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Over 2,000 West Sussex babies born over lockdown were unable to be registered till now

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The Registration Service has now started conducting birth registration appointments at certain locations across the county where they can ensure the necessary social distancing procedures are in place.   

The service anticipate that they will need to register in excess of 2,000 births in the coming months as lockdown restrictions stalled all birth registrations since the end of March.

The service respectfully ask that those parents whose babies were born in February, March or April 2020 are allowed to book their appointments first. They will give a further update when they can release bookings for May and June babies.   

Residents will be able to register births at offices in Crawley, Chichester (Willow Park), Horsham, Haywards Heath and Worthing and will need to come in for part of the appointment, but each location will have different restrictions.

To register a birth, you will first need to book an appointment online at www.westsussex.gov.uk/registerabirth

On your allocated day and time, you will need to attend the chosen office and the Registrar will telephone you to take the registration information. It is therefore very important that you have the mobile phone with you that relates to the mobile number given at the time of booking. 

The Registrar will then print the register page and invite you into the office to sign the paperwork at a table as close to the entrance as possible, with screens and other preventative measures in place.

You will then check and sign the register page in front of the Registrar and then the birth certificate can be ordered online after the appointment.

Duncan Crow, Cabinet Member for Fire and Rescue and Communities, said:

“We have really appreciated the patience of residents who have wanted to register a birth during the current pandemic. Unfortunately, due to social distancing restrictions and legislation that only allows for individuals to register a birth face to face, the Registration Service has had to follow the national guidance accordingly.

“Even though there are still some restrictions in place for the time being, the Registrars are looking forward to sharing in your joy at registering the birth of your new baby, but please be patient as they are already very busy tackling the backlog of registrations that have built up during lockdown, so they would appreciate parents’ understanding at this busy time.”

Please note that the service is not given details of new births, so will not be contacting families directly. Anyone who has had a baby during the lockdown period must book their appointment through the County Council website at: www.westsussex.gov.uk/registerabirth

Business

Nervous time for Crawley & Gatwick Pret A Manger shops as chain announces closure of 30 shops and at least 1,000 job losses

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Pret A Manger is to close 30 of its shops as it struggles to cope with the problems caused by COVID-19.

According to the food chain they had faced ‘significant operating losses’ during lockdown.

The closure puts around 1,000 jobs at risk and the chain has said it will make these closures before the end of this year whilst also reducing staff in its other locations.

Crawley has one Pret A Manager within The Martletts with several others located within Gatwick Airport itself.

It is not yet clear which shops will close but with jobs cuts to come across its shops it will be a very nervous time for Crawley’s shop staff to see if they are affected in any way.

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