Service Updates

* For the latest health advice and updates on Covid-19 see: www.gov.ie/health-covid-19 or https://www.hse.ie/eng/services/news/newsfeatures/covid19-updates/ *

In response to the Coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak and in accordance with the HSE guidelines, Galway City Council has put some restrictions on services in place.

Following the most recent measures announced on Friday 27th March, critically essential services will continue to be provided by Galway City Council. Offices at City Hall and other Galway City Council facilities are now closed to the public but essential services continue to operate across different functions.

In the interest of public health, Galway City Council is encouraging all customers to deal with us online or over the phone on 091 536400

Galway City Council is working to ensure that cashflow is maintained to our Suppliers of Goods and Services and our payments to them are being processed on a regular basis.


The following service restrictions are in place:

Customer Services

Offices at City Hall and other Galway City Council facilities are now closed to the public but essential services continue to operate across different functions. Our Customer Service team is in place at 091 536 400 between 9.00am and 5.00pm.
Please call us if you have a critical issue. Our out-of-hours emergency service remains in place outside those hours.

All payments to Galway City Council can be made over the telephone – 091-536400 during office hours or online – www.galwaycity.ie.  If you usually pay by cash here at our offices, please consider these alternative options now.

Housing

The Housing Counter will remain closed until further notice. Housing queries can be made via phone or email or post. Please e-mail Housing at housing@galwaycity.ie  or telephone 091 536400. For all HAP queries, please email hap@galwaycity.ie  only.

Important Notice in respect of HAP tenancies

In light of the COVID-19 situation and recent announcements made by Government in relation to measures being taken to combat the spread of Covid-19, HAP tenants are advised of the following information, to ensure the continuity of HAP tenancies:

· If a HAP tenant does not experience any change in financial circumstances as a result of the steps being taken to combat the spread of COVID-19, there should be no change to the operation of the scheme – HAP payments will continue to be made to the landlord and the tenant’s differential rent will continue to be collected;

· If a tenant does experience a change in financial circumstances on foot of COVID-19, those tenants should contact the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection and apply for the relevant supports https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/cb3726-jobseekers-payments/ 

· To offset a requirement to present in person at Galway City Council Offices,  documentation received from DEASP should then be scanned / photographed and submitted to hap@galwaycity.ie  as soon as possible as proof of a change in financial circumstances,

·The possibility of Galway City Council staffing levels being reduced may lead to delays in differential rent amounts being amended – this will not affect your HAP payment to your landlord. 

·Differential rent arrears that accumulate following the submission of DEASP documentation during the COVID-19 measures will be re-assessed and rectified, as appropriate, by Galway City Council  in due course– this will not affect your HAP payment to your landlord.  

Housing Rent

Galway City Council is encouraging all customers to deal with us online or by telephone. If you usually pay your housing rent in cash through the Cash Office in City Hall, please make alternative arrangements to pay your weekly rent. Payment can be made over the phone or online. If you are unable to make alternative arrangements, please email housing@galwaycity.ie or call (091) 536400.

If your income has been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and you require a reassessment of your rent, please complete the form below and email to housing@galwaycity.ie. A member of the Housing Rents team will be in touch.

COVID19 Rent Adjustment Form.docx

COVID19 Rent Adjustment Form.pdf

Housing Loans and Tenant Purchase Scheme

Galway City Council is encouraging all customers to deal with us online or by telephone. Please do not call to City Hall in person to seek updates relating to your application. Queries can be sent to housing@galwaycity.ie or call (091) 536400.

Housing Estate Liaison Officer

The Housing Estate Liaison Officers will continue to provide support to our tenants and can be contacted by phone or by email. However, face-to-face meetings and house visits cannot be facilitated.

Housing Response Maintenance

As part of the ongoing effort to restrict the transmission of the COVID19 virus Housing Maintenance activity is being restricted. As and from Friday 13th March all Response Maintenance requests are being screened. Requests deemed critical following assessment will be addressed immediately. Non essential maintenance requests will be logged and will be dealt with at a later stage when the situation changes and current restrictions are lifted. Tenants who raise a maintenance request will receive a return call to facilitate such an assessment, they will be advised at that point with regard to the categorization of the issue and the level of response.

Critical items include –Electrical faults / Plumbing issues / Heating systems faults / Significant building fabric or structural issues.

Items which will be categorized as non-critical include (non exhaustive list): Boiler/stove replacements / Draught complaints / Internal repairs – tiles/flooring, window sills, timberwork etc. / Sanitary ware / Dampness/condensation / Wall cracks/decoration / Glass replacement / Boarding up windows and doors / Leaking gutters & downpipes / Fascia and soffit repair / Outhouses & sheds / External walls, gates & fences

Consideration will be given to elderly and/or vulnerable tenants when response assessment is being carried out. This measure is being put in place to protect the health of tenants’ our own and contract staff and the wider community.

Planning

The Minister made an order on the 29th March, 2020 under the Planning & Development Act 2000 (as amended) with regards to several planning related matters including an extension of time by 23 days for a range of specified timelines in the planning acts and their associated regulations.

https://www.housing.gov.ie/corporate/covid-19-coronavirus/covid-19-coronavirus-crisis 

Below is a FAQ document which has been produced by the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government which outlines the above temporary measures in more details.

Frequently Asked Questions on effect of an Order under Section 251A of the Planning and Development Act, 2000 as amended.pdf

As the Planning Department is operating with significantly reduced resources, all calls for planning related queries should be made through the main Galway City Council Customer Service Phone Number 091 536400 as direct lines to individual departments may not be monitored due to limited staff numbers in attendance in the building and similarly any correspondence by email should be directed to planning@galwaycity.ie  and not to individual staff members as not all staff have access to remote working facilities.

Transport

The Transport Department currently has no service closures / restrictions in place.

Recreation & Amenity

Further to recent closures of various city amenities, sports pitches, playgrounds, community centres etc that have taken place over the past days and weeks, Galway City Council has now be moved to close ALL outdoor amenities on Saturday and over the weekend, including Salthill Prom, Ballyloughane, Grattan and Silverstrand beaches, walkways, Barna woods, Merlin woods, Terryland Forest Park etc.

The latest measures announced by Government set out that any exercise must be taken within 2km of your home. Please do not drive to other popular amenities around the city.

All Public toilets and the changing rooms at Blackrock are closed.

The Civic Amenity Site and St Nicholas’s Market are closed

All Galway City Council Playgrounds are closed until further notice. Please do not allow children to use playground equipment. We also wish to advise/remind all Private Management Companies/Community Groups providing playgrounds and play areas to likewise close your facilities to control and prevent the spread of COVID-19. Your assistance is greatly appreciated.

Both Rahoon & Bohermore Cemeteries are closed. The cemeteries are only open to accept burials with attendance restricted to immediate family members (maximum 10 persons) only.

Economic Development, Community and Culture

·A Covid-19 Community Response Forum has been put in place for Galway City, co-ordinated by Galway City Council. A dedicated community support helpline and email address has been launched for Galway City, to assist at-risk members of the public in accessing non-emergency and non-medical supports and advice. Call 1800 400 150 or email covidsupport@galwaycity.ie. Available 7 days a week from 8.00am to 8.00pm. Included in the COVID-19 Galway City Community Response Forum are:

Galway City Council
Health Service Executive
An Garda Síochána
Community Welfare Service, DEASP
Galway City Partnership
Galway City Community Network
Galway Volunteer Centre
COPE Galway
Other community, voluntary and sports representatives

 Full details on the Galway City Community Response Forum can be found here

· All performances at the Town Hall and Black Box Theatres are cancelled until further notice.

· Galway City Museum will be closed until further notice. If you have an urgent query please email staff on museum@galwaycity.ie

· All Galway public libraries are closed. You can log on to http://galwaylibrary.ie to use online services completely free. inc. ebooks, audiobooks, newspapers, magazines.

· LeisureLand is also closed to the public until further notice. 

· Arts strategy consultations cancelled NOTE: Anyone who wishes to receive a notification of the rescheduled meetings can email the Arts Office via c&c@galwaycity.ie to be put on a register. The email should include Rescheduled Arts Strategy Sectoral Meeting Register in the subject box.

·Galway Volunteer Centre is actively working with anyone wishing to help out in the community. Register on their website www.volunteergalway.ie 

·Galway City Community Network (GCCN) is inviting non-members and the public to join a database to receive the information being sent by Government, Galway City Council and others. Your personal information will not be shared with anyone else and will be deleted at the end of the COVID-19 alert. You can also unsubscribe at any time. Sign-up here - http://eepurl.com/gXiY5z 

·COPE Galway have set up a helpline number for older people in Galway 085 87 67 785 which will operate between 9am - 4pm. This is a practical helpline to connect older people with ways of meeting their needs.

Environment and Climate Action

The Civic Amenity site in Liosban is closed until further notice, as of Wednesday 25th March.

The Bulky Goods Collection Service has been temporarily suspended until further notice.

Galway City Dog Pound is now closed to members of the public and will not be accepting dogs until further notice. 

St Nicholas’ Market will not operate until further notice.

The spring clean initiative has been temporarily suspended,  until further notice. This service will re-commence once deemed appropriate

Household Waste Collection Services in Galway City

Notice from the National Waste Collection Permit Office (NWCPO)

Please be advised that it has been agreed in accordance with condition 6.6.12 of the household Waste Collection Permits that no time limit will apply to the collection of household kerbside waste for the duration of the current COVID -19 health crisis.

For the duration of the current COVID -19 health crisis there will be no time limit on the collection of household kerbside waste in Galway City.

If you have any queries on the above please email wastecollectionpermits@galwaycity.ie 

Managing your waste.

- Continue to present your waste for collection on your regular collection day unless advised otherwise by your waste collector
- Disinfect handles of bins before and after collection
- Wipes, cloths and gloves can be placed in your general waste bin/bag
- Do not flush wipes down the toilet

If households are self-isolating / quarantined, they will need to manage their waste as outlined by the HSE below.

- Put all the waste that you have used, including tissues and masks, in a plastic rubbish bag. Tie the bag when it is about three-quarters full. Place the plastic bag in a second bin bag and tie the bag.
- Treat all cleaning waste in the same way.
- Do not put the rubbish bags out for collection for 72 hours. After that, the bags can be put out for collection in regular domestic waste.

https://www2.hse.ie/conditions/coronavirus/self-isolation-and-limited-social-interaction.html 

Further details on www.mywaste.ie 

If you have any queries on the above please email wastecollectionpermits@galwaycity.ie 

Water Services

The Water Services Department currently has no service closures / restrictions in place.

Arrangements relating to Commercial Rates and COVID-19

Galway City Council recognises the financial pressures being experienced by the business sector and is cognisant that businesses such as those in the hospitality, retail and leisure and childcare sectors have been identified as sectors that are adversely affected by the measures introduced in response to COVID-19.


Galway City Council in line with the recent Government announcement will be deferring rates payments due from Businesses most immediately impacted by COVID-19, primarily in the retail, hospitality, leisure and childcare sectors for a period of three months until the end of June 2020.


If your Business is experiencing cash flow difficulties in paying rates you are requested to contact the Rates Department at rates@galwaycity.ie or telephone 091536856 / 091 536401. If your Business currently pays Commercial Rates by Direct Debit and are experiencing cash flow difficulties, as already advised in correspondence issued last week, please make contact with the Rates Department immediately and at the latest by 4.00 pm on Thursday 2nd April 2020.


Please have following information to expedite our response to your query:
• Address of the property
• Your mobile or landline number
• A Customer or property reference number will also be helpful for reference.

Please be assured that the staff in Galway City Council’s Rates Office will work with you and all ratepayers during these challenging times and will respond to all your queries on a daily basis.

Ongoing adaptation of responses from Galway City Council:

 In a prolonged COVID-19 situation, the categories of ratepayers experiencing difficulties may change, and therefore the Council will monitor the situation closely and will be dealing with difficulties experienced by ratepayers on a case by case basis.

 A COVID-19 Response Group was established by Senior Management in Galway City Council and have been meeting on a daily basis since COVID-19 was first confirmed in Ireland and will continue to monitor and assess the impact on our residents and businesses in this rapidly changing situation.

Further information and support resources for the business sector:

Our Economic Development Directorate and Local Enterprise Office also want business owners to know that there are supports in place to further help them with the challenges they are suddenly facing because of the COVID-19. For further details of the supports that are in place to address challenges facing businesses as a result of COVID-19 check regular updates on Local Enterprise Office website https://www.localenterprise.ie/response 

The Governments Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation (DBEI) is now operating a Business Support Call Centre to advise on the Government supports available to businesses and enterprises that are affected by COVID-19. The Call Centre can be contacted at 00 353 1 631 2002. In addition, on the COVID-19 Supports page on the Department’s website https://dbei.gov.ie   there are numerous links to vital information, supports available and advice to business on dealing with COVID-19.

 

For the latest updates please see our social media channels: https://www.facebook.com/GalwayCityCouncil/

https://twitter.com/GalwayCityCo