Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: North Devon Crematorium - North Devon Crematorium. View directions

No. Item


Apologies for Absence


Apologies were received from Councillors Christie, Denton, Harding, Johns and Lovering



Minutes pdf icon PDF 67 KB

(a)  Matters Arising




(i)         RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 3rd November 2023 (previously circulated) be approved as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.


(ii)        Matters Arising. There were no matters arising.








Items brought forward which, in the opinion of the Chairman, should be considered by the meeting as a matter of urgency.


There were no items of urgency.



Declarations of Interest.


There were no declarations of interest declared.



Crematorium Matters pdf icon PDF 198 KB


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


i)          Trainee Manager: Update


It was noted that as previously reported, the manager had indicated his

intention to retire at the end of the 2024/25 financial year, facilitated by reducing

working days over two years to enable recruitment of a trainee manager to take over from 1/4/2025. North Devon Council SMT had approved the business case to enable the process to move to the advertising of the post internally within both North Devon and Torridge Councils with the aim of the trainee post being filled by 1/4/2024. It was anticipated that the ‘pay-back’ for the associated costs would be within two-years (from 1/4/2025).


ii)         Crematorium Figures


The Cremation figures were noted. The actual figure for January was 154.


iii)        Direct Cremations


It was noted that the cremation numbers for the 9-months of operation were:


Direct Cremations

April 2022 – December 2022

April 2023-December 2023





and that 9% were non-resident Direct Cremations


iv)        Crematorium Organist


It was noted that the Crematorium Organist Contract had been awarded until February 2027 with an option to extend by up to additional 2 years. The new rate would be £25 per service.


v)         Phase B Works (Garage/Memorial Room)

It was noted that the building works had been completed. A number of

payments still remained outstanding (including the retention), but the final total was expected to be close to the projected budget.


vi)        Medical Referee


It was noted that on 1st April 2024 legislation removed the need to scrutinise

any medical information as part of the crematorium’s application process. Despite this, the Medical Referee role had been unexpectedly retained whilst the Government consulted on how cremations would be authorised in the future. The absence of the need for medical scrutiny strongly suggested the Medical Referee role would be replaced by a process of ‘non-medical’

crematorium staff scrutiny and authorisation.

vii)       Crematorium Solar Panels


It was noted that the Rowan chapel was constructed in 2015/16 with a

sufficiently strong roof to permit the installation of solar panels. North Devon Council intended to investigate the installation of panels at the Brynsworthy Environment Centre. It was hoped to initially obtain a specification and

anticipated cost through an engineer previously used by Torridge Council

(report cost approximately £2,000 - £3,000).


It was agreed to undertake a survey to install panels at the crematorium using the same method and at a similar cost and that the funding thereof be met from the Budget Management Reserve to enable options and costs to be reported to the next Joint Committee meeting.


viii)      Metals Recycling Charity Award


It was noted:


That North Devon Hospice had received an award of £14,000 and that Cruse would be the next nomination in line with the current rota.


Children’s Hospice SW

Families in Grief

North Devon Hospice



The Joint Committee considered applications from the following additional charities seeking to be added to the rota:



Performance Monitoring Quarter 3 2023/24 pdf icon PDF 184 KB


The Joint Committee noted a report by the Treasurer (previously circulated) regarding the performance for quarter 3 April to December 2023/2024.


It was noted that the invoice for gas had just been received and was considerable higher than budgeted £6,000 per month at £9,000 per month. This would affect the budgeted figures for both financial years 2023/24 and 2024/25.




2024/25 Budget, Fees and Charges pdf icon PDF 139 KB

Additional documents:


The Joint Committee considered and noted a report by the Treasurer (previously circulated) regarding the budget, fees and charges for 2024/2025.




(i)    That the basic Cremation charge for 2024/25 of £850 be approved as detailed in paragraph 4.4 of the report


(ii)  That the 2024/25 budget as set out in paragraph 4.1 of the report be approved.


(iii)That the fees and charges for 2024/25 as detailed in paragraph 4.6 and appendix 2 be approved.


(iv)That the distribution of surpluses for 2023/24 of £416,230 to the constituent authorities: £249,740 to North Devon Council and £166,490 to Torridge District Council be approve.


(v)  That the transfer of £100,000 to the Equipment Replacement Reserve be approved




Dates of Future Meetings


It was noted that the next meeting would be on Friday 7th February 2024 @

2.30 p.m.





The meeting ended at 3.04 p.m.