Closure threat for registration offices

Opposing closure: Bourne's county councillor Sue Woolley with town councillors Trevor Holmes, Brenda Johnson and Judy Smith.
Opposing closure: Bourne's county councillor Sue Woolley with town councillors Trevor Holmes, Brenda Johnson and Judy Smith.
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COUNCILLORS in Bourne and Long Sutton have vowed to fight against plans to close their town registration offices.

The two offices are among five in the county facing the axe under a review of the service by Lincolnshire County Council.

The offices are used to register births, deaths, stillbirths, give notice of marriages and civil ceremonies, or to hold celebratory events.

Bourne Town Council were unanimous in agreeing the closure would have a “detrimental” effect on people in the town and surrounding villages.

A response from the council reads: “Members were appalled that following lengthy discussions to include the Registration Office into the proposed ‘Community Access Point’ in Bourne, LCC should be considering the closure of this amenity.”

It adds: “Many local businesses would experience a negative impact of such a closure.”

Long Sutton Parish Council chairman Coun John Clarey said the issue had not yet been raised at meeting. However, he said: “We will strongly oppose this as a council. It would make a tremendous difference. The biggest problem for people living here is how they would get to the nearest office.”

The county council says Long Sutton’s office is currently operating at a £9,000 loss, while Bourne’s office also has “low volumes” of activity.

Donna Sharp, county services manager, said: “Our consultation process began on August 1 and, as well as welcoming comments from any member of the public in Lincolnshire, we have also contacted a range of other stakeholders including funeral directors, town and parish councils and members of the clergy.

“We’re receiving feedback all the time which is important information for councillors as they consider how we can continue to provide a high-quality service whilst ensuring it provides value for money.”

The consultation runs until the end of October. Feedback can be sent to Julie Waller at Registration and Celebratory Services, The Register Office, 4 Lindum Road, Lincoln, LN2 1NN. Alternatively, email regist@lincolnshire.gov.uk.

A final decision on the closures is due to be made this autumn.