Changes to council services due to coronavirus

We will be updating this page with any changes to our services. Some services may need to change the way they run at short notice, we will do our best to keep you informed.

If you are facing financial hardship or need help with benefits see help for residents.

  • Adult learning centres

    10 June 2020

    Due to the current ongoing situation with Covid-19, our Hammersmith & Fulham Adult Learning Centres remain closed. We continue to offer some on-line classes in some subject areas and to support students with their exams and ongoing assessments. 

    Our telephone line 0208 753 3600 is open 9.30-4pm Monday to Friday for enrolment and enquiries. Enquiries can be emailed to us at alssinfo@lbhf.gov.uk.    

    We hope to resume our adult learning classes as planned in the new academic year from September 2020, but we will monitor the situation closely and keep you updated on any further decisions. 

    Thank you for your ongoing support and understanding.

    Please visit our adult learning and skills service website

  • Building control

    Our building control services are still operating but with a reduction in services. Our offices are closed to the public and officers are working from home in-line with government guidance.

    Applications should be submitted via the Planning Portal or Submit-a-Plan.

    Please do not post or try to hand deliver.

    Site visits will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

    We would normally inspect:

    • foundations
    • below ground drainage
    • any critical fire safety related item
    • any critical structural safety related item
    • any completion requests if it relates to sale or mortgage requirement.


    We may ask for other means of evidence such as photos and videos in certain circumstances.

    If anyone on site is recently infected or isolated, we would not be able to inspect to protect our surveyors from potential risk. 

    Contact our duty officer on 020 8753 3387, 9.30am to 12.30pm, Monday to Friday, or email buildingcontrol@lbhf.gov.uk

    Public health COVID-19 guidelines on building sites - If you are concerned about adherence to public health guidelines, noise, social distancing or building regulations on a building site, please read our building control advice.

    Thank you for your ongoing support and understanding.

  • Environment - food safety, health and safety, licensing, pest control, noise and trading standards

    Food safety - During this period we are not carrying out routine food safety work and will only respond to matters of an urgent nature. 

    Health and safety - During this period we are not carrying out routine health and safety work and will only respond to matters of an urgent nature.

    Licensing (alcohol, entertainment, gambling, scrap metal and sex establishments) - Many licensed premises are able to remain open in a restricted capacity during the current lockdown and as such we are continuing to accept applications for all licence types online. Find out about applying for a licence online

    In an effort to assist businesses further we are also offering a free pre application advice service for up to one hour. As part of this service we can help businesses understand the limitations of their licences and in some circumstances assist them make valid applications to ensure they can continue to trade in some capacity.

    As well as helping businesses the team is also enforcing the closure, or part closure, of many businesses across the borough. If you have concerns that a premises is open when it shouldn’t be, or is otherwise operating in a manner which is inconsistent with the recent closure regulations, please contact the team as detailed below.

    For any of the above issues the licensing team can be contacted on licensing@lbhf.gov.uk or 0208 753 1081. Please note that our phone line is manned from 9am to 5pm - Monday to Friday, however the email address is also monitored at the weekend for any information relating to premises which are potentially breaching the closure regulations.

    Licensing (Massage and Special Treatments) - During this period all licenced massage and special treatment premises must be closed, by law. We are therefore not accepting any new licence applications. If you have any massage and special treatment licence renewal questions, please send an email to mst@lbhf.gov.uk

    Pest control - If you are currently self isolating please do not make new appointments and contact us as soon as possible to cancel or rearrange follow-up appointments. Call us on 020 8753 1081 or email pestcontrol@lbhf.gov.uk

    We would also like to extend our service for those self isolating by offering a self-treatment pack containing rodenticides or insecticides to help control unwanted pest activity (£25 including delivery). Full instruction and guidance will be provided on how to apply the rodenticides. We will also provide phone advice where required on how to safely apply.

    For further information please email pestcontrol@lbhf.gov.uk with your name, address and telephone number.

    Noise & nuisance - During this period, nuisance officers are working from home and are not carrying out routine reactive visits. In the case of emergencies such as the prolonged sounding of car or house alarm systems, officers will respond and take steps to try and abate the nuisance.

    We will continue to investigate complaints concerning excessive noise, dust, odour and light from both residential and commercial premises.

    Construction noise - We realise that construction noise during the day may become more of a problem as residents are forced to stay at home and many are working from home. However local authorities have no legislative powers to close construction sites providing that the sites follow the Public Heath COVID-19 Guidelines.

    The permitted hours for construction site noisy works are as follows:

    • Monday to Friday: 8am to 6pm
    • Saturday: 8am to 1pm
    • At no time on a Sunday or Bank Holiday.

    If you experience any problems with noise from construction sites outside the permitted hours please report the matter immediately.

    Please call the council duty officer on 020 8753 1081 during office hours (Monday to Friday, 7.30am to 5pm) or 020 8748 8588 outside office hours for an officer to respond to your complaint. Alternatively, you can make a complaint via email at noise@lbhf.gov.uk. You can also report noise online.

    Trading standards - We will continue to respond to complaints, but in line with government guidance will minimise direct contact by making increased use of email and phone to approach traders.

    We will use these methods when contacting businesses about enforcing closure. If businesses want to verify that the contact is from us, please email trading.standards@lbhf.gov.uk or phone 020 8753 1081.

    Thank you for your patience and understanding.

  • Funeral services

    Funeral standards - It is recognised that in these hugely challenging times it may not be possible to conduct funerals and cremations in the usual way. This situation impacts on residents of Hammersmith & Fulham of all and no faith and belief. Read more about our funeral standards.

  • Housing

    Housing offices

    To protect our residents and staff, our housing offices in White City and Fulham are now closed to visitors. For all enquiries please email or phone. We will be able to help you.

    Please see contact us about housing.

    Cleaning and caretaking on estates

    Our caretakers will be focusing on high use areas, using disinfectant to clean key touchpoints, such as door handles and push plates, lift buttons, intercoms, handrails, bannisters, chute areas, bulk points, regularly throughout the day.

    It would really be helpful if residents could work with us to keep our estates clean by limiting bulk waste and ensuring emergency exits aren’t obstructed. We’ll be carrying out regular health and safety inspections of these areas. 

    Residents in sheltered housing

    On sheltered schemes we’re increasing our presence and frequency of cleaning in the communal internal areas. We’ll be carrying out thorough wiping of all hard surfaces, particularly doors and handles, tables, kitchens areas, offices, lifts, laundry rooms and toilets.

    We may have to limit the number of home visits we carry out to just vulnerable residents and we will keep you updated on this. 

    We’re reviewing our capital works projects and may put some of these on hold. We will routinely review the situation and keep you updated.  We will not carry out works where residents are either vulnerable, self-isolating or pregnant.

    Repairs

    Due to the current restriction we are only able to arrange emergency repairs. We will aim to honour existing appointments where possible and will call you if these need to be rescheduled.

    If you need an emergency repair or are chasing up an outstanding repair, we’re asking that you contact the Customer Service Centre on  0800 023 4499 or via email rather than coming into council offices, so we can limit the risk of infection. We’re likely to be experiencing a high volume of calls for the foreseeable future for which we apologise in advance and thank you for your patience. We will keep you updated with any changes to the service.

    If you are due to have a repair carried out and you need to self-isolate, please let us know. It is important that we protect the most vulnerable residents and not risk spreading the virus.

    If you think you may have picked up the virus and are self-isolating, we’ll arrange to come at another time when you’re better. We’re sorry for any inconvenience this will cause.
      
    If your repair is an emergency and you’re unwell, we’ll put special measures in place to get the repair done. There may be another way we can gain access and sort the issue.

    If we do carry out a repair for you, our contractors and operatives will stand a safe distance and check before they enter your home, that you are well and not self-isolating. This is to protect you and them while they are working in your home.

    In the coming months it is inevitable that our resources will be severely stretched, and we may have to make tough decisions about which services we provide. We will keep you updated.

    View our housing FAQs

  • Leisure centres

    Our leisure centres will begin a phased re-opening from Saturday 25 July.

    Lillie Road Fitness Centre, Hammersmith Fitness & Squash Centre and Phoenix Fitness Centre and Janet Adegoke Swimming Pool will re-open to the public with gym, fitness classes and swimming where applicable.

    See Better leisure website for further details

  • Markets

    Our essential traders have continued to trade throughout the COVID-19 crisis, providing residents with a great service.

    In North End Road you'll find stalls selling good value fruit and vegetables, eggs and cheese. Last week we introduced a few hot food traders selling Thai food, falafel and healthy meals. Since June 1 due to further easing of the lockdown rules we have been able to allow more non-essential traders to return to North End Road, provided they are able to meet the COVID-19 secure guidelines to protect shoppers and workers. The council is working closely with traders to provide advice and support that helps them operate safely and will be completing a risk assessment with each trader.

    In Lyric Square, Hammersmith we have organic bread, organic fruit, and vegetables, cheese, nuts and prepared sandwiches.

    Bishop’s Park farmer’s market will re-open on Sunday 21 June.

    It is important that the traders and the customers continue to stay safe by ensuring social distancing measures are observed to keep our community safe.

    We will not be opening our hot food market in Lyric Square until we carry out further checks and reassess the layout and number of traders who will be able to trade safely each day and we will re-open when it is safe to do so.

    Please remember to follow the government advice on social distancing when going outside and visiting your local markets. This includes:

    • stay 2 metres (6ft) away from other people
    • limit contact with other people
    • travel on foot or by bike if you can; consider all other options before using public transport
    • wash your hands for 20 seconds on a regular basis
    • if you cannot social distance and you’re likely to come into contact with people you don’t normally meet, wearing a face covering is recommended

     

  • Parking permits, key worker parking, enforcement and suspensions

    Parking call centre hours

    Parking services call centre phone line operating hours have changed. We will be open from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday and closed on Saturdays. We apologise for the inconvenience.

    Parking for key workers in H&F

    The parking for key workers scheme has closed and the permits previously issued are no longer valid.

    If you are a key worker, you can apply for a business parking permit for key workers

    If you’re a member of the Met Police team in Shepherds Bush, parking may be available at Shepherds Bush Police Station. Or if you work from the Empress State Building in Fulham, you may be able to park at Earls Court 2. Please speak to your line manager.

    If you have any other questions or concerns, please email: parkingadmin@lbhf.gov.uk

     

    Parking enforcement

    As lockdown is eased and public transport is still under restrictions, more people have taken to using their cars to travel.

    This, and the need to give more road space to cyclists and pedestrians so they can practice safe social distancing, has put more pressure on parking spaces in the borough. 

    We have been issuing warning notices to vehicles since 18 May and issuing parking tickets from 26 May.

    These have been mainly for dangerous parking, parking on yellow lines, parking in NHS key worker locations, parking in pay & display or shared use parking bays, without paying.

    Parking permits

    In these very challenging circumstances we appreciate that our residents may have concerns about their parking permits. We would like to assure you that we have the following systems in place to help make things easier for you.

    Paperless parking permits – We are currently unable to issue physical paper permits. Once your permit has been issued it will become virtual and appear on our system as valid straight away. Our officers on street are able to check this information.

    Grace period reverting to 14 days – While the lockdown has been in operation we have been allowing a four week grace period after your permit expires for you to park without risking a parking fine. From 1 June we will revert to the two week grace period. If your permit expires after the 31 May you must renew your permit within 14 days or you will be at risk of receiving a parking fine.

    Online renewals – The deadline for renewing online is 14 days after your permit expires. If you miss the deadline you will need to submit a paper application, with full documentary evidence.

    Replacement permits and refunds – We have emergency arrangements in place. Please contact us for further information.

    During this period our officers will be concentrating on keeping our roads clear from hazards and safe for everyone.

    Help is available - Although our offices are closed to personal callers, our staff are still available to help you with your enquiry. Please call us on 020 8753 6681 or email us at parkingpermits@lbhf.gov.uk. We are open Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm. 

    Parking suspensions

    We are now able to accept most suspension bookings. Some restrictions are still in place to protect parking for NHS and key workers. Please see Parking suspensions for more information.

  • Planning

    Our planning services are still operating but due to the coronavirus our offices are closed to the public and officers are working from home in-line with government guidance

    Planning applications should be submitted via the planning portal.

    Comments on planning applications should be submitted either via the website or by email. See how to comment on a planning application. Please avoid using the postal services as we have very limited opportunity to access any post received.

    Site visits will be considered on a case-by-case basis. We will make use of information available online such as street and aerial views and photographs may be acceptable. However, this will not always provide enough information. Where we receive additional visual or digital evidence, or are relying on technology to undertake virtual site visits, officers will satisfy themselves that the additional evidence is accurate and we would ask any applicants to confirm in writing that they are content for the local planning authority to make a decision on this basis.

    Officers are contactable over email or by phone. Officers can also arrange and participate in conference calls using Microsoft Teams and Skype. If you have any queries please contact us via planning@lbhf.gov.uk or 020 8753 1081.

    Thank you for your ongoing support and understanding.

    Planning and Development Control Committee meetings

    Find out about changes in planning rules to allow pubs and restaurants to operate as hot food takeaways.

  • Recycling and rubbish and bulky waste collection and street cleaning

    Residential waste and recycling collections are currently running as normal. All rubbish and recycling should be left out for collection as normal at the edge of your property. Don't approach the refuse collectors to give them bags of waste. Please follow the guidelines around social distancing to protect yourself and our staff.

    Disposing of PPE - Please think of the infection risks to other people when disposing of personal protective equipment (PPE). As with other litter, do not drop used gloves or masks in the street – but also do not place these items in street bins, as this could put our street cleaning staff at risk. Please take your used PPE home with you and place it inside its own bag, and keep it safely within your home for three days. Then place this bag within your domestic waste bag (ie. double bagging the PPE), and put this out for collection as usual. By doing this, you can reduce the chance of spreading the virus to others.

    Commercial waste collections continue to take place for businesses that remain open. Where businesses are unable to open, we will suspend collections and charges. Please contact commercialwaste@lbhf.gov.uk if you need to suspend your collections. Where businesses have waste containers that cannot be securely stored during any period of suspension, they should let us know by email so we can remove the containers and return them when you reopen. Collection charges will remain at 2019/20 levels at this time to help businesses that remain open.

    Street cleansing and washing services are currently running as normal.

    Clinical waste services and assisted collections are currently running as normal.

    Garden waste collections, bags of garden waste should be put out with your bin collection as normal.

    Bulky household waste collections. There is currently a limited bulky waste service. To request a collection, please contact Cleaner Greener on 020 8753 1100.  Anyone self-isolating or who has Covid-19 must inform the contact centre when arranging the collection.

    Traid home textile collection service are taking bookings for collections starting from 6 July

    Smugglers Way Household Waste and Recycling Centre in Wandsworth partially reopened on Monday 11 May. There are restrictions on when you can visit and what will be accepted for disposal or recycling. It is very important to check the WRWA website for further information before visiting the centre.

    See WRWA household waste and recycling centre

    Recycling bring sites - some recycling banks have closed, please do not leave items for recycling at a bank if it is closed.

    • Oxfam textile banks- closed
    • BHF books and music banks - closed
    • Scope textile banks- open
    • Traid textile banks - open
    • Soex textile banks- open
    • Traid home textile collections - temporarily stopped


    Visit the waste and recycling webpages

    Please help us protect yourself, our staff and residents by following these guidelines

    All rubbish and recycling should be left out for collection as normal at the edge of your property. Don't approach the refuse collectors to give them bags of waste. Please follow the guidelines around social distancing to protect yourself and our staff.

    When cleaning you should use your usual household products, like detergents and bleach, as these will be very effective at getting rid of the virus on surfaces. Clean frequently touched surfaces such as door handles, handrails, remote controls and table-tops. This is particularly important if you have an older or vulnerable person in the house.

    Personal waste (such as used tissues) and disposable cleaning cloths can be stored securely within disposable rubbish bags. These bags should be placed into another bag, tied securely and kept separate from other waste. This should be put aside for at least 72 hours before being put in your usual external household waste bin. Other household waste can be disposed of as normal.

    Waste minimisation

    While the restaurants are closed and we are cooking more at home, don't forget to take a look at the Love Food Hate Waste website for lots of tips on saving, storing and preserving food as well as recipes to help reduce food waste.

  • Schools

    Primary schools

    The Government has requested that Nursery, Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 children return to their respective primary schools. 

    This is in addition to continuing to provide support for critical workers and families in need across all year groups. Primary schools will also continue to provide home learning opportunities to those children who are not attending school.

    However, some schools will be ready to open for more children before others as Headteachers will need to consider the availability of staff and how space will be used.

    In some cases, schools may not be able to meet the government’s ambitions straight away. We ask for your understanding and patience while your child’s school makes appropriate arrangements. Headteachers and governors have all carried out risk assessments and are following Public Health guidance so that children are as safe as possible. 

    Parents and carers should check the school website regularly so that they can obtain local arrangements for their children.

    Secondary schools

    From Monday June 15, the Government has asked secondary schools to re-open for limited numbers of Year 10 and 12 pupils, alongside continuing to provide support for critical workers and families in need across all year groups.

    Parents and carers should be aware that there is a degree of flexibility in how individual schools interpret these guidelines and for most many students will return on a tutorial basis meeting their teachers to support their GCSE and A level courses. For others, year groups will attend in smaller class sizes with social distancing arrangements in place. There will be a variety of different arrangements.

    Headteachers and governors have all carried out risk assessments and are following Public Health guidance so that children are as safe as possible. 

    Parents and carers should check their school’s website regularly so that they can obtain local arrangements for their children.

    Letter to parents and carers 22 May 2020 - Phased return to nursery and primary school in Hammersmith & Fulham (pdf)

    All school contact details.

    Find the latest government guidance and advice for staff, parents and carers, pupils and students.

  • Special educational needs and disabilities (SEND)

    An update from the SEND Service on arrangements in response to coronavirus (COVID-19) in Hammersmith & Fulham

    The SEND service – like the rest of Hammersmith & Fulham Council and our partners – is adapting the way we work to ensure that we can continue to support you. Our aim is to continue to operate services effectively and to a high standard during the coronavirus outbreak, while at the same time ensuring that we keep you and our staff safe.

    Find out more about SEND response to coronavirus

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