Council services and changes to lockdown restrictions



Adult Learning Service Click to get info

Updated 12 April 2021

Learning centres have now re-opened. Our current courses are online, in-class or a mix of both. 

Visit the Adult Learning Service website

Adult Learning Service - your safety and covid-19

Births, deaths, marriages Click to get info

Updated 12 April 2021

In line with Government guidelines, ceremonies are permitted to take place with the attendance number increased to a maximum of 15 with social distancing in place.

Wedding and civil partnership ceremony venues

Reviewed 12 April 2021

All four Children and Family Centres are open for a range of virtual and pre-booked face to face activities. The domestic abuse ‘one stop shop’ drop-in service is open across weekly across our centres.

For more information, please visit our Children and family centres webpage

Reviewed 12 April 2021

Chingford Mount Cemetery 

  • Monday to Saturday: 7:30am to 4pm: All gates open 
  • Sunday: 10am to 4pm: All gates open 

Queens Road Cemetery, Walthamstow  

  • Monday to Saturday: 7:30am to 4pm
  • Sunday: 10am to 4pm 

Please remember to keep socially distant from our teams as well as other visitors.

Funerals can take place, following the current Government guidelines.  


Guidance and arrangements following a death

Domestic abuse Click to get info

Reviewed 12 April 2021

We want to reassure all survivors that we are doing everything we can to support you during this challenging time. The borough’s local services are still working to provide support and advice over the phone or online.  

We’re encouraging all survivors to carry a mobile phone at all times if possible: if you are in immediate danger call 999. 

If you want to talk to a trained domestic abuse specialist, call the following free 24/7 domestic abuse helpline: 0808 2000 247 

For online support and advice, call our local domestic and sexual abuse service at Solace Women's Aid 

If you are unable to access phone and online support, and you are not self-isolating, you can come to our domestic abuse daily drop in to speak to a specialist worker who can offer support. You do not need to have a child to access this service. The drop in is open five days week for anyone wishing to speak with a specialist worker.  

Find times and dates available for our drop in sessions 

For more information on local support, please see the Council’s domestic abuse support page

Domestic abuse support

Updated 29 March 2021

Outdoor sports venues and facilities can reopen for people to take part in formally organised outdoor sports.

Housing Click to get info

Reviewed 12 April 2021

All our housing services will continue to be conducted via email and telephone in line with current government guidance.

Home visits will be minimised during this new period of Government restrictions and will be for urgent or essential reasons only. 

We ask people to contact us by email on with your query in the first instance. If that is not possible please phone on 020 8496 3000.  

Under the new government restrictions for London, we will continue to deliver emergency repairs and maintenance services, keeping safe our residents who live in homes managed by Waltham Forest Council. 

We are now able to respond to all repair categories, but residents may need to be patient as safe systems of working and the impact of the recent lockdown will have an effect on the scheduling of work. 

For Repairs for Council Tenants and Leaseholders please contact us as normal on

  • 020 8496 4197.

Priory Court Community Centre to be closed to the public and most activities during the new lockdown.   

Housing support

Leisure centres Click to get info

Updated 12 April 2021

In line with government advice and national guidelines, our leisure centres re-opened from Monday 12 April with gyms open and swimming pools and lessons avaliable.

Rresidents can take part in formally organised outdoor sports with any number of people from Monday 29 March.

Better UK have organised a number of outdoor fitness classes at Walthamstow Feel Good Centre and Leytonstone centre.

Book your place in advance on Better webpage

Bookings are open for both Better Gym Members and Non-Members.

Leisure centres

Libraries Click to get info

Reviewed 9 April 2021

In line with government guidance, we are pleased to announce that all libraries with the exception of Lea Bridge, will return to their usual opening hours from Monday 12 April 2021.

Lea Bridge library

Lea Bridge is in the final stages of its development and we will update residents on its opening date in due course.

Walthamstow library

Walthamstow library will continue to support the vaccination programme and we have relocated our books to a different area to allow book browsing for our residents. This area does not have step free access, so we will be continuing our Click and Collect service for your convenience. We are also able to continue offering purchases of parking permits. Opening Hours are Monday to Saturday, 9am to 5pm.

Chingford, Wood Street, Leyton and Leytonstone libraries

Wood Street library will reopen their café for take away hot drinks only and we look forward to welcoming you back. All libraries will reopen for customer service, digital access and book browsing. We will also be continuing our Click and Collect service for added convenience.

Opening Hours:

  • Monday to Friday: 9am to 7pm
  • Saturday: 9am to 6pm
  • Sunday: 12m to 4pm

Hale End and Higham Hill Libraries

Both libraries will reopen for their usual hours offering digital access and book browsing

Click and Collect

Walthamstow, Chingford, Leyton, Leytonstone and Wood Street Libraries will be offering offer a ‘Click and Collect’ service during Tier 4 restrictions. Customers can search the online catalogue for available items held by these libraries and request books for collection.

Please ensure you only request the books from the Library you are collecting from. To place the hold you will need your Library card and pin number . If you are not a library member already, you will need to join online. You’ll receive an email letting you know when your requested items are ready. Please read our guide for help using the service.

Book delivery service

If you are unable to collect your books in person, our amazing volunteers can deliver your books directly to your door. You can search our catalogue on our website and select the books you would like delivered and these will be delivered to you within three working days. If any of the books you have chosen are unavailable, one of our friendly staff will give you a call to help you select other books you may like.

Request library book delivery online

Markets Click to get info

Reviwed 12 April 2021

Waltham Forest Farmers’ Market, Walthamstow Market, Walthamstow Social Sunday Market will all be operating for food traders only and with social distancing in place.

Lloyd Park Market will continue operating on Saturdays for food traders only.

The Fair Trade stall at Leytonstone will continue trading but will only offer food.

Virtual Markets will continue operating.

Find out more about our markets

Museums and galleries Click to get info

Reviwed 12 April 2021

Walthamstow Wetlands remains open. The Marine Engine House at the wetlands is open for take away service from 10am to 4pm. Visit the website for more information.

William Morris Gallery is closed with the shop and café open for take away service. The Gallery shop is also closed but you can still shop online and do click and collect. Visit the website for more information.

Vestry House Museum remains closed to the public. 

Updated 26 March 2020

From Monday 29 March, residents can meet outdoors either in a group of six people or a group of any size from up to two households.

Parks, outdoor gyms and children’s playgrounds remain open. Please use responsibly.

Parks and open spaces

Planning services Click to get info

Reviewed 12 April 2021

Planning services is accepting and processing applications. 

Face to face and site visits are taking place only in rare circumstances. 

When making a request for Householder Pre-application advice, a formal written response is the only option given. Once accepted, a response will be provided within 28 days. 

Planning and building control

Extending planning permissions

Due to Covid-19 some have been unable to implement consents, as a solutions the Government has implemented new measures to automatically extend the life of applications.

More information on extended permissions

Relaxing hours of construction

The Government has introduced a fast track deemed consent route for developers to apply to vary the hours of construction. Enabling developers to make up for lost time and get their projects back on track.

More information on relaxing hours of construction

Public Health services Click to get info

Updated 12 April 2020

Local Health Services 

Waltham Forest’s Drugs and Alcohol service. Change, Grow, Live provide free, confidential support and treatment for Waltham Forest residents experiencing substance and alcohol misuse issues. The service is still running and mainly providing telephone or video appointments, but face to face support is also available if needed. Call 0203 826 9600 or email
Visit Change, Grow, Live for support with alcohol or substance misuse issues.    

Stop Smoking Services are continuing to support all patients virtually, via weekly telephone or video call appointments with dedicated specialist stop-smoking practitioners. We are posting any nicotine replacement products to users free of charge. 
Visit Quit In Waltham for more details on our Stop Smoking Services.   

Sexual Health Services including emergency contraception (morning after pill), urgent contraception, post-exposure prophylaxis for HIV, or treatment for a diagnosed sexually transmitted infections, and Home testing kits are currently being provided through telephone consultations, as well as through other online services which are available during the lockdown. Please note: all walk-in and non-urgent appointments at All East sexual health services are paused until further notice.
Visit our dedicated Sexual Health Services webpage for more information

Children's Health  

NELFT Health Visiting (0-5yrs) and School Nursing (5-19yrs) continue to offer both virtual and face to face home visits and child health clinics. Please call 0300 300 1971 for advice or to book an appointment.
Find more information about the Health Visiting Service on NELFT website.

HENRY Best Start services for families with 0-5-year-old children’s face-to-face interactions are being paused, we are providing a remote service to families via phone, email and video calls.    

HENRY's Infant Feeding Helpline 0208 496 5222 offers practical and emotional support to parents around breastfeeding, bottle feeding, and mixed feeding. They also offer free interactive online workshops on infant feeding, weaning, sleeping and self-care. Download a leaflet about HENRY’s Infant Feeding interactive online workshops.  

HENRY’s Healthy Weight, Steps to Speaking and Oral Health face to face sessions have been replaced with a remote service, including virtual workshops, phone, email and video calls. Contact 020 8496 5223 or email to learn more.
Visit HENRY's webpage for more details around services for families with 0-5-year-old children.

Vitamin D supplements are recommended for pregnant women & babies under 1yr old and are freely available for FREE as part of our Healthy Start Vitamins Scheme. Please speak to your midwife or health visitor for information on where to collect your free vitamins at this time.

Young People’s Sexual Health 

The Waltham Forest Sexual Outreach team are offering a free postal service to send out discreet parcels of condoms, lube, femidoms or dental dams to young people under 25. Please email for more information.

Young People’s substance misuse (Change Grow Live YP Service)

If you are a child or young person worried about your own drug or alcohol use or are affected by someone you know, contact CGL’s YP service on 0203 404 1098 (9am-5pm Monday to Friday) or email  You can also speak to someone over an online webchat or access information and support including online resources at the YP section of CGL’s website.
Appointments are mainly over phone or video call, but face to face support is available if needed.

Updated 12 April 2021

Collection Service changes - Frequently Asked Questions

Reuse and Recycling Centres

Reuse and Recycling Centres are still open for residents to book. Please wear a face covering on site and respect social distancing measures.