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.

The Government Roadmap for Reopening Society and Business, which sets out how the COVID-19 restrictions will be lifted, comes into effect from Monday 18th of May with Phase 1. To align with this national plan, Galway City Council has developed a local roadmap outlining the phases for the reopening of key local authority services in Galway City:

Galway City Council Roadmap for Reopening Society and Business May 2020 .pdf

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

 


The following service restrictions are in place:

Customer Services

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.

From Monday 29th June, Galway City Council Customer Service counter at City Hall will open from 9.30am – 1.00pm daily (Mon - Fri), for queries that cannot be dealt with over the phone. Entry to City Hall will be limited to conform with social distancing requirements.

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 Office will operate an appointment only basis after June 29th.  If you wish to make an appointment, please call 091 894370 or email housing@galwaycity.ie. 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.

COVID-19 : HPL1 Temporary Process

Social Housing applicants and applicants for the Rebuilding Ireland Home Loan should note that in light of the Covid-19 emergency, a temporary alternate arrangement has been put in place that will remove the need for them to have to obtain a physically completed HPL1 form from Revenue, either in person, by post, or by Revenue’s online systems ROS/MyAccount.  Instead, the applicant can request that Galway City Council undertake an electronic process to obtain the information from the Revenue Commissioners. Persons who wish to avail of this option should contact Galway City Council at housing@galwaycity.ie and request that the relevant HPL1 information be obtained on their behalf by the local authority.Please complete letter of authorisation

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

Galway City Council, Planning Section wish to advise that the re-opening of the planning office to members of the public in the initial period will be by appointment only with the viewing of live files being a priority. Please be advised that there may be delays in obtaining an appointment given the space limitation for compliance with social distancing. Therefore we would ask our customers to consider visiting the planning office only where business cannot be conducted by other means.

In line with national guidelines, where information is required, the contact in the first instance should be via the local authority website, where planning files and other information is available to be viewed online at  www.galwaycity.ie . Should further information or clarification be sought, members of the public are encouraged to contact the planning department by email at planning@galwaycity.ie or telephone 091 536599. (Please note, for those unfamiliar with the navigation of our website, our planning staff can assist you with the process). 

Should it be necessary to visit the planning offices, customers should contact the planning office by telephone at 091 536599 to make an appointment to visit the offices, in order to comply with Health & Safety of both the public and staff and to ensure compliance with social distancing measures currently in place. Please note that members of the public visiting the planning department will be asked to provide information for the purposes of contact tracing.

 

Transport

Pay & Display Parking System and Parking Enforcement.

Galway City Council's Community Wardens are continuing with the enforcement of parking regulations in line with current Government guidelines. This currently includes the daily monitoring of illegally parked vehicles, or vehicles causing obstructions and includes, for example, parking on double yellow lines and parking on footpaths/loading bays/bus stops.

In line with the easing under Phase 2 of the Government Roadmap for Reopening Society and Business, payment for parking both on-street and City Council Car Parks such as Dyke Road, Cathedral Carpark, Bowling Green, Mill Street will be strictly enforced from Monday 8th June 2020.

Recreation & Amenity

From  Monday 25th May, Bohermore and Rahoon Cemeteries will return to normal opening hours:

- Monday 8:00 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.
- Tuesday 8:00 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.
- Wednesday 8:00 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.
- Thursday 8:00 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.
- Friday 8:00 a.m. To 3.15 p.m.
- Saturday 1:30 p.m. to 4:15 p.m.
- Sunday (No burials) Main gates open 1:30 p.m. to 4:15 p.m.

 

- Social distancing and a maximum of 200 persons  is essential

 Galway City Council would like to confirm that the St Nicholas Saturday and Sunday Markets resume this weekend (23rd -24th May). Adherence to social distancing and hand hygiene is essential for this to work which will be managed by the Traders at each stall. Galway City Council will monitor the market this weekend and will make changes for next weekend if required.

Public parks and sports pitches will be opened up to the public on a phased basis, following grass cutting, commencing during Phase 1, starting 18th May. Physical distancing guidelines must be adhered to.  For full details see the Local Roadmap

Galway City's beaches are also re-opening as part of Phase 1. Though the access road to Silverstrand has now re-opened. 

Blackrock Walkway will reopen on Wednesday 10th June. Blackrock Diving Tower will reopen on Friday 12th June with a one-way system in place

 

Galway City Council is planning to open all playgrounds over the next two days, starting tomorrow (Wednesday 10th June).

Children using Galway City Council Playgrounds are to be SUPERVISED by a PARENT or GUARDIAN AT ALL TIMES.

Parents or Guardians are REQUIRED:

1. To bring their own hand sanitiser for the cleaning of their children’s hands before, at regular intervals during and after use of the playground equipment. In the absence of such sanitation parents or guardians are requested to refrain from allowing their children use of the equipment.

2. To ensure physical distancing between children

3. To advise children to avoid touching their face, eyes, nose and mouth.

4. To ensure children under your care have regard to the safe use of equipment and to the safety of others at all times.

5. To adhere to the most up to date health advice.

 

It is planned to re-open the following facilities on a restricted and phased basis with effect from Friday 3rd July- Knocknacarra Community Centre, Westside Community Centre, Bohermore Dressing Rooms, Crestwood Dressing Rooms, Ballybane Dressing Rooms, Westside Dressing Rooms, Westside Boxing Gym  and South Park Dressing Rooms. Safety Protocols will be issued to all Clubs and other groups and users in advance. Renmore Community Centre will remain closed until further notice.

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 9.00am to 5.00pm. 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

A privacy notice for the Community Call Helpline can be viewed here

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

· Galway public libraries are starting to reopen on a restricted basis, check out their social media accounts for details; Galway City Library ; Westside Library; Ballybane Library . You can log on to http://galwaylibrary.ie to use online services completely free. inc. ebooks, audiobooks, newspapers, magazines.

· LeisureLand: We are delighted to announce that from the 7th of July we will be opening our pools to the public. Due to the Covid-19 capacity restrictions we will be running 5 public sessions daily that will be capped per Government guidance. Due to this we encourage booking in advance to avoid disappointment. To book call us on 091-521455!

· 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 Galway City Council Civic Amenity site in Liosbaun will re-open on Wednesday 10th June 2020. Opening times will be extended for an initial period to allow for additional users and social distancing procedures to be implemented.

 The spring clean initiative has now re-commenced. 

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

 

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.

Irish Water in partnership with Galway City Council is asking businesses to conserve or turn off water in buildings that are temporarily closed or vacant.

COVID-19 – Mortgage Payment Break for local authority borrowers

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government, Mr. Eoghan Murphy, T.D., has confirmed that forbearance arrangements have now been put in place to support local authority borrowers who are experiencing financial distress arising out of the COVID-19 emergency.

Galway City Council loan customers can apply for a Mortgage Payment Break of up to three months, under the COVID-19 emergency measures, if they have experienced a reduction (or anticipate suffering a reduction) in income arising from the COVID-19 emergency, and will be unable to make repayments on their home loan.

The mortgage payment break is also open to Galway City Council borrowers who are currently in arrears and further impacted by Covid-19.  In this case borrowers must be currently engaging with Galway City Council in relation to their arrears and complying with relevant conditions already set.

Customers who wish to avail of Mortgage Payment Break must complete an Application Form and return by email to the Debt Management Unit DMU@galwaycity.ie  or by post to Loans Section, Debt Management Unit, Finance Department, Galway City Council, City Hall, College Road, Galway.

Ministerial Circular, Application Form together with FAQ’s are available at the below links:

Circular 9 2020 - Local Authority Mortgage Payment Break.pdf

Galway City Council Mortgage Payment Break - Application Form (01).docx

FAQ Mortgage Payment Break.pdf

 

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 currently pays Commercial Rates by Direct Debit and are experiencing cash flow difficulties, as previously advised in correspondence issued on 26th March, please make contact with the Rates Department immediately to defer your May and June Direct Debit payments.


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