Agenda item

Crematorium Matters

Report by the Crematorium Manager, (attached)


The Joint Committee considered a report by the Crematorium Manager (previously circulated).


(i)         Solar Panels


It was noted that the North Devon Council surveyor working on Crematorium projects had left the authority and that this would cause delays in investigating this and other projects.


(ii)        Covid-19 Crisis Update


It was noted:


a)    That the number of mourners was now set at 30 (statutory limit) which was unlikely to change in the near future.


b)    That Post-funeral events were limited to 15 people with a local decision that a maximum of 6 people were allowed for a witnessed burial of ashes (restrictions due to narrow paths).


c)    That Government legislation in early October allowed a person confirmed as having the Covid-19 virus to travel to attend the funeral of a close relative. Following legal advice and having consulted with the Joint Committee chair, it was decided to decline access to the crematorium as it severely breached the entire safety regime of the site and placed the staff and elderly mourners in particular at great risk.


d)    That Screens had been added to the lectern and stand-alone (family eulogy) microphone to enhance the protection afforded by the current 2-metre distancing.


e)    That some internal staff distancing measures had also been introduced (additional computer, moving a shared printer, an additional rest room) to ensure that in the event a staff member tested positive the entire team would not be required to self-isolate.


f)     That currently any second wave was expected to peak in January/February 2021, but the projected ‘reasonable worst case’ projections were comfortably within the crematorium’s capacity.


g)    That the crematorium had not had any Covid-19 related funerals for over 20 weeks.


(iii)       Achievements


That an entire site/building survey was being conducted in mid-November for the first time since 1966. This would assist with any future works.


(iv)       Metals Recycling Charity Award


That Clarity had been nominated for the next award (January 2021) as previously reported.


Subsequent nomination list:


Calvert Trust

Over and Above (Cancer & Wellbeing Centre)

Families in Grief

North Devon Children’s Holiday Foundation

North Devon Hospice


Children’s Hospice SW

Over and Above (North Devon Hospital – Maternity Unit Bereavement Suite)



That no further additions would be considered prior to February 2022.


(v)        Crematorium Figures


The Cremation figures were noted.


(vi)       Garden Improvements 2020/21


It was noted that the path works would commence on 22 November. Half of the hedge removal works had been undertaken and the fencing works arranged.


(vii)      Larkbear Development – Traffic Management


It was noted that the Traffic order was being drafted but the road layout/restrictions associated with it were not known. Once published the manager would report to members of the Joint Committee and engage in the formal consultation process. The interests of mourners attending a service and the importance of the site as a local resident’s resource would be uppermost in any representations.


(viii)     Cremators – Routine Service


The Crematorium Manager reported that during last week’s routine maintenance of the cremators a problem occurred when the cremators were re-fired up with smoke being emitted causing the fire alarms to go off. The Engineer was unable to identify the problem and could not guarantee at the time that he could get them working. This affected 3 cremations. Two of the families agreed to hold the cremation/services over and the other relocated to East Devon. The problem, however, rectified itself and no complaints had been received.



Supporting documents: