Orkney Islands Council
Working together for a better Orkney

How To

This page answers the most commonly asked questions relating to Orkney Islands Council Services. These questions and answers will be updated regularly.

Refer to the Related Links section at the side of this page for other frequently asked questions.

Frequently Asked Questions

Blue Badge

Q. How do I get a Blue Badge ?

Q. I have lost my Blue Badge, what will I do ?

Q. I need to renew my Blue Badge as it has expired. How do I do this ?

Building Standards

Q. Where can I obtain an application form for planning permission ?

Q. Where can I obtain an application form for a Building Warrant ?

Contact

Q. How can I contact the Council?

Dog Control and Fouling

Q. Where do I get dog excrement bags from?

Q. I have found a lost dog. Who do I contact?

Q. Where do I report dog fouling?

Education

Q. How do I book onto an Evening Class or Short Course?

Q. How do I apply for Free School Meals and a clothing allowance?

Q. How do I find out when the school holidays are?

Q. I would like to apply for financial help with my Education. Can you advise me what is available?

Elections

Q. How can I find out if I am registered to vote?

Employment

Q. I would like to work for Orkney Islands Council. Where can I find out information relating to any jobs that are available?

Faults and Repairs

Q. I am in a Council property and I need to report a repair?

Q. There is a street light out near to my property, how do I report this?

Q. There is a large pothole in the road next to my property. How do I report this?

Q. The path outside my property is really icy and needs to be salted. How do I report this?

Housing

Q. How do I get a Council House?

Q. How can I find out where I am on the Housing list?

Leisure Services

Q. I would like to make a booking at one of your campsites. How do I do this?

Licensing

Q. Where do I go to register a birth, death or marriage?

Payments

Q. How do I make a payment to the Council?

Q. I have received a reminder for an outstanding debt but I cannot afford to pay it, what can I do?

Q. My household income has reduced and I wondered if I could get any help with paying my rent and/or Council Tax?

Q. I am liable to pay Council Tax and have changed my address, do I need to tell the Council Tax office?

Q. Would I be entitled to the Christmas Grant this year?

Rubbish and Recycling

Q. I’ve got an old sofa which I want to dispose of, what should I do?

Q. I have run out of bags and powder for my green cone. Where can I get some more?

Q. I would like to get a Green Cone for my garden. Where do I get one from?

Social Care

Q. I have heard that there is a key that allows disabled people access to disabled toilets throughout Great Britain?

Q. My elderly mother would benefit from some additional assistance to enable her to remain at home for as long as possible. Who do I contact to arrange this?

Q. Where can I find out information relating to the childminders available in Orkney?

Transport

Q. I have just had my 60th birthday – are there any travel concessions that I may be entitled to?

Q. I am disabled – are there any travel concessions that I may be entitled to?

Q. I am 16 years old and have heard that I may be entitled to free ferry travel vouchers, where do I get these from?

Q. How do I get a Blue Badge?

A. The Eligibility Checker and Blue Badge application forms are available from the Blue Badge Information  in the 'Related Links' section on this page. Please use the Eligibility Checker to ascertain which sections of the application form you will be required to complete.

Complete the application form enclosing the following:

  • Passport sized photograph.
  • Current proof of eligibility.
  • Proof of address.
  • Proof of identity.
  • Payment of £10.55.

Please return the application form with the relevant documents to Customer Services, Orkney Islands Council, School Place, Kirkwall, Orkney, KW15 1NY.

Alternatively you can contact Customer Services and they will be happy to send an application form out to you. Further information relating to the Blue Badge Scheme is available from the link to Transport Scotland's website in the 'Related Links' section of the Blue Badge Information page.

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Q. I have lost my Blue Badge, what will I do?

A. If you have a new style badge which has been lost, stolen, destroyed or so faded that it is illegible, we can request a replacement for a payment of £10.55. 

If you have an old style badge which has been lost, stolen, destroyed or so faded that it is illegible you will have to follow the procedure 'How do I get a Blue Badge'

In the case of a stolen badge you should inform the police and get a crime reference number for us to include in our records.

For further information please contact Customer Services in Kirkwall or Stromness in person, by phoning 01856873535 extension 2902 or 2903, or by emailing Customer Service.

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Q. I need to renew my Blue Badge as it has expired. How do I do this?

A. You will be required to complete a new application form. The Eligibility Checker and Blue Badge application forms are available from the Blue Badge Information in the 'Related Links' section on this page. Please use the Eligibility Checker to ascertain which sections of the application form you will be required to complete. 

Complete the application form enclosing the following:

  • Passport sized photograph.
  • Current proof of eligibility.
  • Proof of address.
  • Proof of identity.
  • Payment of £10.55.

Please return the application form with the relevant documents to Customer Services, Orkney Islands Council, School Place, Kirkwall, Orkney, KW15 1NY.

Alternatively you can contact Customer Services and they will be happy to send an application form out to you. Further information relating to the Blue Badge Scheme is available from the link to Transport Scotland's website in the 'Related Links' section of the Blue Badge Information page.

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Q. Where can I obtain an application form for planning permission?

A. To apply for planning permission on-line, please click here. Planning application forms are also available from Customer Services in Kirkwall and Stromness. If you have a query relating to your planning application, you should contact our Planning office on 01856873535 extension 2504 or email us.

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Q. Where can I obtain an application form for a Building Warrant?

A. To download an application form, please click here. Building Warrant application forms are also available from Customer Services in Kirkwall and Stromness. If you have a query relating to your building warrant application, you should contact our Building Standards office on 01856873535 extension 2729 or email us.

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Q. How can I contact the Council?

Customer Services opening hours are detailed below. This service is available throughout the day, including lunchtimes, to offer the maximum convenience for all our customers.

Day

Customer Services (Kirkwall)

Council Offices, School Place, Kirkwall, KW15 1NY.

Telephone: 01856873535 extension 2904.

Customer Services (Stromness)

Warehouse Buildings, 2-12 Victoria Street, Stromness, KW16 3AA.

Telephone: 01856873535 extension 2901.

Monday.

09:00 - 17:00.

10:00 - 19:00.

Tuesday.

09:00 - 17:00.

10:00 - 17:00.

Wednesday.

09:00 - 17:00.

10:00 - 17:00.

Thursday.

09:00 - 17:00.

10:00 - 19:00.

Friday.

09:00 - 17:00.

10:00 - 17:00.

Saturday.

Closed.

11:00 - 17:00.

Sunday.

Closed.

Closed.

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Q. Where do I get dog excrement bags from?

A. These are available to collect from Customer Services in Kirkwall and Stromness during working hours. You can also get them from either the Kirkwall or Stromness Libraries.

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Q. I have found a lost dog. Who do I contact?

A. You can either take it along to the vet or contact Mark Evans from the Environmental Health Service of the Council by phoning 873535 extension 2807.

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Q. Where do I report dog fouling?

A. Please complete the relevant form here providing as much detail as possible. Alternatively, you can email us or contact Eleanor Fraser by phone on 873535 extension 2809.

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Q. How do I book onto an Evening Class or Short Course?

A. Details on how to book Evening Classes and other courses are available from the 'Evening Classes' link available from the 'Related Links section of this page.

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Q. How do I apply for Free School Meals and a clothing allowance?

A. The application forms are available from Customer Services in Kirkwall and Stromness. Proof of eligibility must be provided before any application can be processed. Please click here to download the application form. If you have a query relating to an application, please phone 01856873535 extension 2413 or email.

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Q. How do I find out when the school holidays are?

A. Please follow this link to view the school holiday calendar. Alternatively, this information is available from Customer Services in Kirkwall or Stromness.

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Q. I would like to apply for financial help with my Education. Can you advise me what is available?

A. Bursary and Education Maintenance Allowance forms are available from Customer Services in Kirkwall and Stromness. Please click here to download a bursary from. If you have a query relating to your bursary or EMA, you should phone 01856873535 extension 2413 or email.

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Q. How can I find out if I am registered to vote?

A. You can contact the Electoral Registration Office on 01856876222 or email them and they will check if your name is on the Register.

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Q. I would like to work for Orkney Islands Council. Where can I find out information relating to any jobs that are available?

A. All jobs are advertised on the Council website – please visit this link to view the current vacancies.

Alternatively, you can contact Customer Services and they will be happy to send out an application pack to you.

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Q. I am in a Council property and I need to report a repair?

A. Council property repairs should be reported to the Repairs Desk at Customer Services on 01856873535.

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Q. There is a street light out near to my property, how do I report this?

A. Please click here to complete the relevant form. Alternatively, street light faults should be reported to Customer Services. It is helpful if you can provide us with the asset number on the street light.

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Q. There is a large pothole in the road next to my property. How do I report this?

A. Roads defects should be reported to Customer Services. Please click here to complete the relevant form.

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Q. The path outside my property is really icy and needs to be salted. How do I report this?

A. This should be reported to Customer Services, either in person, by phoning 01856873535 ext 2902/2903, by emailing or by clicking here. Emergencies should be reported to the Snow Desk on 876338.

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Q. How do I get a Council House?

A. You must firstly complete a Housing Application form. Please click on  Housing Application and Allocations in the related links section on the left of this page. Here you will find the relevant application form and information. Once completed please return the for here to Housing Management, Housing Services, Orkney Islands Council, School Place, Kirkwall, KW15 1NY. Alternatively you can contact Customer Services and they will be happy to send one out to you.

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Q. How can I find out where I am on the Housing list?

A. You can contact our Housing Management Team by phoning 01856873535 extension 2182, by emailing, visiting the Council Offices during working hours or writing to: Housing Management, Orkney Islands Council, School Place, Kirkwall, KW15 1NY.

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Q. I would like to make a booking at one of your campsites. How do I do this?

A. If you would like to book into the Ness Campsite in Stromness, please contact Stromness Customer Services on 01856873535 extension 2901 or email them. For booking at any of our other hostels or campsites, please click here for further contact information.

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Q. Where do I go to register a birth, death or marriage?

A. The Senior Registrar is based at the Council Offices at the Customer Services reception and is available from 09:00 to 13:00 and 14:00 to 16:30 from Monday to Friday. Assistant Registrars are also available at Customer Services in Kirkwall. Other registrars within Orkney are home based and are available by appointment only. For further details, please click here. If you would like to make an appointment to see the Registrar in Kirkwall, please telephone the Council on 01856873535 extension 2918 or email.

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Q. How do I make a payment to the Council?

A. You will find details on how to make payment on your bill, which includes the following payment methods:

Debit or Credit Card – in person at either the Kirkwall or Stromness Customer Services office or by phoning the Cash Desk on 01856873535 extension 2905 or 2906.

Cash or Cheque – Cheques should be crossed and made payable to Orkney Islands Council. If you visit the Kirkwall or Stromness offices in person please take your bill along with you. You can post your payment to:  Customer Services (Cash Desk), Orkney Islands Council, Council Offices, School Place, Kirkwall, KW15 1NY. Please ensure that the relevant reference number is quoted with your payment.

Online – Payment can be made by debit or credit card by clicking here. The service is free and available 24 hours a day, 7 days per week.

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Q. I have received a reminder for an outstanding debt but I cannot afford to pay it, what can I do?

A. Your reminder notice will provide you with details of who to contact at the Council to discuss repayment.

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Q. My household income has reduced and I wondered if I could get any help with paying my rent and/or Council Tax?

A. Yes, you can get help by applying for Housing Benefit and/or Council Tax Benefit.

For further information relating to Housing Benefit, please click here.

For further information relating to Council Tax benefit, please click here.

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Q. I am liable to pay Council Tax and have changed my address, do I need to tell the Council Tax office?

A. Yes, you will need to complete a change of address form, please click here to download the relevant form.

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Q. Would I be entitled to the Christmas Grant this year?

A. The Christmas Grant application forms are available from Customer Services around November each year - please watch the local press for dates. The Christmas Grant application form is available from the 'Related Downloads' section of this page.

The grant will once again be targeted to any person who normally resides in Orkney; and between 1 October 2015 and 25 December 2015 is either a person aged 60 years or over and receiving Pension Credit; a disabled person aged 18 years or over, or a parent of a disabled child under 18 years.
Completed forms need to be returned to the Council by 1 December 2015.

Pension Credit is an entitlement for people over 60 which guarantees them a minimum weekly income. It’s estimated that up to 30% of people over 60 in Orkney are not claiming their entitlement to Pension Credit. If you don’t already receive Pension Credit and want to find out if you are eligible for it you can contact the Pension Service on telephone 0800991234.

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Q. I’ve got an old sofa which I want to dispose of, what should I do?

A. ‘Restart Orkney’ recycles furniture, you can contact them on 01856876605.

You can take your item(s) along to any of our recycling centres where they can be disposed of, free of charge. Please click here for a list of our recycling centres.

Alternatively, you can phone Customer Services on 01856873535 extension 2904 to arrange for a Special Collection or click here to download the relevant form and send it in to Customer Services along with your payment.

Payment should be made at the time of booking.

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Q. I have run out of bags and powder for my green cone. Where can I get some more?

A. Green cone consumables are available to collect from Customer Services in Kirkwall and Stromness during working hours.

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Q. I would like to get a Green Cone for my garden. Where do I get one from?

A. Green cones are available to collect from our Hatston and Bossack recycling centres. Alternatively, they are available from the Stromness Customer Services. If you require us to deliver your green cone, please contact Customer Services.

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Q. I have heard that there is a key that allows disabled people access to disabled toilets throughout Great Britain?

A. These keys are available from Customer Services in both Kirkwall and Stromness.

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Q. My elderly mother would benefit from some additional assistance to enable her to remain at home for as long as possible. Who do I contact to arrange this?

A. A duty social worker will be available at the Council during working hours from 09:00 to 17:00 Monday to Friday. You can either, visit the Council in person and ask to see the Duty Social Worker or phone Customer Services on 01856873535 and ask for the Duty Social Worker and they will put you through to the social worker on call.

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Q. Where can I find out information relating to the childminders available in Orkney?

A. Links to information are available from the 'Directories Page'.

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Q. I have just had my 60th birthday – are there any travel concessions that I may be entitled to?

A. Yes – you can apply for a Concessionary Travel Card which entitles you to free bus travel in Scotland and 2 free return trips to the Scottish mainland per year. Application forms are available from the Customer Services in Kirkwall and Stromness.

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Q. I am disabled – are there any travel concessions that I may be entitled to?

A. Yes – you can apply for a Concessionary Travel Card which entitles you to free bus travel in Scotland and 2 free return trips to the Scottish mainland per year. If you are in receipt of the middle or higher rate of the care component of Disability Living Allowance, Attendance Allowance or are registered blind, you may also be entitled to a companion to accompany you when you travel. Application forms are available from the Customer Services in Kirkwall and Stromness.

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Q. I am 16 years old and have heard that I may be entitled to free ferry travel vouchers, where do I get these from?

A. The National Entitlement Card application form is available from Customer Services in Kirkwall and Stromness. This will entitle you to 2 free return boat trips to the Scottish mainland or Shetland if you are 16 to 18 years old. Further discounts may be available – please visit the YoungScot website for further information.

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Related Links

Related Sites