Agenda and minutes

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No. Item


Declarations of Disclosable Pecuniary and Non-Disclosable Pecuniary/Other Interests


No declarations of interest were made.



Minutes pdf icon PDF 206 KB



that the minutes of the meeting of the Panel held on 10th November, 2016, be received and approved.



Scrutiny Review of Cemeteries (Home-Made Kerb Sets) pdf icon PDF 268 KB


The Chairman introduced the item and briefly summarised the business from the last meeting whereby Members were introduced to the new topic regarding home-made kerb sets within cemeteries.


The previous presentation had highlighted the problems surrounding the erection of home-made kerb sets within the Council’s cemeteries and the impact this was having on maintenance staff and visitors alike.  There had been a ban on the installation of such kerb sets since 2007 and this restriction was contained in the Cemetery Rules and Regulations Booklet that was currently handed out to any purchasers of burial plots.


However, over the past few years there had been a noticeable increase in kerb sets and these had often encroached on land beyond their allocated plots and caused ongoing difficulties for staff trying to maintain the grounds to an acceptable standard.


The Panel Members had recognised that this was a very sensitive topic and that any recommendations would need to be considered with care and attention.  It had therefore been agreed at the last meeting that some exploratory work would need to be undertaken by officers to enable Members to fully explore the options available to them.


At this point Sam Dennis, the Council’s Service Lead for Waste and Environment and Joanne Hall, the Cemetery Development Officer, gave brief updates in relation to the recommendations arising from the last meeting of the Committee as follows:-


Council Installation of Kerb Sets – Costings

Officers were asked to undertake an initial evaluation exercise to ascertain potential costs for the Council to provide a service to install kerb sets on behalf of plot owners.  To ensure all relevant health and safety regulations would be met, the installations would need to be undertaken by qualified stonemasons who generally work in pairs due to the heavy nature of the work involved. 


To commission this installation work on an ad hoc basis would cost in the region of £2,000 to £2,500 per kerb-set and if a stonemason was recruited to the Authority, this would be in the region of £26,000 salary per year.


Purchase of Smaller Grass Trimmers

Officers were asked to investigate the possibility of equipping cemetery staff with smaller grass trimmers and gardening equipment to enable the grass to be better maintained in between graves.  Having considered the proposal and taking into account good practice controls to eliminate or reduce vibration risk to employees, it became clear that purchasing smaller, more generic equipment would not be feasible.  The equipment currently used by cemetery staff was of an industrial standard to allow for high usage with low vibration.


Feedback/Comments from Cemetery Visitors and Plot Owners 

It was agreed at the last meeting that options could be considered for receiving feedback/views from visitors (local and out of district) to the Council’s cemeteries in relation to the increasing presence of kerb sets and their impact, positive or negative, on the quality of the setting as a place of mourning and remembrance.


Having considered the possibility of ascertaining visitors’ views in relation to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 12.