Date issued: 17 December 2019
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 Tuesday 24 December and will re-open at 9am on Monday 30 December. They will also be closed on New Year’s Day – reopening for normal business from Thursday 2 January 2020.
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 over Christmas 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 collections
Recycling and rubbish collection days over Christmas and New Year are changing and 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 usually fall on a Tuesday, will take place on Saturday 21 December and collections which usually take place on a Wednesday will take place on Tuesday (Christmas Eve). Thursday and Friday collections will be one day later than usual.
During the week commencing 31 December, the Wednesday to Friday collections will be one day later than usual.
Collection days will return to normal on Tuesday 7 January.
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 11 January. Collections needs to be booked by midday on 8 January. More information can be found here.
The Community Hub in Colchester Library will be open on Tuesday 24 December until 1pm and will reopen all on Friday 27 December to Monday 30 December. It will be open until 1pm on New Year’s Eve, 31 December, and reopen as usual from Thursday 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 with restricted hours. Please check the gym, pools and spa festive opening times on the website before visiting. Normal opening hours will resume on Thursday 2 January 2020.
More information can be found at: www.colchesterleisureworld.co.uk
Colchester Castle will be closed over the Christmas period from Tuesday 24 December to Friday 27 December 2019. It will be open as usual from Saturday 28 December. The Castle will close again for the day on Wednesday 1 January 2020.
More information can be found here.
The Natural History Museum
The Natural History Museum will be closed over the Christmas period from Tuesday 24 December to Friday 27 December. It will be open as usual from Saturday 28 December. The Museum will close again for the day on Wednesday 1 January 2020.
More information can be found here.
Hollytrees Museum and the Visitor Information Centre
Hollytrees Museum will be closed over the Christmas period from Tuesday 24 December to Friday 27 December. It will be open as usual from Saturday 28 December. The Museum will close again for the day on Wednesday 1 January 2020.
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.
High Woods Country Park is also holding a New Year’s Day Walk 11am – 1pm on 1 January costing £4.50 per person. The event includes a three-mile ranger-led walk through the park, followed by a cup of mulled wine and mince pie. For further information, visit www.colchester.gov.uk/parkevents
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 and Saturday. However, there will be no market on Friday 27 December and on Saturday 28 December the market will be in Culver Street East only (usual times).
Colchester Market is also taking place every Wednesday in Lion Walk from 10am to 8pm, initially until 18 December.
More information about Colchester Market can be found here.
Colchester Borough Homes
Office opening times are as follows:
In case of an emergency, please call 01206 282514
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 often be seen and appreciated the most.”