Somerset County Council is to close the Wellington Registration Office on 1 May 2014. The news was passed to Wellington Town Councillors earlier this month.
The part-time Registration Office is currently situated within the Somerset Skills and Learning centre in Corams Lane. It is open on Tuesdays from 10am to 2pm and on Wednesdays from 2pm to 6pm.
From next month the registration of all local births, marriages and deaths will take place at Somerset Register Office in the Old Municipal Buildings in Corporation Street, Taunton.
The rationale for the closure was explained in a document provided by Somerset County Council’s Strategic Manager – Traded Services which states, “We have recently reviewed customer data, usage and productivity at a number of our outlying Registration Offices as part of our ongoing change programme for the Registration Service. Following this analysis and a period of public consultation, we are looking to re-locate a number of our Registration Offices around the County, with the objective of optimising the location of service delivery points to better match the demand for the service in various localities and improving the customer experience, as well as making more efficient use of staff resources.
“Whilst premises costs are minimal at Corams Lane, the low availability and take up of appointments is not making best use of staff time and it would be more efficient for our part-time staff to transfer to the Taunton Registration Office. Closure of the Office at Corams Lane will not result in any staff redundancies, but will result in savings due to the way in which it will enable more efficient deployment of staff.
It was noted in the same document that Wellington had “the lowest usage of the 12 Registration Offices in Somerset”. It also noted that those needing to make use of the service could access public or community transport and that appointments could now be booked online.
Wellington Town Council Meeting minutes record that “Councillors spoke of disappointment and sadness of the loss of this service, as it is a facility needed by those at a difficult time either registering a death or a birth.”