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Agenda and minutes

Venue: Remote Meeting - This meeting is being held remotely via Microsoft Teams. View directions

Contact: Lucy Gladders  03000 269 712

Media

Items
No. Item

1.

Substitute Members

Minutes:

There were no substitute Members.

2.

Apologies for absence

Minutes:

There were no apologies for absence.

3.

Minutes of the Meeting held on 7 October 2020 pdf icon PDF 226 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 7 October 2020 were agreed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

4.

Declarations of Interest, if any.

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

5.

Performance and Operational Report pdf icon PDF 7 MB

Report of the Bereavement Services Manager & Registrar

Minutes:

The Joint Committee considered a report of the Bereavement Services Manager and Registrar which provided an update relating to performance and other operational matters (for copy see file of Minutes).

 

The Bereavement Services Manager and Registrar reported that during the period 1 September 2020 to 31 December 2020, 485 cremations had been undertaken compared to 474 in the comparable period last year, an increase of 11. Further details were reported in respect of Direct Cremations – Attended (no service) and Direct Cremations – Unattended (no service) and it was explained that during the period 1 April 2020 and 31 December 2020, 85 Direct Cremations – Unattended (no service) had been carried out and charged in line with the new charges introduced in April 2019.

 

With regards to the sale of memorial plaques, the number and value sold was 29/ £8,516 compared to 21 / £6516 in the same period last year, which was an increase of 8 / £2,000 year on year.

 

Moving on to discuss staffing, it was reported that staff continued to face additional pressures as direct result of COVID-19, however high levels of service had been maintained  throughout and the Bereavement Services Manager and Registrar asked that his personal thanks to those staff be recorded. It was further reported that due a request from a member of staff to be considered for ER/VR, options would be presented for consideration by the Joint Committee to ensure that the service maintained a robust contingency for the future.

 

Moving on to regular updates, the Bereavement Services Manager and Registrar advised that an application for the 2021 Green Flag Award would be submitted as in previous years and any update on progress would be reported to a future meeting. In addition, with regard to the Recycling of Metals Scheme it was reported that collections in 2020 had resulted in an additional round of nominations being made available. As reported at the last meeting a cheque for £10,000 had been sent to Willowburn Hospice. The second organisation nominated was Age UK.

 

Moving on to operational matters the Bereavement Services Manager and Registrar provided details regarding the cleaning services agreement with Durham County Council. It was reported that as a direct result of COVID-19 the Service Level Agreement had not been reviewed in April 2020. However, the services provided continued to operate during this time and it was therefore now proposed that a revised SLA for the period April 2020 to March 2022, costing £7,722 per year be approved.

 

In relation to the replacement of cremators, the Joint Committee were informed that the temporary cremator continued to operate well and had been invaluable to the service during the pandemic. Recent emission testing of all three cremators (x2 ATI and x1 Temporary) had taken place and whilst the temporary cremator had passed, the two ATI cremators had not. Discussions were now ongoing with Environmental Health as to the next steps.

 

As discussed at previous meetings the order had now been placed for the two  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.

6.

Financial Monitoring Report - Position at 31/12/20, with Projected Outturn at 31/03/21 pdf icon PDF 274 KB

Joint Report of the Corporate Director of Neighbourhoods and Climate Change and Interim Corporate Director of Resources and Treasurer to the Joint Committee.

Minutes:

The Joint Committee considered a joint report of the Corporate Director of Neighbourhoods and Climate Change and Interim Corporate Director Resources which  provided details of the provisional outturn position for 2020/21 and the projected level of reserves and balances at 31 March 2021 (for copy see file of Minutes).

 

The Finance Manager Neighbourhoods and Climate Change provided a summary of the significant variances highlighted within the report noting that the projected revenue outturn was a surplus (before transfers to reserves and distribution of surpluses to partner authorities ) of £215,514 against a budgeted surplus of £441,680, £226,167 less than the budgeted position. The principle reason for this being the procurement of a temporary cremator in year which was not budgeted.  

 

With regards to the earmarked reserves, it was reported that in line with the Reserve Policy, a transfer to the General Reserve of £11,813 was required. This resulted in a net transfer from the Cremator Replacement Reserve of £161,300.  The Finance Manager Neighbourhoods and Climate Change therefore reported that the retained reserves of the MCJC at 31 March 2021 were forecast to be £435,066 along with a General Reserve of £298,328, giving a forecast total reserves and balances position of £733,394 at the year end.

 

Resolved: That the content of the report be noted.

7.

2021/22 Revenue Budget pdf icon PDF 325 KB

Joint Report of the Corporate Director of Neighbourhoods and Climate Change and Interim Corporate Director of Resources and Treasurer to the Joint Committee

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Joint Committee considered a joint report of the Corporate director of Neighbourhoods and Climate Change and Interim Corporate Director of Resources and Treasurer to the Joint Committee which set out proposals with regards to the 2021/11 revenue budgets for the Mountsett Crematorium (for copy see file of Minutes).

 

The Finance Manager Neighbourhoods and Climate Change explained that the 2021/22 budget had been developed with the Bereavement Services Manager and Registrar, taking into account the changes to Fees and Charges and the revised SLA as agreed in earlier reports, the 2021/22 forecast outturn position and known budget pressures in the coming year.

 

Resolved:

 

That the Joint Committee note and approve the budget proposals contained within the report and that the forecast level of reserves and balances at 31 March 2022 be noted.

 

 

 

 

8.

Provision of Support Services 2021/22 pdf icon PDF 143 KB

Joint Report of the Corporate Director of Neighbourhoods and Climate Change and Interim Corporate Director of Resources and Treasurer to the Joint Committee

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Joint Committee considered a joint report of the Corporate Director of Neighbourhoods and Climate Change and Interim Corporate Director of Resources and Treasurer to the Joint Committee which outlined the proposed Service Level Agreement (SLA) for Support Service provision by Durham County Council to the Mountsett Crematorium Joint Committee for the period April 2021 to March 2022 (for copy see file of Minutes).

 

Resolved:

 

That the Service Level Agreement for the year 2021/22 be approved.

9.

Fees and Charges 2021/22 pdf icon PDF 160 KB

Joint Report of the Corporate Director of Neighbourhoods and Climate Change and Interim Corporate Director of Resources and Treasurer to the Joint Committee

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Joint Committee considered a joint report of the Corporate Director Neighbourhoods and Climate Change and Interim Corporate Director of Resources and Treasurer to the Joint Committee which set out details of the proposed fees and charges for the Mountsett Crematorium for 2021/22 (for copy of report see file of Minutes).

 

The Finance Manager Neighbourhoods and Climate Change explained that the report sought to increase the fees and charges as shown at Appendix 2 of the report by £20 (2.8%) per cremation from £720 to £740. Further small changes to fees were detailed within paragraphs 13 and 14 of the report, however, advised that the majority of fees would remain at the same levels as 2020/21.

 

Resolved:

 

(i)             That the content of the report be noted and that the proposed fees and charges be approved and effective from 1 April 2021, to include a £20 increase per cremation from £720 to £740.

(ii)           That the proposed fees and charges are incorporated into the 2021/22 budget.

 

 

10.

Exclusion of the Public

Minutes:

That under Section 100(A)(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the public be excluded from the meeting for the following items of business on the grounds that they involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraphs 3 and 5 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Act.

11.

Minutes of the meeting held on 7 October 2020

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on & October were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

 

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Durham County Council
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Durham
County Durham
DH1 5UL
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