Town Council celebrate win in fight to save register office

THE Town Council is celebrating a “team” win in keeping the register office in Bourne.

It was revealed last week that the register office, which is currently located in West Street, will move to the new community access point in the Bourne Corn Exchange.

The office was saved from closure in January thanks to the efforts of Bourne Town Council and residents.

Lincolnshire County Council had earmarked the register office as one of five that could be closed as it tried to save money.

But Bourne residents did not want to lose the service and were the most vocal respondents in the county to a 90-day consultation on the closure.

The town council held a number of meetings to discuss what action should be taken before meeting with the registration team from Lincoln, which county coun Sue Wooley (Con), representing the Bourne Abbey ward, attended, to put a strong case forward in favour of retaining a registry service in Bourne.

The town council’s argument was based partly on research done by Coun David Mapp comparing the performance of the register offices in the county which were under threat, but emphasis was also placed on the potential inconvenience, especially to those people who rely on public transport, should the service cease and only be available in Stamford or Spalding.

His research showed that people looking to use a register office at 11am at the nearest neighbouring town with the facility would face a five-hour round trip if they were using public transport.

Those present also highlighted a number of alternative sites in Bourne which may have been able to accommodate the service, including the Corn Exchange.

Once the ball got rolling Coun Woolley campaigned to save the office from 
closure.

Coun Mapp said: “This is a great result for all concerned.

“Those of us involved would look upon the episode as a team effort.”

Work is underway to convert the Corn Exchange to a one-stop-shop for council and community services.

Lincolnshire County Council, South Kesteven District Council and Bourne Town Council will all move into the new community access point.

The building will also house the library and the Citizens Advice Bureau.

At a recent meeting of the South Kesteven District Council Engagement Policy Development Group, head of finance Richard Wyles update councillors or the progress of the community access point, confirming the work, which started in 
April, is expected to be complete in February 2013.