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).
In relation to performance, the Bereavement Services Manager and Registrar reported there were 354 cremations undertaken during the period 1 June 2022 to 31 August 2022, compared to 345 in the comparable period last year. There were nine additional cremations undertaken in the period June to August 2022 compared to the same period last year. The sale of memorial plaques had decreased, with eight fewer memorials being sold in comparison to the same period the previous year. It was noted that the first 10 year renewal for plaques, as agreed in 2012, had come forward, and was included in the memorial figures.
Mountsett Crematorium had successfully obtained the Green Flag Award for the
eleventh year running and had been awarded Gold Star Status in the Institute of
Cemetery and Crematorium Management Accreditation. In relation to the Recycling of Metals Scheme, a cheque for £12,000 was presented to Children’s Cancer North on 2 September 2022 by the Chair and the Vice Chair of the Joint Committee.
The Bereavement Services Manager and Registrar noted the Service Asset Management Plan (SAMP) was attached at Appendix 3 to the report, setting out the four priorities of maintenance for the Crematorium: Priority 1; Priority 2; Priority 3; and longer-term works.
In response to a question from Councillor D Bradford relating to overtime, the Bereavement Services Manager and Registrar noted that there were still issues relating to staffing, with some casual staff required to ensure cover for sickness and holidays. Councillor D Bradford asked at looking at the cost of overtime to give a comparison, especially given the pressures on the existing staff. The Finance Manager, P Curran noted figures could be looked at, with the Chair noting it would be useful to have figures at the next meeting for the next few months.
Councillor M Walton noted that memorial sales were down and asked for any feedback on the decrease. The Bereavement Services Manager and Registrar noted that there was the issue of cost of living crisis due to families not being able to afford plaques , with some families choosing not to renew plaques after 10 years as an example.
Councillor P Heaviside asked for further information regarding resomation. The Bereavement Services Manager and Registrar explained it was an alternative process to cremation that used alkaline and water to turn a shrouded body into ash, taking around 4 hours. He added that he would report back to the Joint Committee on progress in this area.
The Chair noted the honour in presenting the cheques from the recycling of metals scheme and asked as the promoting of the scheme and the benefits to local charities from the scheme. The Bereavement Services Manager and Registrar noted that conversations at ICCM Conference were ongoing in terms of promotion and splitting amounts into smaller contributions.
(a) That the current performance of the crematorium be noted;
(b) That the current position with regards to staffing be noted;
(c) That the updated position with regards to the Green Flag scheme be noted;
(d) That the updated position with regards to the recycling of metals scheme be noted;
(e) That the content of the Service Asset Management Plan attached at Appendix 2, which will be factored into budget planning in 2022/23 and beyond be noted and agreed.
(f) That figures relating to cost of overtime and staffing be brought to the next meeting of the Joint Committee.