Lincolnshire admin staff trained to conduct marriage ceremonies in wedding boom
More than 40 council admin staff have been trained to carry out marriage ceremonies after a post-lockdown wedding boom.
Lincolnshire County Council has conducted 1,783 marriages so far in 2021, more than double the 711 weddings in the same period last year.
Almost 2,000 ceremonies are booked for next year with 300 planned for 2023.
Councillor Sue Woolley said the lifting of Covid restrictions in July had "seen unprecedented demand on the service".
Ms Woolley, executive member for registration and celebratory services at the authority, thanked couples who had been patient as the council geared up to meet demand.
"Thanks must also go to registration and other staff from across the council who have stepped up to help us meet this short-term need. They have worked really hard in these circumstances," she added.
According to the Local Democracy Reporting Service, a report due to be presented at a council committee said the newly-trained staff would work shifts, mostly at weekends, paid by the hour.
The report said the cost of the short training course was minimal compared to hiring entirely new staff members.
It added: "The national lockdown and government road map resulted in ceremonies being heavily restricted with only emergency ceremonies taking place for the first four months of the year."
The report stated numbers started to increase through spring and summer as restrictions eased although big events did not take place until July.
Elsewhere in the report, officers said the number of deaths registered was comparable to last year, with 5,999 between January to October compared to 6,088 in 2020.
However, since July numbers have increased by 8% against last year.
Bosses expect the figure to rise even further and are making preparations to ensure the service can cope with the increased demand.
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