Cemetery Minutes 21/6/16

PONTELAND TOWN COUNCIL

CEMETERY COMMITTEE

21 June 2016

Councillor C Rawlings (Chairman)

Present – Councillors Mrs C Caisley and R G Ramsay

Councillor P Cowey arrived at 11.10 a.m. for the latter part of the meeting

  1. Apologies for Absence

An apology for absence was received from Councillor Mrs C Greenwell.

 

  1. Election of Chairman 2016-17

RESOLVED – Councillor Carl Rawlings was appointed Chairman of the Committee for 2016-17. This was in accordance with Standing Orders.

 

  1. Election of Vice Chairman 2016-17

RESOLVED – Councillor R Ramsay was elected Vice Chairman of the Committee for 2016-17.

 

  1. Minutes of last meeting

Copies of the minutes of the last meeting held on 25 February 2016 had been circulated and were approved.

 

  1. Matters Arising

(i)         Headstone Survey

It was suggested that the contractor who looked after the Cemetery would be asked to carry out a stability exercise alongside Councillor Ramsay.

Any major issues would be noted and letters would be sent out to families either from NCC or PTC. This was agreed.

Councillor Mrs Caisley referred to one particular headstone that did not appear to be on a concrete plinth and she agreed to send a photograph to the Clerk who would in turn ask NCC to examine and write to the family if necessary.

 

(ii)        Records meeting/presentation re digital records

The Clerk agreed to contact the company with a view to having a presentation of their product.

 

It was also becoming urgent to arrange a meeting at the NCC offices to view the records in order to determine plot availability etc.

 

(iii)       Decoration on graves

It was reported that it had not been possible to have a meeting with NCC as requested.

The Clerk reported that a PTC contractor spent time in the Cemetery each week clearing dead flowers, decorations etc from graves.

It was agreed that each case should be dealt with on a one by one basis.

 

 

 

  1. Landscaping proposals

A report relating to the landscaping proposals for the Cemetery had been circulated.

The Committee was reminded that all members had been asked to comment on the proposals and four comments had been received.

Two Councillors had queried the need for a toilet facility and this had been removed from the proposals.

Members agreed to formally adopt the landscaping contract and to seek quotes for the work. Contract documentation would be prepared.  Companies would be asked to quote for the work in packages and informed that the Council may not go ahead with all of the work at once and that this could be in phases.

Approval of the landscaping work had an impact on the woodland burials as it would be necessary to withdraw tree provision from the service as it was planned to create a woodland area within this part of the Cemetery rather than regimented rows of trees. This would mean an alteration to the fee structure.

Discreet flat nameplates would be provided and the individual plots needed to be marked and defined as part of the contract.   This should make it possible to pre-purchase woodland plots.  It was also suggested that the burial of ashes in the woodland area should be allowed.

The Clerk suggested arranging a meeting with the appropriate NCC officers to outline the proposals to them and it was agreed this should take place within a month.

As the Cemetery was nearing capacity it was suggested that consideration should be given to reducing fees for say 5 years in the woodland area to encourage greater usage. Councillor Mrs Caisley offered to visit both local undertakers to gauge whether this would be an attractive option for customers.  She would report back as soon as possible and this would be discussed at the next meeting.

It was agreed that persons buried in the woodland section would be able to have their name on the memorial wall in that area.

Policies were required for the memorial wall in the garden area and for the scattering of ashes in the garden area. These items would be deferred to a future meeting after the meeting with NCC had been held.

It was suggested that consideration should be given to the employment of a part time contractor to work one day per week in the Cemetery to carry out routine maintenance tasks. The provision of a ride on mower was also suggested as this could be used elsewhere in the area.  The engagement of a contractor would in all probability lead to a reduction in the SLA payment made to NCC.

 

RESOLVED –

(i)         The landscaping scheme be formally adopted.

(ii)        That contract documentation be prepared and quotes be sought for the work

in packages.

(iii)       The provision of a tree in the woodland area be withdrawn.

(iv)       That flat nameplates be provided in the woodland area and the individual

plots be marked and defined.

(v)        Subject to discussions with NCC the Pre-purchase of woodland plots and burial of ashes in the woodland area be agreed.

(vi)       A meeting be arranged with NCC as soon as possible.

(vii)      Those people buried in the woodland section be allowed to have their

name marked on the memorial wall in that area.

(viii)     Consideration of policies regarding the memorial wall in the garden

area and the scattering of ashes be deferred pending discussions at

the meeting with NCC.

(ix)       Consideration of the employment of a part-time contractor be discussed

at a future meeting.

 

  1. Conference report

A report had been circulated regarding the conference attended by the Chairman and Vice Chairman on 27 April 2016.

 

Discussion had taken place at the event about involving the community and it was suggested that the Council should liaise with St Mary’s and the Holy Saviour churches regarding their volunteer clean up sessions.

 

The Clerk expressed some concern about the logistics of this and it was agreed that initial discussions should take place subject to a further report being discussed at a future meeting.

 

Details of possible grant making bodies had also been discussed at the Conference and it was suggested that the Clerk should send a standard letter to these organisations to find out what funds were available and for what purpose.

 

RESOLVED –

(i)         The report be accepted.

(ii)        Initial discussions take place with the churches outlined above subject to

a further report being submitted to a future meeting.

(iii)       The Clerk be requested to send a letter to the grant making bodies

to find out availability of funds and their purpose.

 

  1. Financial Update

The Clerk provided a verbal update for Members regarding the Cemetery funds.

At the end of 2015-16 the sum of £62,687 had been carried forward in respect of the Cemetery. Income for the last two quarters of 2015-16 had only recently been received in the sum of £8735.00.  The sum of £1299.23 had also recently been received from NCC in respect of double charging for 2015-16.

There had not been any income received from NCC in respect of the Cemetery for this financial year as yet although small amounts had been received in respect of memorial trees etc.

 

RESOLVED – The information be received.

 

 
 

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