Council services - opening times over the festive season

Opening times and changes to regular services

Santa clock

While many council services will be operating as normal throughout the Christmas period, there are some non-essential services that will be unavailable during this period. Here's a handy round up of information and those services affected.

Customer Services and Gateway

If you need to contact the council, either by phone (phone lines open at 8:30am) or by visiting Gateway one stop shop in Guildhall Square, their opening times will be:

  • 24 December – open from 9:30am until 12:30pm
  • 25 and 26 December – closed
  • 27, 28 and 31 December – open as usual
  • 1 January – closed
  • 2 January – open as usual
  • Cash Office will be closed Monday 24 to Thursday 27 December and Tuesday 1 January. It will be open 10am–2pm (as normal) on Friday 28 and Monday 31 December
  • You will still be able to access many services on our website as usual

Bin collections

There will be changes to your bin collections over the holiday. You can check your revised bin collections over the Christmas and New Year period. You can also check your collection dates via the bin collection calendar.

The last garden waste collection will be on 21 December. Collections will start again on 7 January 2019.

From 25 December to 5 January 2019, commercial trade waste collections will take place two days later than usual. From 7 January the collections will then be one day later than usual, with the normal collection schedule resuming on the 12 January.

The Household Waste and Recycling Centre will be closed on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day. It will open as normal from 9am to 4pm on all other days.

Christmas tree collections

We are pleased to offer free collections of real Christmas trees again this year and will be doing kerbside collections between 7 and 18 January. Please put your tree by the edge of your property (not blocking the highway!) on your general waste collection day. Alternatively, residents that are signed up to the garden waste collection service can put their Christmas tree in their garden waste bin (only one tree per household please). Trees can also be taken to the Household Waste Recycling Centre.


All council run libraries will be closed at 4pm on 22 December, and re-open on 29 December at 10am. They will be open on 31 December (except for Lordshill), closed on 1 January, and resume normal opening hours from 2 January. Any items on loan due to be returned during this period will be due back on or after Wednesday 2 January 2019. Full details of all library opening hours, including for community run libraries can be found on our website.

Museums and Art Gallery

SeaCity Museum will be closed from 24-26 December and on 1 January but open all other days.
Tudor House & Garden will be closed from 24 December to 1 January 2019.
Southampton City Art Gallery will be closed from 24 December to 1 January 2019.
To find out what is happening at our venues visit Discover Southampton.

Registry Office

The Registry Office will be open as follows:

  • 24 December – 9am – 12noon
  • 25 and 26 December – closed
  • 27, 28 and 31 December – open as usual
  • 1 January – closed
  • 2 January – open as usual

Housing Benefit

There will be some changes to housing benefit payment timetables over Christmas.

  • Weekly payments sent on 18 December will arrive in accounts by 20 December
  • Weekly and fortnightly payments sent on 19 December will arrive in accounts by 21 December
  • No monthly payments will be produced during this time
  • Urgent payments sent on 20 December will arrive in accounts by 24 December, and those sent on 21 December will arrive in accounts by 27 December

More information about housing benefit payments is available online.

Gritting and snow clearance

From November through to the end of March we provide the winter maintenance service for the city which includes pre-salting to help prevent ice forming and post-salting to melt ice and snow that has already formed. Priority one routes are treated as routine pre-salting, in advance of any forecast of frost, ice or snow. We monitor daily weather forecasts and road conditions to enable us to decide when precautionary salting or other treatment is required and can react quickly to extreme weather conditions. Visit our website to find out more about road gritting and request for a gritting bin to be re-filled. For up to date information follow our highways service on Twitter at @scchighways.

We hope you all have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!