre-school, but who were in need of assistance.
Play areas and Parks
All play areas have been closed to the public following Government instruction to avoid cross infection of the virus.
Two parks have been closed, Town Park has been closed in order to restrict access to play equipment, skate board ramps and Muga; St Oswalds has been closed to enable the Pre-school to continue to operate a service for children of key workers as there is no segregated play areas.
All other parks and open spaces remain open for exercise but users are reminded to maintain social distancing when using the areas for exercise.
The Council has made grants to two Foodbanks based in Newton Aycliffe to assist in their efforts to help support members of our community who are in need of help.
Surplus plastic aprons have been provided to a local care home.