News

Offaly County Council- Covid 19 Impact on Rate Payers April 24th Update

Offaly County Council acknowledges and understands the severe impact that COVID-19 has had and is having on a wide range of businesses in the county and beyond. We are already working with Ratepayers affected by the unprecedented situation which has transpired in recent days. We are acutely aware of the issues faced by their ratepayers and we have been, and continue to, deal with difficulties experienced by rate payers on a case by case basis. We have a long-standing relationship with local businesses and are very well placed to deal with this evolving situation and its impact on ratepayers in their local areas and operating environments. The Government has recently stated that local authorities should agree to defer rates payments due from the most immediately impacted businesses - primarily in the retail, hospitality, leisure and childcare sectors, for three months, until end-May. As a result any commercial ratepayers that have had to temporarily close or significantly curtail operations during the COVID-19 response period should contact their Offaly County revenue collector immediately on receipt of your rates bill, in relation to any rates payments falling due in the period to end-May and agree a payment schedule to the end of 2020. Full contact details for Revenue Collectors for your area are available on www.offaly.ie or contact our rates office at rates@offalycoco.ie or by telephoning (057) 93 57408 Offaly County Council staff will work with you during these unprecedented and challenging times and we will respond to queries on a daily basis. We would be grateful if ratepayers that can, continue to pay their outstanding local authority rates should continue to do so in the normal way. Please note also the Council’s Local Enterprise Office continues to provide a range of supports, details of which are available via the following link: https://www.localenterprise.ie/response It is hoped that this current period of disruption will not be prolonged and as Offaly County Council continues to deliver public services, commercial life can return to normal with minimal impact on businesses.

Clarification of Statutory Off the Road Declarations Motor Tax Thursday 23/04/2020 3pm

Please find below a clarification regarding limited circumstances in which a Statutory Off the road declaration may be made. Motor Tax staff can help to resolve any issues customers may have. Customers can phone Offaly Motor Tax Office on 057 9346800 or email to motortax@offalycoco.ie *** Off the Road Declarations *** The Statutory off the road declaration must be made in advance i.e. within the month of expiry of the current motor tax disc (or current off the road declaration). It cannot be applied retrospectively. If your tax is due to expire in April, your vehicle needs to be declared off the road by the end of April – this cannot be done in May as a new tax period has commenced. Customers can declare a vehicle off the road via www.motortax.ie or submitting a completed RF150 form to Offaly County Council’s Motor Tax Office. Arrears will arise • if the tax period has expired, the vehicle cannot be declared off the road until arrears are cleared and the vehicle is taxed forward for 3 months. • if a customer ‘self declares’ without submitting the official information to Offaly Motor Tax office or www.motortax.ie If in doubt, please phone Offaly Motor Tax Office on 057 9346800 or email motortax@offalycoco.ie and a member of the team will be happy to assist you.

Housing

Offaly Local Authority Home Loan Mortgage Payment Break

To assist local authority home loan borrowers who may experience a reduction in their income arising from the COVID-19 emergency and may not be able to make repayments on their loans, a Mortgage Payment Break of up to three months will be made available to those who need it.

Roads

Further Temporary relaxation of EU driving and resting time rules due to ongoing COVID-19...

The Road Safety Authority (RSA) and the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport have agreed a further extension of the temporary derogation from certain provisions of the EU driving and resting time rules. This extension includes additional measures, which will apply from 17 April to 31 May 2020. The derogation will apply to all operators and drivers subject to the EU driver’s hours and tachograph rules engaged in the carriage of all goods (including oil supplies etc.) and will continue to be reviewed by the RSA during this time. Details of the derogation are outlined further, below.

Corporate Services

Press Releases Covid 19 - Offaly Community Call

Our dedicated staff are on duty from 8am to 8pm 7 days a week so please call in strictest confidence FREEPHONE 1800 81 81 81 or email covidsupport@offalycoco.ie #CommunityCall #Offaly

Offaly Community & Sports Awards

The Community and Sports Awards has been postponed to Friday October 23rd 2020.

Press Release Michael Duignan County Champion Community Response Forum 31st March 2020

Michael Duignan - County Champion Chairperson of Offaly County Council, Cllr. Peter Ormond, has welcomed the nomination of Michael Duignan, Offaly GAA County Board Chairman, as ‘County Champion’ on the County Council co-ordinated Community Response Forum. The Forum, which was established last weekend, allows all of the community and agency responders already actively supporting vulnerable households in the current crisis to co-ordinate their efforts. Michael was nominated as County Champion by The Wheel and Irish Rural Link as an individual with strong existing links within Offaly and broad experience of engaging with community organisations and volunteers who are already in contact with the people who may need support. Speaking today, Cllr. Ormond said that the first meeting of the Forum held remotely on Monday was a reflection of the best of everything about the Faithful people. Every agency and group that spoke at the meeting detailed their work on the ground over the years and how they have adapted in the context of the COVID 19 crisis to meet the needs of older people in particular. This is especially important since people over 70 are now being asked to cocoon at home and may need help with deliveries of food, fuel or medicine. ‘The great thing about the Forum’, he said, ‘is that groups can share learning and resources and coordinate their efforts to best effect’. Participants at the first meeting included Offaly County Council, the HSE, An Garda Síochána, Offaly Local Development, the Volunteer Centre, Local Link, Civil Defence, the Public Participation Network, Age Friendly Network and the GAA. Cllr. Ormond suggested that Michael Duignan must have picked the Freephone number for the Offaly Community Response helpline himself as ‘81 was a good year for Offaly’, winning their first All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship that year. The free phone number for anyone who needs non-medical support in Offaly is 1800-81-81-81. Michael Duignan said that all of the 41 GAA clubs in Offaly had already made local contacts, drafted a list of those who may need help and were acting on that. He said that in towns, villages and rural areas around Offaly people were looking out for each other and getting organised to make sure everyone who needed help could get it. He welcomed the establishment of the Community Response Forum by Offaly County Council where groups could co-operate, share good practice and find solutions to issues that they were all facing. He also welcomed the new Freephone number 1800-818181 and email address covidsupport@offalycoco.ie and said he didn’t pick the ’81 phone number but he thought it was a good choice. The Offaly Community Response Forum meets again this Friday to review progress to date and plan for the coming week.

Offaly Covid Support

Keep up to date with the measues Offaly County Council are undertaking to maintain services at this time

Offaly County Council- Covid 19 Public Notice - Services to the Public UPDATE 27th March ...

Offaly County Council continues to deliver vital public services in the challenging circumstances arising from the Covid-19 pandemic. We are advised by relevant Government and other public agencies on an ongoing basis in doing so. In light of the on-going Covid-19 National Emergency and, in the lead up to vegetation fire season (i.e. fires on grasslands, forests and peatlands), controlled burning by the agricultural community will no longer be permitted within Offaly from 17:00 today, the 27th March 2020. The public should note that all notices informing Offaly County Council of controlled burning will not be accepted for the duration of this emergency and that they should refrain from all forms of controlled burning at this time. It should also be noted by the public that if a 999/112 call is received relating to any controlled burning event on their property, then the Fire Brigade will be mobilised to attend and extinguish the fire. All the costs associated with the attendance of the Fire & Rescue Service will be invoiced to the property owner This measure has been deemed necessary when Fire & Rescue Services resources may be stretched due to Covid-19 crisis and, at a time when Offaly County Council are trying to maintain essential staffing levels. For further advice on this matter, our contacts are: Email: environment@offalycoco.ie or firestat@offalycoco.ie Post: Offaly County Council, Áras an Chontae, Charleville Road,Tullamore, Co. Offaly, R35 F893 Telephone: (057) 9346800 Note: Controlled burning is the process that allows farmers to dispose by burning untreated/uncontaminated wood, trees, trimmings, leaves, bushes or similar materials generated by agricultural practices

Offaly County Council- Covid 19 Public Notice- Services to the Public UPDATE March 25th 2...

Offaly County Council advises that its service provision continues across all essential services. We continue to support service users while taking mitigating actions to keep the public and our employees safe. Plans are in place to ensure the continuity of services, staff continue to work in our offices and remotely and are available to support customers via the contacts given below. Services continue to be provided on line, by post and over the phone. Details of these services are provided below and are available on our website www.offaly.ie.

Offaly County Council- Covid 19 Public Notice-Playground Closures March 25th 7am

To ensure the safety of our community and in line with new restrictions announced by An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar all playgrounds in Offaly are closed with immediate effect. Please play your part and abide by all measures introduced a Offaly County Council thanks all in the community for their cooperation at this time.

Council Services Continue amid Covid-19 Crisis Press Release Monday 23rd March 5pm

Offaly County Council continues to provide all essential services amid the Covid-19 crisis. Customer service staff in Áras an Chontae Tullamore and in the Municipal Districts of Birr, Edenderry and Tullamore continue to operate phone and email services. Following the announcement by An Taoiseach on March 12th, all of Offaly’s Libraries closed to the public but library staff are working and a whole range of services are available online from Offaly Libraries including supports for children and teens who are at home from school. There is also the facility to borrow downloadable ebooks and audiobooks through the ‘Borrow Box’ app. Huge efforts have been made to equip Council teams to work remotely and to use new technologies to hold meetings and maintain services to the public should further restrictions limit the movement and interactions of people. In a statement Cllr. Peter Ormond, Cathaoirleach of Offaly County Council, said that ‘Councillors are available to the public to answer queries and source assistance. We are in regular contact with management and we are available by phone and email and can relay people’s issues and concerns to the Council.’ The Council is working with Irish Water to ensure the provision of water supplies to homes, hospitals, nursing homes and temporary emergency facilities. Civil Defence volunteers have been supporting HSE colleagues and the Fire Service is responding to calls as normal. Housing services continue to be provided while observing physical distancing guidelines. Road maintenance and traffic services are being provided by the Roads Department and Municipal Districts and staff are working hard to resolve issues arising from recent severe weather events. Street cleaning and street enhancement work continues, as well as work on capital projects such as the Tullamore Community Arts Centre and new Social Housing developments. Environmental services are operating at Civic Amenity Sites. Motor Tax is available online. Other payments can be made over the phone or online via the Council’s website www.offaly.ie It is anticipated that legislation may be required to extend timeframes around planning applications but the full range of planning services remain available including pre-planning advice, making a Planning Application, making submissions and observations and retrieval of files. A full guide to all planning services is available on the planning pages of www.offaly.ie Council staff have placed notices at entrances to parks and playgrounds reminding people to adhere to the physical distancing requirements to remain at least 2 metres apart and not to use outdoor amenities that are already busy. There may be further restrictions on the use of outdoor facilities in the coming days if it is felt that guidelines are not being adhered to. In a statement, Chief Executive of Offaly County Council Anna Marie Delaney said ‘it is vitally important that people adhere to the Covid-19 warnings to stay local and not to congregate, particularly at public tourist attractions and walking trails. We recognise the importance of exercise, but please do so in accordance with public health advice.’

Offaly County Council- Covid 19 Public Notice- Recycling Centres Birr, Edenderry and Tull...

COVID-19 Update Recycling Centres Tullamore, Edenderry and Birr: We are closely monitoring the evolving COVID-19 situation. At this time, the recycling centres in Offaly will continue to operate as normal. In order to protect customers and staff we ask visitors to respect the following: - Where possible please pay with card to avoid handling coins. Staff may reserve the right to refuse handfuls of small coins. - We may also have to restrict the number of customers on site at any one time to avoid the risk of infection. - If instructed to remain in your vehicle please comply and the staff will get you through the site as quickly as possible. We appreciate your support & Co-Operation as we all navigate our way through this difficult time. Please check out https://www.offaly.ie/eng/Services/Environment/Recycling/ for details of current opening hours

Offaly County Council- Covid 19 Public Notice- Services to the Public UPDATE March 16th 2...

Offaly County Council has further reviewed arrangements for access to its services arising from the Covid 19 Pandemic. In order to prioritise the protection of public health all public offices of Offaly County Council will close from 11am on Monday 16th March until further notice. This includes the offices of the Municipal Districts of Birr, Edenderry and Tullamore. Essential services will continue to be provided on line, by post and over the phone. Details of these services are available on our website www.offaly.ie. For further information contact 057-9346800 from 9am to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday excluding Public Holidays or email customerservices@offalycoco.ie. Outside of normal working hours of hours please contact 1890 750 750. The following essential services will be maintained; • Water Supply and waste water treatment Phone 1890 750 750 • Housing and Homeless Services email or phone appointments only housing@offalycoco.ie 0579346800 • Fire and Emergency Services Phone 999 • Operation of Waste and recycling services environment@offalycoco.ie 0579346800 • Road Maintenance and Traffic Safety roads@offalycoco.ie 0579346800 birrmd@offalycoco.ie 0579124900 edenderrymd@offalycoco.ie 0469731256 tullamoremd@offalycoco.ie 0579352470 • Motor Tax available online www.motortax.ie • Cash Office cashoffice@offalycoco.ie 0579357414 • Planning – Full guidance on accessing Planning services while the public planning counter is closed are available at www.offaly.ie Email planning@offalycoco.ie or phone 0579346800 The following services are temporarily discontinued until further notice; • Motor Taxation counter, Áras an Chontae • Cash Office, Áras an Chontae • Housing Services Counter, Áras an Chontae • Planning Counter, Áras an Chontae • All community and public events organised by Offaly County Council The above provisions will remain in place until further notice, and will be subject to review pending further announcements by Government.

Offaly County Council- Advice and Information on Covid-19 Press Release 15th March

Please see below some useful accurate links for advice and information on the Covid-19 Pandemic. We must all play our part to stop the spread of the virus by washing hands and practicing social distancing. Equally we must play our part by ensuring that accurate information and advice is shared. Daily updates including statements from the Chief Medical Officer (after 6pm daily) at https://www.gov.ie/…/7e0924-latest-updates-on-covid-19-cor…/ Other useful links for specific communities and sectors affected by this pandemic cane be found at https://www.gov.ie/…/3b16b6-covid-19-coronavirus-informati…/ Advice for parents on play and the use of playgrounds and the ongoing importance of hand hygiene at the link below: https://www.gov.ie/…/178c07-covid-19-coronavirus-health-a…/… There is also advice about explaining the virus to children of different ages: https://www.gov.ie/…/178c07-covid-19-coronavirus-health-a…/… Advice for cleaning the home: https://www.gov.ie/…/178c07-covid-19-coronavirus-health-a…/… Advice for grandparents and caring in the home: https://www.gov.ie/…/178c07-covid-19-coronavirus-health-adv… Advice for employers and employees: https://www.gov.ie/…/0b6a34-advice-for-employers-and-emplo…/ Information for farmers: https://www.gov.ie/…/3b16b6-covid-19-coronavirus-informat…/…

Offaly County Council Statement on use of Public Playgrounds Covid 19 Update

Offaly County Council wish to remind the public in line with HSE Ireland advice not to bring children in large groups to our playgrounds and to avoid unnecessary social gatherings. Children can be unwitting carriers of Covid 19 and we must all play our part to protect the most vulnerable. For more information and regular updates check out www.gov.ie/health-covid-19 www.hse.ie

Offaly County Council- Covid 19- Public Notice- Services to the Public UPDATE March 12th ...

Offaly County Council has reviewed arrangements for access to its services arising from the statement by An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, March 12th. Non-essential meetings and events have been postponed Services to the public will remain available at our offices during normal opening hours; however, we are asking that attendance at our offices is avoided where possible. This to protect the public and staff and is in line with government advice We have a range of services available online at https://www.offaly.ie or you may wish to contact us at customerservices@offalycoco.ie or Tel: 057-9346800. Out of hours please contact 1890 750 750

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Offaly County Council- Covid 19 Public Notice Press Release 13th March Library Closures

Offaly County Council has closed all public libraries in Offaly from 13th March following public health advice relating to Covid-19. Events in Library buildings are also cancelled.

Sale of land at Woodfield, Birr, Co. Offaly

Offaly County Council hereby invites tenders for the purchase of land at Woodfield, Birr, County Offaly. The site comprises 0.816 hectares (2.02 Acres) and is located at Woodfield, Birr adjacent to Lidl and the N52 Tullamore road in the townland of Woodfield or Tullynisk. The land is Zoned as Open space to the front and Business/Employment to the rear as per the Offaly County Council County Development Plan 2014-2020. Tenders should be submitted to Mr. Tom Shanahan, Director of Services, Offaly County Council, Aras An Chontae, Charleville Road, Tullamore, Co. Offaly on the prescribed Tender Form and be clearly marked

Senior Line Confidential Listening Advice Service-FREE

SeniorLine has been the national, confidential listening service for older people, run by trained older volunteers since 1998. This peer-to-peer helpline for older people receives in excess of 10,000 calls per year. The corona virus is a particular threat to older people and subsequently SeniorLine has put in place a number of protocols to support our many older callers from all over Ireland. Any caller, concerned about Covid 19, will receive the most up to date guidance as recommended by Government sources. Good health practice is reinforced at all times. This information is updated daily as the situation changes and is available to each of our volunteers at the phones. SeniorLine is a FREEPHONE service and our older callers can call free between 10am and 10pm every day of the year on 1800804591 Website: www.thirdageireland.ie Facebook: @thirdageireland Twitter: @thirdageireland Instagram: @thirdageireland