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Agenda item

Mountsett Crematorium Performance and Operational Report:

Report of the Bereavement Services Manager.


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


The Bereavement Services Manager advised that 349 cremations had been undertaken during the period 1 January 2019 to 31 March 2019, in comparison to 420 in the comparable period last year, a decrease of 71 year on year. The total number of cremations in 2018/19 was 1,330 compared with 1,396 in 2017/18, a decrease of 66 year on year. However, it was noted that a prudent assumption of 1,300 cremations would be undertaken during he year resulting in the actual number being 30 more than the budgeted position and was reflected in an overachievement of cremation fee income of £18,048 in year.


Moving on, it was reported that during the period the number of value of memorials sold was 15 / £4,479 compared to 4 / £1,185 in the same period last year, a year on year increase of 11 / £3,294.


An update was then provided to the Joint Committee on operational matters. In relation to staffing, the Bereavement Services Manager advised that an appointment had now been made to the new Crematorium Attendant post and it was further proposed that in order to ensure adequate relief cremator operators were in position, a further advert be placed.


Details were then provided, with regard to the next Joint Conference of the Federation of Burial and Cremation Authorities and the Cremation Society of Great Britain to be held Monday 1 – 3 July 2019.


It was reported that a cheque for £7,000 had been received relating to the recycling of metals scheme and had been forwarded to Winston’s Wish Charity. The Great North Air Ambulance had been nominated to receive the next distribution of funds.


The Bereavement Services Manager advised that further to discussions at a previous meeting, a dedicated website for the crematorium had now been developed and required populating with relevant information. It was expected that the site would be ready to go live in June 2019 and members would be notified once this had been done.


In conclusion the Bereavement Services Manager noted that further to recommendations made by internal audit regarding a procurement exercise to be undertaken to supply entries into the Book of Remembrance in order to ensure value for money whilst maintaining quality. The procurement exercise has now been completed and the original company were successful in retaining the work at a slightly cheaper price.


Councillor Charlton asked whether there had been any long-term employee absence related to stress. The Bereavement Services Manager advised that there had not.





i)             That the current performance be noted.

ii)            That the current situation with regards to the crematorium attendant’s post be noted.

iii)           That the attendance at the Joint Conference of the Federation of Burial and Cremation Authorities be noted.

iv)           That the distribution of recycling income to the respective charity be noted.

v)            That the updated position with regard to the website development be noted.

vi)           That the continuation of the current supplier with regards to the Book of Remembrance be noted.







Supporting documents:


Democratic Services
Durham County Council
County Hall
County Durham
03000 269 714