Residents in County Durham are being reminded that Customer Access Points and most other county council buildings will be closed over the Christmas and New Year holidays.
Customer Access Points remain closed until further notice following the introduction of the Government’s Plan B winter response.
In the event of an emergency, residents can still contact the council on 03000 26 0000 or use the 24/7 automated payments line on 0300 456 2771.
If you are concerned about someone who is vulnerable or at risk, you should contact Social Care Direct and the Emergency Duty Team on 03000 267 979. The service will be open across the Christmas and New Year period.
Online services will still be accessible over the festive period but requests may not be processed until council offices reopen on Tuesday, 4 January.
Register offices will close at 12.30pm on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve and will be closed from Christmas Day until Wednesday 29 December, New Year’s Day and Monday, 3 January. Bishop Auckland and Durham register offices will be open between these dates by appointment only. To make an appointment call 03000 26 6000.
Leisure centres will be closed from 4pm on Christmas Eve until Wednesday, 29 December. They will also close at 4pm on New Year’s Eve and reopen on Tuesday, 4 January. The Riverside Sports Centre, Chester-le-Street will be closed from 10pm Thursday, 23 December and will reopen on Tuesday, 4 January.
Council libraries will close over the festive period. For more details, please check individual library hours at www.durham.gov.uk/libraryonline. Residents will still be able to access the library’s Borrowbox app with their library membership.
Pathways day centres for adults will be closed from Christmas Day until Wednesday, 29 December, New Year’s Day and Monday, 3 January. Hawthorn House short-break service will be closed from 10am on Wednesday, 22 December until Monday 27 December at 2pm.
Family centres are working in new ways to provide support with all buildings currently closed. Users are advised to call 03000 261 111 for advice, support and guidance.
The council’s Welfare Assistance Service will be closed on Bank Holidays and weekends and will be open reduced hours, from 8.30am to 12pm on Christmas Eve, and from 9am to 3pm on Wednesday, 29 December and Thursday, 30 December. It will also be open 9am to 12pm on New Year’s Eve. The service can be contacted on 03000 267 900.
County Durham Together, the council’s community hub, will be closed from 12.30pm on Christmas Eve until 9am on Tuesday, 4 January. During this time, residents who test positive for Covid-19 and those having to isolate after being identified as close contacts of someone who has tested positive, can access food or other essential supplies by contacting The British Red Cross – National Support Line on 0808 196 3651. Lines are open daily between 10am and 6pm.
Sevenhills DLI research and study centre, in Spennymoor, will close on Tuesday, 21 December and reopen for appointments on Tuesday, 4 January. Please email [email protected] for research appointments. A member of staff will get back to you from 4 January.
Durham County Record Office will close from Friday, 24 December until Tuesday, 4 January. From January, the record office search room will temporarily close to visitors. However, staff will continue to respond to online enquiries. More information can be found at http://www.durhamrecordoffice.org.uk
The Park and Ride service will not operate between Christmas Day and Tuesday, 28 December and between New Year’s Day and Tuesday, 4 January. On Tuesday, 28 December a 15-minute service will run between 9am and 6pm serving both Sniperley and Belmont, while Howlands will remain closed. All sites will operate as normal from Wednesday, 29 December to Friday 31 December and again from Tuesday, 4 January. Parking in all council on and off-street car parks continues to be free after 2pm.
Durham Town Hall will close at 4pm on Christmas Eve and reopen on Tuesday, 4 January. Bishop Auckland Town Hall will close at 4pm on Christmas Eve and reopen on Wednesday, 29 December. It will then close from New Year’s Eve until Tuesday, 4 January.
Wharton Park and Hardwick Park cafes will be open every day apart from Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day. Wharton Park café is open from 10.30am until 3.30pm and Hardwick Park café from 10am until 3pm.
Please note that some information may be subject to change should there be further updates to local and national coronavirus restrictions. For the latest coronavirus information, please visit www.durham.gov.uk/coronavirus.