Businessman vows to fight service cuts

0
Have your say

PLANS to close Market Rasen’s registration office has ‘angered and saddened’ town funeral director Bill Marshall.

Mr Marshall, who owns J Marshall Funeral Directors in Queen Street said he will fight the closure which, if it goes ahead, will “only add more distress to bereaved people”.

“Once again we are being penalised for living in a rural area,” he said. “Why should that be?”

“If the Market Rasen office closes, people will have to travel to Louth, Lincoln or Gainsborough to register the death of their loved one.

“Many of the people we deal with are elderly and would find it difficult to make the fifteen or so mile journey to another office.”

Now Mr Marshall is urging both the public and the council to get behind him and stop the closure.

“This service should be retained,” he added.

The current service review is looking at the potential closure of five offices across the county - Market Rasen, Bourne, Horncastle, Long Sutton and Spilsby.

The Market Rasen office, which also serves Caistor after the Caistor office closed earlier this year, is open for three-hours on a Wednesday.

A report prepared for the council’s community scrutiny committee says the Rasen office is being considered for closure due to low volumes of activity and the fact income does not cover expenditure.

Julie Waller, business service manager for the registration service, said: “We have contacted a range of stakeholders including funeral directors, town and parish councils and members of the clergy as part of our consultation process and have held meetings with them to explain the proposals.

“We already work closely with Lincolnshire’s funeral directors, and will continue to do so to ensure the high level of service we all strive to provide to families is maintained.

“We’re receiving feedback all the time on the proposals to withdraw registration service provision in some locations and this will all be considered as part of the consultation.

“All the feedback will be collated and used as important information for councillors as they consider how we can continue to provide a high-quality service whilst ensuring it provides value for money.”

Members of the public can give feedback on the proposed closure by post or e-mail.

For more information and to take part in the online survey visit lincolnshire.gov.uk.

The closing date for comments is October 31.