Date issued: 17 December 2018
Residents are being reminded of the amended opening times of Colchester Borough Council services and venues this festive period.
While the key council services will continue operating over the Christmas and New Year period, the council’s main offices will be closed on Monday 24 December and will re-open at 9am on Friday 28 December. They will also be closed on New Year’s Day – reopening for normal business from Wednesday 2 January.
To find out more information about all the Council’s services, visit www.colchester.gov.uk.
Residents wishing to access council services via their online account will be able to do so 24-hours a day at www.colchester.gov.uk/online. This is the place to quickly and easily set up a Direct Debit, check Council Tax, apply for a Single Person Discount and switch to e-billing. Housing Benefit recipients can also view their entitlement, check correspondence and the income on a claim.
The key information and dates of council services over the Christmas period are as follows:
Waste and recycling
There will be some changes to the waste and recycling collection days over Christmas and New Year, so residents are advised to check their recycling calendars.
During Christmas week, there will be no collections on Christmas Day or Boxing Day. Collections which would normally fall on Christmas Day will be one day earlier, on Christmas Eve, while Wednesday to Friday collections will be one day later than usual.
During the week commencing 1 January 2019, all collections will be one day later than normal.
For flat residents with kerbside black bag collections which would usually fall on Christmas Eve, these collections will take place on 22 December and then on 31 December. Flat residents with communal collections will continue to receive weekly collections over this period.
Information about Essex County Council’s Shrub End Recycling Centre opening times and items accepted can be found here
If you are looking to recycle your real Christmas tree following the festive period, you can ask St Helena Hospice to take it away for a small donation. This year, they will be collecting trees from properties in CO1-CO9 and CO11 on 12 January. Collections needs to be booked by noon Wednesday 9 January. More information can be found here.
After Friday 21 December, the Community Hub, in Colchester Library, will only be open on Friday 28 December and Monday 31 December. It will reopen as usual from Wednesday 2 January.
For more information and also the library opening times, visit the council’s website here.
The emergency alarm, response and monitoring service, Helpline, will operate 24 hours-a-day, as normal, during the Christmas and New Year period, providing support and equipment for elderly and vulnerable residents. Helpline users can contact the service on 01206 769779.
More information can be found at www.helplineplus.co.uk/
For anyone who finds themselves homeless or threatened with homelessness over Christmas, more information can be found here.
Residents looking to burn off the extra calories consumed over Christmas, de-stress in the spa or who want to make the most of the school holidays will find plenty to do at Leisure World Colchester and Aqua Springs. The leisure centre and spa will be closed on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year's Day, but open every other day over the festive period. Please check the gym, pools and spa festive opening times on the website before visiting. Normal opening hours will resume on Wednesday 2 January 2019.
Please note: Leisure World Tiptree and Leisure World Highwoods will be closed from Sunday 23 December to Monday 1 January 2019 inclusive. Normal opening hours will resume on Wednesday 2 January 2019.
More information can be found at: www.colchesterleisureworld.co.uk/
The Castle will be closed over the Christmas period from Monday 24 December to Thursday 27 December 2018 and on Tuesday 1st January 2019. Normal opening hours apply at all other times.
More information can be found here.
The Natural History Museum
The Natural History Museum will be closed from Monday 24 December to Thursday 27 December 2018 and on Monday 31 December 2018 and Tuesday 1 January 2019. Normal opening hours apply at all other times.
More information can be found here.
Hollytrees Museum and the Visitor Information Centre
Hollytrees Museum and the Visitor Information Centre will be closed from Sunday 23 December to Thursday 27 December 2018, and on Sunday 30 December 2018 and Tuesday 1st January 2019. Normal opening hours apply at all other times.
Find out more about what to see and do in the Beautiful Borough of Colchester over the festive period check out www.visitcolchester.com
Parks and open spaces
If you’re planning to blow away the cobwebs and take a traditional festive stroll on Christmas Day, Boxing Day or New Year’s Day, Castle Park, High Woods Country Park and Nature Reserves across the borough will be open throughout the holiday period.
Colchester Cemetery grounds and Garden of Remembrance will also open as usual on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day, as will the Book of Remembrance Room and Prayer Room, but there will be restricted cremations and burials between Christmas and New Year.
Colchester Market takes place every Friday & Saturday. This year, you can enjoy an extra market day, on Sunday 23rd December, from 10am – 3pm.
Cllr Mark Cory, the Leader of Colchester Borough Council, said: “While most residents will be celebrating the festive season, we will be ensuring the key services people need and rely upon are available.
“I’m enormously grateful to council staff for the work that they do all year round to deliver frontline services on behalf of residents and businesses across the borough. It’s during the Christmas and New Year period when their commitment and dedication can be seen and appreciated the most.”