Frequently Asked Questions

We are updating our FAQs with the top enquiries received by our Customer Services Team.

Waste and recycling

What is the impact of COVID-19 (coronavirus) on waste and recycling collections and street cleaning services?

>We remain in constant communication with our partners, Serco and Continental, to ensure the impact on recycling and waste, street cleaning and other key environmental services is kept to a minimum. Townmead has now reopened and our garden waste and bulky waste services have recommenced.

Road works

Are you still doing road works?

After receiving reassurances about new work practices from its contractors (Conways), Richmond Council resumed its highway maintenance and improvement schemes from Monday 11 May. More information.

Council Tax

Should I still pay my rent or Council Tax?

You must pay your rent and Council Tax if you are financially able to. If you are unable to pay, please seek advice. Don't just not pay - make sure you get advice about this. You may be entitled to Council Tax Reduction.

If you can't pay your bills - get financial help.

There's also advice on claiming Universal Credit if your financial circumstances have changed.

How do I pay my Council Tax if Council buildings are closed?

You can pay your Council Tax by Direct Debit, online.

Parking

I work for the NHS or Social Care, can I park for free?

Yes - see more information.

Will I have to pay a penalty charge, if I couldn't move my car due to self-isolation?

It depends on the circumstances. If the vehicle was causing an obstruction or road safety concern, it may be that a penalty charge is still appropriate. In all circumstances, we would urge drivers to appeal any penalty charge issued at this time if they feel there are genuine mitigating circumstances.

As the roads are quiet, can I park in bus stops or lanes, taxi ranks, keep clear or on double yellow lines?

No, these areas are reserved for use by public transport vehicles or need to be kept clear to keep the roads operating safely. Any vehicle parked in contravention of these restrictions may still receive a penalty charge.

I have an outstanding debt for a penalty charge, will the Council be sending Enforcement Agents to take money or goods?

For the time being, the Council has suspended registering new debt recovery warrants and also has reduced debt recovery activity. This does not mean the debt will go away. If you are able, you should still make contact with enforcement or collection agents on any outstanding debt to ensure they are aware of your situation.

Safety

I am experiencing issues with domestic abuse due to being isolated, what can I do?

We understand that self-isolation has the potential to aggravate pre-existing abusive behaviours. If you need support, services are always available. This includes refuges, emergency housing, community services and the National Domestic Abuse Helpline, run by Refuge on 0808 2000 247.

If it is an emergency please call 999.

While in lockdown or self-isolation, people are likely to be spending more time with perpetrators, potentially escalating the threat of domestic abuse and further restricting their freedom.

In the current climate, it is certainly more challenging for victims who are suffering abuse if they cannot leave the house. If you are concerned about a victim who may be stuck indoors please call Refuge on their behalf, or the police if you know they are in immediate danger.

Read further information on domestic abuse and partner organisations.

I think I have bought a fake product / seen fake information online or received a fake email. What do I do?

There are reports that fake coronavirus testing/treatment kits have become available around the world. These kits contain harmful chemicals. The police are warning anyone who had bought one of these kits not to use it. Report to Action Fraud, quoting 'Trinity CV19 treatment kits'.

During this time, be aware of fake websites and suspicious links. Criminals will advertise products they know to be in short supply, such as hand sanitiser, face masks and ‘treatments’.

There are a number of fake emails also circulating claiming to be from health organisations (such as the World Health Organisation or US Centre for Disease Control), with attached ‘safety advice’ which when clicked downloads malware to infect the device.

Ensure you check where an email has come from – is the email address suspicious?

Never click on any suspicious links or open any documents on emails that you were not expecting – do not let your curiosity get the better of you!

I am worried about elderly people being targeted by doorstep scammers

The elderly are being increasingly targeted by doorstep scammers due to their increased isolation from family and friends. Criminals are posing as police and health officials, sometimes offering to vary out a coronavirus test on their doorstep in exchange for cash.

Be vigilant. As always, do not accept offers on the doorstep. Always confirm who the person is using a trusted number – genuine officials will always wait.

Thieves posing as good Samaritans are offering to complete shopping trips on behalf of the elderly, before keeping the money or bank cards that are handed over.

Treat such invitations with caution.

Never hand over your bank card or details.

If vulnerable people are using others to do their shopping, ensure it is someone they know or from a trusted source.

See more information about scams from London Trading Standards.

Volunteering

I would like to volunteer to help - where can I find out more about this?

To make it easier for the public and businesses to offer help, we’ve developed a way you can offer help easily, and be directed to a local organisation that needs what you can offer. Find out more.

Shopping

Are there local shops that offer deliveries?

Yes. There are a number of local shops that offer a delivery service. We have compiled a few examples in this list. Please note that the Council is not endorsing any of the below options. In addition, as this list is likely to change, please make sure you call the business to discuss your needs to advance. If you are a local business and would like to be included on this list, please email press-pr@richmond.gov.uk.

View local shops offering deliveries (pdf, 101 KB)

Are there local shops that offer click and collect?

Yes. There are a number of local shops that offer a click and collect service. We have compiled a few examples in this list. Please note that the Council is not endorsing any of the below options. In addition, as this list is likely to change, please make sure you call the business to discuss your needs to advance. If you are a local business and would like to be included on this list, please email press-pr@richmond.gov.uk.

View local shops offering click and collect (pdf, 161 KB)

Should I be stockpiling food and other supplies?

No. We are advising people not to panic buy as it leaves other members of the community, particularly vulnerable people, at risk of not being about to buy food, toilet roll, medicines and other essentials. Read more about supermarket opening times.

Construction

How can I complain about construction and building work during the pandemic?

As more people work from home during the coronavirus pandemic the impact of neighbour noise, particularly building work has become and increasing concern.

The council’s noise service can take action against construction noise if the site is operating outside of reasonable working hours. It is not possible for the Council to take formal action against a well-managed building site which keeps to the hours of 8am to 6pm (for noise generating work), and takes reasonable precautions to minimise noisy activities as far as is reasonably practicable as they would be working within the terms of the law and their planning conditions.

For more information, view Commercial and construction noise.

If you are experiencing excessive construction noise and want to make a complaint you can contact our noise team on 020 8871 6127 or you can Report it online

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, we have assessed the service we provide responding to noise complaints to ensure that we do not put you or our officers at risk. We will not routinely undertake visits unless an assessment has been made which demonstrates it is safe for us to do so. We will still continue to operate our service and respond to complaints using alternative measures such as carrying out noise assessments outside properties in some cases. It is hoped that you will appreciate why we have come to this decision.

Like every other business, construction sites operating during the COVID-19 pandemic must ensure they are protecting their workforce and minimising the risk of spread of infection, including following the Government’s recommendations on social distancing. 

If you are concerned that any building site is not following safe practices for social distancing during the pandemic please contact the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) by completing the form on the HSE website.

Utilities

How are utilities affected?

Whilst there is no impact on electricity, water and gas services, it is recommended that residents who are vulnerable sign up for the ‘Priority Register’ with their providers.

Details of registers in the borough include:

Cadent Priority Services Register

Southern Gas Networks Priority Register:

Thames Water Priority Services Register

Updated: 29 May 2020