Galway City Council encourages public to deal with City Hall over the phone

Customers should deal with council online or over the phone on 091 - 536400

Despite the Coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak, the Galway City Council is continuing to provide essential services, and is asking the public to deal with it via www.galwaycity.ie, over the phone on 091 - 536400, instead of coming into the council itself.

Some curtailment of services has taken place and in accordance with health advice from the Government and the HSE. We are revising measures as needed.

Chief Executive of Galway City Council, Brendan McGrath, would like to thank the people of Galway City for their cooperation with the health advice and social distancing measures put in place by the Government and the HSE thus far. Staff of Galway City Council have been working closely on an inter-agency basis with other primary services, particularly the HSE to support them with the preparation of testing facilities in the city. Galway City Council remains an essential provider of services and priority services will continue to be maintained throughout the COVID-19 outbreak.

Customer Services

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.

If you must call to City Hall with an essential query, Customer Services will deal with your query on a face to face basis. Response times may vary but all requests will be logged and dealt with in due course.

Housing

The Housing Counter will remain closed until further notice. Housing queries can be made via phone or email or post. Only URGENT face-to-face queries will be dealt with via Customer Services from 9:30am – 1pm by appointment only. In order to establish whether your query is urgent please e-mail Housing at [email protected] or telephone 091 536400.

If you usually pay your housing rent in cash through the Cash Office, please contact the Housing Department to make alternative arrangements.

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.

If your income has been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and you require a reassessment of your rent, forms are available online which should be emailed to [email protected] . A member of the Housing Rents team will be in touch.

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 [email protected] 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.

In the interests of reducing direct contact, HAP tenants should check with the HAP Unit, Galway City Council by telephone 091- 536588 or by email to [email protected] before presenting in person at Galway City Council.

Planning

The public counter for planning will remain closed until further notice. Planning queries can be made via phone or email. Face to face queries, file viewing and the payment of fees will be dealt with via Customer Service desk, however, it is advised to call in advance.

In the context of Covid -19 emergency period the implementation of a number of specific legislative measures relating to planning functions are scheduled. These include exemptions from normal planning rules to allow restaurants and cafes to provide takeaway and delivery services and also the suspension of enforcement of any prevailing planning conditions which restricts the hours of operation of businesses involved in food and certain retailing.

The immediate provision of temporary health facilities including hospitals, isolation units and step down facilities are also allowed to be developed without the need for planning consent.

In addition, various statutory periods applying under a number of Planning and Building Control Acts are to be paused. This is similar to the position as applies in normal circumstances over the Christmas period when public offices are closed. The paused period will be determined by the Government and can be extended but regardless all of these measures will relate to the period of the emergency only.

Recreation & Amenity

No more than four people should gather at one time when using amenity areas including beaches, public parks and woodlands.

All Galway City Council Playgrounds are closed until further notice. Please do not allow children to use playground equipment.

Even in these difficult circumstances, people still need to visit our cemeteries. While cemeteries can be a quiet place for reflection, they can at times be quite busy with people. As much as possible, please adhere to social distancing while in the cemetery.

Facilities that are closed:

All Galway City Council Multi-Use Games Areas, All Weather Sports Pitches, Basketball Courts, Tennis Courts and Skate Parks, Dressing Rooms, Boxing Clubs and Snooker Halls.

Community Centres at Cappagh, Renmore and Westside

The Town Hall Theatre, Black Box Theatre, Galway City Museum, Leisureland and all public libraries will be closed until further notice.

Galway Volunteer Centre are 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 athttps://galwaycitycommunitynetwork.ie/

Rates

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 [email protected] or telephone 091536856 / 091 536401

Please have the 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 Department will work with you and all ratepayers during these challenging times and will respond to all your queries on a daily basis.

Environment and Climate Action

Litter Management and Community Warden services are currently operating as normal and will be reviewed on a daily basis.

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. The dog-warden remains on call for emergency calls.

St Nicholas’ Market will not operate from this coming weekend until further notice.

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 you are self-isolating / quarantined, you will need to manage your 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.

Galway City Council’s response will be calm, determined and measured. All information here is accurate at the time of sending but is subject to change. Service updates will be published at www.galwaycity.ie/serviceupdates as well as www.facebook.com/GalwayCityCouncil and twitter.com/GalwayCityCo

 

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