Coronavirus (COVID-19) - service updates

Fostering and Adoption recruitment events update:

In response to the Covid-19 situation, Cumbria County Council's Fostering and Adoption Service has reviewed our recruitment activity, in line with Government guidance, to make sure our staff and members of the public remain safe during this challenging time. 

We have suspended all face-to-face appointments, events and drop-ins, up to and including 30 April. However, we will be contacting all those who have booked onto one of our Eventbrite appointments to offer them the opportunity to have a detailed telephone consultation with one of our experienced, friendly team members instead.  

Despite the uncertainty we all face at this worrying time, our priority remains finding caring homes and families for vulnerable children in our communities, and we would love to help get you started on your fostering and adoption journeys.

If you're interested in fostering or adoption, we would encourage you to get in touch by:

Check if you are an essential worker.

Remember:

  1. If it is at all possible for children to be at home, then they should be.
  2. Don't ask people who are in the strict social distancing category to care for your children. This includes people over 70 and those with underlying health conditions.
  3. Make sure your children are not mixing socially. Children should observe the same social distancing principles as adults.

As an essential worker you may require childcare for your children. For most parents their child's school or early years setting will have told them where childcare will be available from.

If you have not yet been informed and do require childcare, please complete the online form.

We will pass your details to a Childcare and Learning Hub who will contact you direct.

Full list of Childcare and Learning Hubs (PDF 293KB).

When accessing a Childcare and Learning Hub

  • Please do not to enter if you or family members living with you are displaying any symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19)
  • Please do not form any gatherings within the grounds or at the gates
  • Please observe social distancing children arrive at the education or childcare setting and reduce any unnecessary travel on coaches, buses or public transport
  • Please use the hand sanitizer before entering or on exit
  • Please wash your child's clothing

Childminders

Some childminders are also working across the county, please contact childrens.information@cumbria.gov.uk who will be able to pass on your contact details.

Introduction of earlier travel times for concessionary passes in Cumbria

From Friday 27 March, older and disabled people can use concessionary passes before 9.30am on weekdays for free travel in Cumbria.

Cumbria County Council, which administers and funds the Concessionary Travel Scheme in the county, is changing the current rules on concessionary passes in the county to help avoid older and vulnerable people catching coronavirus. The change will initially apply until the end of July 2020.

The change will enable state age pensioners and disabled people to travel to shops that have introduced special, early opening times, reducing their risk of catching the virus from larger groups.

People travelling on public transport will be asked to follow Government guidance on social distancing to protect themselves from the coronavirus.

The current rules, which have been waived, prevent concessionary passes being used before 9.30am on week days, so that older people don't travel during the rush hour.


Cumbria Care is now closed to all visitors other than medical professionals in its 23 residential care homes in response to the ongoing COVID-19 epidemic. Visit yourcumbria.org for further information. 


In response to the latest government guidance on COVID-19, Cumbria County Council will with immediate affect temporarily close all its buildings to the public and will no longer provide non-essential 'face to face' services.

Alternative contact can be made on line, by phone, or by email. 

In an effort to continue to support residents in this unprecedented time, the Council can be contacted in the following ways:

Online - Go to the Cumbria.gov.uk for online services 

Email - You can find a dedicated email address on Cumbria.gov.uk to enable you to stay in direct contact with the Council and the service you need

By Phone - You can call the Council on its general number 01228 606060 


 Are not available for use by the general public  

Please be assured, that government changes do not affect the ability to respond to emergency 999 situations - for this it is absolutely business as usual. There have been some changes to their day to day activities and public access to community fire stations has been restricted.

To make sure we are complying with the latest government guidance on COVID-19 which significantly restricts the movement of people, to all but essential services and to ensure the safety of our staff who cannot work from home, the highways service are currently providing a reduced service to keep the highway safe which includes dealing with emergencies, identifying and repairing of major safety defects, weather related issues, winter gritting and road traffic collisions.

Repairs to minor issues which are not vital to safety, and planned work such as resurfacing of roads and improvements to bridges, has been suspended for now. 

We have put in place arrangements to maintain social distancing while working and travelling to and from depots.

Following the latest government guidance on COVID-19 and in light of the rapidly moving situation, the Council has taken the difficult decision to close all 14 of the Council's Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs) from 5pm on Wednesday 25 March 2020 until further notice.

The Government has been clear under which very limited circumstances individuals are permitted to ,leave their home.  The HWRC sites do not fall within these categories, and keeping the sites open is encouraging residents to continue to leave their homes and visit the sites.

Please continue to use existing District Council local kerbside waste collection services.  Some of our District Council partners have taken the decision to temporarily withdraw their garden waste collections, therefore please keep your garden waste for now.  In the meantime, you can: 

  • Home compost
  • Leave grass cuttings on the lawn where they will mulch down to provide nutrients
  • Leave areas of grass uncut (the wildlife will love this!)           

In addition, please keep additional waste to a minimum - avoid any home projects that will generate waste such as clearing out your garage or shed, and store all your waste at home until the Government restrictions are lifted.

We thank you for your cooperation, support and understanding in these unprecedented times.

Further information and frequently asked questions.

Face to face access to libraries and archives ceased to the public on Friday 20 March at 5pm until at least 1 May, at which point future opening arrangements will be reviewed. 

Try our online offer

Thousands of our library members are making the most of our online services, including Borrow Box, and downloading top titles in ebooks, audio books, comics and magazines, straight to their devices for free. Try our online offer.

Not a member? Don't worry

Our buildings might be closed but Cumbria Libraries are still here for you online. If you're not already a member, don't worry. 

We can now provide a temporary membership which will allow you to access a wide range of fantastic online services for free, including ebooks, audiobooks, digital magazines, comics and newspapers.

Join and get started with a temporary membership.

In respect of parking services, the county council have restricted their on and off street parking enforcement. However, in accordance with government guidance, organised patrols and enforcement of particular areas may still take place as and when required if issues occur. As such, the council is reminding all drivers to ensure that their vehicle is parked safely and legally at all times.

The council has also suspended parking charges on their car parks, to reflect the Government guidance to enable key staff to park for free, also due to the significantly reduced numbers of users, and the lack of enforcement been carried out.

These decision have not been taken lightly given the importance of the services, however as this is an unprecedented situation and the health, safety and wellbeing of council staff, their families, customers, and local communities has to be the number one priority.

In the meantime, our parking enforcement team are assisting with the community hubs in transporting foods and equipment to vulnerable people in the community.

Birth

  • Birth registration appointments are to be deferred with immediate effect until further notice.  
  • You can now make a claim for child benefit or universal credit prior to the birth being registered, where you have not been able to do so because of these measures

Deaths

Citizenship Ceremonies

  • At this time ceremonies are suspended until further notice
  • Customers would normally be expected to book their citizenship ceremony within 3 months of being sent an invitation from the Home Office. 
  • Due to the current pandemic circumstances UK Visas and Immigration have extended this period to 6 months and will keep this under constant review. 
  • Please be assured that no adverse decisions will be made on applications because of delays caused by Coronavirus  .

Marriage/Civil Partnerships

  • Marriage and Civil Partnership ceremonies should no longer be undertaken in line with the Prime Ministers announcement.
  • Notices of Marriage and Civil Partnership should be deferred until we are through the current pandemic period.
  • Applications to reduce the waiting period for marriages or civil partnerships on urgent grounds, will no longer be processed. 
  • Approved Premise licences cannot be suspended during this period. However, we will consider extensions to existing licences where appropriate. 

Applications for Copy Certificates

  • With immediate effect we will cease production of copy certificates unless the application is on urgent legal grounds.
  • Should you urgently require a certificate please contact cumbria.certificates@cumbria.gov.uk and someone will be in touch to discuss your needs.