Girvan registry office regains Friday service

The Registrars' Office in Girvan.
The Registrars' Office in Girvan.

The Girvan registration office will reopen for business on Fridays later this month following a lengthy closure in the town.

The council have confirmed that the Knockcushan Street registration office will be staffed again on Fridays from 25 October.

Concerns had been raised by all three Girvan and South Carrick councillors as well as Girvan Community Council and the Girvan Town Team.

South Ayrshire Council bosses had insisted the move was only temporary due to staffing issues, which involved maternity leave as well as general staffing shortages at the Girvan office.

However, the situation has taken several months to resolve and was on-going throught the summer months where it was regularly raised at community meetings.

This meant that residents in Girvan and the surrounding villages in South Carrick were having to travel up to Ayr to register either a birth, death , or a marriage that actually occurred in the South Carrick area.

Councillor Alec Clark had raised the issue at the September meeting of Girvan Community Council.

He said then: “This is a major Carrick wide issue considering we live in such a rural community and what we don’t need is a second class service.”

Whilst Councillor Clark welcomed the news at public meetings earlier this month, he wanted to see a return to a full-time registration service.

“While this is welcome news, I feel that the Girvan registry service should not only be open on a Tuesday and a Friday, it should move back to the times when there was a full time registrar working in Girvan.”

The registration of births and marriages was seen as important, but the issue of people having to travel to Ayr, 20 miles away to register a death was seen as the most pressing issue.

Community Council members raised the point that you simply might not be able to plan for a death whereas if it was a birth or a marriage you were planning to register you would have more than likely known in advance.

Also at the September Community Council meeting was Councillor Alec Oattes.

He said: “This is a very emotive issue and you hope it is a once in a lifetime thing you have to do in terms of registering a death.

“I’ve been told that there were 109 deaths in Girvan over the last year averaging about two a week. We don’t need a belts and braces approach to this.

Valerie Andrews Acting Executive Director for Resources, Governance and Organisation said: “We can confirm the Girvan Registry office will be open for business from 25 October and will operate as normal from that date.

“We have taken steps to address staffing levels at the office and we will continue working to ensure the people of Girvan and South Carrick can access the Registration office service on Tuesday and Friday of each week.”

Council bosses in September said: “We have had a number of our casual marriage celebrants leave the service at what is our busiest period for weddings and this is adversely impacting on our ability to provide our normal level of service.

“We are currently finalising the recruitment process to take on a new team of casual celebrants which will enable us to return to normal office services in Ayr and Girvan.

“We apologise if any of the temporary changes are causing inconvenience to anyone and thank residents for their co-operation.”