Weddings price hike ahead of Town Hall switch
PUBLISHED: 07:52 09 June 2014
Copyright Archant Ltd
WEDDINGS will be offered at Weston Town Hall from the autumn when the register office closes - and although the move has been implemented to save North Somerset Council money, it is set to hike up fees too.
Despite concern that the Town Hall will not prove to be a popular wedding venue, North Somerset Council has announced room hiring prices will rise by up to 60 per cent.
The change will mean visitors can report crimes, pick up a library book, enquire about benefits and get married all under the same roof.
Cost-cutting measures mean the register office in the Boulevard will close as the council looks to save about £10million through ‘much more efficient, cheaper and accessible offices for staff and residents’.
Cllr Mike Bell, leader of the council’s Liberal Democrat group, voiced his objections to the plan when it was first announced in 2012, querying whether the Town Hall was a desirable wedding venue and asked whether couples will be queueing up to marry in ‘the dark and dingy old council chamber’.
However when the switch happens in October, fees will rise at the same time.
Hiring the Hutton Suite will cost couples £95-125, while the Old Council Chamber – where North Somerset councillors sit to hear licensing matters – will cost £115-145.
The register office currently costs couples £80-91, depending on whether it is a weekday or weekend booking.
A council spokesman defended the price rise, saying: “The two rooms which will be available when the register office moves into the Town Hall will be of a far superior quality than the one room used at the moment and the fee has been set to reflect this.”