Staff work hard to ensure births, deaths and ceremonies are dealt with quickly
With restrictions easing, staff in Gloucestershire County Council’s registration team have been working tirelessly to process birth registrations, Notices of Marriage and re-organise weddings and civil partnership ceremony dates.
Sadly during the current crisis over 2,000 couples have had their ceremonies affected due to government restrictions.
The registration team have helped over 1500 couples amend their ceremonies to a new date and are working hard to secure alternative dates for the remaining *191 couples affected by the restrictions. The team are also working with the more than 100 approved premises to ensure they are Covid-19 secure before their ceremonies can re-commence.
In addition the registration of babies that couldn’t be processed during lockdown needs to be dealt with and a further 1,672 to register. Appointment availability has been increased to try and address this backlog as quickly as possible. On top of this there is also the sad task of registering deaths which due to Covid-19 did increase over and above the normal amounts.
The small dedicated team are continuing to go above and beyond and are working with all those needing their help to ensure they are getting the support required.
Cllr. Dave Norman, cabinet member for registration said “We fully appreciate that all of the people we support will have heightened emotions and frustrations, but rest assured we are doing as much as we possibly can. We thank you for your patience. I’d also like to thank the team for their tireless work to support people whether they need help with a birth, death or ceremony.”
All those in need of support from the registration team are asked to wait to be contacted if they have a cancelled ceremony or a birth to register. Due to the pressures on the team, new ceremonies cannot be processed until the backlog is clear. It is estimated that this will not happen until the Autumn due to the sheer volume of work to get through.
Cllr. Norman continued “Other councils are in a similar position regarding their registration services, but as a large county we deal with greater numbers of people. We have explored a number of different options, but only have so much capacity within a team of specialist staff. We ask that people bear with us while we process those who were impacted by the Covid-19 crisis first. This is the only fair way to deal with this. We really appreciate people’s patience.”
*figure correct at time of going to press but changing hourly during office hours. Couples may wait for more restrictions to be lifted before re-scheduling.