THE team that registers births, marriages and deaths in Halton has been highly rated among the best in the country by an industry watchdog.

Halton Council's registration service has been graded as a high performing district against key performance targets and national standards by the General Register Office for England and Wales on its annual assessment.

The time related indicators for registering births, deaths, marriages and civil partnerships have exceeded the set target.

Last year three members of the team passed the Registrar General’s nationally accredited programme for registration officers.

To maintain the service performance, three more registrars including a new apprentice, will be studying for two years to achieve the qualification demonstrating the commitment to raising service standards.

Halton Cllr Stef Nelson, board member for environmental services said he was very pleased with the outcome of the inspection.

Cllr Nelson said: “Halton has always been at the forefront of the national registration service and this latest inspection shows that we have not only maintained our standards, we are set to improving them even further.

"In some cases the service was above the statutory 95 per cent target rate by three per cent ensuring the registrars are amongst the best in the country."

The customer satisfaction survey for marriages is 100 per cent at Runcorn Town Hall.