Changes to our services

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Last updated 28th August 2020

Changes to Ipswich Borough Council services as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Bins, waste and recycling

Black, blue and brown bin collections continue to run as normal. It is likely that collections may take place earlier or later than usual so please ensure your bins are at the front of your property by 6am on your scheduled collection day.

Read more about how to manage your waste during this time.

Other waste services

Our bulky waste and commercial waste services remain unaffected.

Following temporary closures, Suffolk County Council have reopened Suffolk Recycling Centres for pre-booked appointments. Read more about how to book a time slot to visit your local Recycling Centre.

Textile banks are closed until further notice, please keep your items at home until you can recycle them safely.

Contacting the council

Our Customer Service Centre at the Town Hall is open for pre-booked appointments only.

These appointments are only for when it is absolutely necessary to have a face-to-face meeting. Please call 01473 432000 to discuss getting an appointment.
The centre will be open 10am – 4pm Monday to Friday but our phone lines are open between 8:30am – 5pm.

Contact us:

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If you are isolated at home and need urgent advice or support during the coronavirus pandemic, please ring the Home, But Not Alone service on 0800 876 6926, it’s open 5 days a week from 9am to 5pm.

Council buildings and events

All our public buildings will remain closed until Government restrictions are lifted and we can re-open them safely, including our Customer Service Centre.

IBC outdoor events scheduled to take place in our parks and in public spaces between now and the end of October have been cancelled.

These include Ipswich Music Day, Maritime Festival, Global Rhythm, Indian Summer Mela, One Big Multicultural Festival, Family Fun Days, Outdoor Cinemas and Pantaloons Theatre. We will also be cancelling the Crafted Classique bike ride.

Other events – organised by third parties – are not affected.

Read more about the cancellation of summer 2020 events.

Public toilets

Following temporary closures, we have re-opened most of our public toilets. View public toilet map and opening times.

Arts and entertainment

Ipswich Theatres

The Regent Theatre and Corn Exchange are currently closed. We will review Government guidance as it is published and liaise with show promoters.

The health and wellbeing of customers and staff will be our top priority and we will only reopen these venues when we are sure it is safe to do so.

We will contact customers directly if any upcoming Ipswich Regent or Corn Exchange shows are cancelled or postponed, you can also check our social media feeds for updates.

We've created a web page where you can see the latest information about postponed shows. Check here for details on when these shows will be coming back to Ipswich. This will be updated daily as new dates are confirmed.

Read more about the process for cancelled or postponed shows.

Ipswich Museums

Ipswich Museum and Christchurch Mansion have re-opened.

Work has been done to make both buildings Covid-Secure including introducing enhanced cleaning regimes and a one-way system.

With the Mansion opening its doors, we are also pleased to announce that the Ed Sheeran: Made in Suffolk exhibition has been extended until Sunday 8 November.

Visitors need to book a free ticket for a timed slot before they visit and are asked to arrive no earlier than 5 minutes before.

Both venues are open from 10am – 4.30pm Tuesday to Saturday and 11am – 4.30pm on Sunday.

Tickets are available to book for Ipswich Museum and Christchurch Mansion via the Colchester + Ipswich Museums website. Entry to Christchurch Mansion will include the Ed Sheeran: Made in Suffolk Exhibition. Read more about the exhibition.

There will be some changes to how you enter and move around the buildings to meet COVID-19 secure guidelines but signage will be in place to guide you. Read more about what measures are in place and find out what to expect when you arrive

Although we are opening again, you can still access tonnes of fun activities on our website to download and do at home. Have a go at building a zeotrope, make 19th century icecream, do a wordsearch and much more. See all activities.

Sport and leisure centres

We’ve been working hard to make our sports and leisure facilities Covid-Secure and have kick started a phased re-opening with a limited range of services at Whitton Sports Centre, Fore Street Pool and Crown Pools.

You will need to pre-book and pre-pay for all activities online before you visit. 

Things are going to be a bit different, but our welcome is still the same. 

Whitton Sports Centre

Operating a limited fitness class programme, gym slots, badminton court bookings and 3G pitch hire.

From Saturday 5 September the grass and all-weather pitches will open at weekends for club use only.

The centre will be open from 4pm - 10pm, Monday to Friday.

Fore Street Pool

Offering limited public lane swimming and club/private hire.

View the public lane swimming timetable for opening times.

Crown Pools

Offering club hire only, gym slots and swimming lessons.

Gainsborough Sports Centre

From Saturday 5 September the grass and all-weather pitches will open at weekends for club use only.

The sports centre will remain closed until further notice. We are piloting the safe operation of Whitton Sports Centre before opening Gainsborough.

Northgate Sports Centre

From Saturday 5 September the athletics track will open for club use only.

The sports centre will remain closed until further notice. We are piloting the safe operation of Whitton Sports Centre before opening Northgate.

Read more about the measures we have put in place to keep everyone safe and what you can expect when you return


Our Shopmobility service is available between 10am - 4pm Monday to Saturday 

There are revised booking, collection and return procedures for the mobility equipment we loan. This will ensure the service is COVID-19 secure.

Read more about the new booking system.

Parks and open spaces

Our parks remain open for use in line with Government guidance. You are allowed to meet in groups of up to six people who you do not live with or who are not in your support bubble. You are only allowed to meet in groups of more than six people if everyone is a member of the same household and support bubble. Read more about what you can and can't do.

Facilties that are open:

  • Public toilets
  • Play areas - read the safety guidance
  • Outdoor gyms - read the safety guidance
  • Bourne Park paddling pool
  • Holywells Park water jets
  • Tennis courts
  • Table tennis tables
  • Skate parks
  • Chrischurch Park kiosk
  • Christchurch Mansion tea room
  • Holywells Park cafe
  • Reg Driver Centre (Christchurch Park)

Read the Covid-19 guidance to make sure you stay safe when using our outdoor sports/play facilities.

Faciliies that are closed:

  • Holywells Visitor Centre

The Council’s Parks Patrol teams will continue to monitor parks and open spaces to advise people to follow social distancing guidelines.

If you are visiting a park please adhere to social distancing rules.


Our allotments remain open for use in line with Governmnet guidance. Please adhere to social distancing rules.

Read the latest guidance from the Allotment Holder Association.

Following a temporary suspension, residents can now sign up to rent an allotment at one of our 16 sites. All allotment plots are let by the Field Secretaries on behalf of the Council. Please contact them by emailing Our allotments are great value for money with a standard plot costing only 87.5p per week.

Read more about renting an allotment.

Crematorium and cemeteries

Burials and cremations can still go ahead as planned but the Government has issued guidance to help keep people safe at funerals.

Please speak to your funeral director to find out what options are available to you.          

Our venues

The Old Cemetery Church and West Chapel at the Crematorium remain open for services, but attendance numbers will be restricted to allow for social distancing. Funeral directors will advise on the restrictions in place for each venue.

Those who have symptoms of Covid-19 must not attend and must stay at home.

Stringent cleaning measures are in place and venues are thoroughly cleaned after each service.

Some public toilets situated in the cemetery grounds are closed. The toilets at the Lawn and Millennium cemeteries have reopened and are being regulary sanitised. The toilet in the West Chapel remains open for attendees.

Visiting memorials

People are still able to visit cemeteries to lay flowers at memorials but please adhere to social distancing rules.

Council repairs service

Our repairs service for Council tenants has been reduced to emergency repairs only until further notice. If you have a repair visit booked, we will be in contact with you

Read more about requesting emergency repairs

Support for homeless people and rough sleepers

We are continuing to support rough sleepers and are working with the Street Outreach service and other agencies to ensure that all rough sleepers in Ipswich have accommodation. Additional B&B rooms have been sourced to ensure they have access to this accommodation.

If you are concerned about someone who you believe is sleeping rough, please visit the Street Link Website and complete the referral form. Alternatively email


Car parks

All our car parks remain open.

Crown car park is currently operating temporary opening times:

  • 10.30am - 4.30pm, Monday to Sunday.

View all car park locations.

Key worker parking

A new scheme has been introduced to give crucial key workers in the NHS and social care, free parking in all IBC car parks and on-street parking bays so that they can continue to support the most vulnerable in our society, save lives and keep our country running.

Read more about our NHS and social care key workers parking scheme.

Residents’ Parking Zones

With more people staying at home, our Residents’ Parking Zones have been busier than usual. To help permit-holders we are allowing use of some of our car parks. Read the latest information about our Residents’ Parking Zones.

Parking enforcement

Our Civil Enforcement Officers are still on duty as it is important that parking restrictions are followed to ensure roads are kept clear for emergency vehicles and bin crews. It also helps ensure that spaces are being used by genuine permit-holders.

Planning and building control

We continue to operate our Town Planning and Building Control services, in line with Government advice.

For further information on how the planning application process has been affected, please refer to our frequently asked questions.

Our Building Control team have introduced some changes to the way they interact with customers:

  • Site visits, inspections and all general advice and meetings will be conducted virtually
  • Where possible, paperwork should be emailed to
  • Site inspections will only be undertaken if they are external visits and not in the property

Read the latest guidance on how we are delivering Building Control services.

Ipswich Market

More traders have returned to Ipswich Market. Stalls will be spread out to enable customers to follow social distancing guidelines and the market will trade on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays only.  

Some traders are still offering an online and delivery service. Find out which traders are offering delivery services.

Environmental Health

You can still report an environmental or public sector housing issue however we will not be carrying out visits where we need to enter a person’s home unless an issue is having a significant impact on the occupant, public health or environment. If a visit is deemed essential, appropriate screening questions will be asked, and risk assessments carried out before any visits take place.

Where an offence is identified, Officers can and are still serving appropriate enforcement notices, fixed penalty notices and/ or taking appropriate action. In addition, Officers will still be following up on any breaches to notices that have been served.

Dog Warden service

Our stray dog collection service has been reduced and will now operate between 9am - 8pm Monday to Friday. Read more about how to report a stray dog.

During this time and where possible, Officers will ask finders if they are able to take the dog directly to an appointed kennel or hold onto it until an officer is available, which may be the next working day.


The Ipswich Borough Council and Police and Crime Commissioner elections scheduled for Thursday 7th May 2020 have been postponed until Thursday 6th May 2021.

Contact Details

Ipswich Borough Council,
Grafton House,
15-17 Russell Road,

Telephone icon

01473 432000