Countdown to Christmas

​It's the Countdown to Christmas and we want to help make sure that you have a great time, keep safe, and know what's happening across the district in the run up to the big day. On these pages you will find a range of information to help get your Christmas off to a great start.

On these pages you will find a wealth of information on:

Chichester District Council Christmas opening times

Chichester District Council offices at East Pallant House will be closed from 3.30pm on Friday 22 December 2017, re-opening at 8.45am on Tuesday 2 January 2018.

If you need to contact our Car Parks Office or Dog Warden service, please call our out of hours messaging service on 01243 785166 or 01243 534734. For any other district council related emergency, please call the Emergency Out of Hours number on 01243 785339.

If you have an enquiry about roads, pavements and street lighting or need to report a fault relating to them, you need to contact West Sussex County Council by calling 01243 642105.

Our Chichester Careline  service, provided by the council, will continue to operate as usual over Christmas and New Year. The service operates 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year. It offers a variety of products and services to help people live safely and independently inside and outside your home. You can contact the team on 01243 778688.

You can also access a whole range of services on our website including:

Changes to bin collections over Christmas

There will be some changes to waste and recycling collection days over the Christmas / New Year period.  You can download and print your personalised waste, recycling and garden recycling collection dates. Simply enter your postcode or the first line of your address and press 'submit'.

However, for a quick reminder please see the schedule below.  Please note that over the three week period collections will be completed on a later day than normal

Waste and recycling collection days will return to normal from Monday 15 January.

Normal Collection Day

Pre-Christmas week

Christmas week

New Year



New Year week

Return to Normal Collection Day


Mon 18 Dec

Wed 27 Dec

Wed 3 Jan

Tue 9 Jan

Mon 15 Jan


Tue 19 Dec

Thu 28 Dec

Thu 4 Jan

Wed 10 Jan

Tue 16 Jan


Wed 20 Dec

Fri 29 Dec

Fri 5 Jan

Thu 11 Jan

Wed 17 Jan


Thu 21 Dec

Sat 30 Dec

Sat 6 Jan

Fri 12 Jan

Thu 18 Jan


Fri 22 Dec

Tue 2 Jan

Mon 8 Jan

Sat 13 Jan

Fri 19 Jan

If you use the Garden Recycling Service, this will stop over the Christmas and New Year period from Friday 22 December. It will resume again on Monday 8 January 2018.

There will also be some slight changes to clinical waste collections. Any affected residents will be notified by Medisort, the collection contractor.

You can also visit our Christmas recycling page for hints and tips about what can be reused or recycled over the festive period. If you have any extra recycling, please leave it in a loosely tied black sack next to your recycling bin on the day of collection. Our collection crews will empty it, leaving the sack tied to the handle of the bin so that it can be reused or disposed of in the waste bin. Unfortunately we cannot take recycling that is wet, or not in a loosely tied black sack.

Real Christmas trees, free from all tinsel and decorations, can be recycled. If you subscribe to the Garden Recycling Service, you can place it next to the green bin on the first collection day following the New Year. Alternatively, they can also be taken to the Household Waste Recycling site.

Christmas lights switch-on events

A whole host of activities have been arranged across Chichester District to help get everyone in the festive spirit.


Wrap up warm and head to Chichester city centre on Thursday 23 November. Lots of activities have been organised to take place along East Street and North Street. The fun begins at 5pm with entertainment by the Christmas tree at The Cross.

Make a start on your Christmas shopping during the day and enjoy lunch in one of the city's cafes or restaurants and then stay for the evening festivities.  The lights will be switched on at 6.30pm and afterwards a firework display will illuminate the city's skies. Many of the shops will be open late offering treats and discounts. For more information see the  Chichester BID website

Further late night shopping will take place in the lead up to Christmas on Thursday 23, 30 November and 7, 14, and 21 December.

The annual Christmas Market will run Saturday 2- Sunday 10 December in East Street and North Street. A variety of stalls will be selling locally made Christmas gifts and produce. The market will be open 9am-5.30pm daily and will be open until 8pm on late night shopping Thursdays leading up to Christmas and on Sunday 10am-4.30pm.


The Selsey Festive Light Celebrations will take place Saturday 25 November in the High Street.

There will be events throughout the day and into the evening including the lantern parade, mini-funfair and street performances. The free festive cinema will also be returning in December.

Find out more by contacting Selsey Town Council on 01243 605803, or email


The Midhurst Christmas street party takes place on Friday 1 December from 6pm-9pm beginning with a switch on of the Christmas tree lights by Lord Cowdray. Music entertainment is provided by local musicians, as well as free rides, street entertainers and a Santa's grotto. There will be late night shopping, while cafes, pubs and restaurants will be serving food and drink to keep you refreshed.

Also, get ready for 'Red Christmas' in Midhurst on Saturday 2 December. Buy your Christmas tree and visit the 'Italian in Piazza Market' which will be held in the Market Square, 9am until 3pm.

For further information please contact Midhurst Town Council  on 01730 816953.


A range of activities has been organised to celebrate the switching on of the Christmas lights in Petworth on Saturday 2 December. There will be numerous Christmas market stalls to browse in Market Square, Leconfield Hall, Lombard Street and the High Street.

The lights switch-on event will take place at 6.30pm. There will also be entertainment and music from singers and local school choirs and the town band. Father Christmas will visit and there will also be a live nativity procession down Lombard Street.

Shops will be open late until 8pm and there will also be a window display competition with the winner announced in the evening.

For more information, please contact Petworth Town Council on 01798 344883, or email

Christmas at The Novium Museum

As well as seeing the new exhibition about smuggling, you can also view the Tim Peake exhibition, plus the museum's regular collections- all for free! Afterwards, enjoy refreshments in the café area and browse for gifts in the shop.

In addition, the Novium museum will be hosting some Christmas activities for the little ones.

Children's activities at The Novium Museum this Christmas are:

  • Father Christmas will be visiting the museum on Saturday 2, 9 and 16 December, Friday 22 December and Saturday 23 December between 11am and 3pm. Book online at the Chichester Box Office . It costs £5 per child which includes a gift.

  • Write to Father Christmas: post your letter to Father Christmas from 1 December. The museum's elves will check the post box daily and make sure that every letter receives a reply.
  • Wish on a star: come and write a wish on a star and hang it on the museum's Christmas tree throughout December.
  • Christmas stocking trail: Follow the trail throughout the museum in December.

The museum will be closed over the holidays from Sunday 24 December to Wednesday 27 December, reopening Thursday 28 December.

Christmas Park and Ride

Spend more time shopping and socialising with our popular and free park and ride service. Thanks to the support from Chichester College, the service will return on selected dates over the Christmas period starting on Thursday 23 November, 4.30pm-8.30pm for the lights switch-on event.

This convenient service will run every 15 minutes leaving from Chichester College car park at Westgate and dropping off at:

  • Eastgate (opposite the Cattle Market car park);
  • Northgate (the lay-by in Oakland's); and
  • Chichester Cathedral.

The service will operate on:



Thursday 23 November

4.30pm until 8.30pm (light switch-on)

Saturday 2 December

8am until 6pm

Sunday 3 December

9.30am until 5.30pm

Saturday 9 December

8am until 6pm

Sunday 10 December

9.30am until 5.30pm

Saturday 16 December

8am until 6pm

Sunday 17 December

9.30am until 5.30pm

Wednesday 20 December

8.30am until 6pm

Thursday 21 December

8.30am until 6pm

Friday 22 December

8.30am until 6pm

Saturday 23 December

8am until 6pm

Sunday 24 December

9.30am until 5.30pm


Festive farmers' markets in Chichester

Stock up on all your favourite festive food at the Chichester Farmers' Market which takes place on 1 and 15 December from 9am until 2pm.

On Friday 1 December there will be festive Farmer's Market with a 'Meet the People Behind the Products' at The Cross, where you will hear all about how the products are made and try some tasters. Some of the stalls will be taking orders, please ask individual stallholders for details.

In addition, you can enter a prize draw to win a hamper featuring a selection of farmers' market products from stalls including Hampshire Game and Crafted Coffee at the farmers' market on Friday 1 December. The draw will take place on Friday 15 December- the winner must be ready to collect their hamper in the afternoon.

Partygoers urged to 'look before you book'

If you're planning to eat out over the festive season, make sure you 'look before you book' and choose where to eat based on what is going on in the kitchen and not just what the menu contains. Each of Chichester District's food outlets, such as restaurants, takeaways and pubs, has a food hygiene rating. These range from zero (the worst) to five (the best). The rating is given following an inspection by Chichester District Council's Environmental Health Officers and is based on:

  • how hygienically food is handled;
  • the condition of the premises; and
  • how food safety is managed and documented.

The Food Hygiene Rating Scheme is a national initiative which has been developed by the  (FSA) in partnership with local authorities. In the Chichester District nearly 1,300 businesses have been assessed and given a rating, which they are encouraged to display.

To find out the rating of the place you wish to eat you can check  or download the FSA's free phone app.

You can also look out for the distinctive green and black food hygiene rating stickers that the businesses in the Chichester District will have displayed in their windows.

The aim of the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme is to reduce the one million cases of food poisoning suffered by people in the UK each year.

Preparing for winter weather

During the winter, weather can be harsh and unpredictable. Chichester District Council is encouraging residents to make sure that they are prepared for any bad weather that might occur over the coming months.

  • Make sure your car is roadworthy by regularly checking oil and anti-freeze levels and tyre treads. It's also a good idea to carry a spade, blanket, map, torch, first aid kit, and emergency food and drink in the car.
  • Check screen wash levels and make sure the windscreen wipers and tyres are in good condition.
  • Defrost the windscreen and windows thoroughly before you drive.
  • Leave more time for your journey and drive slowly, leaving a good distance between your vehicle and the one in front.
  • Always carry your mobile phone with you and make sure it is fully charged.
  • If you are unfortunate enough to breakdown, ring your breakdown service and not the emergency services, unless you believe people are at risk.
  • Prepare alternative childcare arrangements in case of unexpected school closures.
  • Make regular checks on family, friends and neighbours who are more vulnerable, especially the elderly.

If waste or recycling collections are disrupted by snowy or icy conditions residents are asked to leave their bin out and our crews will get to it as soon as they can. Chichester District Council will also post updates here on our website,on Chichester District Council on Facebook and on Chichester District Council on Twitter .

Any questions about gritting the roads should be directed to West Sussex County which is responsible for gritting the primary routes throughout Sussex. Its website will provide information about travel disruption, school closures and gritting routes.

Flooding can be a concern across the district in the winter months. Residents can sign up to receive free flood alerts and flood warnings from the  or call 0345 988 1188.

People can also report flooding by calling the Environment Agency Incident hotline on 0800 807060.

In the case of snow, Chichester District Council is issuing the following tips for residents:

  • Clearing snow and ice yourself - the 'snow code': there's no law stopping people from clearing snow and ice on the pavement outside their house or from public spaces. If you have cleared it carefully, it's unlikely you'll be sued or held legally responsible for any injuries on the path. Remember, people walking on snow and ice have responsibility to be careful themselves.
  • Clear the snow or ice early in the day - it's easier to move fresh, loose snow in the morning. You can then cover the path with salt before nightfall, to stop it refreezing overnight.
  • Make sure your car is roadworthy and check screen wash levels and make sure the windscreen wipers and tyres are in good condition.
  • In the winter months, flooding is also a common occurrence throughout the district. Residents can sign up to receive free flood alerts and flood warnings from the Environment Agency. To register call 0845 988 1188.

A helping hand from Chichester Wellbeing

Many of us set New Year's resolutions but find it difficult to start or stick to them - but help is at hand. Our Wellbeing  service is free, friendly, and impartial, and can help you reach your goals. It aims to help you improve your health and wellbeing through small lifestyle changes.

The New Year is traditionally a time when we all set ourselves a new goal, like losing some weight, giving up smoking, or getting more fit and active.

Our Wellbeing Advisors can help you work out how you can reach your goal, safely and healthily. Through one-to-one appointments they can be there with you every step of the way to help you stick to your target. The appointments can be made at a time and location to suit you and you can chat to our advisors over the phone as well.

The team can support people with:

  • healthier eating;
  • weight management;
  • becoming more active individually and as a family;
  • feeling happier and reducing stress;
  • sensible alcohol drinking;
  • stopping smoking; and,
  • keeping warm and well by joining the Wellbeing Home programme, which offers free home energy visits.

They can also signpost you to Wellbeing Weight Loss Workshops in the local area and introduce you to the First Steps to Fitness Advisor who can help support you to be more active in ways that suit you.

For more information, or to book an appointment, please contact Chichester Wellbeing on 01243 521041, or email

Don't give thieves a "Merry Christmas"

Chichester District Community Safety Partnership and Community Wardens are reminding residents to be on their guard and not to leave presents and purses on show during the Christmas period. They are offering seasonal advice to prevent people falling victim to opportunist thieves who may target homes where gifts are left under the tree.

Advice for residents:

  • put presents under the tree as close to Christmas Day as possible.
  • make sure windows and doors are locked at all times, even if someone is at home.
  • try not to leave presents on show in the car as this can act as an invitation to thieves.
  • try not to put empty packaging outside the house for rubbish collections. Again, this can act as an advert to thieves about any expensive Christmas presents inside the house. Break boxes down smaller or make sure they are firmly inside the recycling bin away from prying eyes.
  • make sure that purses and wallets are safely inside bags especially when you are out and about in busy shopping centres.

Stay safe this Christmas

With the Christmas party season about to enter full swing, Chichester District Council is urging everyone to have fun but stay safe by organising their journey home before enjoying their festive drinks

Top tips to consider before using a taxi are:

  • make sure you have enough money for the journey;
  • book a licensed taxi or wait at an official rank;
  • if possible, share a taxi with a friend;
  • check the vehicle has a council licence plate on the rear of the car. Look for a badge on the windscreen and check the driver is wearing his/her identification;
  • keep your mobile phone with you at all times (and make sure it is charged up!);
  • never get into an unmarked saloon car offering you a lift;
  • don't get into a car if you feel unsafe for any reason; and
  • try to stay with your friends and don't wait in unlit areas.

Our Licensing Team has more taxi hire information for the public, and tips on taxis.