Date issued: 18 March 2020
Residents across the borough are being reassured by Colchester Borough Council that it is continuing to deliver its services despite closing its buildings to the public after today to help combat the spread of COVID-19.
From tomorrow (Thursday) all Leisure World sites, Charter Hall, Town Hall, Colchester Castle, Hollytrees Museum, the Natural History Museum, the Visitor Information Centre and Highwoods Country Park Visitor Centre will be closed to the public for the foreseeable future.
However, while the council’s buildings are closed to the public all other services, including the Community Hub and Waste and Recycling Service are operating as usual. Our parks, public spaces and public toilets are also open.
Residents needing to contact the council during this period can access the council’s service’s digitally through our website or can call 01206 282222.
Colchester Borough Homes’ tenants can call 01206 282514 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for advice and assistance.
Leader of Colchester Borough Council, Cllr Mark Cory, said: “I want to reassure our residents that just because we have closed our buildings to help stop spread of this virus the council is not shutting down.
“All of our usual services are currently still running. We will be collecting people’s waste and recycling, supporting the vulnerable in our communities and working with partners to help Colchester through this unparalleled period.
“Our parks and open spaces are also still open so people can still exercise and see the sites of our beautiful borough while following the Government’s guidelines on self-distancing.
“These are ever-changing times and there may be some blips in the delivery of the high-quality services we provide, but by being understanding and working together we can get through it.”
This decision to close the council’s buildings followed advice from the Government on mass gatherings and around self-isolation, which will have an impact on the levels of council employees available to staff the venues.
The council will be reviewing these closures on at least a weekly basis and will look to reopen them as soon as possible within Government guidelines regarding COVID-19.
Anyone who has purchased a ticket or place for any of the classes, events or shows at these venues will be contacted over the next few days and offered a refund or the opportunity to attend any events or shows being rescheduled. Membership charges for Leisure World will be frozen during this period.
While the Castle and museums will be closed to the general public, they will still accommodate any planned educational visits behind closed doors while the schools remain open.
For the latest news on the council’s work to help stop the spread of COVID-19 please see www.colchester.gov.uk/coronavirus
For the latest public health guidance visit www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-the-public