Latest advice

Information for the public on the outbreak of coronavirus and the latest position in the UK can be found here. 

This information will be updated as necessary as the situation changes.

Go to NHS.UK/coronavirus for information about the virus and how to protect yourself.

HALTON BOROUGH COUNCIL RESPONSE TO COVID-19

Halton Borough Council’s priority is on protecting the most vulnerable living in our community and those who are at most risk – all of our efforts are being focused on the priority services we provide to support these people.

We have already had to make significant changes to our day to day business, there may be more changes over the coming days and weeks. Please be assured that we have tried and tested business continuity plans in place to help us make these changes.

Please keep visiting this page for updated information

We will make the decision to reopen buildings based on the Government advice at the time.

We will be keeping our community up to date with any further changes to Council services via the local media, online at www.halton.gov.uk; on Twitter @haltonbc and on Facebook.

If you do not have access to the internet, you can call us 0303 333 4300 – however, please note it may take longer than usual for your call to be answered.

Business support

Support for Business During the Current Coronavirus Crisis

You’ll be aware that the Chancellor has made a number of announcements about how government will support businesses of all sizes during the current coronavirus crisis. That support is both evolving and fast moving and the Council and partners are currently working hard to translate the Chancellor’s announcements into practical schemes that will get the support to all the businesses that need it as quickly as possible.

We are pleased to say that financial support has begun to reach eligible businesses that pay Business Rates in the first instance. We would, therefore, urge you to visit the web link below to find out if your business qualifies for support

https://www3.halton.gov.uk/Pages/business/businessrates.aspx

When you visit the Business Rates web page you will see a form to fill in regarding your bank account details. It is critical that the Council has your up to date bank details in order pay grant. We would, therefore, urge you to complete and return that form even if you don’t think your business is eligible for support at this moment in time. Government is announcing new support measures on an almost daily basis so it may be the case that you qualify for a different scheme in the future. If this is the case, and the Council has your bank details, then you will be paid promptly.

Self employed income support scheme

If you are self employed, the Government has released the link for applications for grants.  For those who are eligible the scheme will allow you to claim a taxable grant of 80% of your average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering 3 months, and capped at £7,500 altogether. This is a temporary scheme, but it may be extended.

You will need your UTR (Unique Tax Reference) number and National Insurance number to begin the application process

Local Authority Discretionary Grant Fund (LADGF)

Additional government funding was given to support small businesses that have been affected by COVID19 but were outside the scope of the existing small business grants scheme and retail, hospitality and leisure scheme. This scheme was for businesses who received no support during the COVID19 crisis. The scheme was open from 1st June 2020 to the 19th July 2020, and applications are now closed.  Applicants to the grant scheme will be notified of their outcome by email.

Other Business Support

The main source of information for all business support during the coronavirus crisis remains the UK Government web site at www.businesssupport.gov.uk or alternatively Liverpool City Region Growth Platform site at https://growthplatform.org/business-covid-19-advice/

Please refer to the above websites in the first instance for up to date information.

If, however, you’d rather speak to someone locally please call Halton Borough Council’s Business Development Team on 0151 511 7825 or email business@halton.gov.uk

We appreciate that this is a very difficult time but we are assured by government that they are exploring every possible avenue to provide support to businesses and to that end the Council and other public sector organisations are working hard to put in place the systems necessary to make that happen.

Children’s Centres

Currently closed

  • Upton
  • Windmill Hill
  • Halton Brook
  • Ditton

We will take the decision to reopen the buildings based on the Government advice at the time.

Community Centres

Community centres have now reopened with restrictions in place. Contact the centres for further details. https://haltoncommunitycentres.co.uk/

  • Upton Community Centre, 0151 511 6161
  • Ditton Community Centre,  0151 511 8210
  • Castlefields Community Centre, 0151 511 7474
  • Grangeway Community Centre, 0151 511 8610
  • Murdishaw Community Centre,  0151 511 7910

 

Council Tax Support & Welfare advice
Coronavirus (COVID-19) is having a significant impact on our economy and services and we would like to reassure residents who are struggling to pay their Council Tax bill at this difficult time.

Your Council Tax bill pays for essential services that are delivered to all Halton residents. If your circumstances have not changed, you should continue to pay in accordance with the details shown on your bill so we can continue to provide essential services.

If your income has been affected as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak you should submit a claim for Universal Credit with the DWP on their website here: https://www.gov.uk/apply-universal-credit

You should also claim Council Tax Reduction direct from the Council on our website here: or https://www3.halton.gov.uk/Pages/CouncilandBenefits/Housing-Benefits.aspx

If you are struggling to pay your Council Tax please contact us by email at council.tax@halton.gov.uk

Halton Direct Link

The Halton Direct Link offices in Runcorn and Widnes will be closed to the  public from 1pm on Thursday 19 March, until further notice.

The Council apologises for the inconvenience but we are sure that you will understand that we have taken this necessary measure to protect customers and staff.

The service will continue to operate with staff dealing with enquiries on the telephone, by e-mail and via the website.

There is so much you can do on our website, such as pay bills, report environmental issues, view planning applications, check bin collection dates, and use our Contact Us page to get in touch.

Check out the website – www.halton.gov.uk – or call us on 0303 330 4300.

Please also note that the Municipal Building, Runcorn Town Hall and Rutland House are not open to the public.

Homelessness

If you are homeless or likely to become homeless in the next 56 days,

Please contact the Housing Solutions Team:

Email: Housing.Solutionsteam@halton.gov.uk

Telephone: 0151 511 7979  (9am – 5pm Mon to Fri) or 0333 000 4300 outside these hours

Leisure Centres

Leisure centres will reopen in phases:

  • Brookvale Recreation Centre reopens to members on Monday 3 August for dry-sided activity only (gym and classes). Swimming pool is expected to reopen the week after – further details will follow.

  • Kingsway Leisure Centre will reopen mid-August, dry side first and the pool later in the month. 

  • Runcorn Swimming Pool is expected to open in September.

  • All members can use Brookvale while the other facilities are still closed.

Further information will follow to confirm opening dates and times for each centre.

For more details: https://hbcnewsroom.co.uk/brookvale-and-kingsway-centres-opening-soon/

 

Libraries

Halton’s Libraries are reopening, visit the website for further information https://library.haltonbc.info/

Mental health and wellbeing

There are lots of things you can try to do to help with your mental health and wellbeing during this difficult and stressful time whether you are self-isolating or distancing yourself socially

You can find more information on health and wellbeing.

Nurseries, Schools & Colleges

Halton schools will not open before 8th June and only then if deemed safe, following detailed risk assessments being undertaken and social distancing and other measures being put in place by each school.

Riverside College and Cronton Sixth Form College

The College would like to reassure all applicants who have been offered a place on a course starting September 2020 that your place at College is still secure.

The College will continue to work with you and your school over the coming months to ensure transition to College is as smooth as possible in these uncertain times.

As a College, it will do everything we can to ensure the right student is on the right course whatever happens regarding GCSE examinations.

The Admissions Team are working in College and are there to answer any questions on 0151 257 2022 or courses@riverside.ac.uk unless we are instructed differently by the Government.

Open Spaces

Parks

All parks remain open. 

Car parks are now open.

Bowling Greens

All bowling greens have received basic maintenance during the closure period and therefore they are not in a condition suitable for play. They will be brought back into a playable condition over the coming week and will reopen on 26 May 2020. Pavilions will not reopen and social distancing rules will have to be observed.

Tennis Courts

Tennis courts are now open. Social distancing rules will have to be observed.

MUGAS, Skate Parks and BMX tracks will remain closed for the time being, this decision will be reviewed weekly.

Allotments

On 23 March the Government, stepped up measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus and save lives. All non-essential premises must now close. You can still visit your allotment however as long as ensure a social distancing of two meters and follow the Coronavirus (Covid-19) guidance.

Scams relating to coronavirus

Halton’s Trading Standards are issuing advice having been made aware of a number of scams relating to coronavirus.

Scammers are already exploiting the coronavirus situation, cashing in on people’s concerns and fears.

These are current scams here and abroad: 

  • Doorstep callers ‘checking for coronavirus’.
  • Companies selling ‘fast COVID-19 tests’.
  • Companies selling products that they claim can treat, cure or prevent the virus, including face masks.
  • Companies selling fake cleaning products and hand sanitisers.
  • Fake charities asking for donations to help with the coronavirus.
  • Fake emails pretending to be from a government department.
  • Companies claiming to have or to be on the verge of producing a vaccine and requiring payment to reserve a batch.
  • Companies phoning to offer to clean and sanitise homes, pre-payment is required over the phone or with gift cards.
  • Scammers pretending to be from the UK government, advising that a new tax refund programme has been introduced to deal with the coronavirus outbreak and that you are due a refund.
  • Emails pretending to be from the World Health Organisation with attachments on how to stay safe – the attachments contain malware which will infect your computer, steal your information and result in a request for ransom.
  • Scammers have circulated fake maps via email which claim to show virus outbreaks but, again, they are malware.
  • Scammers offering fake investment opportunities in companies working to produce a vaccine

 

Don’t get caught out:

  • Scammers want to steal your money or your personal information. They do this by calling unannounced at your door, phoning, texting or emailing. They will also advertise online and via social media.
  • The only test available is through the NHS – you cannot buy a test kit or pay for a test from anybody else.
  • There is no vaccine or cure.
  • Only buy from companies that you have dealt with before and type in their online address if you want to order – don’t respond to a link in an email or find them by an internet search because scam websites could be imitating a genuine company.
  • Charities must be registered with the Charity Commission (https://beta.charitycommission.gov.uk/)  – check they are legitimate before you donate

If you or somebody you know has been caught out by a scam or fraud please contact one of our specialist officers, Linda or Sue on 0151 511 8785 or 0151 511 8775, who are already working with people in Halton who have lost thousands of pounds to scams.

If you need advice on anything else please contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline  or 0808 223 1133.

The only reliable information on how to protect yourself, and measures to take if you think you have the virus, is available from the NHS and the UK government websites: 

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/ and https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-the-public

Supplier Invoices

Halton Borough Council is committed to supporting all of its suppliers in order to help them to maintain cash flow and to protect jobs.  In response to the Covid-19 outbreak, the Council took the decision in March to accelerate payments ahead of terms for all supplier invoices.  This temporary arrangement will continue until 20 July 2020 when the Council will revert to standard contractual payment terms. 

To help us to pay you quickly, please submit your invoice electronically to avoid paper copies sitting in office buildings potentially unattended.  Invoices should be submitted to hbcinvoice@halton.gov.uk 

For information, the Council offers a Supplier Incentive Programme which can provide cash flow benefits to your business.  This programme enables your invoices to be paid ahead of contractual payment terms in exchange for a pre-agreed rebate.  For more information about this offering please email sipenquiries@halton.gov.uk or visit our website https://client.oxygen-finance.com/halton-suppliers/

Please note that adult social care providers will continue to receive accelerated payments ahead of terms until further notice.

The Brindley Theatre

Closed until further notice

If you have purchased tickets for events taking place at The Brindley Theatre during this time, you will be offered an exchange of tickets, or a full refund. We kindly ask that customers do not contact the Box Office, as our teams will be contacting you soon with further details regarding cancelled and postponed events.

We will take the decision to reopen the buildings based on the Government advice at the time.

Volunteers

 

If you want to help the most vulnerable across Widnes and Runcorn there are a variety of opportunities you can register to help for with Halton and St Helens Voluntary and Community Action.

You may be able to deliver much needed supplies to the vulnerable and self-isolating; provide telephone support; share information and updates, and many other tasks .

You can register online or call them on 01744 457100, visit their website

Waste services

At present there are no changes to the waste collection timetable.

 

In line with national guidance, the Council recommends that households where waste that has been in contact with someone who has a confirmed case of COVID-19, or is displaying symptoms and therefore self-isolating, should take extra precautions when securing waste for disposal.


Personal waste (such as used tissues) and disposable cleaning cloths should be stored securely within disposable rubbish bags. These bags should be placed into another bag, tied securely and kept separate from other waste. This should be put aside for at least 72 hours before being put in your usual external household waste bin.

Other household waste can be disposed of as normal.

Household Waste Recycling Centres

Restrictions are in place at the Council’s Household Waste Recycling Centres. Find out the details here.

 

 

Widnes Market

Please visit https://widnesmarket.com/ for latest updates