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County to sell off register office but shelves library weddings plan
9:10am Wednesday 20th June 2012 in Romsey
FEARS that couples seeking a register office wedding would have to whisper their vows have been dispelled after a re-think over proposals to move register officer ceremonies to Romsey Library.
Hampshire County Council’s latest cost-cutting plan to close Romsey Register Office at Hayter House and sell off the property will go ahead and Romsey Library will house the new office for registering births and deaths.
However a “wedding ceremony facility” will be found at a new location more suitable than the library.
The most likely venue is the mayor’s parlour at Romsey Town Hall.
County leader Ken Thornber made the decision on Wednesday.
Romsey County councillor Mark Cooper had opposed the idea of weddings at the library but was content with the compromise reached.
He said Hayter House was not an ideal location for weddings as it had no parking.
The council decided to review its provision of register offices in the face of growing competition in the civil wedding market from hotels and stately homes.
It is also planned to move Andover register officer to the Test Valley Borough HQ at Beech Hurst and Winchester’s to the county offices at Castle Hill.
Bishop’s Waltham’s part-time register office, which is open five hours per week is set to close. The county council says this facility, which is located within a library, has been under-used for some time and alternative offices are available in Eastleigh and Fareham.
A spokesperson said Wednesday’s decisions would all be subject to public consultation.