AS communities across west Cheshire respond to a new phase of the COVID-19 pandemic, Cheshire West and Chester Council is responding with some changes to its services and facilities.

All libraries, council-managed community centres, public conveniences and ranger huts or pavilions in our parks will be temporarily closed to the public from 5pm tomorrow, Friday, until further notice.

The council says that this is required to reduce risks to the safety of residents, to reflect shortages of staff self-isolating and to allow staff to be re-deployed onto high priority support for the most vulnerable people.

Andrew Lewis, the council’s chief executive, said: “The council is facing an unprecedented challenge, but our staff are demonstrating great commitment and dedication.

“Our residents are at the heart of everything we do, and particularly our most vulnerable residents who rely most on our support.

“With our NHS partners, we will do everything possible to maintain our most critical services, and ensure support to those affected by this virus.

“Please bear with us as some of our other services and facilities are reduced as a consequence.”

As well as the above, the following closures and changes to services will be in place:

  • Register offices remain open for appointments to register births, deaths and marriages and for pre-arranged ceremonies only
  • Work Zones are closed to the public. Mentoring appointments and registrations are still available online and by phone
  • All markets in the borough are remaining open, mostly for groceries and food takeaways. Other traders may elect to remain open if they wish. Markets will be reserving the first hour of opening for more elderly and vulnerable customers. A delivery service is also available. Email, phone 01244 973040 or contact traders direct to arrange
  • Vivo day services for people with learning disabilities and older people will close from Monday.

The response times for some other services may also be affected, and some may need to be suspended at short notice.

In terms of libraries in the borough, the council has:

  • Extended all loans until the end of April and will continue to review this as necessary
  • Halted any new fines incurring
  • Removed the limit on all renewals
  • Removed the charge for holds not collected

People can also access eBooks, audio downloads and eMagazines free of charge via

Loans can be renewed online, by phoning 0300 123 7739 (24 hour renewals) or by emailing

Council leader Louise Gittins added: “Libraries and community centres are the heart of our borough and closing them temporarily is not a decision we take lightly.

“However, such is the extent of this outbreak and following the advice of Public Health England on social distancing, it is a move we have had to take in order to protect the health of our residents.

“We will monitor the situation and follow government guidance before reopening and we look forward to the day when we can have our community buildings running as normal.”