Agenda and draft minutes

Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Crematorium Meeting Room - North Devon Crematorium. View directions

No. Item


Apologies for absence


Apologies were received from Councillors Christie, Denton, Harding, Johns and Lovering.




To approve the correct record of the minutes of the meeting held on 3rd November 2023 (attached). pdf icon PDF 192 KB


(i)       RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 3rd November 2023 (previously circulated) be approved as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.


(ii)       Matters Arising. There were no matters arising.



Items brought forward by the Chair


There were no items of urgency.



Declarations of Interest

Please telephone the Corporate and Community Services team to prepare a form for your signature before the meeting. Interests must be re-declared when the item is called. A declaration of interest under the Code of Conduct will be a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest, an Other Registrable Interest or a Non-Registrable Interest.  If the item directly relates to your interest you must declare the interest and leave the room for the item, save in the case of Other Registrable Interests or Non-Registrable Interests where you may first speak on the item as a member of the public if provision has been made for the public to speak.  If the matter does not directly relate to your interest but still affects it then you must consider whether you are affected to a greater extent than most people and whether a reasonable person would consider your judgement to be clouded, if you are then you must leave the room for the item (although you may speak as a member of the public if provision has been made for the public to speak) or, if you are not, then you can declare the interest but still take part).



There were no declarations of interest declared.



Crematorium Matters. pdf icon PDF 472 KB

Report by the Crematorium Manager (attached).



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


i)        Trainee Manager: Update


It was noted that as previously reported, the manager had indicated his

intention to retire at the end of the 2024/25 financial year, facilitated by reducing

working days over two years to enable recruitment of a trainee manager to take over from 1/4/2025. North Devon Council SMT had approved the business case to enable the process to move to the advertising of the post internally within both North Devon and Torridge Councils with the aim of the trainee post being filled by 1/4/2024. It was anticipated that the ‘pay-back’ for the associated costs would be within two-years (from 1/4/2025).


ii)        Crematorium Figures


The Cremation figures were noted. The actual figure for January was 154.


iii)       Direct Cremations


It was noted that the cremation numbers for the 9-months of operation were:

Direct Cremations

April 2022 – December 2022

April 2023-December 2023




and that 9% were non-resident Direct Cremations


iv)       Crematorium Organist


It was noted that the Crematorium Organist Contract had been awarded until February 2027 with an option to extend by up to additional 2 years. The new rate would be £25 per service.


v)       Phase B Works (Garage/Memorial Room)

It was noted that the building works had been completed. A number of

payments still remained outstanding (including the retention), but the final total was expected to be close to the projected budget.


vi)       Medical Referee


It was noted that on 1st April 2024 legislation removed the need to scrutinise

any medical information as part of the crematorium’s application process. Despite this, the Medical Referee role had been unexpectedly retained whilst the Government consulted on how cremations would be authorised in the future. The absence of the need for medical scrutiny strongly suggested the Medical Referee role would be replaced by a process of ‘non-medical’

crematorium staff scrutiny and authorisation.

vii)      Crematorium Solar Panels


It was noted that the Rowan chapel was constructed in 2015/16 with a

sufficiently strong roof to permit the installation of solar panels. North Devon Council intended to investigate the installation of panels at the Brynsworthy Environment Centre. It was hoped to initially obtain a specification and

anticipated cost through an engineer previously used by Torridge Council

(report cost approximately £2,000 - £3,000).


It was agreed to undertake a survey to install panels at the crematorium using the same method and at a similar cost and that the funding thereof be met from the  Budget Management Reserve to enable options and costs to be reported to the next Joint Committee meeting.


viii)     Metals Recycling Charity Award


It was noted:


That North Devon Hospice had received an award of £14,000 and that Cruse would be the next nomination in line with the current rota.


Children’s Hospice SW

Families in Grief

North Devon Hospice



The Joint Committee considered applications from the following additional charities seeking to be added to the rota:

·       Huntington's Disease Association

·       Child Bereavement  ...  view the full minutes text for item 30.


Performance Monitoring Quarter 3 2023/24. pdf icon PDF 483 KB

Report by the Treasurer (attached).



The Joint Committee noted a report by the Treasurer (previously circulated) regarding the performance for quarter 3 April to December 2023/2024.


It was noted that the invoice for gas had just been received and was considerable higher than budgeted £6,000 per month at £9,000 per month. This would affect the budgeted figures for both financial years 2023/24 and 2024/25.




2024/24 Budget, Fees and Charges. pdf icon PDF 418 KB

Report by Treasurer (attached).


Additional documents:


The Joint Committee considered and noted a report by the Treasurer (previously circulated) regarding the budget, fees and charges for 2024/2025.




(i)    That the basic Cremation charge for 2024/25 of £850 be approved as detailed in paragraph 4.4 of the report


(ii)   That the 2024/25 budget as set out in paragraph 4.1 of the report be approved.


(iii)That the fees and charges for 2024/25 as detailed in paragraph 4.6 and appendix 2 be approved.


(iv)That the distribution of surpluses for 2023/24 of £416,230 to the constituent authorities: £249,740 to North Devon Council and £166,490 to Torridge District Council be approve.


(v)  That the transfer of £100,000 to the Equipment Replacement Reserve be approved



To note the Date of the next Committee meeting.

To note that the next Crematorium Joint Committee meeting will be on Friday  7th June 2024 at 2.30 p.m.


It was noted that the next meeting would be on Friday 7th February 2024 @

2.30 p.m.