Agenda item

To consider the report of the Councillor Call for Action - Flimby cemetery investigation

Minutes:

Councillor Peter Kendall submitted a Councillor Call for Action (CCfA) on 28June 2019.

 

On 11 July 2019 the Overview and Scrutiny Committee agreed that the CCfA was valid and that an investigation was to be conducted with the relevant officers and Executive members.

 

Members were advised to review the investigation evidence that was presented in the report and formulate recommendations to be forwarded to the Executive.

 

Councillor Peter Kendall then provided his representations. He reiterated the situation in the cemetery and that attention and repairs were required. Councillor Kendall then explained that the report recommendations would not resolve the issue, explaining that a rolling programme of repairs should be implemented, with initial repairs to priority areas. He also advised that tree planting could help with flooding issues and at a recent memorial ceremony, attendees were complaining about the condition of the footpaths and surrounding areas.

 

Members then asked questions to Councillor Kendall in relation to his CCfA and in particular over health and safety and footpath upgrades. In response Councillor Kendall explained that there are issues with the risk assessment and that initial footpath upgrades would solve part of the issue, especially as coffins had to be manually carried to the gravesites, however he acknowledged that all footpaths were in need of maintenance.

 

Further representations were then provided by Mrs Tindall to members, advising that the minimum requirements are to improve two of the cemetery footpaths, and that as Allerdale receive income from burials, they have responsibility to ensure the footpaths are maintained.

 

Members were advised that the cost of the repairs to the boundary wall would be covered by the existing maintenance budget. The Head of Bereavement Services explained that the legal requirement is to repair the boundary, without specifying whether this should be a wall or a fence, but that existing sandstone would be stored.

 

Members then asked questions of the officers in relation to the footpaths. The Head of Finance and Property Services clarified to members that the estimated cost of repairs for the existing paths would be £57k, which would be over and above the budget, adding that no provision has been made for additional maintenance of the footpaths. It was also clarified to members that the health and safety responsibilities for the cemetery are being met by Allerdale Borough Council.

 

Members were advised that if they were to recommend repairs to the footpaths, a business case would need to be produced to secure the additional funding required.

 

Councillor Heaslip moved the motion to recommend that

 

a)  Allerdale Borough Council officers review maintenance options and have appropriate maintenance plans in place for cemeteries.

 

b)  Allerdale Borough Council officers undertake a business case exercise in order to establish a possible budget bid for 2021/22 relating to the introduction of new footpaths in the new part of the cemetery

 

The motion was seconded by Councillor Annison.

 

A vote was taken on the motion, 9 voted in favour, 0 against and 0 abstentions.

 

The motion was carried.

 

Resolved

 

That Allerdale Borough Council prepares a business case to;

 

a)  Allerdale Borough Council officers review maintenance options and have appropriate maintenance plans in place for cemeteries.

 

b)  Allerdale Borough Council officers undertake a business case exercise in order to establish a possible budget bid for 2021/22 relating to the introduction of new footpaths in the new part of the cemetery

 

Supporting documents: