Councillors to fight plans to close Bourne register office

Bourne town councillors Judy Smith, Trevor Holmes and Brenda Johnson with county councillor Sue Woolley outside the register office

Bourne town councillors Judy Smith, Trevor Holmes and Brenda Johnson with county councillor Sue Woolley outside the register office

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COUNCILLORS have united against plans to close a register office and have urged people to have their say.

COUNCILLORS have united against plans to close a register office and have urged people to have their say.

Lincolnshire County Council is considering closing the Bourne register office in West Street, which would force residents to travel to Stamford to register births and deaths.

The Bourne office is one of five in the county facing closure as the council tries to cut spending, but the proposals have attracted strong opposition from councillors and residents alike.

At a meeting on Tuesday last week, Bourne Town Council agreed to oppose the closure.

Town clerk Nelly Jacobs said: “Members were in unanimous agreement that the closure of the Bourne office would have a detrimental effect on the people of Bourne and surrounding villages and objects to the proposal in the strongest terms.

“The town council would like to point out that the area around Bourne is very rural and public transport to the proposed alternative locations is very poor and in some cases non existent.

“Registering the death of a loved one is stressful and upsetting enough without having to worry about how one manages to get to the registration office within the given timescale.

“Bourne Town Council finds the proposal totally unacceptable and hopes that the relevant authorities will re-consider.”

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

Town councillor Trevor Holmes added: “It seems they have no concept of the rurality of the area they are talking about.

“It is wrong to take more facilities away from a rapidly expanding town.”

The consultation period on the county council’s proposals was due to end on Wednesday, but thanks to lobbying from county councillor Sue Woolley (Con), representing the Bourne Abbey ward, the deadline has been extended until September 16.

Coun Woolley said: “I am delighted with the town council’s response. The service should not be in jeopardy.”

To have your say on the issue e-mail regist@lincolnshire.gov.uk, write to Julie Waller at The Register Office, 4 Lindum Road, Lincoln, or fill in the survey online at www.lincolnshire.gov.uk.