Proposed changes to Shropshire Council’s registration service
- Period: 19 July 2022 - 04 September 2022
- Status: Closed
- Audiences: Everyone
- Topics: Registration services
- Type: Public
Registration services register all births, deaths, marriages, civil partnerships, and still births occurring in the county of Shropshire. Our services are currently provided from nine different locations across the county in the following towns: Shrewsbury, Oswestry, Bridgnorth, Whitchurch, Market Drayton, Ludlow, Wem, Bishops Castle, and Church Stretton.
Alongside the statutory services which have to be provided, the service also provides a range of complimentary services including: civil naming ceremonies, civil renewal of vows ceremonies and civil funerals.
Statutory responsibilities (the duties we have to do by law):
- Register all births
- Register all deaths
- Register all still births
- Register all civil and religious marriages
- Register all civil partnerships
- Issue certificates for present day and historic births, deaths, and marriages
- Complete civil and religious marriage/civil partnership preliminaries
- To administer conversions from civil partnership to marriage for opposite sex couples
- To administer and deliver British citizenship ceremonies to newly naturalised people
- To report marriages or civil partnerships which they suspect are being entered into for the purpose of evading UK immigration law.
- Responsibility for the administration of the certification and registration of places for worship and religious marriages
- To administer the local authority’s approval process for licensing venues for civil marriage and civil partnerships
- The service is required to meet or exceed national standards which are laid down by the government, and a report has to be made to the general register office on an annual basis reporting on performance against these standards
- The storage and issue of books of medical cause of death certificates to medical practitioners across the county in hospitals and medical practices
- To provide advice to religious ministers if required across the county
- To provide advice and information to a range of other organisations
- Provision of statistical information to the government in order that it can plan its social and economic policies based on quantified evidence
There's been several changes over the last few years, influenced by the Covid-19 pandemic and a need to respond differently to people’s needs.
Shropshire Council’s registration service continually monitors demand and will make additional resource available if needed in fixed offices, for example:
- Oswestry – The office was previously closed on Wednesdays but it is now open full time instead of a part time
- Bridgnorth – Now open full time with doubled capacity on Tuesdays and Thursdays
- Certificate production for historical certificates has been relocated to the Register Office at Shirehall, made possible by digital improvements
However, when the service is looking to withdraw or cease service provisions, we'll always consult with the public and other stakeholders.
We'd like your views on proposals to cease offering access to registrar’s services at our three peripatetic sites; Wem Library, Church Stretton Library and Bishops Castle Enterprise House.
We'd also like your views on changing the opening hours of our services in Whitchurch and Market Drayton.
The reasons behind the proposals: Bishops Castle, Church Stretton, Wem
The closure of public buildings by direction of the government during the pandemic period had a considerable impact both on staff and on customers. The only registration office to be able to remain open throughout the pandemic was the register office in Shrewsbury, where all notices of marriage or civil partnership appointments and birth appointments had to be held.
There is a legal requirement to register deaths face to face within five days and the service has tried over the years to continue to have a presence in as many localities as possible. However, what has been shown is that people who may usually have opted to attend at one of the peripatetic offices, have been able to attend at fixed offices with ease and from this, that the peripatetic offices are no longer required.
The peripatetic services in Bishops Castle, Church Stretton and Wem have remained closed since March 2020 with no issues highlighted to Shropshire Council nor complaints received. We now seek to make these closures permanent.
We understand that you may have comments on the proposed changes, and we can provide reassurance that when there is a genuine need the registration service will attend at the homes of informants to carry out a domiciliary registration. These are extremely rare occurrences the domiciliary service is there for when it is needed.
We have attached:
- An evidence document setting out why the proposals have been made
- Equality, social inclusion and health impact assessments (ESIHAs), demonstrating how we have considered the impact of these proposals
To inform decision making on the proposals, we'd like your views. A survey is provided as a way of collecting feedback.Complete the survey »
A printable copy of the survey can be downloaded here if you prefer.
If you'd like the survey in an alternative format, please use the email below to request a copy or telephone Shropshire Council’s customer services on 0345 678 9000 and explain any support you need to allow you to respond.
You can also respond to this consultation in writing:
Post: Feedback and Insight Team, Shropshire Council, Shirehall, Abbey Foregate, Shropshire SY2 6ND.