Agenda item

Matters Arising


Minute No. 1762 – Recycling of Metals


Councillor T Hollis advised that Ashfield District Council would appoint the John Eastwood Hospice as their nominated bereavement based charity. 


Councillor Hollis went on to query how the fourth year of the donation cycle would be allocated, stating that he had not been part of the decision as to the current order for donations.  The Director & Registrar advised that the decision had been taken by the Joint Committee 6 years previously.  She added that she would report back to the next meeting of the Joint Committee on the rotational system used.


Minute No. 1761 – Financial Management Review Report from 1 April - 31 July 2019


In relation to Resolution (c) and (d), the Director – Resources & Business Transformation (ADC) raised a query as to (c) what progress had been made with organising the opening evening with funeral directors; and (d) the compilation of the report to the Joint Committee detailing which funeral directors had used the facility, both recently and in the past etc.  The Director & Registrar advised that the crematorium was experiencing resource/staffing issues which had led to a delay in actioning these resolutions.


Councillor Hollis noted that it had been suggested at the last meeting that a letter be written to funeral directors inviting them to engage with the 3 constituent authorities but this had not been actioned.  The Chairman advised that she had spoken to funeral directors in the Newark area to ascertain the reasons a specific crematorium was chosen.  They had indicated that the choice by customers was often dictated by tradition e.g. they used the same facility as other family members or one they had used previously.  Councillor Hollis stated that this did not appear to be the case in Ashfield or Mansfield as customers/funeral directors were bypassing the Mansfield Crematorium and instead choosing to go to Gedling, which was relatively new.  He suggested that other facilities were getting more business possibly due to more effective advertising.  It was noted that this shift to Gedling was not due to price as the cost of a cremation at Mansfield was lower.  Councillor Richardson queried whether there was a trade body that could be invited to a future meeting of the Joint Committee.


The Director of Resources & Business Transformation (ADC) stated that the long-term trend appeared to be downwards but with no obvious reason.  In noting that the crematorium was a business, he suggested that it was perhaps time to look at procuring an additional temporary resource to further explore the reason for the downward trend, adding that it could be paid for by a very small increase in the number of cremations.  Members were advised that the crematorium was currently undertaking an internal staffing restructure which would enable the Director & Registrar to focus on senior managerial tasks, adding that the meeting with funeral directors would be arranged for the spring.  Councillor Hollis commented that the crematorium needed to be more commercial and requested that an additional member of staff be put forward for consideration. 


The Clerk to the Joint Committee commented that there appeared to be a gap in the crematorium’s research and business planning information which would enable Members to make an informed decision on how to progress, suggesting that a business analysis be carried out.  In acknowledging the Clerk’s comments, Executive Mayor Abrahams commented that the commercialisation of the crematorium was a sensitive issue.  He suggested that objectives be set with input being sought from the Director & Registrar as to how they could be best achieved.


Councillor Smith queried whether it would be possible to adjust the role of an existing employee to assist the Director & Registrar, suggesting that it could also help with re-branding the crematorium. 


AGREED      that reports on the following 2 matters be presented to the next meeting of the Joint Committee:


(a)     rotational system used for the distribution of recycling monies; and


(b)     proposals for putting together a business plan to take a more commercial approach in relation to the Crematorium that brings together elements of throughput, investment, income and expenditure.