A plan for town halls to take over the civil registry role from central government could work in Castletown, Peel and Ramsey.
It was announced in July that the island’s three district civil registry offices will close, meaning that residents will have to travel to Douglas to register births, deaths, civil marriages and civil partnerships.
Ramsey’s office closed on September 4, with Castletown due to follow on December 31 and Peel on March 1 next year.
But Isle of Man Newspapers reported this week that Ramsey Town Commissioners has informed the chief registrar that it is willing to step in to provide the full registrar service, paid for with rates, to counter concerns that elderly people in particular would be required to travel to Douglas at a time of loss.
Now chief registrar Stephen Cregeen has written to both Castletown and Peel Commissioners asking if they would want to do the same.
He told them: ‘It is envisaged the proposals could work, not only for Ramey Town Commissioners but also for the Commissioners of Peel and Castletown respectively.’
Castletown’s town clerk Eddie Convery said: ‘We are receptive to the possibility. We are certainly very interested and are looking into it.
‘We will have to do some research into the implications because Ramsey is a much bigger authority with a much bigger staff. In this office we have two. We are looking at whether we could get outside resources in.’
In Peel the situation is different as the town clerk has had the additional role of registrar for many years and was paid a retainer for that duty.
Town clerk Peter Leadley said: ‘We’ve had a letter making an offer to reconsider the centralisation. In principle, the board are anxious to retain the provision of services but there are just a few issues that need to be resolved.’
The chief registrar said all staff and other costs would have to be met by the Commissioners and all fees collected would be retained by the Commissioners to offset any costs of providing the service. The chief registrar would retain an overseeing role and certified copies of registrations n would have to be supplied to Douglas Civil Registry.