Customer Services, Sport and Leisure Cabinet Member – Minutes – 1 November 2012

10  (10)  MARRIAGE AND CIVIL PARTNERSHIP PROCEEDINGS – The Director of Places submitted a report which outlined the changes to legislation affecting marriage and civil partnership proceedings.  The report sought approval for an additional registration service fee in response to the change in law, and to monitor customer demand arising from the changes during a six month trial period.
The Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 came into force on 1 October 2012. It was explained that to date, marriages and civil partnerships had taken place between 8am and 6pm.  The new act removed these time restrictions and would enable marriages and civil partnerships to now be conducted at any time of day.

The Cabinet Member was advised that the decision to offer marriage and civil partnership ceremonies outside of the previous 8am to 6pm period was discretionary to each local authority.

It was confirmed that offering a service outside normal hours would involve a cost to the council. Whilst the council could not change statutory fees for register office weddings and registering of marriages in non-conformist venues, it could set fees for weddings in the Civic Suite and approved premises.  A copy of current fees and charges was set out in Appendix 1 to the report.

A survey of approved premises had been undertaken and showed that there was limited interest in extended provision at this time, and that out of the eighteen venues surveyed, only six said that they would consider weddings after 6pm.

Resolved – (a) That the proposed response to the changes in the law relating to marriage and civil partnership times be approved, and (b) that a further update report be prepared after the proposed six month trial period.