Our priority is to continue to provide essential council services while continuing to protect the health and wellbeing of Medway residents.

Updates made on 1 April include:

  • All our markets are now closed

Updates made on 31 March include:

  • changes to waste collections
  • you can now apply for a business grant

See below for details:

All adult education classes are cancelled until the end of June.

You may have questions about course refunds and other matters.

Please do not phone the Medway Adult Education Centre as we're contacting all our learners directly.

We're working as fast as we can, and will contact every learner as soon as possible to discuss refunds.

Our allotments are open.

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

We understand that the ongoing outbreak of coronavirus and measures to increase social distancing are difficult for businesses.

Find out about support for businesses.

Read the guidance on business closures.

Apply for a business grant.

Read the food and drinks takeaways and delivery advice.

Some council meetings have been cancelled. Check the meetings calendar for details.

Recovery procedures

We’re currently making changes to how we recover arrears. In the meantime we’ve suspended issuing reminders, final notices and court summonses. If you have arrears due up to 31 March 2020 our enforcement agents (bailiffs) are now on hold and will not be in contact with you.

You should continue to pay your 2020 to 2021 instalments and keep any pre-existing payment arrangements, such as direct debits.

Government hardship fund

The government has just announced a hardship fund.

You may be eligible if you meet all of the following criteria:

  • you are unable to pay your Council Tax
  • you are of working age
  • you are currently receiving Council Tax Reduction (this will be detailed on your bill)

We are waiting for both full details of the fund from the Government and our software provider to change our system. Once these are resolved we’ll automatically award an amount of up to £150 against your account.

Find out about free debt advice.

Find out about the Council Tax Reduction scheme.

Funerals and cremations are going ahead as planned.

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

Medway Crematorium

The Crematorium Grounds are now closed and only open for funeral services.

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

Cemeteries

All four of our cemeteries remain open.

Find out more about how social distancing restrictions are affecting Medway 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

The Police and Crime Commissioner elections, which were due to be held on Thursday 7 May, 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

All events are now cancelled up until the end of July. These include:

  • Big Splash, 4 April
  • English Festival, 18 April
  • Sweeps, 2 and 3 May
  • Focus On Rainham, 16 May
  • Cycling Festival, 13 to 21 June
  • Dickens Festival, 13 and 14 June
  • Armed Forces Day, 27 June
  • Focus On Walderslade, 28 June
  • The Dutch are Coming 20 and 21 June
  • Dickens 150 (postponed)
  • Medway Mile 24 July

Our heritage sites are closed.

Events and group activities have been cancelled until the end of June.

Housing Benefit

We can only accept new claims for Housing Benefit from:

  • pensioners (if you are in a couple, both members need to have reached state pension age)
  • people in specified accommodation
  • people who are entitled, or have been entitled in the last month, to a severe disability premium
  • people placed in temporary accommodation by Medway Council

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.

Kingsley House

Kingsley House remains open, but is working reduced hours:

  • 8.30am and 5pm Monday to Thursday
  • 8.30am until 4.45pm on Fridays

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

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.

Libraries and hubs closed

Our libraries and community hubs are closed until further notice, in line with government advice on social distancing, to help prevent the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Loans, renewals and membership

Until further notice:

  • all loans and renewals will be issued for 8 weeks
  • you can renew loans up to 15 times
  • any overdue charges and fines will be waived
  • the system for borrowing books from partner libraries has been suspended
  • library cards due to expire will automatically be renewed for another year

You can manage your libraries account online where you can also borrow eBooks, eAudiobooks or eMagazines.

Events and exhibitions

Events and group activities held at our libraries and archives centre are cancelled until the end of July.

This includes the drop in exhibitions for the Hoo Peninsula consultation.

All Medway markets are closed until further notice.

In line with government advice, the Mayor and Deputy Mayor are no longer attending engagements or accepting new invitations to events.

The Guildhall Museum, Royal Engineers Museum, Medway Visitor Information Centre and Rochester Art Gallery are closed.

We've made some changes to how we enforce parking restrictions in Medway.

We'll be concentrating our parking enforcement on dangerous and inconsiderate parking.

Find out about parking in Medway during the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

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

The cafes and car parks are closed until further notice.

There is still pedestrian access to enjoy this green space if it’s your local park for your one piece of daily outdoor exercise.

Play parks are closed in line with government advice.

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

Following government advice we have decided to suspend or cancel some of our services.

Others will be running with increased hygiene considerations.

Suspensions and cancellations

The following services are suspended or cancelled:

We look forward to being able to resume these services and will keep you updated.

Running as usual

The following activities continue to run:

All our public toilets are open.

Central government has made the decision to close schools until further notice.

Schools will remain open for children of key workers and the most vulnerable.

Read our advice for schools and parents

Our sport centres are closed.

Please check Medway Sport on Twitter and Facebook for further updates.

We confirm the following information for our gym members, swimming lesson customers and clubs:

Medway Sport Members

  • We will be freezing all membership payments with immediate effect at no cost to you. We will not take further money from your account while the centres are closed. You do not need to take any action.
  • We will give members a 10-day credit on their account when we re-open to reflect the closure during March.
  • If you have paid for an annual membership, this will be extended by the period of time that the centres are closed.

Medway Sport Swim Academy Lessons

  • Swimming lesson customers will be credited on their account for any missed lessons following our closure from Saturday, 21 March. These lessons will be credited to your account for the new term of lessons when we re-open.
  • Existing customers will get priority re-enrolment in the first week of enrolment. This will be for the next term of lessons, once lessons are able to resume.

Other customers

  • We give a full refund to customers who had a party booked at one of our sports centres.
  • Clubs with block bookings who have paid in advance will have the cost of these discounted when their sessions resume.
  • We will extend annual admission passes by the period of time the centres are closed.

All shows at The Brook and Central Theatres in Chatham are cancelled until the end of June.

More information about cancelled theatre shows including what to do if your theatre event is cancelled.

Travel Information Centre

The Travel Information Centre at Waterfront Way, Chatham is closed until further notice.

For travel information visit Traveline or phone 0871 200 2233

Buses

Arriva are running an amended timetable.

National Express are running an emergency timetable.

Farleigh Coaches B150 suspended until further notice.

Stagecoach Express M2 service has been withdrawn.

See further updates for ASD Coaches, Nu-Venture, Red Route, Farleigh, National Express and Chalkwell on their websites.

Concessionary bus passes

Those with disabled person's bus passes and older person's bus passes can now use buses for free all day, including before 9am.

MY Buses

MY Buses will continue to transport key worker children to school. All bus routes are running as normal.

If routes are changed we'll email parents and carers.

We will update you about future payments and terms as soon as we have details.

Trains

Southeastern trains are running a reduced timetable.

Youth group and evening activities are cancelled until the end of June.

We have set up online youth sessions to help support young people in Medway while group sessions are cancelled.

Centres remain open as offices and points of contact.

Household waste collections

There will be no brown bin or brown bag collections from Wednesday to Friday this week. This is to enable our hardworking crews to prioritise essential services which are the collection of black sacks and recycling bags.

Food waste, normally collected in your brown bins and bags, will be collected in your black sacks this week.

We're sorry if we've missed your black sack and recycling collections this week. Please leave them out and our crews will make every attempt to collect them by the end of the week.

Thank you for your co-operation.

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

Household waste and recycling centres

Our household waste recycling centres are closed until further notice, in line with government advice.

Bulky waste

Our bulky waste collections continue. But, from Wednesday 1 April we will no longer collect fridges and freezers, as we'll be unable to dispose of them. We apologise for any inconvenience.

Weddings and civil partnerships due to take place during the next three weeks are postponed.

Our weddings can be rearranged, free of charge, and cancellations will be refunded according to our cancellation policy. Separately, you will need to speak to your venue about their refund or cancellation policy.

Appointments to register births have been postponed for three weeks.