Update on Meath County Council Services
(Tuesday, May 19, 2020 – Update 1pm)
The first phase of the Roadmap for Reopening Society and Businesses began on Monday, May 18th. Over the coming weeks, the Council will be expanding its level of public service provision, in line with the Roadmap and the latest public health advice.
Meath County Council will endeavour to keep you informed of these changes and what they mean for you.
Phase One Changes
All of the Council’s outdoor workers return to work for a full schedule of works. The Transportation Department will be commencing a number of road surface dressing and road restoration works across the county this week. A number of capital road works schemes will also be back on-site.
We have already undertaken essential maintenance of some public spaces, since April 27, including grass cutting where there was a road safety issue and the maintenance of ornate landscaping at specific locations. For housing estates and some other public spaces, grass cutting has already commenced on areas that the Council cut in the past.
Please note that these operations will be kept under review and will only be undertaken where strict compliance with physical distancing rules and public health advice can be observed.
Meath County Council’s four direct construction sites that had been closed due to Covid-19 restrictions will reopen this week. A number of Approved Housing Body social housing schemes have already re-commenced works. These are housing projects that are nearing completion, or in some cases already substantially complete with minor snagging or other works to be completed.
In re-starting any construction activity, contractors, consultants and their respective agents must adhere to the public health guidelines and other relevant health and safety regulations and protocols applicable to the construction sector.
(from May 25th onwards)
Any member of the public wishing to view a current planning file is advised in the first instance to do so online at: https://www.meath.ie/council/council-services/planning-and-building
Only in the event that they cannot, they should make a prior request with the Planning Department to view the file at the public counter in Buvinda House (the Council’s Headquarters), by calling: 046-909 7000 or email: email@example.com (including File reference no.). The Council’s public counters are currently closed but from May 25th this facility will be available. Customers may have to wait and work with the measures in place to facilitate physical distancing and ensure customer and staff safety. We thank you in advance for your understanding and patience on this matter.
With the reopening of the Planning counter, applications and submissions can be made by hand. So that you do not have to wait, a dedicated post box will be located at reception. If you are unable to make payment by cheque, then please leave your contact details in the envelope and a staff member will contact you with regards to payment over the phone.
Blackwater Park, Navan
Blackwater Park remains closed to the general public, following its closure by An Garda Síochána on Thursday, March 26th.
However, since May 11th, the Park is open for restricted access to people who are cocooning (those over 70 and people with medical conditions & their carers), Monday to Friday from 1.30pm – 3.30pm. Access to the park during this time will be strictly controlled.
Measures Still in Place
All other services remain as they were during the lockdown, announced on March 27th:
The Council is advising customers not call to the offices for any reason as they will not be able to gain access. Anyone wishing to transact business can do so by telephone (046 9097000) or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Customer Services team will continue to be available to take calls during normal working hours, Monday – Friday, 9am-5pm. Given we are operating essential emergency services only we will not be in a position to deal with all routine enquiries. While we will endeavour to deal with all calls, priority will be given to emergency calls and calls to the Covid 19 support line (details below).
The out of hours emergency line (1890 445 335) will also operate as usual.
Face to face meetings with staff cannot be accommodated other than to deal with emergency situations and subject to social distancing requirements.
The next scheduled meeting of the Council will take place on Monday, June 8th.
Commercial Rates Deferment
Meath County Council in line with the recent Government announcement will be deferring rates payments for the most immediately impacted businesses primarily in the retail, hospitality, leisure and childcare sectors for a period of three months until the end of May.
To arrange for deferral please contact email@example.com or contact your Rates Account Manager.
Businesses that can continue to pay their outstanding local authority rates should continue to do so in the normal way.
The Motor Tax Counter (in Buvinda House) is closed. Motor Tax renewals should be done on-line: www.motortax.ie
The Housing Department will continue to provide a range of serves, but prioritising emergency issues.
Maintenance is being dealt with on an emergency response basis only.
Homeless services can be accessed through the regular customer service channels during office hours. The out of hours number will operate as normal
Social Housing and HAP Applications
Social Housing and Housing Assistance Payment applications will be accepted by post or through the post box at Buvinda. Urgent applications will be prioritised for processing.
Please be advised that with the enactment of the Emergency Measures in the Public Interest (Covid 19) Act 2020, a new provision (Section 251A) has been inserted into the Planning & Development Acts 2000 (as amended) which as implications for a number of planning related pieces of legislation. Further information is provided on our website here:
Under an agreement with Irish Water, our staff continue to provide a full service in terms of water supply, wastewater treatment, maintenance of the system.
Parks and Playgrounds
Please be advised that all playgrounds are closed and should no longer be used by the public. This also applies to outdoor gym equipment.
In terms of public amenity sites, the Council is facilitating pedestrian access only. This includes the prevention of vehicular access onto beaches, to comply with the requirement to restrict movement to within 5km of your home address.
Meath County Council has placed signage at a number of parks and public amenity areas advising of the need to adhere to physical distancing. The Council also advises that pathways in some amenity areas are now one-way only for pedestrians, to help comply with the physical distancing guidelines.
Waste Collection and Recycling Facilities
The Civic Amenity Sites at Navan, Kells and Trim are open Monday to Saturday (8.30am to 4.45pm). The public is advised to use the sites only if essentially required and alternatively to store materials where possible at this time. It is anticipated that if the Covid 19 restrictions are fully observed activity at these sites will be significantly reduced and social distancing will be more easily achieved.
In order to eliminate cash handling the Council has decided to waive the €2 entry charge to the three sites from April 1st, for the period of the current health protection measures being in place.
The operations at the three sites will be monitored on an ongoing basis and changes put in place where necessary.
The Meath County Council Dog Shelter is closed to the public. Only emergency surrenders will be considered following consultation with staff by phone. In such cases please contact the dog shelter to discuss: Greenpark Kennels - Tel: 087 097 3911
The Kells Pool will be closed until further notice. The Navan and Trim Pools and leisure centres, operated by Aura, are also closed.
Covid-19 Support Line
The Council has established a new community support line to assist older or vulnerable people who are recommended to cocoon and remain in their homes during this current period of the emergency. If you are one of these people and you need assistance with practical matters such as: collecting medical and food supplies, need transport to attend a medical appointment or another need, please contact our free-phone number: 1800 808 809 between 8am-8pm. The line is a seven day service and is operational from Monday, March 30th.
This service is being provided at county level in cooperation with a number of public agencies, NGOs, local groups, sports clubs and others.
The Unity Centre, Windtown, Navan is closed.
In line with the Government’s recommendations, all Library Branches in the county are closed until further notice. This decision is in line with the national recommendations for all public libraries. We will continue to operate our online services.
Roads and Transport
Please report any faults with public lighting and traffic lights and we’ll endeavour to repair as quickly as possible.
Our Parking Wardens will remain on the streets to prevent illegal parking, such an unauthorised use of loading bays, disabled parking places and moving cars that obstruct the free flow of traffic. The intention is to ensure that people can access essential services, as easily as possible.
We will endeavour to keep you informed of any further changes in how we deliver services to you.
HSE social distancing guidelines: http://bit.ly/2QmuU6I
Stay safe, stay informed and please follow the official advice.