Some Sandwell Council buildings will close and events will be cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak.
All events taking place in Sandwell will be cancelled or postponed for the next 12 weeks from Wednesday 18 March 2020.
This means all events and organised activities in Sandwell’s parks, museums, libraries and at Lightwoods House will not be going ahead. Public spaces such as local parks and Sandwell Valley currently remain open to the public.
Some council buildings and visitor attractions, including some local neighbourhood offices, Sandwell Park Farm and Forge Mill Farm, museums and some libraries, will also close.
West Bromwich Local (based at Court House) and Oldbury Local (based at Sandwell Council House) will remain open. Council offices at Smethwick, Rowley Regis, Wednesbury and Tipton Local offices will close and staff will be redeployed. Smethwick Council House and Wednesbury Town Hall are also closed.
The announcement is in line with government advice on non-essential contact or travel around the UK in response to dealing with the current COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak.
This will include events organised by Sandwell Council and externally-organised events in Sandwell.
The council will review arrangements when the 12-week period ends in June 2020.
The council will also be closing some council buildings and visitor attractions for 12 weeks to ensure the health and safety of visitors and front-line staff.
Sandwell Locals (neighbourhood offices)
We will be closing all Local offices to the public apart from West Bromwich (at Court House) and Oldbury Local (at Sandwell Council House).
Staff will be deployed from other areas to maintain essential services to the public at the Locals that remain open. Only emergency enquiries will be dealt with at the Local offices open.
Smethwick Council House and Wednesbury Town Hall
Smethwick Council House and Wednesbury Town Hall are also closed.
Sandwell Libraries and Archives
We will be closing our libraries (a total of 13 and the mobile service) to ensure that key town centre venues can continue to remain open to the public.
The libraries that will remain open are West Bromwich (Central), Oldbury, Smethwick, Wednesbury, Blackheath and Glebefields in Tipton.
All events across the libraries that remain open will be cancelled to limit large gatherings until 8 June 2020.
Sandwell Park Farm and Forge Mill Farm
The visitor centres at Sandwell Park Farm and Forge Mill Farm will close to all the public to ensure our staff, who are taking care of the animals are not put at increased risk of infection.
We will keep the parks open to the public and will continue to maintain the green spaces. Public safety notices will be displayed across the park.
Museums and arts
We will be delaying the opening of all Sandwell museums, including Wednesbury Museum & Art Gallery, until 8 June 2020. Any planned events will be cancelled or postponed.
All Sandwell Council-run events will be cancelled including any corporate bookings until 8 June 2020. The council is in discussions with concession and lessees to continue operation of their public facing services.
All AGM meeting or committee meetings will be cancelled or postponed for 30 days. This most likely will be extended depending on official recommendations over the coming weeks.
If you do visit your allotment, we recommend that precautions are taken by all of you to help prevent the spread of the virus, particularly to your tenants who are in ‘at risk’ categories. Holding a meeting in close proximity to others, often in small meeting rooms/huts would not be advisable at this moment in time.
Community centres and sons of rest
The following community centres and sons of rest are also closed.
- Millennium Centre, Friar Park
- Hill Top Community Centre
- St Pauls Community Centre
- Charlemont Community Centre
- Britannia Sons of Rest
- Hill Top Sons of Rest
- Lees Memorial Sons of Rest
- Wednesbury Sons of Rest