Posted on Monday 5 June 2017
Major work to replace aging electrical equipment at Gateshead Civic Centre will mean disruption to IT systems from 2pm and phones across council services from 4pm on Friday 9 June to the evening of Sunday 11 June.
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.
All council phone numbers with the prefix 433 will be inoperable and while schools users will be able to log on and access information locally, they won’t be able to use internet services.
Emergency and major incident systems will remain fully functioning over the weekend. 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 service life, with spare parts becoming hard to source.
The IT and phone systems will be back up on the Sunday evening and Gateshead Civic Centre will be open as normal on Monday 12 June.
Peter Udall, Service Director at Gateshead Council said: “This work is essential to ensure the continued reliability of power distribution to the Civic Centre and is at the heart of the building’s electrical installation infrastructure.
“The equipment has stood the test of time for nearly 30 years, but a failure would have a catastrophic impact on the operation of the building. We are therefore replacing it and are unable to do that without powering down the system in a managed way over two weekends – the next one being August. By doing it this way, we hope it will not cause too much of an inconvenience to users.”
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 4770844 for out of hours use.