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COUNTIES CALL FOR LEGISLATION TO MODERNISE REGISTRATION SERVICE

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Urgent legislation is needed to shed the straitjacket of constraints blocking further modernisation of the births, ...
Urgent legislation is needed to shed the straitjacket of constraints blocking further modernisation of the births, deaths and marriages registration service, the Association of County Council said today.

The ACC said much has already been done by councils to bring the service into the 1990s, making it more responsive to public expectations. Changes in administrative practices, upgrading and devolving facilities and better training for staff all reaped tangible benefits.

However, the association says further modernisation depends on the government pressing ahead with proposals contained in its white paper, Registration: Proposals for Change.

An ACC spokesman said that nearly three years have passed since publication of the white paper.

'14% of all people in England and Wales visit a registry office each year. Half of all marriages take place in them and user surveys have revealed the public would like them to offer an even greater range of services than they do now,' said Bryn Duggan, chair of the ACC's local government personnel subcommittee.

'Local government is keen to build on its accomplishments to meet this demand. We hope the government will help us to do so by bringing a bill before parliament at the earliest opportunity, giving us the powers to evolve the kind of service the public wants and deserves.'

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