COVID-19: Birmingham City Council update

We have plans in place to deal with the outbreak of COVID-19 (coronavirus) and the impact the virus will have on life in the city.

Our Public Health team is working in partnership with the NHS and Public Health England.

If you have any concerns about coronavirus, all the important official advice to help restrict its spread and how to deal with any infection can be found on the NHS website.

The following is a list of known service alterations as a result of the COVID-19 virus.

As this is a rapidly-moving situation, please accept our apologies for any errors or omissions.

This page will be updated regularly to give the most accurate picture, so please keep checking back for updates.

Affected service list – Last updated 4pm on Monday 23 March 2020

Schools: Following an announcement from government on March 18, Birmingham schools closed until further notice after the end of Friday (March 20) except to very specific groups of pupils (children with Education, Health and Care Plans, children with social workers and children of specified key workers). Now the number of children attending schools is known, schools are working with other schools and the local authority to group together and make the best use of resources.

Other educational settings: The Department for Education confirmed on March 17 that the funding for early years entitlements will continue during any periods of nursery, preschool or childminder closures or where children cannot attend due to coronavirus (COVID-19). The city council has contacted all childcare providers in the city with this update.

Other schools/education issues: Home to school transport routes are continuing to run to schools where they are required. Any parents who no longer require transport should make their transport provider aware as soon as possible so that resources can be used as efficiently as possible for the children who are attending school.

Vulnerable children:  Short breaks care for children with disabilities, in our residential homes, is stopping. Affected families will have been notified.

Staffing reductions will mean that resources will be focused, with our partners, on a smaller number of the most vulnerable children in the city

If you are worried about a child, then please contact the Children’s Advice and Support Service as you normally would. Anyone concerned about a child can contact 0121 303 1888.

Adult social care: We have activated emergency plans and are therefore reprioritising services to help those most vulnerable and in need.

Care Providers – We are taking additional steps to ensure that care and support needs continue to be met for those citizens who are already in receipt of care. We are working closely with care providers to ensure that citizen’s support is not affected, and where it may be for whatever reason, we would ask citizens to consider seeking support from their family, friends and local community networks where possible. If staff shortages do occur in care provider services, they will prioritise those services to people for medication and safety reasons and we will take extra steps to assist them where possible.

Available care beds – We are working to find all available care beds in order to free up hospital beds for those people most in need.  Social care staff are working in hospitals to offer support and advice where possible.

Carers Support – The council’s commissioned service Birmingham Carers Hub has suspended group and face-to-face meetings and is proactively telephoning registered carers who in the higher risk categories to give information advice and guidance. Carers Assessments are also being undertaken/updated via the telephone.

New and existing (unpaid) carers who are providing care and/or support to family members, friends or neighbours can get up-to-date information, guidance and support via the Hub’s website: or by telephone 0333 066 9711.

Direct Payments: If a Personal Assistant falls ill: Citizens are able to use other personal assistants without the need to contact Birmingham City Council. This could be a neighbour, someone else you know, or have recruited or a family member that does not usually live with you. If this is not possible, the council can increase your direct payments, to provide you with agency cover, until your personal assistant is able to offer care and support to you again. There always remains the option of suspending care and getting a commissioned service.

Direct payments – PPE (Personal Protective Equipment): Personal Assistants need to ring the supply line and ask them for any information and register themselves on their delivery rota. This service can also direct them to suppliers.

The National Supply Disruption line  Tel: 0800 915 9964


Day Care Centres – As of March 20, the following day care centres are now partially or completely closed. Some of the centres are providing alternative support such as home visits and hot meal drop offs. Adults that attend the centres and their carers and families will have been notified directly by each centre.

Day Centre Name
Age Concern, Brookmeadow Court Closed
Age Concern, Wellington Court Closed
Age Concern, The Laurels Closed
Age UK, Community Centre Partial
Age UK, Oscott Seymour Centre Partial
Age UK, Village Court Day Centre Partial
Age UK, Onneley House Day Centre Partial
Apna Ghar Partial
Beetori Day Centre Closed
Asha House Closed
Blanning Day Centre Closed
Cerebral Palsy Midlands Closed
Chinese Community Centre Closed
Cotteridge Church Day Centre Closed
Dolphin Healthcare Day Centre Closed
Evergreen Care Home Closed
Family Care Trust Closed
Holly Oaks Day Care Services CIC Closed
Masriq Challenge Resource Centre Closed
Nightingales Day Centre Closed
Resources For Autism Closed
The Robin Centre Closed
Smethwick Asra Closed
Sparkbrook Asra Closed

Waste collections (residential): Household waste and recycling collections are being carried out as scheduled as far as possible.

We apologise for any missed collections – the position is being closely monitored and reviewed daily and we will be taking into account the impact of school closures now they have begun.

From Tuesday 24 March, all garden waste subscribers should continue to present their brown-lid bin as normal, but to ensure the most reliable service possible, the garden waste will be mixed by the crew with your general household waste.

Waste collections (bulky): New bookings suspended until further notice to redirect resources to domestic waste and recycling collections. The city’s Household Recycling Centres (tips) remain open.

Household Recycling Centres (Tips): Opening hours and operations remain the same, but visitors to the HRC sites who are disposing of waste following symptoms of COVID-19, should follow government guidance to tie and double-bag the waste – and wait 72-hours before disposing or taking to any HRC in the city. Residents are asked to NOT to visit the HRCs if they or one of their family members are in the self-isolation period of 14 days.

Housing (repairs, allocations etc): Our priorities are responsive repairs, night security, caretaking, and the Housing Options service.

Please be aware, we are now providing the service for our Housing Options Centre in a different way. The centre will be closed to the public and moving to a telephone service.

Additional capacity has been added to our phonelines to ensure everyone who needs help gets the support they need.

However, we are asking that if you have got somewhere safe to stay, please remain where you are. If you need advice or if you are about to become homeless, please call 0121 675 5779 and support will be available to you by phone.

Working with our commissioned providers, additional support and capacity has been made available to rough sleepers. If you are concerned about someone sleeping rough, including if they have symptoms of a fever or continuous cough, please tell StreetLink who will alert our local outreach team.

Libraries: As of Monday 23 March, all Birmingham libraries are now closed.

No fines will be accumulated.

Any fines accrued on loans taken from 1 February 2020 will be waived.

Library members can access ebooks through the council’s website

The library service at home is also available to library members

The mobile library is currently unavailable, but we are working to get it back on the road as soon as possible.

Adult Education:  All Adult Education centres closed at 3pm on Friday 20 March for the foreseeable future. Classes are continuing online. Teachers are in contact with students to let them know how to access resources.

Youth services: From Monday 23 March all city council youth centres will be closed.

Leisure centres: All local authority sites are now closed following the Government announcement:

Wellbeing Service sites:

  • Kingstanding Leisure Centre
  • Saltley Community Leisure Centre
  • Shard End Community Leisure Centre
  • Nechells Community Leisure Centre
  • Newtown pool and Fitness Centre
  • Small Heath Leisure Centre
  • Handsworth Leisure Centre
  • Calthorpe Pavillion
  • Stanhope Community Centre

Community Sport sites 

  • Colmers Artificial Grass Pitches
  • Linden Road Instruction Pool
  • Alexander Stadium (inc HPC & GMAC)

Places Leisure sites

  • Harborne Pool and Fitness Centre New Build
  • Sparkhill Pool New Build

Birmingham Community Leisure Trust sites

  • Ladywood Leisure Centre
  • Northfield Leisure Centre
  • Billesley Indoor Tennis Centre
  • Cocks Moor Woods Leisure Centre
  • Erdington Leisure Centre
  • Beeches Pool and Fitness Centre
  • Wyndley Leisure Centre
  • Fox Hollies Leisure Centre
  • Stechford Leisure Centre

Birmingham Wildlife Conservation Park: Closed from 4pm on Friday 20 March. This will be assessed on a weekly basis using government and zoo organisations’ advice.

Council meetings (all types from City council to Ward forums): All ward forums have been cancelled, and we are exploring alternative methods of circulating information to citizens. To check what meetings are scheduled and view agendas, visit the council’s meetings calendar.

Cabinet will continue to take place as scheduled. Members of the public and press will not be able to attend in person, but can still access meetings via the council’s live webcast service.

Licensing sub-committee on Wednesday (March 25) has been cancelled.

The full City Council meeting on April 7 has been cancelled.

Lord Mayor’s engagements: The diaries of the Lord Mayor and Deputy Lord Mayor have been cleared for the foreseeable future, until further notice. The Lord Mayor’s Fun Day (July 5) will not go ahead.

Council tax billing: Birmingham City Council offers a council tax support scheme which provides a
discount on council tax bills if applicants meet the eligibility criteria. There is also a council tax a discretionary hardship payment scheme. Details on the eligibility criteria, and how to apply, can be found through our council tax support pages.  

In addition, residents who experience a reduction in hours/salary or redundancy may also be eligible for other benefit support; full details of the options available and eligibility criteria can be found on the Government’s redundancy and benefits advice pages.

In light of the situation surrounding COVID-19 and the impact this may have on residents, Birmingham City Council’s council tax and finance teams are looking at additional measures of support. We will announce any updates through the website and dedicated Coronavirus pages, as well as social media.

Benefits: The Local Welfare Provision Team is experiencing a larger number of applications for crisis grants. We are working to make decisions quickly and we will contact you as soon as we can.

Please ensure you have noted your phone number and an email address wherever possible on the application so we can discuss this with you and advise you of our decision. Please do not visit Customer Service Centres or call the BCC Corporate Contact Centre at this time.

Neighbourhood advice services: Erdington and Northfield advice centres are closed and a telephone service is being delivered instead.

Please contact the BCC Corporate Contact Centre on 0121 216 3030. The council also has a contract with a number of third sector advice providers to deliver welfare benefits and debt advice.  Again, these have also moved to telephone assistance with immediate effect.

The relevant telephone numbers for our third sector partners are:

Citizens Advice Birmingham – 03444 77 1010 or complete the enquiry form available on the CAB website

Birmingham Settlement – 0121 250 0765 or email:

Transport (general): The consultation on the Birmingham Transport Plan was due to close on 27 March 2020, however we recently took the decision to extend the consultation period to 9 April 2020 to ensure all key stakeholders have time to respond in light of recent events.

West Midlands Network Swift direct debits can be cancelled now and resumed later with a month’s free travel.

West Midlands Trains are waiving the admin fee on cancelled travel and from Monday 23 March will be moving to a reduced timetable to ensure that vital train services can keep running throughout a prolonged coronavirus outbreak. It will remain in place until further notice, though service levels will be kept under regular review. A summary of the new timetable and further information on what West Midlands Trains are doing to keep passengers safe is available at:

Starting from the first service on Wednesday 25th March, a reduced bus service will be running on some bus routes. No bus routes are being taken off; some will just be running less often. Further information will be posted on the National Express West Midlands website on Monday 23 March.

Peak time restrictions for concessionary bus passes lifted from March 19 (allows travel before 9.30am).

You can also find the latest updates on any changes to bus, train or tram services at:

Support for businesses: The Government has announced it will provide additional business rate support for councils to provide for businesses. We are working to ensure these reliefs are applied to business rates accounts and will issue new bills as soon as we can. We will update these details as more information becomes available.  Although your businesses may not have to pay business rates for the 2020/21 financial year you should still inform Birmingham City Council of any changes in your circumstances.

The new measures include support and information on the following issues:

  • Rate relief
  • Nursery discount
  • Small business grant funding
  • Bills and payment
  • Business Improvement Districts (BIDS)

Register Office: At present, Birmingham Register Office will not be cancelling any marriage or Civil Partnership ceremonies booked at the Register Office.

However, as a result of government advice on social contact restrictions, only the couple and two witnesses may attend a marriage or Civil Partnership Ceremony.

There will no additional charges if you wish to rebook your ceremony to a later date if the statutory ‘Notice of Intention to Marry/Civil Partnership’ has not expired.

If the statutory ‘Notice of Intention to Marry/Civil Partnership’ is due to expire on or before the date of the rebooked ceremony, then you will need to give fresh Notice of Intention to Marry/Civil Partnership and this will incur the required statutory fee and the waiting period of 28 clear days will apply.

If you wish to cancel your ceremony the usual cancellation fees will apply.

Anti-social behaviour:  ASB Awareness Week has been postponed (was due to start March 30).

Trading standards:  Trading Standards Officers are going out on a daily basis to investigate retailers for not clearly displaying prices of goods, or displaying a price and charging a different, higher price at the till (A.K.A dual pricing). Anyone who spots dual pricing in their local shops can report it by sending details and any evidence to

Licensing: Reception at Phoenix House in Valepits Road, Garretts Green is closed to the public – but a range of measures are being put in place to ensure business continuity for Hackney Carriage/Private Hire licence queries/procedures.

Submitting an application

If you need to submit an application we will be putting application forms and instructions how to submit them by email on the website: our Taxi and private hire bulletin page will give you more information.

Until the website is updated with forms to download, you can request a short application form and instructions on how to submit your application by email. Your request should be sent to:

Please include in the subject line your name, the transaction you want to do (badge renewal, new plate etc.), your badge or plate number and if you have been given an appointment, please include the date and time of that appointment. We will then send you an application form by email.

Collecting a completed badge or plate

If you have already been advised your licence has been renewed please ring the office on 0121 303 8442 to arrange to collect your badge or plate and associated documents. You will be invited to wait in your car and they will be brought out to you. Please be patient when ringing as lines are exceptionally busy.

If you cannot wait on the phone, please send an email, but be aware we expect a hugely increased volume of email and so it may take time to respond.

Processing times

We will endeavour to conduct transactions in a timely fashion, but we cannot guarantee timescales.

Pest control: Pest Control have had to reduce their services due to a lack of available pest control officers. Rats inside properties are priority, and then rats in gardens of domestic premises. We have stopped undertaking pest control sprays for bed bugs and cockroaches (which is a paid for service).

Environmental Health: Staff shortages due to self-isolation rules and sickness. Therefore, we are prioritising helping businesses that will be essential in the pandemic (e.g. food retail and delivery).

Public toilets: The city’s “superloos” are being closed and secured for the foreseeable future. This is on the advice of our contractor JC Decaux who have been working closely with government and taking on board lessons learned from other European cities.

Parks: The visitor centres in Sutton Park/Lickey Hills Country Park/Sheldon Country Park/Woodgate Valley Country Park/Kings Heath Park will close on March 20 until further notice.

Ranger staff will continue with other duties such as risk assessments and providing support at the Birmingham Wildlife Conservation Park and Sheldon Country Park farm).

All events have been cancelled until further notice.

Football and rugby fixtures have been cancelled on Birmingham parks pitches until further notice.

All toilets within Birmingham parks have been closed until further notice.

In addition to the above, in response to advice on national messaging around social distancing not having the desired effect, a decision has been taken to implement further measures at the city’s 591 parks and open spaces.

Any facility that compromises people’s ability to maintain a safe 2m distance will be closed, wherever possible. These closures will be fully in place by the end of Tuesday 24 March.

Closures will affect children’s play areas, outdoor gyms, games areas, ice cream vans, other vendors and any cafes still open at park sites in addition to volunteer work by “friends of” groups.

Note: maintenance activity is continuing in parks with grass cuts, safety inspections etc taking place to ensure park users can visit the sites to keep fit and active in a safe manner.

Markets: Bullring markets will be closed to all non-food traders from 6pm Monday 23 March.

Land charges, highways searches, street naming: Service available online but there is likely to be an increase in response times. You can check current response rates on our web pages for Local Land ChargesHighways Searches and Street Naming and Numbering.

Highways Personal Search enquiries: No appointments are currently available. For a limited period we are able to provide a service under the Environmental Information Regulations in place of inspection of our records. Please submit any enquiries to with a heading of PERSONAL SEARCH –  property address. We can provide the following types of information:

  • Confirmation of HMPE status
  • Details of Public Rights of Way connecting with the street
  • Details of Highways Improvement Lines
  • Details of Traffic Schemes
  • Details of Legal Agreements

We will aim to answer any such enquiries within 20 working days.

Complaints, Freedom of Information Requests, Subject Access Requests, Performance Data Requests to Birmingham City Council: We are working to ensure that business critical services are maintained at this time which means that normal reporting and decision-making rules have changed for the next three months.

Please be assured that if you have submitted a complaint or request for information this will be responded to in due course, however, we cannot guarantee the response timeframes as published on our website.

Public health (general COVID-19 advice):

Council events:  Lord Mayor’s Fun Day (July 5) – not taking place.

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