Updates on council services

Please see below for all the latest updates on council services. You can also read more about:

What's open in Southampton?  

Last updated: 30 July 2020

New Government guidance means that you can now spend more time outdoors enjoying some of our amazing green and open spaces. But it is still really important to follow social distancing guidance to continue limiting the spread of coronavirus. Make sure you are considerate of others and:

  • Keep your distance (two metres apart where possible)
  • Wash your hands regularly
  • Do not leave home if you or anyone in your household has symptoms

What is open?

  • Southampton City Libraries began a phased reopening on 6 July 2020, beginning with a select and collect service
  • Car parks affected by closures, including Mayflower Park, Weston Shore and Mayfield Park reopened on 15 May 2020
  • Tennis and Golf - all facilities in the city are now fully open. Please check with private operators to confirm opening times and details
  • Play areas, outdoor gyms and parks cafes are fully open
  • Skate parks have remained open during the shutdown
  • Public toilets are open at:
    • Mayflower Park
    • Weston Shore

Please be considerate of others and use appropriate social distancing at all times while using our parks and green spaces.


Bins, waste and recycling  

Last updated 30 July 2020

All collections are now running as normal:

  • General waste and recycling collections for all households and flats
  • Kerbside glass collections
  • Kerbside garden waste collections
  • Chargeable bulky waste collections (online booking available)
  • Commercial waste and recycling collections
  • Clinical waste collection service

The Household Waste and Recycling Centre

The current opening hours for Southampton Household Waste Recycling Centre (HWRC) in Millbrook are 9am to 6pm.

From Saturday 25 July 2020, you will need to book a time slot before visiting the Southampton HWRC.

You also need to pre-book a scheduled time slot to visit the Netley HWRC or any other site operated by Hampshire County Council.

Find out more and pre-book your visit up to seven days in advance. You must book at least 48 hours before you visit.

Opening times are restricted and other limitations are in place. Please check all the details before visiting the site.

Glass recycling

If you have a large amount of glass items stored please do not overload bins or crates. Please stagger the collection over a few dates. It is not safe for operatives to collect glass items that are not stored in a bin or crate.

You can also dispose of glass jars and bottles at one of the city’s many glass recycling banks.

Garden waste

Pickups for residents who are subscribed to the 2020-21 Garden Waste collection service resumed on 20 April 2020. Customers will receive a renewal discount for the 2021-22 service that will reflect the duration of disruption to this years' service.

Textiles recycling

Textile recycling banks are now open and can be used to recycle unwanted clothes, shoes and household textiles.


Crematorium and cemeteries  

Last updated: 30 July 2020

Southampton Crematorium

Following new Government guidance, the number of mourners allowed to attend is restricted by chapel size and ability to follow social distancing rules. We ask that no more than 30 people attend a service. Any other attendees will be asked to stay outside the crematorium with at least a two-metre space between them.

Chairs in the Crematorium chapel have been placed in clusters of twos, threes and fours for those who have travelled together. Some single chairs are still available. Your funeral director should be able to show you a photo of the lay out. Alternatively take a look at our Facebook page to view a photo.

If you have any special requirements please do not hesitate to contact us directly or through your funeral director. We will do our best to accommodate you if it is within Government guidelines. 

Cemetery Chapels have been temporarily closed for services.

COVID-19 symptoms

In line with government advice on staying at home it is crucial that you stay at home if you or members of your household are displaying symptoms of COVID-19 (coronavirus). Staying at home will help control the spread of the virus to family, friends, the wider community and the most vulnerable. If someone you live with has experienced the symptoms of COVID-19 (including the deceased) you must follow guidance to self-isolate for 14 days from the first day they become ill. Those defined as ‘extremely vulnerable’ are also advised not to attend.

Any mourner who is showing coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms, including:

  • A new continuous cough
  • A high temperature
  • A loss of, or change in, their normal sense of taste or smell

should not attend the funeral as they pose a risk to others. Remote participation should be considered instead.

Mourners should also follow the advice on social distancing when travelling to and from the funeral. Mourners should consider wearing a face mask or covering if they are using shared transport with others that they do not normally meet and where social distancing is not possible.

Hand washing facilities are available at Southampton Crematorium in our disabled toilet which remains open for public use. Hand sanitisers and tissues are located at the entrance of the chapel. Mourners are encouraged to use tissues to avoid touching their face with their hands, and to dispose of them in the bins provided at the exit of the chapel.

The Book of Remembrance will no longer be available to view at Southampton Crematorium or South Stoneham Cemetery, but can be viewed online.

Other options

A Direct Cremation is a simple cremation that takes place without a service or any mourners in attendance at Southampton Crematorium. It is an affordable, dignified alternative to a full cremation service, and although a direct cremation is unattended, the ashes can be returned to the family, if desired, so they can say their goodbyes in their own way.

We appreciate that being unable to attend a traditional funeral and gather to say a proper goodbye with just a limited number of attendees is very painful and upsetting. We are beginning to plan memorial and scattering-of-ashes options and services for those who have either had just a direct cremation, or a service with limited family members, so people can come together as a community to remember their loved ones. Dates and times will be advertised here when they are available.

If you have agreed to receive communication from Southampton Crematorium, an invitation will be posted direct to your door once the services have been organised and the government have lifted all restrictions for gatherings.


Weddings, ceremonies and registrations  

Last updated: 29 July 2020

Ceremonies

Small religious and civil marriage ceremonies and civil partnership formations are now allowed in England if social distancing conditions are met.

A range of adjustments for civil ceremonies, or at a venue in Southampton City where a registrar is required to attend, are listed in full on our ceremonies page.

Registrations

Registering a birth

We are continuing the recovery process of birth registrations. Parents with babies born before 28 July 2020 only can now book an appointment online.

For babies born after 28 July 2020, please check our website for updates as to when you will be able to register your baby.

While you are waiting, please remember that Child Benefit claimants can still complete a CH2 claim form and send it to the Child Benefit Office to begin the claims process, with a note that the birth certificate will follow later. Due to the coronavirus situation, the Government are currently being flexible with when the birth certificate needs to be supplied. Please see information on claiming Child Benefit.

Registering a death

All face-to-face appointments to register a death have now stopped during the current pandemic situation. All registrations will be completed via a telephone conversation between a registrar and qualified informant. To arrange a telephone appointment please complete this form and email to registrars@southampton.gov.uk.

Please remember to ensure the hospital or GP surgery has electronically sent us the medical certificate or the Coroner has confirmed they have sent us the documentation. Please ensure that a valid contact number is included. A registrar will call you and complete the registration.

Notice of marriage / civil partnership appointments

We are now offering notice of marriage and civil partnership appointments. if you plan to marry or form your civil partnership within the next 3 months please email registrars@southampton.gov.uk for an appointment

Certificates

Our standard £11 certificate ordering service is now available. Please note that the priority service is still suspended due to high demands on the registration service.

Although we are processing certificates as quickly as possible, certificate delivery times are taking longer than usual. This is due to pressures that the Royal Mail is experiencing. For up-to-date information visit the Royal Mail website.

Citizenship ceremonies

We are now beginning the recovery of citizenship ceremonies and will contact all new British citizens as soon as their naturalisation certificate arrives at Southampton Register Office. We will be offering a much simpler ceremony at this time to fall in line with our health and safety obligations.

European Settlement verification and scanning service

This service is temporarily suspended. Please see full guidance on how to scan your documents from home using your own device.

Contacting us

If you have any queries please email registrars@southampton.gov.uk. Please do not telephone the office as we need to keep the telephone lines clear for death registrations enquiries.


Contacting the council  

Last updated: 30 July 2020

Our contact centre colleagues are working incredibly hard in difficult circumstances to serve you. To help us do this, we must focus on our essential services below:

  • COVID-19 Helpline (home and business)
  • Adult social care
  • Children’s social care
  • Waste
  • Building control (emergency only)
  • Environmental health (emergency only)
  • Housing repairs
  • Highways (emergency only)
  • Trees (emergency only)
  • Street cleansing (emergency only)

We have temporarily closed all our non-essential phone lines. Please go online, where possible, to get services and information. We have increased the number of webchat advisors to walk you through your online journeys. This will help us keep our phone lines free for our most vulnerable residents. We thank you for your understanding at this time.

Gateway

Due to coronavirus (COVID-19) we are offering a revised Gateway service of appointments between 10-3pm Monday-Friday. Please call 023 8083 2005 to book an appointment.

You will need a face covering to attend an appointment.

The cash office is not currently open. Payments can be made on-line.


Employment support  

Last updated: 21 April 2020

We have stopped all face to face meetings and work clubs, and postponed events and Employability Courses. We are still conducting virtual meetings with clients by phone, email and video messaging. Please contact your Employment Officer for advice. We are still accepting referrals for our projects and new clients will be contacted as soon as possible. You can find advice and guidance online. Follow us on Twitter @sotoncareers for updates.


Planning and building control  

Last updated: 28 April 2020

The council’s Planning and Building Control departments remain open for business.

We are able to manage the planning application process and all other electronic communications but face to face meetings are cancelled until further notice.

Planning applications should be submitted via the Planning Portal, with any specific planning enquiries sent to Planning@southampton.gov.uk

Planning Enforcement

The Planning Enforcement Team have made the following temporary changes to their service.

  • Planning Enforcement Officers are working remotely but are contactable to receive enquiries and complaints on 07956 090360 or via email planning.enforcement@southampton.gov.uk
  • Site inspections will be risk assessed to determine whether it must be carried out at a later date

Building Control

The Building Control team has made the following changes to their service, which will have an effect on local businesses involved in development within the city:

  • Building Control Surveyors are working remotely but are contactable on their mobile phones and email
  • All new building regulation applications should be submitted electronically
  • Site Inspection requests will be risk assessed to determine whether a site visit is safe and necessary or whether compliance can be determined by alternative means such as photographic evidence

Council venues, places and events  

Last updated: 31 July 2020

The following venues and places are remain closed:

These venues are now open (please visit each venue's website for latest opening times):

  • SeaCity Museum - opened w/c 27 July
  • Southampton City Art Gallery - opening w/c 3 August

Libraries

A phased reopening of Southampton City Libraries began on 6 July 2020, beginning with a select and collect service. We have now moved to the next phase of re-opening and the latest information can be found on the library web page.

In order to assist the NHS's Test and Trace Service the council is maintaining a temporary record of our visitors. More information can be found on our Privacy page.

Events

Public events: For up-to-date information about each of Southampton’s public events please visit the event organiser’s website.

Mayflower 400 events: You can find updated information on Visit Southampton.


Parks and open spaces  

Last updated: 30 July 2020

All of our parks and open spaces are fully open for use, including all sports and recreation venues.

Please follow social distancing guidelines when using these areas and be considerate of others. Wash your hands regularly. Do not leave home if you or anyone in your household has symptoms.

Public toilets are open at:

  • Mayflower Park
  • Weston Shore

Read the latest national guidance on using green spaces.


Travel and public transport  

Last updated: 31 July 2020

Itchen Bridge

24-hour charging on the Toll Bridge will be reinstated from 7am on Monday 10 August 2020.

Before that date, motorists will need to pay during the following periods:

  • Monday to Friday 7am - 6pm
  • Saturday 8am - 6pm

Concessionary travel

Concessionary travel on Southampton’s buses has reverted to the pre-lockdown start time of 9:00am, as of 15 June. This will help bus operators manage demand on public transport with new social distancing measures in place.

Bus pass applications, replacement and renewals

Due to coronavirus (COVID-19) we are offering a revised Gateway service of appointments between 10-3pm Monday-Friday. Please call 023 8083 2005 to book an appointment.

You can see all our guidance on bus pass applications, replacement and renewals on our SmartCities pages. If you can't apply online, please download and complete the PDF form from those pages and email to the SmartCities team.

Public transport

Please view the websites of individual operators to view the latest updates on their services.

Bus companies operating in Southampton

Train companies operating from Southampton

Coach operators from Southampton

Ferry operators from Southampton


Parking  

Last updated: 31 July 2020

Parking enforcement

The council will continue to enforce certain parking restrictions throughout the COVID-19 outbreak. These are as follows:

  • Yellow Lines
  • Keep Clear markings outside schools, hospitals, fire, police or ambulance Stations
  • Pedestrian Crossing Zig Zags
  • Disabled Bays
  • Loading Bays
  • Dropped/Raised Crossings
  • Bus Stops
  • Taxi Ranks
  • Motorcycle Bays
  • Suspended Bays

We would ask all drivers to pay attention to these restrictions as they are important for keeping the highway clear for emergency services, supply chain deliveries, public transport and other vital users, as well as maintaining road safety.

Please note that in off street car parks, disabled bays, electric vehicle bays, motorcycles bays and the requirement to park within the bay markings are still subject to enforcement regardless of whether the pay and display restrictions are being enforced.

Information on other parking restrictions is given below.

Resident parking zones

Enforcement of the permit parking restrictions in Resident Parking Zones 1-18, 20, 22 & 23 were reinstated from 1 July 2020.

Pay and display parking

All Pay and Display restrictions are now being enforced as normal.

If you park a vehicle in any on-street or off street location where a Pay and Display charge is payable, you will need to obtain a ticket from the machine. Notices will be placed at these locations to remind people that a ticket is required.

Residents who are categorised by the NHS as “extremely clinically vulnerable” and have vehicles parked in a council-run on-street or off-street parking facility should contact us so that special arrangements can be made. Affected residents should call 023 8083 3008 extension 1 (Monday-Friday, 8.30am-5pm).

The four barrier controlled car parks (as listed below) were switched back on Monday 1 June 2020:

  • Bedford Place
  • Eastgate Street
  • Grosvenor Square
  • Marlands

Season Ticket Holders

The council has decided that a two-month extension will be applied to the expiry date of any Season Ticket and Zone A Permit purchased prior to Friday 3 April 2020 that had yet to expire. The extension will be applied by the Civil Enforcement Officers as they carry out their patrols. Season Tickets for the barrier controlled car parks will have two months added automatically. Season Ticket holders therefore do not need to return their Season Tickets / Zone A permits to have the expiry date amended..

Hollybrook Cemetery

All parking restrictions with Hollybrook Cemetery are now subject to enforcement from Monday 3 August 2020.


Roadworks, closures and maintenance  

Last updated: 30 July 2020

Roadworks, closures and improvements in Southampton remain largely unchanged. We continue to deal with emergency highway and streeet lighting works.

Measures are in place for social distancing to protect, as far as possible, the health of the workforce.

For general highways enquiries continue to contact us but please be aware that there may be a delay in receiving a response


Local health services  

Last updated: 30 March 2020

GP practices

The Southampton City Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has updated its Primary Care referral system to protect patients and staff. This will change the process of getting a GP appointment.

Drug and alcohol support

Our drug and alcohol support services are still available.

Help to stop smoking

Face-to-face stop smoking consultations are now on hold. Your community pharmacies will stay open as much as possible, but they might change how they offer support, for example via telephone or an online call.

Stopping smoking is one of the best things you can do for your health, now even more than ever. See more information about stopping smoking.


Housing, council homes and communities  

Last updated: 31 July 2020

We will continue to provide updates on the support we’re offering and how our services are being impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. Please keep checking this webpage and our social media channels for the latest information as restrictions are eased and our services return to normal.

Tenants can also sign up to receive our weekly coronavirus bulletin and monthly Tenants’ Link newsletter.

If you have any comments or concerns please contact your Local Housing Office.

New court rules for possession

On 24 August 2020, after a five-month ban on evictions, courts are planning to reopen. The ban was introduced by the Government to protect renters during the COVID-19 crisis.

If tenants are concerned they are going to be evicted then they need to contact Housing.Advice@Southampton.gov.uk for advice and assistance.

Landlords seeking possession of rented accommodation will need to be aware of strict new Civil Procedure Rules the Government has brought in. The main changes are that landlords will need to confirm whether they wish to make a claim or continue with an existing claim for possession. This can only be achieved by completing and issuing a ‘reactivation’ notice that must be sent to the court and to the tenant.

Landlords will be required to set out their claim to include any relevant information about their tenant’s circumstances and must include information on the effects the COVID-19 pandemic has had on their tenant.

Landlords are advised to check Government websites or seek their own independent legal advice.

Repairs

Our home repairs service is operating as normal and you can report repairs online.

When you submit your request, please tell us if you or anyone living in your home:

  • Is currently self-isolating
  • Has been diagnosed by a doctor as having coronavirus
  • Has a temperature of 37.8 degrees or more, a new continuous cough, or shortness of breath
  • If are in good health and not self-isolating for any reason, we will ask you to confirm everyone in your household is unaffected by coronavirus before progressing your request.

Please be aware that social distancing rules still apply, so we ask that you take additional safety measures when our staff visit your home to carry out repairs:

  • Wherever possible you should stay at least two metres (approximately three steps) away from the operative
  • You may be asked to stay in an adjoining room
  • Leave doors and windows open, while the work is completed

This will ensure social distancing can be maintained, contact with door handles is minimised and there’s good ventilation in the property.

Our staff are working hard to reinstate the repairs service and get to everyone as quickly as possible, but some delays may be unavoidable. We appreciate your patience and kindly ask that you treat our staff respectfully while they are in your home.

If you have an emergency repair to report please call 023 8083 3006.

Property maintenance and improvements

Works are now back to normal. Tenants with works due are being contacted.

Fire safety improvement works

A range of fire safety improvements, including fitting sprinkler systems and installing new fire doors, have been completed in the majority of our high-rise residential blocks.

Although work was paused during lockdown, we’ve recently restarted the programme (excluding blocks in Thornhill for the time being).

Please email us if you have any immediate concerns or would like more information.

Homebid

Our choice-based lettings service, Homebid, is operating as normal.

However, to maintain social distancing, additional safety measures are in place during viewings and tenancy sign-ups.

If you have a query about your application please email Housing Allocations quoting your name, address and application number.

For homelessness advice, please email our team.

In an emergency only, please call our out-of-hours line on 023 8023 3344.

Support for vulnerable tenants

We are staying in close contact with tenants across the city who have an identified support need.

As the Government advice for over 70s and people with an underlying health condition is to self-isolate, we will be carrying out this support by phone wherever possible.

If you do require a home visit, we will be in touch with details as soon as possible. Please offer to help any elderly or vulnerable neighbour you are concerned about – perhaps by picking up some shopping or just checking they are okay. And, as per the Government guidelines, remember to keep a distance of two metres from other people at all times.

If you're a telecare user, the service will continue as normal and you should press/pull your alarm for advice and assistance in an emergency. Please only use this facility if you are unable to receive help from other sources, such as family members.

Junior Neighbourhood Wardens

Regrettably, all upcoming activities have been cancelled.

Junior Neighbourhood Wardens and their families will be contacted directly with details of future arrangements.


Allotments  

Last updated: 24 June 2020

Please refer to rule W21 in the Allotment Rules and Guidance on who is permitted on your plot. The COVID-19 guidance does not affect this rule.

Working on your allotment is a good way of getting exercise and growing food during the crisis. You can visit your allotment with your household. However, we recommend you keep the number of people attending your plot to a minimum. This will reduce the numbers of people at the allotment at any one time, which is crucial to support social distancing and reduce the spread of COVID-19.

If you have a registered helper on your plot they can attend, but you should socially distance from them if they are not in your household or support bubble. It would be sensible to reduce your plot to a minimum level of work, on the basis that you may need to self-isolate at some point.

If you are self-isolating, because you or your household have symptoms, you must not leave the house to visit your allotment. If you are vulnerable and shielding yourself, due to underlying health conditions, you can visit your allotment but you should be especially careful and be diligent about social distancing and hand hygiene.

If you develop a cough or temperature while you are at your plot, you must go home immediately. You should avoid public transport and car sharing with anyone outside your household.

Plot holders must take the following precautionary measures:

  • Attend your allotment on your own, with members of your own household. You should socially distance from anyone not in your household or support bubble. You can meet with up to six people in an outdoor space as long as you follow the social distancing guidelines
  • Only attend if you are well and everyone in your household and support bubble is well. If you have symptoms, you must self-isolate at home for 7 days or until you have a normal temperature, whichever is longer.
    • If you do not have symptoms, but someone you live with or someone in your support bubble does, then you must self-isolate for 14 days in line with national guidance.
    • Self-isolating means you do not leave your home. You should order a test immediately at www.nhs.uk/coronavirus or call 119 if you have no internet access.
    • If your test is positive, you must complete the remainder of your seven-day self-isolation.
    • Anyone in your household or support bubble must also complete self-isolation for 14 days from when you started having symptoms.
    • If your test is negative, you and other household and support bubble members no longer need to self-isolate.
  • Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water when you leave home and return home
  • Take a flask of water, soap and paper towels/tissues to the plot with you. After arriving at your plot, either use the water from your flask or use your elbow to press the push taps. Dry your hands thoroughly with your towels
  • Use hand sanitiser (with at least 60% alcohol) before opening any gates and locks, and on arriving at the site
  • Minimise eating and drinking at your allotment and do not touch your face. Sneeze or cough into a tissue or your elbow, not into your hand. Wash or sanitise your hands immediately after.
  • Do not share your tools and seeds and strictly follow social distancing by staying at least two metres away from anyone that you do not live with or are not in your support bubble
  • When you are outside you can meet in groups of up to six people from different households, following social distancing guidelines
  • If you have to take your children to the plot, ensure that they stay within its confines and do not run around on communal paths and spaces. If you cannot supervise your children so they are not a potential risk to others, then you should not go to the plot
  • No unauthorised people allowed on allotment plots
  • Bonfires are not permitted at any time during this COVID-19 emergency as many sites are surrounded by houses where vulnerable people may be getting their only bit of fresh air through an open window
  • Those shielding can spend time outdoors with members of their household or if living alone with one other person from another household (and the same person each time) but should take extra care to maintain strict social distancing by keeping two metres apart from others and washing their hands frequently. Please let your Council Allotment Officer know that you cannot visit the site. If possible. This should be done in writing, so we can make allowances for your situation

Failure to follow the guidelines will leave the council with no alternative other than to close all the allotment sites.

We need to keep you, each other and people who are vulnerable safe.

Changes are expected from 4 July and will be published nearer the time.


Consumer protection and environmental services  

Last updated: 31 July 2020

HMO Licensing

HMO inspections are now being undertaken where safe to do so. Applications can still be made using the online form but it may take longer than usual to process the application.

All submitted surveyor route applications are being processed and licences will be issued as soon as possible. If you wish to discuss your application or have any questions about HMO licensing please contact HMO@southampton.gov.uk

Renting guidance for tenants and landlords

Due to the current COVID-19 situation the Government has published renting guidance for tenants and landlords.

Complaints about privately rented properties

Complaints can still be logged using the online form, however we would urge you to try and resolve this directly with your landlord in the first instance. Home visits are being undertaken where a significant issue is identified and it is safe to do so.


Council data  

Last updated: 30 July 2020

Due to unprecedented challenges facing the council during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, resources are being diverted from service areas so that key services can be provided. As such, there will likely be delays in the following areas:

  • Providing information requested via the Freedom of Information Act 2000
  • Processing data rights requests, subject access requests and third party information requests under GDPR and Data Protection Act 2018
  • Processing requests for CCTV footage

The council will continue to process all requests, and responses will be sent as soon as possible.

Privacy policy

As part of our response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have updated our privacy policy.