Agenda item

Crematorium Matters

Report by the Crematorium Manager (attached).


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


i)          Staffing Matters


It was noted that no appointment had been made to the Bereavement

Administrator post following interviews and would be re-advertised.


ii)         Metals Recycling Charity Award


It was noted:


That Families in Grief had been awarded £12,000 and that North Devon Hospice were currently the next anticipated nominee.


All ‘reserve list charities’, previously on the award rota, had been written to seeking re-application requiring strong evidence of their bereavement support.


The current rota was:


North Devon Hospice


Children’s Hospice SW

Families in Grief


Re-applications had been received from:


  • Children’s Holiday Foundation
  • Over and Above –bereavement support unit.


It was agreed that:


a)         That no additions be made to the existing rota list.

b)         That further information/clarity be sought regarding the Over and above Bereavement support unit project.


iii)        Crematorium Figures


The Cremation figures were noted.


iv)        Garden Improvements


It was noted that the Rowan Exit Sails had been installed.

v)         Damage to Crematorium

It was noted that 3 incidents had taken place over the space of 10 days which involved 5 skylights being broken, significant damage to the roof and an attempt to break into the gardener’s shed – well over £20,000 of damage in total. A further incident a few days later did not cause any significant damage.

The use of anti-climb paint, additional security patrols, a roof alarm system and CCTV had brought a stop to the incidents. Police enquiries were in hand. An insurance claim would be made in relation to the damage and the

CCTV/prevention works would be paid for from site maintenance budget.


The Committee recorded its thanks to the resident who contacted the Police.

vi)        Larkbear Development – Traffic Management

It was noted that the Gratton Way/Old Torrington Road Bus Gate had been referred back to the North Devon Highways and Traffic Orders Committee on 27th June 2022. It was decided to implement the bus gate move as originally advertised, meaning all traffic to and from the crematorium would be via Gratton Way once the order was implemented. The timescales for implementation were not known.


vii)       Phase B works (garage store/memorial room)


It was noted that following the Manager’s update at the Joint Committee

meeting on 4th February 2022 regarding the consultancy work and feasibility study,  a planning application  had been submitted . A copy of the ‘Elevations Plan’ had been previously circulated. It was proposed to include a ‘hearse lay-by’ at the entrance in light of the Larkbear Development bus gate decision, though this may result in the loss of a single disabled bay.

Once planning consent had been obtained it was intended to proceed in

accordance with the Joint Committee’s decision to tender on the basis of the ‘minimum car-park works’ option (c).

To date, expenditure (consultancy fees relating to design, feasibility, planning

application, ground suitability assessment works and reinstatement) amounted to £17,271 plus vat.


To enable the tender timescales to be finalised (tender likely to completed

before next meeting on 4th November as per programme tracker (previously circulated) approval was sought to proceed to award the contract to the best

value compliant tender subject to the costs being within the budget (including fees and contingency costs).


It was agreed:


A)        That the expenditure on consultancy fees relating to design, feasibility,

planning application, ground suitability assessment works and

reinstatement of £17,271 plus vat be funded through the Phase B



B)        That authority be delegated to the Crematorium Manager to award the contract to the best value compliant tender subject to the costs being within the budget (including fees and contingency costs).


viii)      s106 Memorial Garden Works


It was noted that the crematorium had access to some North Devon Council S106 funds (£39,703.60) which could be used ‘towards the purchase and layout of land to provide an extension to the memorial gardens and improvement and refurbishment of the memorial gardens at the North Devon Crematorium’. The funds were available to use until July 2024.


If approved, Phase B works would involve the demolition of the garages at the entrance. This area would require landscaping and provided the opportunity to create an outside waiting area as well as improving the visual appearance as visitors arrive. Such works could provide seating, cover from inclement weather and perhaps a water feature to create a welcoming space for visitors whilst they waited for the service to start. An application had been submitted to release

funds for garden improvements.


ix)        Medical Referee


It was noted that the National implementation of the Medical Examiner role had been set for 1st April 2023, eliminating the Medical Referee Role. The Medical Referee role would, however, continue for an unspecified period on a consulting basis to iron out any ‘teething issues’.


Supporting documents: