Bourne register office could close

Bourne register office

Bourne register office

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Bourne register office could be shut in a bid to save money.

The office, in West Street, is one of five in the county that could be closed by Lincolnshire County Council.

The council needs to save money and says the high cost of the lease on the building and the low level of use does not make it worthwhile.

The office is open on Tuesdays and Thursdays and registered 162 marriages, 137 deaths and 22 births last year. It also held 48 wedding ceremonies.

If it is closed, Bourne people would have to travel to the office in Stamford.

Town councillor Jane Kingman said the news was very sad.

“Bourne is expanding and all our facilities are being taken away – the court has gone too,” she said. “We are an established town. A lot of young people are moving in so we need these facilities.

“Also, some people don’t have cars or have young children so can’t get to Stamford easily.”

The council has set a consultation period to find out how closing the office would affect Bourne. Residents have

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until August 31 to submit their comments, but Coun Kingman thinks the period should be longer.

She added: “By the time we have done anything it will be too late. However I will be registering my disgust with the county council.”

The county council says it does not expect redundancies if the office does close. No staff are based exclusively in Bourne.

County council leader Coun Martin Hill said the authority had reviewed all registration offices to make sure they were efficient and provided a value-for-money, quality service to the public.

“With very much reduced budgets, all councils are having to look at how they can provide services more efficiently, while still meeting their statutory obligations,” he said.

“Following the review, recommendations have been put forward to consider changes at registration offices that are currently only open a few hours a week where the cost to run them is more than any income they generate.

“Proposals will be consulted on extensively before any final decisions are made.”

To view details of the consultation and have your say, visit http://www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/residents/births-marriages-deaths-and-civil-partnerships/public-consultation-potential-registration-office-closures/.