We will continue to provide essential services for residents, as well as support the most vulnerable members of the community.

Read details of the Tier 3: Very High alert restrictions on GOV.UK.

Read the Leader's latest message to residents: Council Leader encourages residents to act now, save lives.

Updated: 2 December 2020

See service updates below:

Benefits and financial support

We have help, support and guidance for those finding it difficult to pay their Council Tax instalments.

Housing Benefit changes

The government has made some changes to Housing Benefit to support people through coronavirus. These include increasing the Local Housing Allowance (LHA) and the additional earnings disregard.

Find out more about the Housing Benefit changes.

More information and make a claim for Housing Benefit.

Universal Credit

If you're not eligible to claim Housing Benefit, you may be able to claim Universal Credit to help with your housing costs.

Council Tax Reduction – help to pay Council Tax

If you're on a low income you may be eligible to claim Council Tax Reduction.

Discretionary Housing Payments

If you receive Housing Benefit or housing costs within Universal Credit, you can apply for a Discretionary Housing Payment if you’re suffering extreme hardship.

We have advice for businesses on:

  • grants and loans
  • takeaways and delivery services

More about business support.

If the NHS Test and Trace Service has told you to self-isolate you may be able to get some financial help.

Find out more about the NHS Test and Trace support payment scheme.

Bin collections, waste and recycling

Our bulky waste collections continue.

Capstone, Cuxton and Hoath Way household waste and recycling centres are open. You'll need to book an appointment to visit the sites.

All waste collections including black sacks, recycling, and food and garden waste, are operating as normal.

Please follow government advice on waste disposal if you are staying at home due to coronavirus.

Births, marriages and deaths

Medway Crematorium

The Crematorium grounds are open for mourners, funeral services and for the scattering of ashes.

Our reception area is closed to the public but enquiries and payments can made by phone, email or post.

We are offering 30 minute service slots at Medway Crematorium East Chapel. This will allow us to offer more services throughout the day.

Cemeteries

All four of our cemeteries remain open.

Read Coronavirus (COVID-19): Medway Crematorium and cemeteries advice.

Funerals

Funerals and cremations are going ahead as planned.

There is a limit of 30 people attending a funeral at the Crematorium and cemeteries.

If you attend a funeral or cremation, or visit a cemetery you must follow government guidance on social distancing.

Attending funerals

We’re sorry if you have lost a loved one during this difficult time. We understand you may have concerns around social distancing at a funeral.

We have put a number of measures in place to help keep you safe. This includes placing chairs two metres apart at our services.

We also offer live streaming of funerals for those who are unable to attend in person. We have dropped all charges for the video streaming service during this time.

Read the latest advice on attending the crematorium and cemeteries.

If you need to register a death that occurred in Medway, you no longer need to attend the register office in person. We are now accepting registrations by phone. Contact us on 01634 338 998 to make your phone appointment.

Find out how to register a death in Medway

If you or someone you know has suffered a bereavement, there is bereavement support available.

Weddings

Medway Register Office is closed for weddings.

We have contacted everyone who was due to get married or have a civil partnership at the register office during the national lockdown, to reschedule.

Read the latest guidance on marriages and civil partnerships.

Births

Registrations are open. You need to book an appointment to register the birth.

Education

Our adult education team will be in touch with those booked onto courses to make arrangements, as many courses will move to online learning.

We appreciate you may have questions however we kindly ask that you do not phone the centre.

You can email enquiries@medway.gov.uk with any enquiries and our admin team will get back to you as quickly as possible.

Thank you for your understanding and patience during this time.

In line with the latest government advice, all schools remain open.

Secondary transfer 2021

Medway residents can apply for school places online until 5pm on 30 November 2020. If your child is due to start Year 7 in September 2021 please apply by the deadline.

Medway Test results were sent on Monday 2 November 2020. For more information about the test results and what you can do next, including the Medway Test review process, visit our next steps page.

Primary admissions 2021

Primary admissions applications are open for:

  • Children due to start Year R in September 2021
  • Children currently in Year 2 in an infant school who need a Year 3 junior school place in September 2021

Make sure you apply online by 5pm on 15 January 2021.

Health, housing and social care

Medway Adoption team welcomes new enquiries, and during this difficult time we'll do our best to respond quickly to these.

If you have specific questions about the adoption process and your situation contact us by email at adoption@medway.gov.uk or phone 01634 335 676.

Your interest in adoption is really important to us and very much appreciated. The situation is changing daily and we'll aim to keep you informed about any changes using our adoption pages and Facebook page.

There is a range of support available for Medway residents.

Find out about Coronavirus (COVID-19) Medway support.

Kingsley House

Kingsley House is open for appointments only.

  • Monday to Thursday: 9am to 5pm
  • Friday: 9am to 4.45pm

Our telephone lines are open between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday. Or find the information you need online.

We are not currently taking cash and cheques at Kingsley House using the automated till. Please use a different payment method during this time.

Rough sleepers

We are working with partners to find accommodation solutions for people currently sleeping rough.

Where possible this will be self contained to maximise the number of people able to self isolate if they show symptoms of coronavirus.

This will be aimed at people with pre-existing health conditions and may place them at additional risk if they become infected. We have received funding from the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government (MHCLG) to assist in this process.

If you see anyone sleeping rough, report rough sleeping online, by emailing Roughsleepersteam@medway.gov.uk or by phoning 01634 334 008.

Make sure you can include details of where the person sleeping rough was seen.

Repairs and maintenance

Currently our main priority is the wellbeing and safety of our residents, team members and contractors. The responsive repairs service is responding to emergency and urgent repairs only with routine repairs suspended. Gas repairs and servicing will continue as normal.

If you have symptoms of coronavirus then you will need to tell us this when reporting repairs.

If Mears are unable to carry out a repair to your property, you will be informed.

Repairs can be reported by phoning 01634 333 601 or emailing housingrepairs@medway.gov.uk.

Private Sector Housing Team

The Private Sector Housing Team is running an adapted service.

View the adapted service.

We have postponed the following services:

  • Man V Fat football at Strood Sport Centre
  • Nordic walking
  • cycling groups
  • walking groups
  • Little Food Explorers

All our health and wellbeing services will continue to run.

If you have an appointment for a council health service, for example a health check or stop smoking appointment, it will still take place. Please do not cancel your appointment.

You can access a range of virtual support services.

View A Better Medway for more information.

You can still get help during the coronavirus pandemic.

View domestic abuse help and advice.

We have changed the services we offer in line with government advice.

Check details of each pest type for more details. Or call us on 01634 283 215 to discuss the treatment we can offer.

Our Children and Family Hubs will continue to run virtual activity sessions such as baby, bounce and rhyme.

More about family hubs.

We are working in partnership with Public Health England to provide a local contact tracing service as part of the wider national NHS Test and Trace programme.

More about local contact tracing

Leisure

Our allotments are open.

Please follow government advice on social distancing, to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.

All events are now cancelled up until further notice. These include:

  • Rochester Christmas Market
  • Dickensian Christmas Festival
  • Christmas Light switch on

View support for the creative sector.

Our libraries and community hubs are open with a reduced service.

You can:

  • return books
  • use our new click and collect service for caddy liners, dog waste bags, radar keys and electricity cards
  • use our reservations services
  • collect reusable recycling bags

You will not be able to browse our book shelves until further notice.

You can apply for daily visitor parking vouchers for collection or postage online or by phone: 01634 332 266.

The mobile library remains closed.

Read libraries and hubs coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance.

More about community hubs and libraries.

The Guildhall Museum and Upnor Castle are closed.

Rochester Castle will remain closed for ongoing maintenance work.

Eastgate House in Rochester, Temple Manor in Strood and the Old Brook Pumping Station in Chatham will also remain closed.

The Guildhall Museum and the Visitor Centre, including Rochester Art Gallery, are closed.

View support for the creative sector.

Capstone Country Park and Riverside Country Park are open as usual.

The car parks are open.

The cafes are open 10am to 4pm for takeaway only.

Children's play areas are open.

Outdoor gyms are closed in line with government advice.

When using the equipment please take the following measures:

  • do not eat or drink within the play area
  • use hand sanitiser to clean children's hands before and after play
  • use hand sanitiser before and after using the gym equipment

Rainham Recreation Ground play area is currently closed for refurbishment.

Snodhurst Bottom pitch and putt in Walderslade Road will remain closed until April 2021.

More about parks and green spaces.

Fishing is allowed at Capstone Country Park. You can book a day ticket Monday to Friday by emailing your fishing license to medway-countryside-service@ncsgrp.co.uk then call 01634 338 191 to make the payment over the phone.

Please follow government advice on social distancing, to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Gillingham Market

On Saturday 5 December, Gillingham Market will be opening with its full complement of stalls. We look forward to welcoming back our non-essential stallholders.

Gillingham Market opens every Monday and Saturday from 9am to 3pm.

Rochester Farmers' Market

Rochester Farmers market is held in Blue Boar Lane Car Park every third Sunday, from 9am to 1pm.

Social distancing measures will remain in place.

Guidance for shops

Read the new national restrictions guidelines on GOV.UK.

Our sport centres are due to re-open to the public on Wednesday 2 December 2020, in line with government guidelines.

For more details on what activities will be available and what safety procedures will be in place, visit our coronavirus guidance.

All shows at The Brook and Central Theatres in Chatham are postponed.

The Brook Theatre in Chatham is closed to small dance and drama classes, meetings and rehearsals.

The Central Theatre in Chatham will remain closed.

You can still buy theatre tickets for future shows online, including next year’s Panto, and browse future shows for a Christmas present at Medway Tickets Live or by phoning the box office on 01634 338 338.

Find out more information about cancelled and rescheduled theatre shows including what to do if your theatre event is cancelled.

View support for the creative sector.

Medway Youth Service will continue to offer online group activities for young people aged 11 to 18 (and up to 25 for those with additional needs) including drawing, Minecraft, anime, media and filmmaking, Dungeons and Dragons style roleplaying games as well as general fun and games sessions.

Find out more about online youth sessions.

Centres remain open as offices and points of contact.

Travel and transport

You can apply for or renew a Blue Badge, but due to the current situation our processing time may take longer than usual. Find out more about Blue Badges and coronavirus.

There is no change to Medway’s parking services. You can order parking vouchers online or by phoning the Parking Services Team on 01634 332266.

Find out more about parking in Medway

Parking charges have been suspended for all NHS staff and social care workers in Medway during the coronavirus pandemic.

Our car parks and parking bays can be used for free by NHS staff and social care workers.

We have provided social care workers with parking permits to be used when they are out in communities supporting residents.

All our public toilets are open.

Find a public toilet

For travel information visit Traveline or phone 0871 200 2233

Face coverings on public transport

You must wear face covering when you travel on public transport, including MY Buses. Find out more on GOV.UK.

Buses

Arriva, ASD Coaches, Farleigh Coaches and Redroute are operating normal timetables.

National Express are operating an amended timetable. emergency timetable.

Stagecoach Express M2 service has been withdrawn.

See further updates for Nu-Venture and Chalkwell on their websites.

MY Buses

See refund updates for MY Buses

Trains

Southeastern trains are running a reduced timetable.

Your council, democracy and the Mayor

Some council meetings have been cancelled

Check the meetings calendar for details.

The Police and Crime Commissioner elections, which were due to be held on Thursday 7 May 2020, have been postponed for a year.

Our Electoral Services team continues to process applications to register to vote.

However, it may take the team a little longer than usual to respond to your emails to electoralservices@medway.gov.uk.

In line with government advice, the Mayor and Deputy Mayor are only attending online events.