Bath and North East Somerset

Registration Service


Updated April 2017


1.  Plan Maintenance

2.  Distribution

3.  Continuity Team

4.  Introduction

5.  Business Impact Analysis

6.  Initial Response Actions

7.  Recovery Actions

Business Continuity Plan for Bath & North East Somerset Registration Service.

Approved by: Ian Savigar (Proper Officer and Head of Directorate).


1.  Plan Maintenance

The plan is to be reviewed annually or more frequently, following an exercise or incident.

2.  Distribution

The Plan will be held at the following locations:-

Copy 1 - The Register Office, The Guildhall, Bath.

Copy 2 - Lewis House, Bath by The Proper Officer.

Copy 3 - Midsummer Norton – Register Office Outstation.

Copy 4 - The Royal United Hospital, Bath, Register Office Outstation.

Copy 5 - Keynsham – Register Office Outstation.

Copy 6 - Emergency Planning Office, The Guildhall, Bath.

Copy 7 - Property Services Management, The Guildhall, Bath.

The Manager responsible for this plan must ensure that all relevant staff have copies and that updates are inserted in ALL copies when issued.

Holders of the Plan

Title / Location
Ian Savigar / Proper Officer and Customer Services Director Superintendent Registrar / Lewis House, Bath
Jacqueline Bennett / Registration Service Manager and Superintendent Registrar / The Guildhall, High Street, Bath
Cindy Aze / Registrar Registration Team Leader / The Guildhall, High Street, Bath
Anna Walshe / Registration Team Leader / The Guildhall, High Street, Bath
Stephen Bell / Emergency Management Officer / The Guildhall, High Street, Bath
Alison Hayes / Facilities Manager / The Guildhall, High Street,

Continuity Team and Essential Staff

Name / Role/Job Title / Contact Telephone
Ian Savigar / Director of Customer Services and Proper Officer for Registration Service / Office: 01225 477327
Mobile: 07737 866921
Simon O’Neil / HM Account Manager of Registration for the General Register Office / Office: 01633 892699
Jacqueline Bennett / Registration Service Manager and Superintendent Registrar / Office:01225 477897
Home:01225 465253
Mobile:07717 884649
Cindy Aze / Registrar and Registration Team Leader / Office: 01225 477886
Home: 01179 708 036
Mobile: 07734 303905
Anna Walshe / Registration Team Leader / Office: 01225 477305
Home: 01225 426058
Mobile: 07950 026624
Alison Hayes / Facilities Manager / Office: 01225 477952
Stephen Bell / Emergency Planning Officer / Office:01225 477679
Out of Hours:
01225 477477

3.  Continuity Team

4.  Introduction

Bath and North East Somerset Council has a definitive Business Continuity Plan which covers the Registration Service. This plan is to outline the specifics required to enable the continuation of the services provided by the Registration Service in Bath in time of disruption due to pandemic, flood or damage to the building.


To provide:

·  An overview of Business Continuity Management

·  Guidance on the Business Impact Analysis process

·  Recommended mitigating actions

·  Initial response and longer term recovery checklists

·  The means to record information required to support the response and the recovery of the Service.

Business Continuity Management

Why is this important?

·  It requires an analysis of the Registration Service’s functions and processes, so that if an event occurred causing extensive and prolonged disruption, decisions can be made about what must continue, what can be reduced or stopped, recovery timescale and resources required.

·  It identifies potential threats to the Service and the impacts those threats may have.

·  By identifying appropriate measures, managers and staff are better equipped to respond to disruptive events when they occur.

·  The Civil Contingencies Act 2004 places a duty on Councils and their departments to have plans in place to ensure critical services can continue to be provided in the event of an emergency.

Management Responsibilities

The Service Manager

·  To provide the Proper Officer, Emergency Planning Department, Midsomer Norton Outstation, Keynsham Outstation and Royal United Hospital Outstation with copies of the original plan plus amendments as and when they occur.

·  To keep the Proper Officer and Emergency Planning Department informed of progress and planning.

·  To ensure information is regularly reviewed and updated and amendments provided to the other parties who hold copies of the plan.

Planning Considerations

It is recognised that full restoration of all services may only be possible over a protracted period of time. The service needs to consider the absence of large numbers of staff over an extended period, particularly, but not exclusively, in the event of a human influenza pandemic.

5.  Business Impact Analysis

Disruption Analysis

The Service Manager assesses the impact of disruption to services, functions, and processes for which she is responsible, including those required to support the Council’s response to an emergency.

The Service Manager will also need to assess the impact of probable increased demand on the service for up to 16 weeks.

In criticality order these are defined as:-

Service - A product that is delivered (i.e. registrations of

Births, Deaths, Still Births, Notices for Marriages Notices for Civil Partnerships, and Marriage registration. Marriage, Civil Partnership, Conversion and Citizenship Ceremonies. Non statutory ceremonies and Change of Name Service).

Function - The action that is carried out, e.g. enabling a

burial/cremation to take place.

Process - An activity or sequence of activities that must be

carried out to deliver or provide the service e.g.

completing the registration and issuing the certificates.

Threat Analysis

The Service Manager assesses the impact of potential threats that could lead to disruption to services, functions and processes for which they are responsible, including those required for supporting the Council’s response to an emergency.

These could include:

·  Temporary loss of up to 30% staff for up to 16 weeks.

·  Permanent loss of key staff.

·  Access to premises denied for an unspecified period of time.

·  Loss of premises.

·  Loss of Information Technology – network systems, email, hardware for up to 7 days.

·  Loss of telephone communications for up to 7 days.

·  Loss of electricity, gas, water for up to 7 days.

·  Loss of documents and information.

The likelihood of any of these threats occurring is difficult to quantify therefore the risk assessment only scores the potential impact if any of these threats were to occur.

Planning Assumptions

It is assumed that in order to reduce the likelihood of a disruptive event occurring, actions pertaining to the following council policies will be adhered to.

·  Fire safety and appropriate fire detection and fire prevention measures are in place.

·  Premises and site security and alternative arrangements are available. to provide service through other council offices.

·  Information Technology security is maintained.

·  The maintenance of inventories of hardware and software and other business systems and major items of equipment.

Business Continuity, Risk Management and Business Planning

Significant risks which cannot be managed in the short-term or without significant resources will be recorded on the Council’s Risk Register to ensure that they are managed effectively.

6.  Initial Response Actions

The main causes of disruption to the service are identified as:

Loss of staff (due to possible illness e.g. pandemic flu).

Loss of premises through fire/flood/terrorist attack.

Loss of IT equipment through theft/fire/flood/terrorist attack.

Loss of stock and registers through theft/fire/flood/terrorist attack.

Loss of Staff

An analysis has been undertaken to provide emergency cover if up to 30% of staff are unavailable at any one time due to illness or inability to travel to work due to disruptions to transport caused by a major incident.

Local staff have been identified and contact details held by those named at the start of this continuity plan. A working rota pattern has been established to try to cover the main office in Bath, and outstations at Midsomer Norton, Keynsham and the Royal United Hospital. Birth and Death declarations in an emergency could be undertaken by neighbouring districts and then forwarded to this district when contingency plans are in place to conclude the actual registrations.

Loss of Premises

If only one area is affected, e.g. the Registrar’s office at the Guildhall Bath, appointments can be tailored to cope with a reduction in service. Midsomer Norton and Keynsham offices could be opened up full-time to increase appointment availability and staffed by supplementary staff if required.

If the general office is affected, calls can be diverted to Council Connect, secure work could be transferred to Guildhall basement Office on agreement with Operations Manager and other staff can hotdesk in Lewis House and Guildhall first floor. Archived certificates would not be produced for family research purposes. Only those required for legal reasons would be produced by staff until premises re-instated.

If the building is lost the Proper Officer, Mr Ian Savigar would be contacted to arrange for the Council’s Emergency Planning Department to find alternative accommodation for the Register Office for the purposes of registering births, still-births and deaths and for taking of notices for marriages and civil partnerships such as One Stop Shop at Lewis House. The General Register Office-GRO, would have to be contacted to provide waiver of waiting period for marriages and civil partnerships to be conducted in another premise identified as a temporary Register Office. All non-statutory requirements may have to be curtailed or suspended for a period of time. Once arrangements are agreed the public would be notified via local media such as television and radio, and via the council website. GRO would be notified of the new venue for the Register Office. With regards to replacing the Guildhall for ceremonies, as an approved premise, fresh notices would have to be given for a new venue of couples choosing, and a waiver sought from the General Registrar to reduce the waiting time. This would be required for every couple who planned to marry in the Guildhall during the period when the building was out of action. The earliest the ceremony could take place would be the following day and there is a waiver fee payable of £28.00 per person.

Loss of Information Technology Equipment

If equipment is stolen or damaged due to fire, flood or loss of building, the Emergency Planning Officer would instigate supply of emergency equipment including laptops. Manual registrations can take place until information technology equipment is installed and back capture can take place when systems are restored.

Loss of Stock and/or Registers

The General Register Office, GRO would be contacted immediately stating what has been stolen, lost or destroyed. The Superintendent Registrar would use the report procedure outlined on GRO website. Manual forms for registrations would be made available from surrounding districts. Applications for certificates could be made by the public directly to GRO. The Strong room is however fire proof in accordance to GRO regulations, but being based in the basement of the building and could possibly be liable to flooding. The Proper Officer is aware of the issue. The council could therefore be held legally responsible for any loss or damage of registers and secure stock due to flood.
7. Recovery Actions

Assumptions and scenario

A pandemic is the worldwide spread of a disease, with outbreaks or epidemics occurring in many countries and in most regions of the world.

The timing of a pandemic is uncertain. A reasonable worst case scenario is for a cumulative clinical attack rate of 50% of the population over 15 weeks with a case fatality rate of possibly 0.37% to 2.5%. This is anticipated to be in the region of 40,000 deaths per month, nationally.

It is estimated that staff absenteeism caused by the virus at the peak of a pandemic could rise to anywhere between 15-35%. This is in addition to the normal absenteeism rates and absenteeism caused by other reasons such as staff needing to care for dependants who may contract the virus.

It is presumed that the pandemic will occur in two waves, each wave lasting about 12-16 weeks and will be approximately 3 and 9 months apart.

Registration Service Prioritisation
1 / Death Registrations
2 / Birth Registrations
3 / Marriages/CPs coming to end of legal notice period (may be restricted to couple plus
2 witnesses)
4 / Citizenship ceremonies
5 / Notices of marriage/CP and ceremonies
6 / Certificate applications
7 / Non-statutory ceremonies
8 / Family history searches
Plan to minimise impact
1 / Contact GRO General Section to ascertain what statutory functions could
be suspended or extended. Advice to be sought on when and if remote registrations
can be taken. Tel: 0300 123 1837.
2 / Contact the Emergency Planning Officer, local Inspector and neighbouring
Superintendent Registrars to establish how they are coping and to offer or ask for help
as appropriate. Request the seconding staff from or releasing staff to other districts to
act as deputies.
List of local offices and phone numbers attached made available.
GRO Account Manager’s contact details and Emergency Planning office details in continuity essential staff list.
3 / Follow Cabinet Office guidelines in respect of working practices (COBRA), multiple
death registrations and extended opening hours.
4 / Advertise extended opening hours, venues and new contact telephone numbers via television, radio, local press and website.
5 / Contact all seconded staff to inform them of developments and identify
where they will work from.
e.g. Guildhall, Midsomer Norton, Keynsham Offices, Libraries, other Register Offices,
and other premises made available.
6 / Calls rerouted if required and core staff used for taking calls.
7 / Medical certificates scanned or emailed through from hospitals, GP surgeries and from doctors to the main office. Core staff to confirm to registrars that certificates have been received and information relayed to enable registration to proceed.

Surrounding Districts

Name / S.R. / Address / Contact Numbers
Bristol / Mrs Elizabeth Matthews / Bristol Register Office
The Old Council House
Corn Street
BS1 1JG / Tel: 01179038888
Direct: 01179039068
Fax: 01179038877
North Somerset / Mr Richard Tucker / North Somerset Register Office
41 The Boulevard
Weston Super Mare
North Somerset
BS23 1PG / Tel: 01934 627552
Fax: 01934 412014
South Gloucestershire / Mrs Chris Benstock / South Gloucestershire Register Office
South Gloucestershire Council Offices
Castle Street
BS35 1HF / Tel: 01454863140
Fax: 01454863145
Wiltshire / Mrs Alison Manning / Wiltshire Register Office
County Hall
BA14 8EZ / Tel: 01225 713007
Fax: 01225 713096

Pandemic Planning