Our services that are impacted

This information was last checked on 26 May 2020. 

Bins

Green bin collections

  • Residents in Cambridge City and South Cambridgeshire are being asked to put their green bins out on their normal days from Monday 4 May as part of a phased reintroduction of garden waste collections.
  • Households would usually have two green bin collections between 4 and 30 May, but due to the impact of national social distancing measures, only one collection will be guaranteed. Crews will try to empty more bins on each occasion if they can.
  • For clarity, households can check our online bin collection calendar to find out their guaranteed green bin collection date.
  • Further information can be viewed in our latest news release, issued on Friday 24 April, or green bin re-introduction FAQs.
  • The service to deliver additional green bins is also suspended. Replacement green bins can now be ordered.
  • Can you consider home composting?

Waste services

  • Household Recycling Centres-Household Recycling Centres (HRCs) will be open on Monday 11 May for residents who have essential waste that cannot be stored safely at home.
  • See Cambridgeshire County Council Household Recycling Centres for full information.
  • The key conditions to the sites reopening are:
    • Only visit if it is essential.
    • Do not bring any COVID-19 infected waste (including PPE and general household waste if you have been suffering from symptoms). These bags should be placed into another bag, tied securely and kept separate from other waste. This should be put aside for at least 72 hours before being disposed of in your kerbside collection. 
    • Do not attend the sites if you are anyone in your house has COVID-19 symptoms. 
    • The HRCs are for Cambridgeshire residents only. Please bring proof of address, in case you are asked for it. 
    • Traffic management will be in place, limiting the number of vehicles on site.
    • No staff assistance to unload vehicles.
    • No more than 2 adults to unload a vehicle.
    • No vans or trailers that require a permit. 
    • No pedestrian access to the sites.
    • Textiles/Shoes/TV/computer monitors and paint- these items are not currently accepted.
  • The bulky waste collection service resumed from Monday 27 April. Collections are limited to 3 items. 
  • Commercial collections are continuing where required. Please email us about any changes required or temporary suspension of service.
  • Please see our advice on handling waste if you are displaying Coronavirus symptomsPlease wash your bin handles and lids with mild disinfectant before you put out for collection
  • Dog bins and litter bins: With more people at home and going for walks if you can take your litter and dog poo home and put it in your black bin to help not to put pressure on street cleaning crews. 
  • Please do not take any items to any recycling points (for example: textiles, shoes and batteries.). These will not be emptied until further notice as contractors have suspended collections.
  • The clinical waste collection service has been changed to fortnightly instead of weekly until further notice (effective Wednesday 8 April).  

Benefits

Please note due to the current situation with Coronavirus customers should email all supporting documents to our benefits team. 

All Changes of circumstances should be reported through our online form.

If you do not have access to a scanner or phone with a camera and need to provide evidence, in the current period, we will where possible apply the change without the supporting documents, but we will request evidence at a future date.  

Community Governance Review

We are taking advice as to how we can amend the timetable and public engagement programme of the Community Governance Review of Longstanton and Oakington and Westwick, to enable effective consultation to be carried out. In the meantime, please note that we are not able to run the drop in sessions that have been planned to take place in the next four weeks. The Community Governance Review page has the most up to date information.

Council accounts

Due to the ongoing impact of COVID-19, the statutory deadline for opening Public Inspection of our 2019 to 2020 Statement of Accounts has been delayed from Monday 1 June 2020 to Tuesday 1 September 2020 (Max Soule- Deputy Director Ministry of Housing, Communications and Local Government, letter dated 22 April 2020).

Accordingly, the deadline for 2019 to 2020 Accounts certification has been delayed from Friday 31 July 2020 to Monday 30 November.

Council meetings

During the Coronavirus pandemic, meetings may be held virtually, where practicable, or may be cancelled. Please regularly check the committee meeting calendar to see whether meetings will be going ahead. Where a public meeting is taking place virtually we will post a weblink on the relevant web page, normally by 5.00pm on the day before the meeting. 

Elections

Waterbeach Parish Council by-election

An election has been requested for the recent vacancy on Waterbeach Parish Council. In accordance with the Coronavirus Act this will be held on 6 May 2021. If the government changes the law we will update our elections 2020 page as soon as we know more.

The Neighbourhood Plan Referendum for Cottenham

The Neighbourhood Plan Referendum for Cottenham has been suspended until further notice. For further information please visit the Elections 2020 page.

Environmental Health

  • Our Environmental Protection Team are no longer undertaking non-essential visits due to the Covid-19 pandemic. This may result in complaints taking longer than usual to investigate. We ask that you please bear with us at this time.
  • We have recently seen an increase in the number of noise, odour and smoke from bonfire complaints as more people are at home for longer periods. During these difficult times we ask that all our residents be considerate to their neighbours and that they don't do anything that will unreasonably interfere with the use of another person’s home.
  • The Environmental Protection Act 1990 deals with statutory nuisance, not annoyance. As more people are at home for longer periods during this pandemic, more domestic noise may be generated. For example, movements within a property, children playing and dogs barking. Normal domestic living noises cannot be investigated unless they are excessive.
  • Please do not play music that is audible outside of the boundary of your home
  • Burning of garden waste is not advised currently because some residents will be shielding and self-isolating. Government advice is to stay at home and have windows open. If residents have bonfires, this will negatively impact on others as windows cannot be opened. 
  • Our Environmental Protection Team are helping to ensure that the vulnerable residents in or society have the items that they need to get through this difficult time and this is where our efforts need to be concentrated on, so please, before you contact us, consider whether the complaint can wait or whether you are suffering an ‘annoyance’ rather than a statutory nuisance.

Freedom of Information (FOI) requests

There may be a delay in our response time which will exceed the 20-day deadline for FOI requests - visit our FOI page for further information.

Health and wellbeing

Housing

Updates for Council tenants

Non-essential works suspended

All planned works (except for gas safety inspections - see more below) are on hold until further notice. If you are affected, the team will contact you to reschedule the work when we know more. You can continue to report non-urgent repairs in the usual way.

Essential works that will continue include:

  • Supply of basic services, heating, water, electricity
  • Repairs which are causing damage to the property
  • Health and Safety issues

Gas safety inspections

Landlords have a legal duty to conduct gas safety inspections and ensure appliances are safe, so Mears will continue to carry out these scheduled gas inspections and services until the Government suspends this.

Please be assured that Mears engineers are adhering to guidance around hygiene, using hand sanitisers and wipes, and confirming whether anyone in the household is self-isolating or has been in contact with anyone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 or has recently gone into self-isolation, postponing the inspection if so. Engineers can also cancel an appointment if they have other concerns. New appointments will be arranged for after a 14-day period. 

If you are clinically extremely vulnerable (shielded) please inform your landlord so they can rearrange the gas safety check for after your isolation period has ended.

Ground maintenance

Work has resumed and maintenance teams are adhering to social distancing rules whilst carrying out works to communal areas and gardens. Please note it may take a few weeks for grass to get back to how it should look at this time of year.

Home-Link

There may be fewer properties available to bid on than usual over the coming weeks. It may also take longer for the relevant landlord to complete the shortlisting and letting process. For more information visit the Home-Link site.

Tenant and leaseholder involvement

The planned estate inspections have been cancelled.

Ermine Street Housing

  • Property visits are postponed due to travel restrictions.
  • Rent payments: if paying your rent will be an issue over the next few months, please email contact@erminestreethousing.co.uk.
  • Gas safety checks: if you are clinically extremely vulnerable (shielded) please inform your landlord so they can rearrange the gas safety check for after your isolation period has ended.
  • For more information visit Ermine Street Housing.

Licensing

Premises Licensing

The Health Protection Regulations 2020 came into force on 21 March 2020 requiring a number of premises and businesses to close during the Coronavirus emergency. The Government released further guidance about additional businesses that need to close on 23 March 2020. Check the full list on our dedicated page. 

Taxi Licensing

We have had to change how we process Vehicle, Driver and Operator licensing due to the current situation with Coronavirus. Please read the full changes on our dedicated page.

Northstowe Community Wing

The Northstowe Community Wing will be closed until further notice - visit our Community Wing page for updates.

Overseas Pensions Attestations

We are temporarily suspending all overseas pension attestations for recipients of an overseas pension due to the Government’s instruction for the public to stay at home and away from others. Please email our Democratic Services team for further information.

Planning

We are currently processing householder, full, outline and reserved matters applications dated 9 April, other categories from 9 April, and conditions discharges from 20 March. We apologise for these delays. If you would like to speak to someone, regarding your application, please contact 03450455215.

  • Planning Committee agreed a new scheme for public speaking on 13 May 2020.  The scheme has been revised to recognise that meetings of the committee are taking place virtually.
  • Personal searches- whilst the Council offices remain closed, all Personal Search requests will be returned electronically until the present situation changes. Continue to use the current booking service by emailing us at land.charges@scambs.gov.uk. Please do not attend the Council buildings.
  • Local Land charges searches and payments- must be submitted electronically. We cannot process cheques at the current time.  Please email the appropriate Council as detailed above.
  • Planning duty officer advice service will be provided by telephone. Please telephone our Contact Centre on 03450 450 500 for an appointment.
  • Planning applications should, wherever possible, be submitted electronically via the planning application portal or by email. We are not able to process hard copy/paper applications at the present time.
  • All correspondence should be submitted electronically to avoid delays in processing.
  • Cheque payments cannot be processed at the current time. All payments should be made electronically/by BACs.
  • We are not currently carrying out site visits, unless for emergencies or other exceptional circumstances in accordance with Government advice about minimising travel and keeping within the social distancing requirements. This means that if you submit a pre-application request or planning application, we ask you to submit good quality photos and other contextual information to help us to assess any impacts of the development. Any emergency site visits that we do carry out will be governed by social distancing requirements and you will be asked a series of triage questions in advance of the visit being arranged.
  • Site notices: site notices are now being displayed at all locations where a site notice forms part of the formal consultation process. This includes applications previously submitted during lockdown that were subsequently ‘put on hold’. Due to current restrictions on social distancing there may be a short delay in processing and distribution. 
  • Although social distancing requirements are still in place, we are able to  process and make a decision  on the majority of planning applications. Additional information and photographs may be requested to assist where site access is not possible or limited. In a small amount of cases, there may be a need for access to properties that would compromise social distancing requirements so we may not be able to make a decision on such applications at the present time. 
  • We are still sending out notifications to neighbours where an application directly relates to their property
  • We continue to place planning notices in the local press where appropriate
  • If you have a general query, please email: planning@greatercambridgeplanning.org. We will do our best to get back to you as soon as we can and to assist you but please bear in mind that we may have reduced staff capacity at times due to the current situation.

Local Plan and Neighbourhood Planning

In response to Covid-19 restrictions, the consultation on Foxton Neighbourhood Plan (Submission public consultation - Regulation 16) has been temporarily suspended. You an read more on the Foxton Neighbourhood Plan page. 

The Parish Toolkit

There have been changes to the national guidance since we last updated the toolkit. The latest was published on 6 April 2020. The Ministry of Housing, Community and Local Government published a new section to the on-line planning guidance relating to neighbourhood planning specifically about the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic and neighbourhood plans. This will concern those parish councils preparing neighbourhood plans who may be at a stage close to carrying out a public consultation or submitting their plan to South Cambridgeshire District Council. The guidance also indicates that no referendums can be carried out now until May 2021.

Recruitment

We are still recruiting however, due to the current situation with coronavirus, our recruitment process may take longer than usual. If you have any queries please contact scdcrecruitment@scambs.gov.uk

Street lights 

  • Please continue to report general faults. Wherever possible and safe to do so, we are continuing to undertake general maintenance works on our streetlights during this time, but please bear with us as it may take longer to attend to general faults and some works may not be possible. 
  • Please be assured that urgent faults (faults that pose an immediate risk of injury) will be responded to as soon as possible and within our usual 3-hour response time. These should be reported over the telephone only.
  • Please do continue to contact us regarding any attachment requests in accordance with our guidance. We will not be able to approve requests currently but we can begin to review your requirements. 

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