Agenda and minutes

Please note that due to the introduction of new Covid-19 Plan B guidelines nationally meeting attendees must wear face coverings, Executive - Wednesday, 15th December, 2021 6.30 pm

Venue: Council Chamber Town Hall. View directions

Contact: Democratic Services  01527 64252 (Ext 3072)

Media

Items
No. Item

46.

Apologies

Minutes:

An apology for absence was received on behalf of Councillor Nyear Nazir.

 

 

47.

Declarations of Interest

To invite Councillors to declare any Disclosable Pecuniary Interests and / or Other Disclosable Interests they may have in items on the agenda, and to confirm the nature of those interests.

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

 

 

48.

Leader's Announcements

Minutes:

The Leader advised that at the meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee held on 13th December 2021, Members pre-scrutinised the New Cemetery Provision report and had agreed three recommendations.  This meeting was live streamed and the Leader had watched the proceedings, as had many other members of the Executive Committee.  There were a number of members of the public who spoke to the Overview and Scrutiny Committee on the subject of the New Cemetery Provision report and the Leader thanked those members of the public for taking the time to speak to the Committee. 

 

Councillor Wheeler, who chaired the Overview and Scrutiny Committee meeting, had been invited to attend the Executive Committee meeting to outline the findings of the Committee, including key points raised by the public.

 

 

49.

Minutes (to follow) pdf icon PDF 399 KB

The minutes of the meeting of the Executive Committee that is due to take place on 7th December 2021 will follow in a supplementary pack for consideration at the meeting.

 

Minutes:

RESOLVED that

 

the minutes of the meeting of the Executive Committee held on 7th December 2021 be approved as a true and correct record and signed by the Chair.

 

 

50.

Questions on Notice pdf icon PDF 181 KB

To consider any Questions on Notice submitted for the consideration of the Executive Committee in accordance with paragraph 16 of the Executive Committee’s Procedure Rules.

 

Any Questions on Notice that are submitted for consideration at this meeting will be published in a supplementary pack.

 

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The following Question on Notice was considered in accordance with paragraph 16.3 of the Executive Committee Procedure Rules:

 

Question from Ms Joni Lovell:

 

Please can the site given as 'land off Ipsley church lane' be referred to as ' top Ipsley meadow, part of the Ipsley water meadows, part of Arrow Valley Park South, an integral part of Arrow Valley Country Park, which is Public Open Space with unrestricted access for RECREATION and how willthe Executive committee be taking into account public comments at the Overview and Scrutiny committee 48 hrs ago and the 800 plus public objection comments on the publics only consultation, which was on a full planning application for this one particular site?”

 

The Leader provided the following answer to this question:

 

The terminology “land off Ipsley Church Lane” was used within the recent change of use planning application and, as such, is recognised by Members and the wider public. It would be counterproductive to change this title at this late stage and might lead to confusion, as the public might think the new title relates to a different site.

 

The role of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee is to gather evidence and to make recommendations, based on that evidence, to the Executive Committee.  This occurred at the meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee held on 13th December 2021.  Whilst the minutes of that meeting are not available for our consideration this evening, the meeting was live streamed and I, and other colleagues present this evening, watched the live stream of the meeting and heard the comments from the public.  In addition, the recommendations made by the Overview and Scrutiny Committee have been published in a supplementary pack for our consideration.  Councillor Jenny Wheeler, who chaired the Overview and Scrutiny Committee meeting, is here this evening to present the Committee’s recommendations for our consideration and I am sure that in doing so she will highlight some of the key points that were raised at the meeting.

 

The Executive Committee will not be considering matters relating to the consultation on the planning application that was considered in October 2021, as this related to an entirely separate process.”

 

 

51.

New Cemetery Provision pdf icon PDF 300 KB

This report will be pre-scrutinised at a meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee due to take place on Monday, 13th December 2021.  Any recommendations arising from this meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee on the subject of this report will be reported for the Executive Committee’s consideration in a supplementary agenda pack.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Portfolio Holder for Environmental Services introduced the New Cemetery Provision report for the Executive Committee’s consideration.

 

Members were advised that the issue of a reduction in capacity, in terms of new burial provision in the Borough, had been identified and discussed by Members since 2010.  Since then, the availability of burial space in the Borough at existing cemeteries had decreased further.

 

There were two options available to the Council moving forward:

 

a)         To provide no more new burial sites for the use of residents in the Borough.  There was the possibility, though no guarantee, that a private sector provider would provide a burial service in this scenario.  The Council would have no influence over the land that a private provider would purchase for a cemetery in this situation nor could the Council control how the service was delivered.

b)         The Council could take action to ensure that new burial provision could be made available to Redditch residents in the future.  Should Members prefer this option, consideration needed to be given to the appropriate location for the site of new graves.  This could include reusing burial plots at the Plymouth Road Cemetery, although this would potentially be morally questionable, given the Council had access to land that could be used for burial purposes.  There was also land at other sites, including at Bordesley Abbey and land off Ipsley Church Lane which could potentially be used for this purpose.

 

There was approximately 18 months of burial site provision remaining in existing cemeteries managed by the Council.  The Portfolio Holder for Environmental Services expressed concerns that if no decision was taken, space for new burial provision would run out, leaving many families without a place in the Borough to bury their loved ones.  This would impact on families who did not have access to pre-purchased plots in existing cemeteries, potentially resulting in a two-tier system in the Borough whereby some families would be able to bury loved ones in existing family burial sites whilst others would need to travel outside the Borough.  The Executive Committee was asked to note that this could have a particularly significant impact on families from more deprived backgrounds, who might struggle to travel to alternative sites outside the Borough.

 

The Portfolio Holder for Environmental Services commented that the Council’s preferred option would be to continue to deliver new burial provision in the Borough.  The preferred site of the Council was land off Ipsley Church Lane.  He concluded by stating that, given the circumstances, it would be a derogation of duty for the Executive Committee not to make decisions on this subject during the meeting.

 

Following the introduction from the Portfolio Holder for Environmental Services, the Bereavement Services Manager delivered a presentation and in doing so highlighted a number of areas for Members’ consideration:

 

·            The Council already operated three cemeteries and four closed church yards.

·            Plymouth Road Cemetery was already closed to new burials, whereby a grave was used for the first time by a family.  Burials continued  ...  view the full minutes text for item 51.