Home > Resident > Emergency Planning > Coronavirus COVID-19 Council Services FAQs

Coronavirus COVID-19 Council Services FAQs

 

COVID-19 Together Staysafe Staylocal

Council Services

How are Council services being affected by COVID-19?

Following UK and Welsh Governments announcements about stricter measures to protect the public, we have assessed the services we provide and the availability of our workforce so that we can prioritise and resource critical services across the County. 

Just like other employers across the whole of the UK, as Government guidelines have strengthened, the Council has experienced a reduction in its workforce.  

In the same way that social distancing, self-isolation and school closures have disrupted the work of businesses and the lives residents in Flintshire, they have also impacted whether Council services can operate or not and contributed to a reduction in the number of people we have available to deliver them. 

As a result it has been necessary for us to withdraw some services for the foreseeable future.  This has either been as a direct result of supporting the national effort to slow the spread of COVID-19 or to redirect our available workforce to other critical service areas. Information about services which have been withdrawn can be found in the Frequently Asked Questions below or on our COVID-19 web page which is updated daily as information changes.

Our priority is to try to maintain essential services for as long as possible throughout the difficult weeks and months ahead and to do what we can to support the national effort and the health and well-being of all our employees and residents.

Which Council services are classed as essential and why?

The Council has prioritised services as essential where they protect life, protect the vulnerable, ensure public safety, keep the transport infrastructure open and help key workers to do their job.  These services include: 

  • running residential care homes
  • supporting vulnerable adults in their homes and in care settings
  • providing domiciliary care for people in their own homes
  • helping people discharge from hospital to ‘free up’ hospital beds
  • supporting vulnerable children in their homes and in care settings
  • running Extra Care Housing Schemes
  • helping and accommodating the homeless
  • paying out housing benefits
  • giving welfare advice to those in need of support with their family income
  • food distribution for people in need and those in poverty
  • opening schools as childcare centres for the children of key workers
  • public protection and environmental health including food safety and animal welfare
  • collecting waste from households
  • keeping the highways network open and running
  • keeping cemeteries open
  • registration of deaths
  • support to small and medium sized local business and giving them emergency grant support on behalf of Government

Bereavement Services

Are Funerals still taking place and what will be the process?

Under the recent Government Guidelines, Funerals are still permitted to take place.    All Services will have to be at the Graveside within the Cemetery due to the closure of all Places of Worship.   You can only attend a funeral if you have been invited by the person arranging the funeral, and that will be limited to close family and friends only, and  those in attendance will need to respect the Social Distancing Advice – including the Sexton present.  Graves will be closed once all mourners have left the Cemetery.

I have some Cremated Remains I wish to place in a grave, but won’t be using a Funeral Director, as the service has already been held in the Crematorium, can these still go ahead?

The grave will be prepared as normal for the interment.  If you wished the Sexton to place the casket into the grave for you, you are requested to place the casket on the side of the grave, move away, the Sexton will then attend, place the casket in the grave and then move away to leave you time at the grave side.  The grave will be closed once you have left the Cemetery.  However, we would encourage families where possible to think about delaying the interment of Cremated Remains until the current restrictions have been lifted.  This will help to minimise travel and contact with other family members etc. and once the restrictions are lifted we will be able to offer the normal interment service for these situations.

Can I still arrange for a Memorial to go onto a Grave Space?

The normal application process still applies, you will need to check if your preferred Stonemason is open at this time.

Is the grass being cut in cemeteries?

Grass Cutting within the Cemeteries is now being undertaken with a reduced number of operatives to ensure that we are able to adhere to the Social Distancing guidelines.  Areas around graves to be used will be cut prior to any interment, along with any necessary access paths. Once restrictions are removed and we are able to return to normal working practices, the Cemeteries will be returned to their usual high standards as soon as possible. 

Can I still, reserve a grave space, purchase a memorial plaque or transfer ownership of a grave etc.?

Our Bereavement Service is operating as normal.    You can contact the team on  01352 703360 or email at cemeteries@flintshire.gov.uk.

How can I register a death?

Provision has now been made for the registration of deaths to be undertaken by telephone. This will help the Registration Service follow the Government’s guidance on essential travel, social distancing and public behaviour.  The Registration Service is also working closely with health practitioners to share information electronically to remove the requirement for bereaved families to visit the Register Officer during the current emergency situation.

To make an appointment for telephone registration please call the Register Office on 01352 703333.

Blue Badge Permits

How do I renew/apply for my Blue Badge Permit?

Anyone wishing to apply or renew can access the application online www.gov.uk or contact Customer Service for further advice on 01352 701304.

Business and Employment

What support has the Council provided for local businesses in Flintshire?

Please visit the COVID-19 Advice for businesses page on our website. The Council has already acted to provide discretionary support for local businesses including deferring rent payments for the business tenants of our industrial and commercial properties, assisting market traders, and providing ‘sign-posting’ support to Government support schemes.

To fast track grant awards, businesses can also apply on-line for the Welsh Government Start Up Grant and 2nd round of the Economic Resilience Fund which will go live from 12 noon on 29th June.  https://businesswales.gov.wales/coronavirus-advice/
Over 1200 businesses requested help in March and these have been assisted and signposted to other support. The Council is also helping businesses to access online learning materials and networking opportunities to build their resilience.

I run a small business what support is there for my employees?

This is a difficult and unsettling time for employers and employees.

Please visit the Council’s COVID-19 Advice for Businesses web page which contains links to official advice and guidance.  

The page is updated as and when we receive more information.

When will the grants and help with business rates be given and do I have to apply?

Welsh Government and Flintshire County Council are working together to support businesses during this emergency situation.

All retail, leisure and hospitality businesses with a rateable value of up to £500,000 will now receive 100% rate relief in 2020/21. If your business falls into this category and you haven’t yet received a ‘nil’ bill from us, you can make an on-line application for the enhanced 100% rate relief scheme at www.flintshire.gov.uk/businessrates

As well as the enhanced rate relief scheme for retail, leisure and hospitality businesses, there are also two new non-repayable grants schemes available for all small businesses:

Grant 1 – Retail, leisure and hospitality businesses with a rateable value between £12,001 and £51,000 will receive a grant of £25,000.

Grant 2 – All businesses which are currently eligible for Small Business Rates Relief or small Charities and Community Amateur Sports Clubs (CASC's) with a rateable value up to £12,000 will receive a grant of £10,000.

The grants are administered by the Council on behalf of Welsh Government and if your business is eligible for a grant please complete the online grant application form as soon as possible at www.flintshire.gov.uk/businessrates. If you have already submitted an on-line application, rest assured it will be in the system for verification and payment. There is no requirement to re-submit another form. 

You can also contact our Support Team on 01352 704848 for further advice and guidance.

The Council has received high volumes of on-line applications for business support grants nearly of all which have been processed and awarded.  As at Monday 1 June 2,392 non-repayable cash grants have been paid to small businesses (total value £28.8m).   Further grant payments will follow.  All grant applications must now be submitted to the Council no later than 5.00pm on 30 June as the scheme closes after this time. 


In addition to this, the Council has now awarded 100% rate relief to over 1,148 retailers, leisure providers and the hospitality sector (total value £15.2m). These businesses are now receiving ‘nil’ bills for 2020/21. If your business is eligible and you've not receive a 'nil' bill go online and apply now www.flntshire.gov.uk/businessrates

Are grants available for those businesses such as micro-businesses who don’t pay business rates?

The Welsh Government has now introduced the £500m Economic Resilience Fund (ERF) to help those businesses who don’t qualify for the business rate grants. 
The Fund consists of three elements: a £100m COVID-19 Wales Business Loan Scheme administered by Development Bank of Wales (which is fully subscribed), a £100m fund to support microbusinesses, £300m fund to support SMEs and large businesses.

The ERF will help to address some of the gaps not met by schemes already announced by the UK Government, Welsh Government and Development Bank of Wales.

A grant of up to £10,000 is available to assist microbusinesses that have been affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. The grant is available to microbusinesses that are not eligible for the Business Rate Grant or the support for self-employed grant.
The Economic Resilience Fund for microbusinesses is open to applications from 17 April 2020 for 12 months.Full details on the eligibility criteria can be found at
Charities
The Welsh Government has announced that small charities within the retail, leisure and hospitality sector will receive a £10,000 business support grant to help them respond to the financial challenges of Covid-19.
This new package will support properties with a rateable value of £12,000 or below. 
This includes:
•    charity run shops
•    sports premises
•    community centres
Applications should be made via local authorities on or before 30 June 2020. 
Organisations cannot apply for this grant if they have already been awarded a grant from the Welsh Government Economic Resilience Fund (ERF) or the Sport Wales Emergency Relief Fund.

How can micro businesses (those that don’t pay business rates) access the grants that have been made available?

Small businesses play a vital role in the economy of the County and many will be seeking financial support and guidance at this time. 
The Council would like to ensure that small businesses in Flintshire, especially those who do not pay Business Rates, are aware of the Welsh Government Economic Resilience Fund grant support.
Details of the funding can be found on the Business Wales web site together with information on other support that is available. https://businesswales.gov.wales/coronavirus-advice/ 
For support locally businesses can visit https://www.flintshire.gov.uk/en/Business/Advice-and-guidance/COVID-19-Advice-for-Businesses.aspx  or contact the Council Business Development team at Business.Dev@flintshire.gov.uk 
The UK Government have also launched a new ‘support finder’ tool which will help businesses and self-employed people across the country quickly and easily determine what financial support is available to them during the current emergency period. The new business ‘support finder’ tool can be found at https://www.gov.uk/business-coronavirus-support-finder 

I’ve been temporarily laid off work or had my working hours reduced. I’m worried about paying council tax or my rent?

If your household income is reduced as a result of the impact of coronavirus, and you think you may struggle to pay your council house rent, please contact the Rent Income service on 01352 703838. We can provide help and support. 

Car Parking Charges

Why have car parking charges been suspended?

Following the Government announcement that non-essential shops will open from the 22nd June 2020, Pay and Display parking will continue to be suspended in all chargeable car parks. To ensure easily accessible parking is available close to the town centres, there will now be a requirement to display a ticket in a vehicle in all short stay car parks only. There is no requirement to pay for this ticket, only to obtain one from the machine and display it clearly in the vehicle.  This will ensure that parking is available close to the town centre for those who want to spend a short amount of time shopping. The Pay & Display machines have markings on the ground to promote social distancing when customers are purchasing a ticket and where possible customers are encouraged to sanitise their hands before and after obtaining a ticket or use their car key to press the button.

All other rules in the car park will apply such as parking within the marked bay, displaying a blue badge in a disabled parking bay, etc. Residents are also encouraged to park responsibly, at a distance from other vehicles, where possible. 

The following car parks have reopened on Saturday, 20 June

  • Dock Road, Connah’s Quay
  • Wepre Park, Connah’s Quay
  • Waun-y-Llyn, Hope Mountain 
  • Flint Castle
  • Life Boat Station,Flint
  • Saltney Ferry Footbridge
  • Dock Road, Greenfield
  • Gwaenysgor Viewpoint

Connects Centres

Connects Centres reopen

We are pleased to announce that Flintshire Connects Centres will reopen on a phased basis from 13 July: 

13 July – Connah’s Quay and Mold

20 July – Flint

27 July – Buckley and Holywell

Things will look different when people visit us in the future and there may be some disruption to service as we have introduced measures to ensure our visitors and employees remain safe at all times. A queuing system will be in place to manage the number of people permitted in each Centre at one time, a one-way system will be in operation at some Centres, and hand sanitising is required on arrival at all Centres.  

There will be no access to public computers in our initial phase of reopening because, in addition to physical distancing, we need to limit the number of touch points across all Centres.   It is also important that people do not gather at Centres unnecessarily and for long periods of time.  

We anticipate Centres will be busy and we encourage people to continue to access services online (www.flintshire.gov.uk) and by telephone (01352 752121) wherever possible leaving Centres to prioritise our most vulnerable customers.   

These measures have been introduced to keep everyone safe and we ask our communities to help by following the advice and guidance at Centres. 

Council Tax

I’ve heard residents are going to be given a Council Tax ‘holiday’, is this correct?

We are aware there has been some confusion over Council Tax and whether people still need to pay it.   Some people are experiencing difficulties and are worried they cannot make their payments.  The Council is able to offer support and advice if you find yourselves in this situation.  If you qualify and you are in need of advice and assistance you can contact our Council Tax team on 01352 704848 or by email at local.taxation@flintshire.gov.uk or you can visit our website www.flintshire.gov.uk/CouncilTax.  

Please be aware that call volumes are very high and we are receiving large numbers of emails.  We appreciate this may be frustrating for you.  The large majority of people trying to contact us understand the situation and are being patient and respectful with our employees.  We would like to ask all callers to be mindful of this.
Many people can still afford to pay their Council Tax.  Council Tax is a local tax that raises a third of the Council’s total income.  In this emergency situation the Council Tax you pay is helping to fund the essential services we must continue to provide to support people and communities.   The Council has prioritised essential services where they protect life, protect the vulnerable, ensure public safety, keep the transport infrastructure open and help key workers to do their job.  These services include: 

  • running residential care homes
  • supporting vulnerable adults in their homes and in care settings
  • providing domiciliary care for people in their own homes
  • helping people discharge from hospital to ‘free up’ hospital beds
  • supporting vulnerable children in their homes and in care settings
  • running Extra Care Housing Schemes
  • helping and accommodating the homeless
  • paying out housing benefits
  • giving welfare advice to those in need of support with their family income
  • food distribution for people in need and those in poverty
  • opening schools as childcare centres for the children of key workers
  • public protection and environmental health including food safety and animal welfare
  • collecting waste from households
  • keeping the highways network open and running
  • keeping cemeteries open
  • registration of births and deaths
  • support to small and medium sized local business and giving them emergency grant support on behalf of Governments

Any decisions on temporary changes to the collection of Council Tax would need to be made by Governments.  The Council simply collects the Tax. 

I am not able to pay my council tax or rent to the Council since the Flintshire Connects facilities have closed. What do I do?

The Council offers a wide range of other payment methods, most of which are continuing as normal. Residents can continue to make on-line payments for things like council tax, rents and invoices. The Council offers an automated payment service (ATP) by calling 01352 704470.

If residents can only pay in cash please contact us on the numbers below for advice: 

Council Tax tel: 01352 704848 or email  local.taxation@flintshire.gov.uk

Council House rents tel:  01352 703838

Council House Rents

I am worried that I won't be able to pay my rent on time, what should I do?

If tenants are worried about falling into arrears it is important to speak to the Rent Income Team on 01352 703838. The Team are committed to supporting tenants and officers are on hand to agree affordable repayment plans.

Enforcement

What if I become aware of a bar, restaurant or shop which is opening in breach of the Governments’ advice?

Since the introduction of widely-publicised trading restrictions and social distancing requirements for businesses at this time by the Government there is an increased awareness within local communities that a small minority of businesses are not complying.

The Council’s Community and Business Protection Service, in line with councils across the United Kingdom, will be responding to complaints of non-compliance.

The Council will use its powers appropriately and proportionately to ensure full compliance with the Regulations and council officers will also continue to offer advice and guidance where required.

We hope to work constructively with those businesses that are permitted to open through engagement and education. Enforcement powers will only be used as a last resort.  
During these difficult times it is important that everybody works together and recognises their responsibilities during the course of this emergency.

A dedicated phone number and e-mail address has been established for residents and businesses to report any concerns that they may have:

e-mail: covidbusinesscompliance@flintshire.gov.uk 

phone: 01352 703399Calls 

Emails will be monitored during office hours (Monday to Friday 08:30 to 17:00)

Holiday Accommodation?

Flintshire County Council’s Community and Business Protection Services are urging hotels, holiday parks, camping sites and all other holiday accommodation providers to act responsibly and help play their part to protect our communities and local NHS services at this time.

The Regulations are clear that all holiday accommodation, including campsites and caravan parks should have been closed since 26th March. They must remain closed until further notice, unless specifically exempt or requested and approved by the Welsh Government or local council.

Any accommodation provider in Flintshire wanting to offer accommodation to key workers must seek authorisation from the Council by completing and submitting a Key Worker Accommodation Request form. Any business already providing accommodation to key workers should notify the Council as soon as possible, using the same e-mail address.

Under no circumstances should any holiday accommodation be provided for visitors during the current emergency period. Any person or business found not to be complying will be committing an offence and may be subject to a Fixed Penalty Notice, Prohibition Notice or prosecution, for which the fine is unlimited.

Businesses can however advertise for future holiday accommodation bookings that can be taken up once current restrictions have been eased, but must remain closed until advised by the Government that they can re-open. 

Anyone with concerns about how holiday accommodation is currently being used can contact the Council using: covidaccommodation@flintshire.gov.uk

https://businesswales.gov.wales/tourism/covid-19-frequently-asked-questions 

Fees and Charges and Refunds

Fees and Charges and Refunds

Some Council services have been disrupted during this emergency situation. Some of these services are chargeable – that is people pay a fee or a charge to access and use them. We have had questions about our plans for refunds, and credits, where they might be due.  For more information click here

Flintshire Record Office

While Flintshire Record Office is closed to visitors, can I still access remote services?

Record Office staff will be maintaining a remote service as far as possible. Please e-mail archives@flintshire.gov.uk with your request and staff will judge on a case-by-case basis whether they can help and respond accordingly.

Grass Cutting and Grounds Maintenance

What is the current situation with regards to grass cutting and grounds maintenance?

The impact of the initial COVID-19  restrictions and social distancing measures interrupted our usual start to the grass mowing season. We initially provided a service to those areas that needed cutting for health & safety reasons, or areas where the ground conditions needed to be maintained to allow us to reopen public space, when restrictions were relaxed e.g. Bowling Greens. This allowed the staff normally undertaking this work to be deployed to other key frontline services such as waste collections and burials. 

Normal sceduled cutting frequencies resumed at the begining of July. 

Highway verge mowing has not been affected and has continued throughout the restrictions..

What will happen to the workforce of the services that you have stopped?

Employees in the grass cutting and grounds maintenance service, who are available to attend work, will be redeployed to other Streetscene services to provide resilience to essential services such as black bin and food waste collections.

Are you continuing to litter pick and empty litter bins?

We are monitoring all sites across the County and are continuing to litter pick and empty bins where they are being used.  Town centres across Flintshire are currently being attended daily.  This will be kept under review as government guidance is strengthened and visitor numbers to town centres reduce. 

Will you continue to empty dog waste bins?

We are continuing to empty dog waste bins as scheduled across the county.

Local Services

How can residents find the location of local services near to them?

Flintshire County Council has developed an online map to assist residents locate services available in their local area.

The map has six service categories which are:

  • pharmacies;
  • food banks;
  • milk deliveries;
  • food (deliveries, pickups and takeaways);
  • support (mental health support, telephone befriending, etc) and
  • shopping (collecting shopping, prescriptions etc).

To access the map, click here. It is recommended to use Google Chrome.

An online user guide can be accessed here.

Is Mold Market still open?

The Council welcomed the Welsh Government’s announcement of the further easing of lockdown restrictions and that both indoor and outdoor markets could reopen from Monday, 22 June.

The markets in Mold, Holywell and Connah’s Quay that have been open to date have proved invaluable in supporting Flintshire residents during these very difficult times.
The Council’s markets team has been working with traders and customers offering guidance on social distancing rules and behaviour. The cooperation of all involved with the market is essential to maintaining a safe environment. 

In Mold, the market will be on the High Street, Daniel Owen Precinct and Meadow Place Car Park to enable social distancing.  If traders are not in the usual place that does not mean they are not there.   Maps of the market will be available to help customers locate the stalls.

Flintshire’s markets offer a wide range of stalls selling a great variety of goods and services and we hope that residents will take the opportunity over the coming weeks to show their support for their towns and support our markets.

The physical distancing measures put in place have been designed to help market traders as much as possible and to make the town centres as welcoming and comfortable as possible without compromising public health and safety.cooperation.

Play Areas and Outdoor Spaces

Why is my play area closed?

All play areas have now reopened. 

Summer play schemes

Flintshire’s summer play schemes are gearing up for another summer of fun – albeit a little differently this year. Click here for more information. 

Is Greenfield Valley or Waun y Llyn Country Park open?

Greenfield Valley woods are open.  Greenfield Valley Museum, Visitor Centre, play area and toilets remain CLOSED.

Waun-y-Llyn country park is open. 

Is Wepre Park open?

Wepre Park is open.  The play area, skatepark and visitor centre all remain CLOSED.

Can I use the Wales Coast Path?

The Wales Coast Path in Flintshire is open.

Can I use Public Rights of Way?

Whilst access to Rights of Way, close to where we live, is important for our general wellbeing during lockdown, physical distancing rules should be observed at all times and Welsh Government advice closely followed:   

  • Keep 2 metres / 6½ feet from others at all times
  • Be vigilant with hand washing and hygiene – Be aware that gates, stiles and other outdoor structures are touched regularly
  • Do not undertake new or risky activities – Stay safe during this time of increased burden on our emergency and health services
  • Follow the Countryside Code - Consider farmers and others who are working hard to keep our shelves stocked and infrastructure running.

Welsh Government has introduced new emergency regulations that will allow Councils to close footpaths and other rights of way where - should they remain open - they post a high risk to the spread of coronavirus.

In line with these new regulations Flintshire County Council will be monitoring the use of rights of way and will where necessary close paths where guidelines are not or cannot be safely  observed.  

Please be reassured that the Council is not looking to extensively close paths which are being used responsibly but it will use its powers appropriately and proportionately to ensure full compliance with the Regulations.

You may find that landowners are erecting signs on the paths that you walk reminding users that they or members of their family are vulnerable and/or self-isolating.  Some may be offering you an alternative route that avoids close proximity to farm houses, yards and agricultural buildings.  The Council has no objection to these signs and would support landowners in the provision of alternative permissive routes subject to their having obtained the necessary safety insurance/liability cover.  Sign templates are available for landowners by emailing the Access team    publicrightsofway@flintshire.gov.uk

Information on Rights of Way and a list of current path closures can be found at https://www.flintshire.gov.uk/en/Resident/Streetscene/Public-rights-of-way.aspx

Staying at home?

Following a fantastic response from residents over the Easter period to heed Government advice and stay at home, Flintshire County Council is again urging everyone to avoid non-essential travel and ‘stay at home’. 

By following this advice we can ‘help protect the NHS and save lives’. 

Government advice says you can leave home only once-a-day for exercise. That could mean a bicycle ride, walking the dog, or going for a walk or run. Public open spaces and footpaths should be used responsibly and social distancing should be observed at all times and remember to ‘stay local’ when exercising. 

Rights of Way allow public access to their local countryside. Social distancing rules should be closely observed and people should be considerate of the landowners over whose land paths pass and:

  • Go alone or with members of your household;
  • Be aware that gates, stiles and other outdoor structures are touched regularly so follow hygiene guidance;
  • Do not try new or risky activities - ‘stay safe’ 
  • Follow the Countryside Code - consider farmers and others who are working to keep our shop shelves stocked.

Public Toilets

When will public toilets reopen?

In line with the reopening of town centres for non-essential shopping public toilets at the following locations have been reopened:

  • Mold Bus Station
  • New Street Car Park Mold
  • Holywell

Public Transportation

Is commercial public transport operating as usual?

Some commercial bus services operating throughout Flintshire and bordering counties have made variations to their timetables which came into effect on Monday 23rd March.  All timetables are available on the individual operator’s website and will be kept up to date with any additional changes over the coming weeks. 

When relying upon public transport to undertake essential travel journeys, the Council asks individuals to consult individual transport provider’s websites for up to date timetable information, as operators are reviewing service provision on a daily basis.

Are Council services operating as usual?

Flintshire’s Local Travel Arrangement services have resumed following the Welsh Government announcement that non-essential shops can open from Monday 22 June.

The majority of the services will be running on the existing timetables.  However, due to having to operate on 25% capacity of vehicle seats, we have introduced a temporary timetable on the LT7, Hope-Treuddyn-Mold and also the LT8, Caergwrle-Hope-Penyffordd-Higher Kinnerton-Broughton Retail Park.  

These services both have two separate timetables to try an accommodate passenger numbers from Hope and Treuddyn on the LT7 and Penyffordd and Higher Kinnerton on the LT8.  The service LT7 will have a maximum seating capacity for ten people and the LT8 a maximum seating for four.  

Passengers on all Local Travel Arrangement buses are being asked to wear face coverings to enable us to offer these maximum seating arrangements and there will also be a “no change given” policy introduced to minimise non-essential contact.

All Flintshire vehicles are wiped down on touch points at the end of each journey and deep cleaned at the end of every evening.  

Timetables and services across the whole of Flintshire, both commercial and community, will be reviewed on a regular basis according to passenger usage but will be governed by Welsh Government guidelines.  

Passengers are reminded to check the service providers’ timetables before making any travel plans.

I am a key worker and I rely on public transport to get to work – what should I do?

Residents who are classified as ‘Key Workers’ and have no other means of transport to access their place of work, are able to access a pre-bookable transport service.  Operated by the Council the service can be accessed by calling 01352 704771 to make arrangements at least 24 hours before travel.

This service will also be available to residents who are required to undertake essential travel journeys (as defined within national Government guidelines).

Registration Service

How can I register a death?

Provision has now been made for the registration of deaths to be undertaken by telephone. This will help the Registration Service follow the Government’s guidance on social distancing.  The Registration Service is also working closely with health practitioners to share information electronically to remove the requirement for bereaved families to visit the Register Officer during the current emergency situation.  

To make an appointment for telephone registration please call the Register Office on 01352 703333.

How can I register the birth of my baby?

Provision has now been made for the registration of births to be undertaken by telephone with a brief meeting with parents to verify and sign the register page. This will help the Registration Service follow the Government’s guidance on social distancing.  Flintshire can only register births that occurred in the county but our staff will help direct parents to the correct district to register their baby’s birth if it was not Flintshire. 

To make an appointment for telephone registration please call the Register Office on 01352 703333

Scams

How do I report a scam?

Trading Standards are warning residents to be wary of Covid 19 related scams.  
There have been many such scams reported already, but if you receive an email or text related to Covid 19 that requests any personal details, or banking details even if it purports to come from a Government Agency please ignore it.  

Government agencies will not ask you for this information in this way.  Assistance in the fight against phishing emails has now come from the Governments GCHQ intelligence agency. 

The National Cyber Security Centre, a branch of the intelligence agency, has launched the suspicious email reporting service with a simple request of the public: forward any dubious emails to report@phishing.gov.uk, and the NCSC’s automated scanning system will check for scam emails and immediately remove criminal sites.  

Text scams and reports of scammers going door to door should still be reported to Trading Standards at either trading.standards@flintshire.gov.uk or by phoning 0808 223 1133 for the English service or 0808 223 1144 for the Welsh Service and warnings will be posted on this site and through social media.

School Transport

Should I take my own child to school rather than use school transport?

Yes, where this is possible. Government advice is that where possible, parents and carers are encouraged to take children to school by walking or cycling, or alternatively by private car, rather than using public transport.

We understand that this won't be possible for some families. If this is the case and your child is eligible to receive free school transport from the Council then we will make the necessary travel arrangements.

What if I am unable to take my child to school?

The Council is working to resume all Council-provided school transport where required and ensure vehicles are thoroughly cleaned. Physical distancing on school buses is extremely challenging and we are therefore encouraging all parents to follow government guidance and where possible to take their children to school by walking, cycling or private car.

How will safe travel on school transport work in practice?

We recognise the trust that parent/ carers are putting into transport arrangements working safely. We need to work together to ensure that transport continues to operate and operates safely.
It is important for parents/carers and children to practice social distancing wherever possible. This means taking the following precautions:

  • Keep a 2 metre distance from people outside of your own household
  • Avoid physical contact with others
  • Face away from other people when using public transport.
  • Keep the time spent near others as short as possible when using public transport.
  • Minimise the number of surfaces you touch.
  • Wash your/your child's hands immediately before boarding transport for at least 20 seconds.
  • Immediately upon finishing your journey, we recommend hand washing for at least 20 seconds or that you sanitise your hands as soon as possible.
  • Ensure that your child does not attend school/use school transport if they display any of the symptoms of coronavirus. If your child develops symptoms at school, you will need to make arrangements for your child to be collected.
  • Ensure your child is aware that transport arrangements may not replicate what was provided previously. Your child may be allocated a seat on vehicles with reduced capacity. In addition, if regular transport staff are unavailable eg due to displaying symptoms, an alternative driver or passenger assistant may transport your child (all drivers and passenger assistants are subject to an enhanced DBS check).
  • Where your child requires additional support on the vehicle, there may be a need for a more individual risk assessment.

 

What does this mean for students who are not eligible for free school transport?

Students who are not eligible for free school transport will not be provided transport from the Council and should be encouraged to walk or cycle to school.

What if the student normally uses public transport either funded by the Council or by parents?

The Council is working with public transport operators to understand available capacity. Where a pupil is eligible for free school transport and normally uses public transport, the Council will review whether this is still an available option, and where it is not what other options are available.

For any passengers who are not eligible for transport, they will need to review their travel options. Parents may wish to contact the relevant bus company directly. Public transport information can be found by visiting the Traveline Cymru website and timetables are available on the Flintshire website.

Will school transport have physical distancing in place?

We are working very closely with our transport providers to ensure that the latest guidance from Welsh Government and Public Health Wales on pupils on transport is in place for the start of the new term. We will share this information with pupils and parents via schools and on our website in due course.

We are also asking parents to ensure that they consider taking their child to school wherever possible as not only is this in line with government guidance, it will also reduce pressure on the school bus network.

How will my child know where to sit?

Seating arrangements will vary dependent on each situation and transport contract.

Special Education Needs contracts will be very specific and your child will be allocated a seat working from the back of the bus at first pick up to the front available seat at last pick up.

For mainstream home to school contracts, unavailable seats will be taped off and pupils will board from the back of the bus at first pick up to the front of the bus at last pick up. Your child will need to travel in the seat available, and it is important that they are aware that they will be unable to travel sitting next to friends as may usually be the case. All pupils must ensure that their bags are stowed at their feet, not on seats.

For transport provided via public transport, we will be asking each transport provider to consider if there are any practical changes they can make on vehicles in light of expected passenger numbers to encourage social distancing, such as cordoning off seats along with maximum passenger numbers to take into account social distancing. Transport providers are asked to recommend any changes and agree with the Council those arrangements in advance.

What if the student normally travels in a vehicle where social distancing is not practical?

Prior to any transport restarting, all vehicles are being reviewed to ensure they are suitable. This may lead to some changes of vehicle operated.

What if vehicles become overcrowded?

We are working closely with our transport providers to monitor vehicle capacity levels to identify maximum capacity. Where necessary we will ask transport providers to make changes and inform schools, parents and carers.

We ask that parents and carers help communicate to students the importance of following social distancing seating changes on vehicles, as this will play a key role in keeping everyone safe.

What if the student normally has a school escort?

If a school escort is strictly required for travel, this will continue to be the case. However, as some staff will no longer be available, there may be a change of staff. Parents should also be aware that due to public health advice, if any member of Transport staff is unable to work due to the need to self-isolate, there may be a need for a change of staff at short notice. Should there be any issues with numbers of school escorts available, parents will be contacted directly.

Will transport providers be following health and safety guidance?

We are asking transport providers to follow the government guidance where they can. This guidance includes actions such as regular and thorough cleaning of vehicles. The Council is also providing local, detailed guidance to our transport providers to support them in putting in place the appropriate health and safety measures.

Face coverings?

The use of face coverings is not currently mandatory on public transport but is recommended. Parents may choose to provide their children with an appropriate covering, preferably one with three layers. The use of coverings will not result in any increase in occupancy rates without further guidance from the Welsh Government.

There are exceptions where coverings are not recommended:

(a) for young children,

(b) for those for whom doing so would create a medical risk, including distress, and

(c) in some situations where a learner has additional learning needs.

Drivers similarly may wear face coverings if they or their employer feel this is of benefit and where this is individually assessed.

What if my child becomes unwell during the school day?

You will be expected to collect your child from school. Transport will only be provided in extremely exceptional cases where you can sufficiently demonstrate why you are unable to collect them yourself.

What should I do if my child feels unwell in the morning before leaving for school?

In line with Government and NHS advice, if your child or any member of your household displays any of the following symptoms 

  • a high temperature
  • a new, continuous cough
  • a loss of, or change to, your sense of smell or taste

your whole household should stay at home, self-isolate and book a test https://gov.wales/apply-coronavirus-test 

It is essential that you ensure your child does not travel if they, or anyone in your household, has any of these symptoms. If your transport operator is aware of a symptom prior to travel, transport will be decline.

Schools are asking parents/carers of children showing signs of any other illness to make a decision in the morning before they leave home whether their child is well enough to attend.   With the new arrangements in place to manage learners safely, schools will not have the capacity to look after lots of children who become unwell during the day and make calls for pupils to be collected.

Will this mean an increase in traffic on school sites?

Potentially yes. We will have to ensure social distancing rules are following when allocating pupils their seats. This will mean we will not be able to fill vehicles as efficiently as we would previous to COVID-19. This may mean there will be an increase in the number of vehicles on school sites. We will work closely with schools to assist them with developing safe site management plans.

What will happen with school transport for the new school year in September 2020?

The coronavirus pandemic has meant that we have needed to make some extensive changes to our school transport arrangements for this current school year. We have already begun considering what changes or different arrangements might need to happen from September 2020 when the new academic year starts. This will be based on Government announcements over the coming months. If there are any ongoing changes needed from that point we will ensure you are advised as soon as possible.

Is there a protocol for pupils getting on and off school transport vehicles?

Yes. Pupils who travel on SEN contracted vehicles will be expected to sit at the rearmost available seat, unless specifically agreed otherwise due to reasons of child welfare/risk assessment. Parents/Carers should assist with loading their child onto the vehicle where required (i.e. where a child cannot do so independently). For SEN pupils boarding onto vehicles at school, every effort should be made to load passengers in reverse of drop off order (i.e. the last drop off on first etc.) in order to maintain social distancing. School staff from the appropriate pod/bubble should assist with loading at school.

Where passengers pass the driver's seat to board the vehicle, drivers must turn off the engine and alight from the vehicle (using the driver's door if available) before the passengers board.

Drivers should verbally allow passengers on one by one as distancing allows. Support to be provided by school staff at school end of journey (morning and afternoon).Pupils travelling on mainstream vehicles to school should sit at the rearmost available seat, unless specifically agreed otherwise due to reasons of child welfare. When boarding onto the vehicle at school every effort should be made to load passengers in reverse of drop off order (i.e. last drop off on first, etc.) in order to maintain social distancing. Where passengers pass the driver's seat to board the vehicle, drivers must turn off the engine and alight from the vehicle (using the driver's door if available) before the passengers board.

Drivers should verbally allow passengers on one by one as distancing allows. Support to be provided by school staff at school (morning and afternoon).When leaving the vehicle pupils should go in reverse order of boarding, preserving distance.

Signs and verbal instruction to pupils on safe distancing where pupils are able to independently depart the vehicle. For pupils travelling on SEN vehicles parents/carers should assist with helping their child off the vehicle where required (i.e. where a child cannot do so independently).

Schools and Youth Services

What are the arrangements for return to school in September?

Flintshire County Council has welcomed plans by the Education Minister to allow schools that can do so to safely reopen from the first week of September, with all schools to reopen from 14 September.  For more information click here

When will the summer term end?

The summer term will no longer be extended by a week in Flintshire schools as suggested by Welsh Government. This means that the summer term will end for all pupils on Friday 17th July.  

Will schools be open to Nursery children in September?

Yes but because of the particular needs of very young children and the part time nature of nursery provision, with many parents also needing wrap-around childcare to be available, the plans for the return of nursery children into schools in September are being given extra attention and more information will be communicated shortly.  

How will children get to school?

Where possible, Government advice is that, parents and carers are encouraged to take children to school by walking or cycling, or alternatively by private car to reduce the demand on the school transport network and on public transport.

The Council has a robust transport network and the Integrated Transport Unit is now working on the arrangements for September and parents eligible for school transport will be encouraged to apply as quickly as possible if they have not yet done so. 

If parents/carers have requested school transport and are eligible, they will be contacted to confirm arrangements before the start of the new academic year.

How will you keep schools disinfected?

We take the safety and wellbeing of our pupils and staff seriously and we are confident that all schools will have sufficient cleaning materials, soap and hand sanitiser available.

All school buildings must be cleaned regularly. Hard surfaces will be cleaned with warm soapy water or the normal cleaning products used. Particular attention will be given to clean ‘high-touch’ areas and surfaces. These areas will be cleaned at least once a day and more frequently in high use areas based on local assessment, including bathrooms, railings, tables, toys, equipment door handles, push pads, taps and hand sanitiser dispensers.

Will you be providing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to schools?

All schools will be provided with a pack of PPE to reopen and will have been trained on how to use it prior to schools opening on 29 June. Schools will then maintain their own stocks as usual, purchasing from approved providers.  However, it is important to remember that physical distancing, hand hygiene and respiratory hygiene remain strongly evidenced to be the most effective ways to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Hand hygiene is critical before and after all direct contact with a child or young person, and after cleaning equipment and the environment.

There is therefore no need to use personal protective equipment (PPE) when undertaking routine educational activities in classroom/school settings.

How will you maintain physical distancing?

Welsh Government has announced that the scientific evidence supports the reduction of physical distancing for children and young people in schools to enable all pupils to return in September. New guidance is currently being developed and will be issued to schools shortly.

What food will be provided?

We are planning to resume full catering provision for schools in September – more details will be shared in due course.

Will parents currently receiving direct payments instead of free school mels have to pay for their lunch?

No, all pupils attend school in these three weeks will be provided with a packed lunch free of charge, and direct payments to those families who are eligible will continue throughout this period and the summer holidays.

What can children bring in from home?

Welsh Government guidance outlines that bringing items from home should be kept to a minimum for this short period before the end of term. 

As water fountains will not be safe for use during this period of time, it is not unreasonable to allow pupils to bring a bottle of water from home but this should be clearly named and not shared with anyone else. Similarly, other essential equipment e.g. pencil case, would be permitted but again, pupils will be discouraged from bringing any other unnecessary items with them.

Do children have to wear school uniform?

School Uniform policies will be reinstated for September so pupils will be expected to comply.

Will parents be fined if they don't send their child back to school in the new academic year?

Welsh Government has stated that a return to school from September is compulsory but that initially, parents will not be fined but that schools should work with families to actively manage pupils returning to school if there are difficulties. Welsh Government will review this temporary relaxation on penalties for non-attendance under review.

Will clinically vulnerable staff or learners be expected to return to school?

More details to follow once revised Welsh Government guidance is received.

Will there be any childcare provision in place for children of key workers during school holidays?

Schools in Flintshire have provided very effective childcare for critical worker families and vulnerable learners during the period of school closure. However, Welsh Government has made it very clear that there is no expectation for schools and councils to be making childcare provision available for critical workers during the school summer holidays or when schools reopen for full time operations in September. 

With the relaxation of the rules around families being able to create ‘extended household groups’ and the increased number of private childcare operators now resuming their delivery, parents should hopefully be able to make their own childcare arrangements if they are needed during the school summer holidays. Where schools have private holiday clubs operating on their sites, they have been working closely with those providers to make this facility available to parents. Parents of children aged 0-4 who have been accessing childcare via the Welsh Government’s Coronavirus Childcare Assistance Scheme (C-CAS) and were registered prior to 12 July will continue to access that support until 31 August. 

The Council is, however, working with local Town and Community Councils to reinstate some of the Flintshire Summer Holiday Play Schemes for the last two weeks of the summer holidays – 16 to 28 August. These play schemes will be delivered in line with the latest Welsh Government and Public Health Wales guidance. Not all Town and Community Councils have been able to support this shortened provision this year, but a significant number have and plans are currently being finalised. These schemes will be advertised on the Council’s website very shortly and promoted via the Flintshire Family Information Service to keep parents informed of where they are taking place and how they will operate.

What are the terms dates for autumn half-term?

In Flintshire, the autumn half term is for one week only starting Monday 26th October 2020.

What are the childcare arrangements for pre-school children?

The Childcare Offer for Wales, which provides eligible families with up to 30 hours of government funded early education and childcare for 3 and 4 year olds, is currently closed to new entrants. This is so that the funding can be used to support key workers with their childcare costs and support vulnerable children during the coronavirus pandemic. This funding is provided through the Coronavirus Childcare Assistance Scheme (C-CAS).

The C-CAS scheme will continue until 31 August 2020 and will fund childcare costs for pre-school children (children aged from 0 to 5 years who do not have a school place) of:

  • key workers
  • pre-school aged vulnerable children

The fund will cover care for out of hours and weekends. There is no limit to the amount of hours children can be cared for. The scheme cannot be used to pay for provider retention fees.

We expect the scheme to close to new entrants during July.

If parents want to send their child to school and the school does not have enough staff, what can they do?

If a school does not have enough staff to open, it may have to close because of health and safety reasons. Safety will be the school's first priority. You will need to wait until the school is safe to open and the school will ensure you are kept informed.

What should I do if my child feels unwell?

We are asking parents to check that their child is not showing any symptoms of Coronvirus or any other illness before sending them into school. With the new arrangements in place to manage learners safely, schools will not have the capacity to look after lots of children who become unwell during the day and make calls for pupils to be collected, so we are asking parents/carers to make the decision in the morning whether or not they should attend rather than send them in and ‘see how they go’.

There are clear guidelines for schools to manage pupils who may develop symptoms of the virus during the day and parents/ carers would be contacted immediately but we need to try and keep the numbers of poorly pupils to an absolute minimum.

Welsh Government COVID-19 guidance https://gov.wales/keep-education-safe-operational-guidance-schools-and-settings-covid-19 holidays.

Will all education staff and learners be tested for COVID-19?

All symptomatic members of the public, including critical workers and children, are now able to book tests for coronavirus. 

Will all education staff be eligible for the antibody test?

No. The Health Board has undertaken a sample of education staff as part of a national study and no further tests of other staff will be undertaken. The pilot group will be tested again in the future. 

Our youth club has closed, why?

To limit the spread of COVID-19 it is important that, as far as possible, social contact is minimised.   
All Flintshire run youth clubs are closed until further notice. 

To help stop the spread - please keep your children at home and ask them not to congregate in groups with friends. 

How can I contact the Youth Justice Service and Flintshire Sorted?

Due to the on-going situation, the Youth Justice Service and Flintshire Sorted Office is currently closed. 

However, Youth Justice and Sorted officers continue to work from other locations. If you have any appointments or meetings arranged, you will be contacted directly by a member of the Youth Justice Service or Flintshire Sorted to discuss how this will take place. Until you hear from a member of the Team please assume it will continue as planned.

Whilst the office remains closed, we will be continuing our work and a Duty Officer will be monitoring our answerphone regularly throughout our normal working hours between 9am and 5pm Monday – Thursday and 9am-4.30pm on Fridays (except Bank Holidays). If you need to speak to someone please call 01352 701125 and leave your name and contact details along with a short message someone will get back to you. 

If however, your matter is urgent or relates to a safeguarding or child protection concern you can also contact Flintshire Social Services for Children on 01352 701000 between normal office hours. Outside of office hours you can contact the Emergency Duty Team on 0845 053 3116.

If your concern relates to a police matter please contact 101 for non-urgent enquiries or if the matter is urgent please contact 999. 

Professionals can still submit referrals to the YJS and Flintshire Sorted through the normal email mail box.

Social Services

I have concerns about a child / vulnerable adult what can I do?

We all need to be looking after each other at this difficult time more than ever. It is especially important that we look after children and vulnerable adults who are currently not able to access their usual avenues of support.

Flintshire County Council is responsible for co-ordinating child and adult protection services in the county. We are continuing to work closely with schools, North Wales Police, health agencies, doctors, health visitors, advocacy and other agencies to ensure children, families and individuals get the support they need.  

If you have concerns or suspicions about a child in Flintshire being harmed, a family needing support or an adult who is at risk, please phone: 

01352 701000 to report concerns about children; 
03000 858858 to report concerns about adults; or 
outside of regular office hours, please phone the Duty Social Worker on: 0345 0533116.

We will discuss your concerns with you and ask you for as much detail as possible. We will investigate your concerns and if necessary make a plan to protect the child or the adult.

Child Protection referrals or queries can be emailed to ChildProtectionReferral@flintshire.gov.uk
Adult Protection referrals or queries can be emailed to SSDuty@flintshire.gov.uk 

Please be aware that the inboxes are monitored weekdays, during office hours only.

We want to reassure you that we are all working hard to ensure our core child and adult protection processes are continuing and we are relying on professionals and public to report any concerns they may have about children, families and adults at risk. 

You can find more resources, information and advice on the Regional Safeguarding Board website: northwalessafeguardingboard.wales 

How can a vulnerable Flintshire resident get help if they can't go and collect their normal medication from their pharmacist?

The individual or someone on their behalf can ring SPOA – Single Point of Access on 03000 858858 and SPOA will link them to the voluntary sector who can arrange for a volunteer to get in touch and deliver medication for them.

How can a vulnerable Flintshire resident get help with food?

The individual or someone on their behalf can ring SPOA – Single Point of Access on 03000 858858 and SPOA will link them to the voluntary sector who can arrange for Food Parcels. 

How can I find out more about Well-Fed?

Well-Fed is a partnership between Flintshire County Council (FCC), Clwyd Alyn and Can Cook – it’s a food company dedicated to feeding everyone well.

When hungry and when it’s necessary to fend off life-threatening viruses, people require a healthy diet; a diet able to satisfy their hunger and a diet that will support their immune system.

Last week, Well-Fed delivered 3000 meals, 200 slow cooker bags and over 100 safety boxes to hundreds of vulnerable households in Flintshire free of charge. Every week for the next 12 weeks, Well-Fed will do the same - ensuring that residents in difficulty, residents who are self- isolating and unable to get out and residents of our night shelter will receive good, fresh food.

The Well-Fed service is best described as Meals on Wheels re-imagined. Working very closely with FCC staff, the service provides a choice of good quality, additive free, fresh food using locally sourced, sustainable produce.  The Well-Fed mission is to “connect people through good food”, so they are using their operations to feed residents in care and during Covid 19, feed those in isolation and food poverty. Such is the scale and substance of the Well-Fed Covid response, it is unique to the UK.

For more information or to refer a resident for support please contact the Council’s Contact Centre 01352 752121  or email FoodDelivery@flintshire.gov.uk. 

What is the Council doing to support Social Services clients?

Across our services we are ensuring that we comply with Public Health Guidance regarding hygiene, social distancing etc.

We are also reviewing all services to ensure the most vulnerable continue to receive the care they need and that those who can be supported by family, friends, volunteers and redeployed staff are receiving that support as well.

How can I support people who are finding their mental health affected by the Coronavirus outbreak?

There are a number of local charities supporting individuals with their mental wellbeing.  The Flintshire Learning for Recovery and Wellbeing team have just launched their new website and on it are a number of online courses and activities people can join in on to help them through this challenging period (e.g. guitar lessons, exercise sessions, yoga, Chester Zoo webcam etc.– details are available on https://www.flintshirewellbeing.org.uk/ 

How are we supporting vulnerable residents who have received letters from NHS Wales?

A small proportion of Flintshire residents who have an existing health issue - or care for someone who does - have received a letter from Dr Frank Atherton, Chief Medical Officer/Medical Director NHS Wales. 

The letter provides important advice to keep these residents safe from coronavirus, and advises them that the best way to avoid getting coronavirus is to stay at home for the next 12 weeks. Residents have been advised they should not have any visitors apart from carers and healthcare workers.  

We are supporting those residents who have received a letter and who do not have family, friends or neighbours who can help with important things like accessing food and medicine deliveries during this emergency.    Our workforce and volunteers from Flintshire Local Voluntary Council are providing essential support to these residents. 

We recognise that some members of our community who have not received a letter may also require support at this time.  We encourage residents who are anxious to contact us on 01352 752121. Our team are very willing to discuss individual’s support needs and make arrangements to help vulnerable individuals.

Residents will be triaged by the Contact Centre to identify what food, medicine and welfare support is required.  The team will signpost residents wherever possible using sophisticated mapping systems that allow them to give up-to-date information e.g. nearest pharmacy (see below). 

Those residents that require support will receive a call-back from Housing or Social Services depending on the individual’s needs.    

Teams in Housing and Social Services are providing the necessary support and we are working in partnership with FLVC to make use of the team of volunteers.     

What support is there for me as an unpaid carer?

We are advising that all unpaid carers follow the national guidance from the Welsh Government and Public Health Wales regarding social distancing, self-isolation and infection control measures, particularly if you or the person you care for are in the ‘high risk’ group or you have received a letter from your local Health Board recommending that you isolate for the next several weeks. 

If you become unwell with suspected COVID-19 symptoms you must distance/ isolate yourself from the person you care for. If as a result you are unable to look after your loved one please contact us: Flintshire Single Point of Access on 01352 804333 or SPOA@flintshire.gov.uk. Alternatively you can contact NEWCIS on 01352 752525 who are supporting adult carers during this time, Barnardo’s on 01352 755422 who are supporting young carers or Flintshire Local Voluntary Council on 01352 744000 who are coordinating a network of local volunteers who may be able to help. 

If you are struggling or are unable to get out of the house at the moment, then there is support available to you. Our partner organisations, NEWCIS supporting adult carers and Barnardo’s supporting young carers, are there to help. Their staff will be available to have a chat with you, see how you are getting on and what help you may need; they will also keep in touch with you throughout this period. NEWCIS is also providing counselling support if needed and food / entertainment parcels are being distributed to those in need.  

If you have home carers coming to your house, this will still continue. However, depending on how the situation develops it may result in your care visits being reduced in length or times may vary if we need to support more individuals in the community. If you have other family members who are able to support you during this time, we ask that you get in touch and let us know by contacting the Flintshire Single Point of Access on 01352 804333 or SPOA@flintshire.gov.uk.

Carers are being advised to make contingency plans during this period, if in the event you or the person you care for get coronavirus; NEWCIS or Barnardo’s will be able to support you to make these plans.

For further information please visit NEWCIS’ website, Barnardo’s Facebook page or Carers Trust Wales and Carers UK, who have issued joint coronavirus guidance.

I hear Deeside Leisure Centre is to be turned into an Emergency Hospital, is that correct?

Deeside Leisure Centre (DLC) has been selected as the best available site for an Emergency Hospital to serve the Eastern area of North Wales because of its location and accessibility by road; its size and internal layout; the availability of utilities and facilities such as accessible toilet and washing facilities. DLC also has the advantage of being able to have extended bed capacity beyond the initial 250 target if needed.

DLC was chosen on Thursday 2 April by a team of partners including a multi-disciplinary professional team from the Health Board, the Council as the landlord, the Ambulance Service, the Fire Service and the Military, and in consultation with Aura Wales as the tenant.

We now have the important task of transforming DLC into a temporary hospital by the end of April in readiness for the expected peak in demand for hospital admissions.

The two main ward spaces will be the sports hall and the skate park hall. The ice rink, which is currently in a dry condition with no ice covering, is a third space held in reserve. The decision to demolish the skate park equipment was taken as the most time-efficient option to enable the principal contractor, who will fit-out the hospital, immediate access to DLC from Monday 6 April.

More information will follow on how the temporary hospital will operate, and when it will be opened. The hospital will be managed by the Health Board.

DLC will be returned to full use once the emergency situation is over. Aura and the Council will assess the options for the skate park hall and what can be offered in this space once the emergency situation is over. The Council is approaching Welsh Government for financial support to reinstate DLC with new equipment for a leisure offer for the future.

Volunteering

How can Flintshire residents volunteer to help vulnerable people?

Please contact Flintshire Local Voluntary Council (FLVC) who will be the conduit between the support offered and the support needed.

Who can contact FLVC?

Individuals offering help to their local community

Voluntary and Community Groups developing their own contingency plans.

FLVC have set up a dedicated vacancy on the Volunteering in Wales website for individuals to register their interest in volunteering

https://flintshire.volunteering-wales.net/vk/volunteers/my_opportunities_info_ur.htm?PID=10155766

FLVC will keep in regular contact with everyone who registers, linking them with a community need as and when appropriate.  We are asking that interested parties bear with FLVC as many groups have been inundated with offers of help and are struggling to maintain their own day to day operations.

Waste and Recycling

Is the Council still collecting bins?

We are collecting domestic bins (black bins), food and recycling.  

To help reduce the early demand at the centres we have resumed garden waste collections - for a two week period only from Monday 11 May to Saturday 23 May - for residents who subscribed to the service for either 2019 or 2020. More information about this one off collection can be found on the Garden Waste Collection page on our website. We plan to return to a more regular green waste collection service as soon as possible.

What happens if my black bin is not collected?

We will do our best to return when resources allow although it may not be possible to return until your next scheduled collection day.

My family is self-isolating with suspected COVID-19 symptoms – what do I do with our waste?

To help avoid contamination, residents can help our employees by making sure all black bin waste is bagged and all food waste is sealed inside the compostable bags and properly stored inside the appropriate bin.

Residents are advised to follow the published advice on handling waste if your household is displaying symptoms of COVID-19.

If you are experiencing the main symptoms - a new, continuous cough and/or a high temperature - please be very careful when disposing of your personal waste (including used tissues and disposable cleaning cloths/wipes) at home. 

Please do not put tissues or wipes/cloths in the recycling.  The advice for disposal of this waste is as follows: 

  • Personal waste (such as used tissues) and disposable cleaning cloths should be placed securely within disposable rubbish bags.
  • These bags should be double-bagged i.e. placed into another second bag, tied securely and kept separate from other waste.
  • Children, pets and pests should not be able to access this place. Waste should not be left unsupervised on the pavement awaiting collection.
  • This should be put aside for at least 72 hours before being put in your usual external household waste (black) bin.

If your household is self-isolating because someone has symptoms, please do not put your recycling out for collection for 14 days. After 14 days, you can put out your recycling as usual.

Please ensure that recycling items such as glass, cans and plastics are washed thoroughly and dry before they’re put out for collection. This will provide reassurance to our crews when it comes to separating and emptying the boxes.

Please visit the Bins, Recycling and Waste area on our website for more information about changes due to COVID-19. 

Will you collect recycling bags/containers if they have tissues in them?

Flintshire County Council is urging residents not to put used tissues loose in recycling bags or containers. A minority of people continue to ignore this important health and safety advice and leave recycling bags and containers full of used tissues for collection.

Any recycling containers that contain used or non-used tissues will no longer be collected. Stickers will be attached to any recycling containers that contain tissues and these will be left at the kerbside or collection point. The sticker requests the resident to remove the tissues and correctly dispose of them in the black bin (general waste).  

Residents are also being urged to assist crews manage the additional volumes of recycling and waste materials that are being left for collection by correctly sorting their recycling.  To protect our staff providing this vital service residents are asked to follow these guidelines:

  • Do NOT put any tissues, disposable cloths, and masks (if worn) in the recycling containers.  They should be disposed of in your black bin ONLY
  • If you are self-isolating because someone has viral symptoms in your household, please follow national guidelines and set your waste aside for at least 72 hours before putting it in your usual external household waste (black) bin.
  • Ensure that recycling items such as glass, cans and plastics are washed thoroughly and dry before they are put out for collection. 
  • Clean the handles of the bins / containers before placing them out for collection.
  • Don’t forget to wash your hands before you put out your bin and recycling containers, and again as soon as you bring them back in. 

The waste and recycling crews are out and about in communities every day, what can we do to help keep them safe?

Our waste and recycling crews are maintaining the collection service.  Should we need to introduce any changes over the coming weeks we will keep you informed.  

For the safety of our crews - and for everyone to comply with guidance on social distancing and behaviour - please: 

  • do not approach our crews
  • do not put tissues into recycling bags
  • do not put garden waste into black bins

Wherever possible:

  • make sure that all black bin waste is bagged and secure
  • make sure all food waste is sealed inside the compostable bags and secure
  • wash and dry glass, cans and plastic before leaving out recycling for collection
  • clean the handles of bins and containers before leaving out for collection
  • minimise your waste
  • store larger items until further advice is issued
  • wash your hands before and after you handle bins and waste containers

Missed collections can be reported online Report-a-collection-problem

Why have you decided to suspend or close some waste and recycling services now?

With reductions in our workforce numbers we need to prioritise the continued delivery of critical services such as food waste, black bin and recycling collections.

By suspending services such as bulky waste and garden waste collections we can redirect Streetscene operatives to keep critical services running for as long as possible. 

Other services, such as Household Recycling Centres, have been suspended as a direct result of Government direction to stop all but essential travel in an effort to stem the spread of the virus. 

Residents are advised to store any bulky waste, DIY waste, electrical items and garden waste at home within the boundary of their own property for the foreseeable future.  Please do not put out this waste for collection on your usual kerbside bin day as we will not collect it.   

If you discover hazardous waste at your property during a DIY project, such as asbestos, please contact the Council immediately for advice. 

Please act responsibility and dispose of all your recycling and waste using the bins you have at home.

Leaving items at the gates at our recycling centres constitutes fly-tipping and enforcement action will be taken against those responsible.

Why have you suspended garden waste collection?

The garden waste collection service will resume on Monday 8 June 2020 back to fortnightly collections on the normal collection date. 

Garden waste is usually collected on the same day as recycling and food waste and alternate weeks to black bin collections.  Please check your calendar or our website (www.flintshire.gov.uk/checkyourbinday) for your collection day.  

We ask that: 

  • your yellow tag is attached to your brown bin; 
  • your brown bin is out by 7.00 a.m. on your scheduled collection day; 
  • your brown bin only contains garden waste;
  • no side waste is left out;
  • you clean the handles of your bin before and after collection;
  • you wash your hands before and after touching your bin. 

If you have already paid and subscribed for the 2020 collection service, but have not yet received your yellow tag, please attach your payment reference to your brown bin. 

The subscription rate for the remainder of the year is £24.00 for on-line payments or £27.00 if the payment is made through the Contact Centre 01352 701234.

Residents who had subscribed for the 2020 service prior to its suspension will be offered a £8 reduction in their subscription charge for 2021 in recognition of the withdrawal of collections between March and June. Please appreciate that our Contact Centre is extremely busy at the moment, for example in supporting vulnerable people who are shielding, and that we are not in a position to process requests for an £8 refund for this year. 

More information on charges for the 2021 collection service will be released later this year. 

Will I get a refund for Council services I have subscribed to and paid for?

Garden waste collections were suspended from Monday 23rd March. This decision was made so that all available crews could concentrate on collecting black bins, food waste and recycling during the emergency period. 

The service will resume from Monday 8th June with collections made fortnightly on the normal collection date.

Residents who had subscribed for the 2020 service prior to its suspension will be offered a £8 reduction in their subscription charge for 2021 in recognition of the withdrawal of collections between March and June. Please appreciate that our Contact Centre is extremely busy at the moment, for example in supporting vulnerable people who are shielding, and that we are not in a position to process requests for an £8 refund for this year. 

The subscription rate for the remainder of the year is £24.00 for online payments or £27.00 if the payment is made through the Contact Centre.  To subscribe for the 2020 garden waste collection service, you can do it online: www.flintshire.gov.uk/gardenwaste2020 or by calling our Contact Centre on 01352 701234.

When will Household Recycling Centres reopen?

All five of our Household Recycling Centres (HRCs) in Flintshire have been open since 26 May operating under a temporary extension to their usual opening hours. 

From Monday, 8th June 2020, opening times for our HRCs will be changing to 09.00hrs until 18.00hrs daily

Again, we anticipate that demand will be high in the coming weeks and we ask you to consider whether your trip to the recycling centre is absolutely necessary.  Under the current guidelines, you should only make a journey to the HRC if your waste is causing a hazard to health and cannot be stored at home.

The safety of the public and our workforce must be protected, and the following safety controls will be in place at the centres:

full compliance with all health and safety regulations and government guidance
  • the availability of appropriate sanitation stations for site users and operatives
  • social distancing measures for customers and operatives with no assistance able to be given to customers to remove and carry materials from their vehicles
  • traffic management and control systems with limited numbers of vehicles allowed in at a time

We are also pleased to announce that we will be able to accept vans with permits and trailers from Monday, 8 June. The reintroduction of vans and trailers is the final phase of reopening the household recycling centres and residents with these vehicles will be able to access all sites from this date, as long as they are registered as a permit holder with Flintshire County Council and are carrying only household waste from the driver’s own private dwelling.

You may have to queue and we ask that you remain in your vehicle while you wait.  
On approach to the site, there will be a member of staff to help manage the traffic, and another controlling the gateway to the site. 

They will advise you when to enter the site and, provided social distancing is possible, guide you where to go on site.

You must follow their instructions at all times, as they are there to ensure that you and everyone else is kept safe.

The sites will have demarcation zones around parking bays and container access points to ensure that the 2-metre social distancing guidelines are maintained.

The sites will also be operating on a ‘one-vehicle-in-one-out’ basis.

Please note that as vans and trailers take significantly longer to empty and take up more space on site, the number of vehicles allowed on each site at any one time will be reduced accordingly. 

Please continue to follow social distancing guidelines and maintain a two-metre distance between yourself, staff and any other members of the public on site at the same time.

Please be patient with these new controls, and work with us to keep everyone safe. 

For further information go to www.flintshire.gov.uk/HRC.

Compost can now be collected, free of charge, from all HRCs (subject to availability). 

What do I do with my waste if I am unable to get to a HRC site when they re-open or if I have a backlog of waste at home

HRCs in Wales have been closed for a number of weeks, during which time the advice to the public has been to stay at home and to store any additional waste generated.  This means that there is potentially a significant backlog of materials.

The key messages to residents are:

  • Do not go to your recycling centre if you or anyone in your household has symptoms of Covid-19 or is currently shielding.  
  • Recycle what you can from home using your kerbside collections and check if your Council is offering home collection of larger/bulky items. Please disinfect the handles of your kerbside containers and bins for the safety of those collecting.
  • Only visit your recycling centre if you can’t safely store your waste/recycling at home.
  • Only go if it’s essential.
  • Check before you leave if your local HRC site is open and when it opens and closes.
  • There are likely to be queues at recycling centres due to limits on number of people being allowed into recycling centre at any one time. Please be patient and respect the staff working at the centres. 
  • If it is essential that you go to your local recycling centre, remember to observe social distancing and any other safety messaging in place. 
  • You must not dispose of household waste in a way that will cause pollution or harm people’s health. This includes burning it - burning household waste is an offence, liable to prosecution. 
  • Fly-tipping is a crime. Leaving items on the street or in parks, woodlands and fields is fly-tipping. This is a crime and could mean a fixed penalty of up to £400, or prosecution. Even if you mean well and leave items outside charity shops, or next to full recycling bins, this is still fly-tipping
  • If you have bulky items to dispose of, please either wait until we are able to accept these items, or alternatively from Tuesday 26 May you can book a bulky waste collection with Flintshire Refurbs who will begin making collections from Monday 1 June.  To book a collection contact the Council's Contact Centre 01352 701234 (on or after Tuesday 26 May). 

Again, we asking residents not to start DIY or spring cleaning projects at this time if waste materials cannot be stored or disposed of properly. 

Many people will be using the current period as an opportunity to spring clean their home or attend to their gardens. Residents should carefully consider how, when and where they can dispose of their waste before starting any work. 

Fly-tipping is never acceptable and is a criminal activity that:

• can damage the environment; 

• is a risk to human health;

• can harm wildlife and farm animals;

• needlessly diverts our crews from their scheduled waste and recycling collections. 

Residents must by law dispose of their own waste materials responsibly. If your waste is found to be dumped illegally, whether you know about it or not, you could face a fine. Anyone caught fly-tipping could face prosecution and a large fine. 

We do understand the concerns of residents who may have quantities of waste building up on their properties but now is not the time to try dispose of items after a spring clean or DIY project. 
Please consider everyone’s health and safety and dispose of your waste responsibly or keep it at home until you are able to visit our Household Recycling Centres and charities are again able to collect furniture and clothing.

Are you collecting bulky waste?

Flintshire County Council is pleased to announce that bulky waste collections resumed on 26 May. 

Bookings can be made through the Streetscene contact centre on 01352 701234. 

When collections are arranged please note that the following procedures are in place: 

  • Do not request a collection if you, or anyone you are living with, is in self-isolation or showing COVID-19 symptoms.
  • The items must be placed outside the property but within your boundary (e.g. front garden/drive) from the time your collection has been agreed. 
  • We cannot enter your home to assist with preparation or removal of items.
  • The collection point for properties with difficult access e.g. flats, will be discussed prior to a booking being made.
  • We may refuse to collect any items that could impact the safety or health of our collection staff.
  • We aim to collect your items within six working days, however this may take longer due to current restrictions. 

More information can be found clicking here

I’ve run out of compostable food waste bags, can I use a plastic bag instead?

If residents have run out of biodegradable food waste bags they should not use plastic bags as an alternative as we cannot collect them.

The food waste treatment facility that processes all our food waste does not accept plastic bags.  

If residents are running out of compostable biobags, please advise them tie a bag to the handle of the food waste caddy, or leave a note taped to the lid on collection day.  Our crews carry a stock of bags on the vehicle and will leave replacements on a first come first served basis.  If they have run out of stock when they get to the resident’s property, please advise the resident to do the same again on their next collection day.

I’ve seen adverts for businesses offering to take waste away for a small cash fee – am I safe to use these businesses?

Where the business offering the service is a registered waste carrier and is  taking the waste to a legitimate, permitted site then they are safe to use. 

The Council is warning residents to be vigilant when taking up offers from individuals posing as legitimate waste disposal businesses during this time.

Most people are doing the right thing and continuing to minimise the waste they produce and dispose of it correctly.  

However, we are seeing an increase in the number of “man in a van” type operations being set up, who are posing as legitimate waste disposal businesses and are taking advantage of the current crisis by offering to take residents’ waste away for a small cash fee.  Some of these operations are not registered or authorised to take waste away and are, in fact, illegal.

Some of these operations are not registered or authorised to take waste away and are illegal.

The law has not changed and, as an occupier of a domestic property, residents have a legal duty to make sure that their household waste, produced on their property, is passed to an authorised person for correct disposal. This is detailed in Section 34 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990. 

Legislation requires a resident to:

Check with Natural Resources Wales that the person or company that they are using is a registered waste carrier

Ask where the waste is being taken to

As a resident, you must by law dispose of your own waste responsibly.  If your waste is found to be dumped illegally, whether you know about it or not, you could face a fine of up to £5,000.  Anyone caught fly-tipping will face prosecution and a large fine.  We will continue our enforcement efforts on behalf of Flintshire residents and prosecute offenders whenever the evidence allows.

While we have some sympathy with residents who may have quantities of waste building up, we must emphasise that, for everyone's health and safety, please dispose of your waste responsibly or keep it at home until the Household Recycling Centres are open again when the lockdown restrictions are lifted.

We are continuing to pick up waste and recycling from the kerbside, so that there is no need to travel.  

Recycling points are still available at some supermarkets, but residents are requested not to make special visits to them, in line with government guidance, but to use them while doing their essential shopping.

To assist you with checking for licenced companies, Natural Resources Wales holds information on their public register. Please use their website to check any company you may be intending to use. 

Where can I get a replacement recycling bag, container or bin?

We are at present unable to accept requests for new or replacement recycling bags, containers and bins through our website. However, we are accepting requests for replacement bags, boxes, bins and containers through our Customer Contact Centre – Telephone 01352 701234.  We are also accepting requests for bins, bags and containers for new properties or following a house move.

Deliveries are on a first-come-first-served basis and may take longer than usual.  We ask that residents are patient while we try to meet the demand. 

Our crews also carry a limited stock of food bags and recycling bags on the vehicles and again will leave replacements on a first-come-first-served basis. 

If residents need replacement recycling bags or caddies, please advise them to contact the Customer Contact Centre on Telephone Number 01352 701234 to place an order.  Alternatively, they may leave a note taped to their containers or food bag tied to a caddy on collection day. 

Weddings and Civil Ceremonies

My marriage/civil ceremony has been postponed will I get a refund?

Ceremonies resumed on 22 June at the Register Office.  The number of people who can attend the ceremony will be limited in accordance with physical distancing measures.   The Registration Service will resume ceremonies booked in July, moving on to August and so on.   During July we will contact couples who have not rescheduled their booking and look to offer them an appointment from August onwards.

Ceremonies cannot currently be take place at Approved Premises e.g. hotels.

To make an appointment for telephone registration please call the Register Office on 01352 703333.

.

Useful Websites

Useful Documents