Changes to our services

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Last updated 17 May 2021

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

Coronavirus restrictions remain in place across the country. Find out what you can and cannot do.

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.

Suffolk County Council’s Recycling Centres are open for pre-booked appointments only. Read more about how to book a time slot to visit your local Recycling Centre.

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:

Save time, do it online! My Ipswich is the easiest and quickest way to make a request, report a problem or apply for a service...24 hours a day. Visit my.ipswich.gov.uk/MyServices

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 from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.

Council buildings

Many of our public facilities are open, including our Swimming Pools, Sports Centres, Ipswich Museum, Christchurch Mansion and the Town Hall Cafe.

The Regent Theatre and Corn Exchange remain closed.

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 are open.

Both buildings are Covid-Secure with enhanced cleaning regimes and one-way systems in place.

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. Tickets are available to book via the Colchester + Ipswich Museums website

Both venues are open from 10am – 5pm Tuesday to Saturday and 11am – 5pm on Sunday.

Read more about what measures are in place and find out what to expect when you arrive

The much-anticipated Power of Stories exhibition, which includes a display of sensational costumes from the hit film Marvel Studios’ Black Panther, will now open at Christchurch Mansion from 26 June to 24 October 2021.  

Check our social media pages for ways you can engage with us online:

Although we are open 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

Our sport and leisure facilities are open with a limited range of services.

All facilities are Covid-Secure with enhanced safety measures, cleaning regimes and one-way systems in place.

Read more about what activities have returned and the measures we have put in place to keep everyone safe.

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

Things are different, but our welcome is still the same. 

Check our social media pages for ways you can engage with us online:

Ipswich Market

Ipswich Market remains open for business on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

Stalls are spread out to enable customers to follow social distancing guidelines.

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

Shopmobility

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

To make the service COVID-19 secure there are revised booking, collection and return procedures for the mobility equipment we loan.

Read more about the new booking system.

Public toilets

Most of our public toilets are open. View public toilet map and opening times.

Parks and open spaces

Our parks remain open for use.

You can spend time in outdoor public spaces in a group of up to 30 people.

When you are outside your home or around other people try to stay at least 2 metres away from people you do not live with or who are not in your support bubble and remember - ‘Hands. Face. Space’:

  • hands – wash your hands regularly and for 20 seconds
  • face – wear a face covering in indoor settings where social distancing may be difficult, and where you will come into contact with people you do not normally meet
  • space – stay 2 metres apart from people you do not live with where possible, or 1 metre with extra precautions in place (such as wearing face coverings)

Facilities that are open:

  • Public toilets
  • Play areas
  • Outdoor gyms 
  • Tennis courts
  • Table tennis tables
  • Reg Driver Centre (Christchurch Park)
  • Christchurch Mansion tearoom - takeaway only
  • Holywells Park café - takeaway only
  • Holywells Visitor Centre - open during school holidays only

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

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

Allotments

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.

Residents can still 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 allotments@ipswich.gov.uk. 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.

The toilets at the Lawn, Old and Millennium cemeteries have reopened and are being regularly 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 and keep at least 2 metres apart from anyone outside your household or support bubble.

Council repairs service

Our repairs service for Council tenants is running as normal, in line with government guidance and COVID-secure protocols.

Read more about requesting a repair.

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.

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 roughsleeping.enquiries@ipswich.gov.uk.

Parking

Car parks

All our car parks remain open. View all car park locations.

Key worker parking

Crucial key workers in the NHS and social care can park for free 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.

Read about the progress of the Ipswich Local Plan Review 2018 – 2036 on our examination pages.

Our Building Control team have introduced some changes to the way they interact with customers. Read the latest guidance on how we are delivering Building Control services.

Environmental Health

You can still report an environmental or private 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.