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Disruption to Gateshead Council phone and IT services this weekend

Posted on Tuesday 1 November 2016

Essential work to replace some of Gateshead Civic Centre’s main electrical equipment will mean disruption to IT systems and phones right across council services this weekend.

This major work will require a total electrical power shut down of the Civic Centre between Friday 4 and Sunday 6 November. This means  that from 4pm on Friday 4, all IT systems in the Civic Centre and council buildings such as leisure centres, libraries, schools, St Mary’s Heritage Centre and other council premises will be affected - with no wifi, internet or email access.

For members of the public, this will mean being unable to access the council’s website, make electronic payments, book classes or sports facilities online or at leisure centres, renew library books online, or use public computers at libraries over the weekend.

The Civic Centre will close at 6pm on Friday and all staff, visitors and members of the public must have vacated the building by then.

All council phone numbers starting with 433 will be unavailable and while schools users will be able to log on and access information locally, some schools won’t be able to use internet services.

Emergency and major incident systems will remain fully functioning over the weekend, however. Gateshead Care Call, the emergency response service to vulnerable and elderly residents within the borough, will remain in operation.

This system is also the main point of contact for emergency council services out of hours, such as flooding or burst pipes.

The work is being done to replace equipment which is now 30 years old and coming to the end of its service life.

The IT and phone system will be back up on Sunday evening and Gateshead Civic Centre will be open as normal on Monday 7 November.

Peter Udall, Service Director of Gateshead Council’s Council Housing Design and Technical Services said: “This work is essential to ensure the continued smooth running of the Council’s IT systems and business function.

“The electrical distribution system has served us well for nearly 30 years, but the time has come to replace it before it breaks down. We are unable to do that without powering down the system. In doing this over a weekend, we hope it will not cause too much of an inconvenience.”

Anyone who needs to report an emergency to the council over that weekend is asked to use the usual number: 0191 478 7666 and 0191 477 0844 for out of hours use.