TH&C January 2020 Minutes
Town Hall And Cemetery Committee
Minutes of the meeting of Market Deeping Town Council’s Town Hall and Cemetery Committee held on Wednesday 22nd January 2020 at 7.30pm in the Town Hall.
Cllr Lester presided over Cllr Mrs Sked, Cllr Miss Moran and Cllr Shelton. The Deputy Park Keeper, the Town Clerk and the Deputy Town Clerk were also in attendance.
70 Chairman’s Welcome
Cllr Lester welcomed members to the meeting.
71 Apologies for absence
Apologies for absence were received from Cllr Miss Collins, Cllr Broughton, Cllr Hembrow and Cllr Mrs Redshaw.
72 To receive declarations of interest under the Localism Act 2011
There were no declarations of interest.
73 Minutes from meeting held on Wednesday 20th November 2019
It was proposed by Cllr Lester, seconded by Cllr Shelton and Resolved unanimously that the minutes of the previous meeting be signed as a true and accurate record and they were duly signed by Cllr Lester.
74 Clerk’s report
The Deputy Clerk informed the members of the following:
Matters Relating to the Cemetery:
1. As Cllr Hembrow was not present at the meeting there was no cost update on the repair of the bench removed from the cemetery following damage caused by a visitor’s car.
2. A request has been made by a resident of Market Deeping for a Sanctum to be leased for the placement of cremated remains. The lady would like 2 spaces.
3. Since the last meeting there have been 1 scattering of ashes in the Spinney and 2 interments of cremated remains.
Matters relating to the Town Hall:
4. Two new computers have successfully been installed in the Administration Office.
5. Following acceptance of the quotation, a response is awaited regarding a date for the fitting of the support bars for the downstairs office windows.
6. In addition to the regular Full Council and Committee meetings there have been 7 meetings for the Neighbourhood Plan, 1 meeting for the Youth Group, 1 Christmas Market meeting and 1 meeting of the Feoffees.
75 Park Keepers Report: Update on work activity taking place in the cemetery
The Deputy Park Keeper reported that things were now mostly up to date in the cemetery:
1. The gravelling of the driveway was almost completed but there was an issue with the turn into the gate. This section would need further consideration as additional levelling of the area may need to be undertaken.
2. Thirteen tons of top soil had been delivered and work to level the ground had been carried out. A further 4 tons of top soil was awaited and this work would continue.
3. All the pathways had been sprayed.
4. The memorial bench, previously removed, had now been reinstalled on a concrete base and secured using metal straps.
5. An unsuccessful attempt had been made to remove the graffiti on the back of the Park Keepers shed. The Park Keepers will continue to endeavor to remove it.
6. All the seasonal wreaths had been removed from the graves in line with the Council’s Cemetery Policy.
76 Chairman’s Cemetery Report
Cllr Lester thanked the Deputy Park Keeper for his report and expressed his thanks to all the staff involved for their hard work. Cllr Lester reported that he had visited the Cemetery on 20th January 2020 and was pleased to see that it was being maintained to a very high standard and looking clean and tidy. He had spoken to the Park Keepers concerning the graffiti and the location of the incineration bin and had expressed his concern regarding the placement of the top soil delivery on tree roots. Cllr Lester was also concerned about areas in the New Cemetery which may sink again following the recent inclement weather, and suggested that further topping up be undertaken before re-seeding took place.
There were no items of correspondence to report.
a) Omega reports: Review of budget/expenditure/income
The Clerk had provided members with a copy of the omega report prior to the meeting. There were no issues raised.
b) Submitted Precept for 2020/21
The Clerk had provided members with a copy of the submitted Precept for 2020/21 for information. There were no issues raised.
79 For members to consider and approve the draft letter to grave owners regarding the unauthorised placement of items on the grave plots.
Members of the committee considered the draft letter presented by the Deputy Clerk. It was proposed by Cllr Lester, seconded by Cllr Shelton and Resolved in principle, with three votes in favour and one abstention, that the letter should be sent out to all owners of grave plots within the New Cemetery. Cllr Lester proposed a modification to the letter to include the timescale of one month for the storing of any unauthorised items. This would immediately follow the initial three-month period allowed for their replacement or removal. This was seconded by Cllr Shelton and Resolved unanimously. Cllr Lester requested that the letter also be placed within the Cemetery noticeboard.
80 For members to consider a request for a Sanctum facility within the Cemetery.
Members had received a pack of information prior to the meeting. Cllr Lester informed the committee that historically the Council had always intended to provide a Sanctum facility for the above-ground storage of cremated remains but this was the first request the Council had actually received. The Deputy Clerk reported that a representative from a Sanctum manufacturing & supply company had visited the cemetery with the Park Keepers and met with both the Clerk and Deputy Clerk to discuss the options available. Following lengthy discussions, it was proposed by Cllr Mrs Sked, seconded by Cllr Miss Moran and Resolved unanimously to create a dedicated area within the cemetery for the placement, as demand dictates, of 3 to 4 Panorama style Sanctums. Members requested that the Clerks seek 2 additional quotations with a view to progressing this matter further.
81 For members to consider a restructuring of the Cemetery Fees and review the current charges.
It was brought to the attention of the committee that, although the fees charged currently for the scattering of ashes and the interment of cremated remains were largely in line with neighbouring Burial Authorities, currently the Council’s Burial Fee was significantly lower. The Deputy Clerk presented a table of comparisons between different Burial Authority fee schedules and explained that there were 2 elements to the charge, one for the Exclusive Rights of Burial and a second charge for Interment. The Town Council, in instances where a person had purchased the Exclusive Rights of Burial in advance, had collected both fees. However, where a person had not purchased the plot previously, only a single charge had historically been levied. Following a lengthy discussion, it was proposed by Cllr Lester, seconded by Cllr Miss Moran and Resolved unanimously to apply both fees, in all instances, with immediate effect and to amend the schedule of fees accordingly. Cllr Lester requested that all members consider other items listed on the current list of Cemetery Fees before the next meeting when the fees schedule for 2020/21 would be decided.
82 For members to receive an update on the lease/acquisition of the Town Hall
The Deputy Clerk informed members that the Draft Contract for the purchase of the Town Hall and a Pre-Emption Agreement had been received from South Kesteven District Council. Following correspondence between the Clerk, and the representing legal teams the Pre-Emption Agreement had been withdrawn and the Draft Contract is currently undergoing scrutiny by the Town Council’s solicitor. Once the Solicitor has determined that all is correct, a date will be set for signing. The contract will need to be signed by two Town Councillors and witnessed by the Clerk to the Council.
There being no other business Cllr Lester thanked all for attending and the meeting was closed at 8.35pm. The next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday 18th March 2020 at 7.30pm in the Town Hall.