COUPLES will soon be able to get married in Andover Library, Hampshire County Council has revealed.

The town’s register office hosted at Beech Hurst is due to move into the refurbished Chantry Centre spot as a way to have library services and register office appointments “all under one roof”.

Council chiefs say a facility to hold a small marriage or civil partnership ceremony will be made available.

On hearing the news at an Andover Town Council meeting on Thursday last week, Andover town councillor Andy Fitchet said: “That’s a stupid idea. You’ll have to walk past Poundstretcher!”

Andover West county councillor Zilliah Brooks added: “I don’t know how many people would want to. Do you get the car up the High Street? Is the bride going to walk from the car park?”

Councillor Katherine Bird also expressed concern over the relocation of the Beech Hurst premises which she said gives a “level of privacy” for residents going to register a death rather than having to go into the centre of a “busy, bustling town”.

She added: “People that would need to register bereavement will have to park at the Chantry Centre or wherever, come through to enter a very public space.”

Hampshire County Council’s recreation and heritage boss, Councillor Seán Woodward, said: “Integrating services ensures that they are convenient and relevant as possible to residents.

“For example, those registering the birth of their baby, can also sign their little ones up as a library member at the same time - allowing parents to receive membership information and resources to help support their child’s early days.

“It also ensures that we get the best value for money for Hampshire taxpayers by utilising space in our buildings.

“It is envisaged that a facility to hold a small marriage/civil partnership ceremony will be available at the library. There are a large number of approved venue locations in and around Andover, Basingstoke, Winchester and Romsey which can be used in the meantime.”