Due to the rapidly escalating nature of the coronavirus pandemic, a number of Blackpool Council services are to be suspended or limited including the immediate closure of leisure centres and libraries.
Most of these changes are as a direct result of the Government’s guidance around social-distancing to limit the spread of the virus. These are outlined below.
Closure of the following libraries from 5pm on Friday 20 March until further notice: Layton, Revoe, Mereside, Anchorsholme, @The Grange, Palatine and Moor Park.
Central Library will also close at 5pm on March 20, but it is intended to re-open in early April after a deep clean of the premises and with the introduction of some measures to protect the health and safety of customers in line with Government guidance. An adaptation of the home library service is also planned.
Grundy Art Gallery
The gallery has closed with immediate effect and until further notice.
Closure of Blackpool Sports Centre, Moor Park Leisure Centre and Palatine Leisure Centre with effect from close of business on Friday 20 March until further notice. Leisure centre members will receive individual communication stating that their membership fees will be frozen from that point onward.
The Council-owned Sandcastle Waterpark is also closed until further notice.
All of our outdoor parks remain open.
Council Business Centres
FYC, 81 Central and the Enterprise Centre all remain open but will move to a managed reception service from Monday 23 March. From the same date, the reception area at Healthworks on Clifton Street will be closed to clients. DWP and other employment advice will be delivered via telephone interviews.
The Solaris Centre is closed with immediate effect until further notice.
Adults & Children Social Care
Highfield Day Centre is closed with immediate effect until further notice.
All family hubs are closed until further notice with the exception of those in Grange Park and Talbot & Brunswick which will continue to operate with a reduced offer.
Green waste collections are suspended with immediate effect, although the recycling centre at Bristol Avenue remains open as normal. All other domestic waste collections are unchanged.
The Housing Options service will only be open for face to face appointments during the afternoon from Monday 23 March. At other times, customers will be encouraged to seek assistance by phone. More phone lines will be opened up to accommodate this.
Cllr Simon Blackburn, Leader of Blackpool Council, said: “The vast majority of our services are continuing as we seek to protect the most vulnerable members of our community during this intensely difficult period.
“However, the latest advice around social distancing means it is no longer viable to continue to operate facilities such as leisure centres and libraries.
“It is possible there will be disruption in levels of service in some areas due to an increasing number of staff absences. We would ask the public to bear with us.
“Be assured we are working tirelessly to protect and support the people of Blackpool and we will soon be launching details of a dedicated support service for local businesses and the mobilisation of an army of volunteers to help vulnerable and isolated people within our community.”
Where possible, Council services will move to more contact by phone or email rather than face to face.