Coronavirus Update: Government announcement last night and changes to some services

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Leader of the Council Clare Coghill green background

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update 

Walthom Forest

Dear residents,

I have been humbled by the community response and togetherness brought about by this crisis that has caused the death and serious illness of so many of our residents. Saving lives and supporting the most vulnerable in our society is this authority’s priority as we continue to live our lives in the shadow of coronavirus.

Today, the Government set out its strategy for the next phase of the pandemic response. The Council has been looking at how we can adapt to the new guidance and how we can adapt the borough and our services to ensure the safety of residents, businesses and council staff alike.

It is very important to mention that lockdown is not over and we need to stay alert and control the virus. The best way to do this is stay at home if you can, stay two metres apart from others if you are out and wash your hands regularly.

Starting today we will be changing the layout of some pavements and roads to ensure that social distancing measures continue as more people get back to shopping on the high streets across the borough.

Schools, libraries, leisure centres and public transport will need to be changed and adapted to protect us all. This will take time and I will keep you informed in the coming days and weeks as this work progresses.

There are significant challenges still to come as we support those who are grieving, rebuild our local economy and adapt to changes to the way we live. We have already given out over £35 million in government small business grants and over 1500 residents have accessed our hardship fund.

I know this is a difficult time for us all and I don’t underestimate the sacrifices we have made for our loved ones and the wider community.

We will still have to stay apart but in Waltham Forest we are all together.

Recycling Centres reopen with restrictions


To help those in urgent need who are at risk of harm from waste stored at home, the decision has been made to reopen South Access Road RRC, Gateway Road RRC and King’s Road RRC for a limited service - not for general use.

The South Access Road and Gateway Road sites will open on Wednesday 13 May and King’s Road RRC will open on Saturday 16 May.

Restrictions will be in place, including an online booking system, and only residents who book ahead will be allowed on site. 

If you are at risk of harm from waste stored at home, please read the restrictions in place, outlined here, before booking your slot using the link below. 

Book your slot

Please note the booking site is not compatible with Internet Explorer.

Financial help

Financial Support

If you and your family are in severe financial hardship during this time, there is local welfare assistance available that can help with food vouchers, gas/electric payments, and support to buy essential household items. 

We know that residents may also be experiencing worry related to their housing situation. Whether you are a private or housing tenant, we have support available to you during this time. 

Help with housing during Covid-19

Council Services

Waltham Forest Town Hall

A number of Council services have been affected but we are working hard to ensure that vital services continue.

Visit our website for up to date information on our services and how to access them.

Unpaid carers letter


A carer is someone – without being paid, that regularly looks after a relative, partner, friend or neighbour who for example has a physical disability, a mental health condition or misuses drugs or alcohol.  You may live together or separately and be helping with things such as washing and dressing, shopping, collecting medication, attending appointments or providing emotional support. It is important that unpaid carers are supported during the COVID-19 outbreak and a letter has been issued by the Council to help unpaid carers to evidence their role. This letter should be presented to retailers or other professionals to accommodate their needs.

For further information and to obtain a personalised copy of the letter, please email Carers FIRST Waltham Forest, call 0300 303 1555 9am-5pm (Mon to Thurs) and 9am-4.30pm (Fri).  

Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) resource ladder

The Council is committed to improving outcomes for children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) and their families. 

We are asking for your views on the proposed changes to the SEND resource ladder.

The proposed new model introduces a fairer, more transparent system of how resource allocation from the high needs block is made. 

The consultation will run from 11 May-8 June. Read more information and take part

Your mental health matters

mental health

This pandemic can bring a lot of worries that can impact our mental health and we know that you may be experiencing an increase of stress, low moods and may be feeling lonely and isolated during this lockdown.

We've put together a page full of support that may be useful to you during this time including tips on maintaining good mental wellbeing and signposting to more targeted support resources.

Access these resources

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Information and advice regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19) is changing quickly and its important you keep up to date with those changes. The Council will be using email newsletters to keep residents and businesses up to date.

If residents have questions please visit our website, and use live chat to talk to one of our team, it's quicker than phoning.


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