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Gloucestershire Business News

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 ceremonies.

Sadly during the current crisis, more than 2,000 couples have had their ceremonies affected due to government restrictions.

The registration team has helped over 1,500 couples amend their ceremonies to a new date and is working hard to secure alternative dates for the remaining 191 couples affected by the restrictions. The team is also working with more than 100 approved premises to ensure they are Covid-19 secure before their ceremonies can re-commence.

In addition, the registration of 1,672 babies that couldn't be processed during lockdown needs to be dealt with. Appointment availability has been increased to try and address the backlog as quickly as possible. On top of this, there is also the sad task of registering deaths which, due to Covid-19, increased over and above the normal levels.

The small dedicated team is continuing to go above and beyond, and team members are working with all those needing their help to ensure they are getting the support they need.

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."

Everyone in need of support from the registration team is 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 said: "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."

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