Service status

Council services are currently significantly disrupted due to a serious cyber-attack, and you may experience difficulty contacting us or using our services.

Key essential services, including our coronavirus response, continue to operate, but some of our services may be unavailable or disrupted for some time.

We are working hard to restore services, protect data and investigate the attack with the National Cyber Security Centre, National Crime Agency and external experts.

Residents and businesses are asked to avoid contacting us unless absolutely necessary – but our phone lines remain open for essential help and advice and emergency support.

Below is a list of key services that are currently affected. Please note that this is not a comprehensive list, and some other services may be disrupted and slower than normal. This list will be updated regularly.

Applications and licenses

Housing

We are currently unable to accept new applications to join the housing waiting list or for the council tax reduction scheme. Emergency homelessness support and advice is available.

Licensing

We are unable to process applications for most types of licences. Applications for property licences can still be processed as normal.

Parking

We are now able to accept applications for visitor parking vouchers and parking permits.

Benefits, council tax and payments

Existing benefit claims

We are continuing to make housing benefit payments to both residents and landlords for existing claims, with payment made in line with the most recent payment on your account.

We are not currently able to amend our payment schedules where there has been a change in circumstances, or the amount you are due each month varies.

These payments are continuing so that we can ensure that residents are not put into hardship while we resolve the disruption to our services.

Where there are overpayments or underpayments as a result of inaccurate payments, these will be brought back in line through adjustments to future payments or through a fair repayment plan.

New benefit claims

We are temporarily unable to process new claims for housing benefit, council tax reduction, or discretionary housing payments.

If you need to make a claim for these benefits, please submit an application and we will process this as soon as we are able to do so.

Council tax payments

Disruption to our payment systems means that some council tax payments by direct debit may be delayed and a very small number can’t currently be processed.

The current instalments being processed are in line with the most recent direct debit payment on your account.

In a small number of cases where this varies slightly from the agreed amount for the next payment, this will be reflected in your council tax account so that any slight underpayment is added to future payments, and any slight overpayment deducted from future payments.

If you don’t pay your council tax by direct debit, the following options are unaffected and are safe and secure to use:

  • online payments through our multiple payments system
  • over the phone payments using the 24/7 automated telephone system by calling 020 8356 5050
  • online bank transfer
  • at a bank, post office or Paypoint location

We are currently not able to accept certain forms of payment for repaying overpayments of housing benefit or council tax, including:

  • by cash or card at the Hackney Service Centre
  • over the phone through a member of staff
  • by setting up new direct debits.

Benefit repayments

If you need to repay overpaid housing benefit or council tax reduction, the following options are unaffected and are safe and secure to use:

  • online payments through our multiple payments system
  • over the phone payments using the 24/7 automated telephone system by calling 020 8356 5050
  • online bank transfer
  • at a bank, Post Office or Paypoint location

We are currently not able to accept certain forms of payment including:

  • by cash or card at the Hackney Service Centre
  • over the phone through a member of staff
  • by setting up new direct debits.

However, If all your payment options are unavailable and you are unable to make a payment as a result of this, you will not be penalised if you bring your account up to date as soon as the system becomes available.

Requests and enquiries

We are currently receiving a high number of enquiries around council tax and benefit payments, and it may take longer to respond than normal.

We are currently unable to respond to some types of enquiries, provide some information and process some requests, including.

  • processing changes of address or circumstances
  • making one-off refunds
  • providing account updates or copies of bills or statements
  • amending payment instalments or arrangements
  • issuing SMS or email reminder messages
  • setting up new direct debit arrangements
  • issuing notices for unpaid and cancelled direct debits
  • replying to correspondence or complaints via letter or email

Children and families services

What to do if you’re worried about a child or young person.

To discuss your worries with a social worker, please phone Hackney Children and Families Services First Access Screening Team (FAST) on 020 8356 5500.

  • this telephone line is open between 9 am and 5 pm Monday to Friday only, excluding bank holidays
  • outside of office hours, if your concerns are urgent, you can call our Emergency Duty Team on 020 8356 2710

Council homes

Repairs

The online form for reporting repairs is temporarily unavailable. Repairs can still be reported over the phone by calling 020 8356 3691. Non-urgent repairs may take longer than usual.

Payments

Many payment options are still available for rent, services charges, major works and garages and we are encouraging all residents to continue making these payments. The following options are unaffected and are safe and secure to use:

  • online payments through our multiple payments system
  • over the phone payments using the 24/7 automated telephone system by calling 020 8356 5050
  • online bank transfer
  • at a bank, post office or Paypoint location

Existing direct debits and standing orders continue to be processed.

The online system for paying rent, paying service charges and checking your balance is temporarily unavailable, and we are temporarily unable to accept payment by the following options.

  • by cash or card at the Hackney Service Centre
  • over the phone through a member of staff
  • by setting up new direct debits

Please use alternative methods wherever possible.

Enquiries

We are currently receiving a high number of enquiries, and it may take longer to respond than normal.

We are temporarily unable to respond to some types of enquiry in full and provide information such as rent statements, payments records and repair histories, either in writing or over the phone.

Emails sent to neighbourhood@hackney.gov.uk, income.services@hackney.gov.uk and service.charges@hackney.gov.uk addresses between 12 October and 26 October can’t now be accessed. Please re-send any enquiries that have not been responded to and remain outstanding and we will respond as soon as possible.

Data protection

Hackney’s Data Protection Officer is Nicholas Welburn, who can be reached on nicholas.dataprotection@hackney.gov.uk.

Payments

Payments to us

If all payment options are unavailable and you are unable to make a payment as a result of this, you will not be penalised.

Payments to you

Payments to some adult social care service users may not be paid.

We are currently unable to make some payments including: discretionary housing payments, new benefits claims and new supplier payments.

If you have not received a payment you were expecting and you need support and advice, please contact us.

Planning

Some planning services are unavailable, including land searches.

New planning applications can be submitted and we are able to process planning applications received after 1 October 2020.

Planning applications submitted before 1 October are affected by the cyber-attack. We are writing to applicants to ask them to resubmit their applications.

We are accepting building control applications, which are not affected by the cyber-attack.

Reporting and ordering

Residents are currently unable to report noise complaints online. If you need to report noise, please email pollutionsupport@hackney.gov.uk.

Please note that there may be a delay in responding to other reports and orders across the Council.

Page updated on: 15 November 2020