Coronavirus: Havant Borough Council shuts its offices and cancels all future meetings because of Covid-19

A COUNCIL has opted to close its offices and cancel all but one meeting in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Saturday, 21st March 2020, 10:30 am
Updated Sunday, 22nd March 2020, 9:03 pm

Havant Borough Council said its Public Service Plaza, in Civic Centre Road, will be shut ‘indefinitely’ from Monday, March 23.

The authority has also announced cancellations of all future council meetings except a cabinet meeting at 2pm on Wednesday.

It said the gathering would go ahead with a ‘small number’ of councillors, reduced capacity for the public and would be streamed live on Facebook.

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The Public Service Plaza, Havant Borough Council's offices. Picture: Allan Hutchings (150078-158)

Councillor Michael Wilson, leader of Havant Borough Council, said: ‘We have had to take the decision to close the Public Service Plaza in the interests of safety.

‘The government’s advice is that social contact is reduced to an absolute minimum and so shutting our offices to the public is a right thing to do.

‘We are now asking those customers who are used to visiting us in person to contact us by phone or online, but we are still here and we will still be serving our community.’

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The decision follows an announcement on Wednesday that important full council and planning meetings on March 25 and 26 would go ahead.

The pair, which would have included votes to progress the local plan and a verdict on proposals for 195 new homes at Sinah Lane, Hayling Island, have now been scrapped.

Havant Borough Council’s conference suite at the Plaza is also closed, along with the authority’s office at Beachlands, on Hayling Island.

However, the council said a blood donation service due to be held on Monday, March 30 will go ahead as planned.

Council staff will be working as usual during the closure.

How to contact the council while the closure is in place

To make general contact with the council, it has recommended people call (023) 9244 6019, email [email protected] or complete the contact form at havant.gov.uk/contact-us.

Alternatively, contact the following email address or phone numbers to reach the following services:

- Make a parking payment: 0845 1304 4666

- Make any other payment, stating what service you want to pay for: (023) 9244 6019

- Housing benefits: (023) 9244 6382, [email protected] or havant.go.uk/benefits

- Council tax: (023) 9244 6317, [email protected] or havant.gov.uk/council-tax

- Domestic rates: 0845 070 2081 or havant.gov.uk/business-rates

- Adult services: 0300 555 1386, [email protected] or hants.gov.uk

- Children’s services: 0300 555 1384, [email protected] or hants.gov.uk