ALL libraries, council-managed community centres, public toilets and ranger huts or pavilions in Cheshire West parks will be temporarily closed to the public from 5pm on Friday, March 20 until further notice.

The Cheshire West and Chester Council move follows advice from Public Health England amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The council says it will be maintaining access to Registrars Services in Winsford and Ellesmere Port.

Storyhouse will maintain a mini library in the lobby with 'soup and solidarity', from 9am-5pm, offering takeaway soup and hot drinks on a pay-what-you-feel basis.

Library staff will be on hand to help customers choose and return their books.

Customers with no other online access will be able to use library computers in half-hour slots, with plenty of space between them and cleaned between each use.

So people are not unavoidably left out of pocket, the council says for library users it 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 phone 0300 123 7739 (24 hour renewals) or email

Community centres affected are Lache Community Centre, Dingle Community Centre, Flatt Lane Community Centre, Little Sutton Community Centre, Thelwell Road Community Centre, Westminster Community Centre and Wolverham Community Centre.

Activities within parks and open spaces, and outdoor sports bookings in the borough are being postponed or cancelled.

People can still access parks, but visitors are urged to adhere to the Government’s Coronavirus guidance on social distancing.

Councillor Louise Gittins, leader of Cheshire West and Chester Council, said: “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.”

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.”

The council website has a dedicated page for the latest information, including advice for families and businesses, health advice plus the details of buildings and services that are affected at

Buildings and services currently suspended include:

  • Brio Leisure centres will be closed from Friday, March 20 at 5pm (last entry 4pm)
  • Chester crematorium and Blacon cemetery – the office is closed to the public unless an appointment has been made
  • Cheshire Record Office – closed to the public. Remote services are available including enquiries, online resources, remote volunteering projects
  • Libraries – all libraries will be closed from 5pm Friday, March 20.
  • Register offices remain open for appointments to register births, deaths and marriages and for pre-arranged ceremonies only
  • Schools – following Wednesday’s announcement by government, all schools in England will close at the end of the day on Friday, March 20 until further notice
  • Waste collections - from Friday, March 20 all collections of garden waste will be suspended so that resources can be concentrated on maintaining a regular household refuse collection service
  • 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 or phone 01244 973040 or please contact traders direct to arrange
  • Chester library at Storyhouse - a mini library has been set up in the entrance of Storyhouse, open daily from 9am until 5pm
  • Vivo - day services for people with learning disabilities and older people will close from Monday, March 23
  • In addition there are postponements and cancellations of sporting and cultural events across the borough including the Rural Touring Arts spring season, the Passion plays and a rearranged date for the half marathon in September.

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

The council, Cheshire West Voluntary Action and the rest of the community and voluntary sector are working closely together on a coordinated community response to Covid-19. Visit for details.