Cemetery Committee meeting July 11th 2013 – Minutes

PONTELAND TOWN COUNCIL

CEMETERY COMMITTEE

11 July 2013

Councillor P Cowey (Chairman)

Present – Councillors R Punton and R G Ramsay

Mrs A Cryer, Mrs A McKay, Mr P Turnbull and Mr T Violet (NCC)

1.         Apologies for Absence

Apologies were received from Councillors Mrs C Caisley and C Rawlings.

2.         Update on Financial position

Mrs McKay gave out a sheet which showed income for the quarter 1 April to 30 June 2013.  This represented income of £3,956 minus the administration charge of £600.

The Clerk would need to raise an invoice for the gross amount and then NCC would invoice the Town Council for the administration charge.

RESOLVED – The information be accepted.

3.         Charges for Memorial Seats and Trees

The Town Council had retained responsibility for the provision of the above.

The County Council outlined what was included within the cost of providing seats and trees in other cemeteries.  They also charged higher prices for non residents.

The Town Council would examine this again.

4.         Maintenance/Housekeeping/Image items

A list of items discussed at the 1 July meeting had been circulated to NCC, some of which required action and some for information only as these were being carried out by PTC.

(i)         Another wheelie bin would be provided by NCC and they would be moved to

the back of the shelter.  A sign would then be erected by PTC.

(ii)        It was noted that PTC would be erecting a sign about property ownership

since April 2013.

(iii)       It was noted that the sign on the gate would be changed from ‘Ponteland’

to ‘Prestwick’ by PTC.

(iv)       It was noted that the roadside fencing from the entrance towards Prestwick

Road Ends would be replaced with a new post and wire fence by PTC.  A comment was made about clearing back of the vegetation in the roadside area and PTC would check on this and get back to the County Council with their requirements.

(v)        NCC agreed to check with former Borough Council officers as to why the

scrubland area was left in an overgrown condition.   PTC intended

that this area be cut, fencing behind the graves removed and disposed of

off site and all litter to be collected and removed.

(vi)       It was noted that the hedge beside the car park and graves in the north west

corner of the car park would be removed by PTC as there appeared to be no reason for it being there.

(vii)      It was noted that PTC were to obtain quotes to tidy up the shelter as per

agreement at the 1 July meeting.

(viii)     It was noted that two flower tubs would be placed at the entrance and one

inside where the bins were currently located all by PTC.

(ix)       It was noted that PTC were examining the costs of installing brown tourist

signs on the A696 to show where the cemetery is.  The contact was Stefan

Bell at NCC.

(x)        Memorial seats and trees had been dealt with under item 3 above.

(xi)       The issue of litter collection and removal of decorations on graves was

discussed.  NCC would reinforce this condition with undertakers and

operatives.  It was suggested that a notice should perhaps be installed

on the shelter.

(xii)      The situation of flower beds on graves was discussed.  This was included

within the Cemetery Regulations and it was agreed that this be reiterated

with undertakers however, this had to be handled as sensitively as possible.

Mrs McKay agreed to provide a list of graves where this was a problem.

(xiii)     PTC pointed out that the edges of the grass had not yet been trimmed.

The SLA currently allowed for the edges to be strimmed 3 times per year

and the turf to be cut back once per year.

PTC would be discussing the issue of grass cutting and maintenance as

the current schedule did not appear to be sufficient.

(xiv)     PTC were concerned at the fact some grave stones were tilted.

NCC pointed out that this was the responsibility of the deed holder and

Mrs McKay agreed to send contact details for the grave stones in question.

The graves would be identified by PTC.

(xv)      PTC requested a copy of the drainage plan for the Cemetery and this

would be looked at by NCC to see if one was in existence.

Ms Cryer agreed to ask the NCC Drainage Engineer to visit the

Cemetery and report back although she could not give a timescale

for this.

PTC also requested a copy of a plan to scale and this would also be

examined by NCC.

5.         Proposal for quarterly inspections

NCC agreed to meet with Town Council representatives once per quarter to carry out inspections.

The Clerk would contact NCC with dates.

6.         Issues to be raised by NCC

Mrs McKay informed the Town Council of a sensitive issue that was ongoing at the present time in relation to laying turf over a particular grave.  The Town Council were satisfied with the approach being taken by NCC and Mrs McKay agreed to keep the Town Council informed as to progress.

IT WAS RESOLVED THAT UNDER THE PUBLIC BODIES (ADMISSION TO MEETINGS) ACT 1960 THAT THE PRESS AND PUBLIC BE EXCLUDED FOR THE FOLLOWING ITEM ON THE GROUNDS OF THE CONFIDENTIAL NATURE OF THE BUSINESS TO BE TRANSACTED.

7,         Extension to the Cemetery

The Committee updated NCC as to discussions they had had at their previous meeting regarding a possible extension to Prestwick Cemetery.

It was agreed – PTC would check whether planning permission was necessary for an extension to the Cemetery.

8.         Date of next meeting

RESOLVED – That dates for a further meeting be circulated.