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Agenda and minutes

Venue: Town Hall, Moorgate Street, ROTHERHAM. S60 2TH

Contact: Debbie Pons  The webcast can be viewed at

No. Item


Declarations of Interest


There were no Declarations of Interest to report.


Questions from members of the public and the press


There were no members of the press or public present at the meeting.




There were no communications to report.


Minutes of the previous meeting held on 20th December, 2018 pdf icon PDF 99 KB


Consideration was given to the minutes of the previous meeting held on 20th December, 2018.


Resolved:-  That the minutes of the previous meeting of the Improving Places Select Commission held on Thursday, 20th December, 2018, be approved as a correct record.


Update Report on the Agreement between Dignity Funerals Ltd. and Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council pdf icon PDF 134 KB

Additional documents:


Councillor Hoddinott, Cabinet Member for Waste, Roads and Community Safety, presented an update on the Agreement between Dignity Funerals Ltd. and the Council as requested by the Select Commission at its meeting on 26th July, 2018 (Minute No. 11 refers).  Louise Sennitt (Superintendent Registrar), Polly Hamilton (Assistant Director, Culture, Sport and Tourism) and Nicola Cook (Dignity) were also in attendance to answer any questions by Members.


Management of the contract within the Council had changed significantly and had now moved from Licensing to being under the remit of Registrars where it now linked to other Registrar Services and allowed for close links with the Coroner’s Office.


The report included information under the recommendations made at the July Select Commission as follows:-


Performance Management Framework

-         There was a total of 54 Key Performance Indicators which had been RAG rated.  2 were red, 4 were amber and 48 were green.

-         There were 12 Service improvement targets of which 2 were red, one was amber and 9 were green.

-         A table of Key Performance Indicators and performance targets that had been met were set out in Appendix 1 of the report submitted.


Project Liaison Group

-         First meeting took place in November 2018 and planned quarterly throughout 2019.

-         Future meetings would consider additional burial space at Masbrough Cemetery, review of the Memorial Masons’ Registration Scheme and a refreshed Equality Analysis.


Multi-Faith Involvement

-         The Superintendent Registrar had joined the Rotherham Faith and Community Leaders Forum and had attended 2 meetings where Bereavement Services were discussed.

-         Progress reports and new issues identified for discussions would be future agenda items.


Annual Performance Report

-         Draft report received with the final documents to be submitted to the June Select Commission.

-         Detailed on the Performance Management Framework would be reported by exception.


East Herringthorpe Chapel

-         Extensive renovation works completed with the Chapel having been open for services since October 2018.

-         Open events held for Members, funeral directors, ministers, celebrants and other key partners to view the improved facility.

-         Christmas memorial service held on 1st December 2018 for those who had attended services in the temporary chapel during renovation works.

-         An Easter memorial service to be held on 28th April 2019 when the Chapel will be officially re-opened by the Mayor of Rotherham.


Discussion ensued with the following issues raised/clarified:-


·                     Catholic burials – it had been established that there was no shortage of spaces within the Borough.


·                     Child burials – in Rotherham certain aspects of the burials were free and certain funeral directors (Dignity and Co-op) provided free funerals but the desire was to make sure it was fair and equitable for everyone involved.  Theresa May had made a commitment quite a while ago around free child burials, however, the information had not come through and the promise not acted upon. Some clarity was required and the promise enacted would give a real clear steer.


·                     Secure storage of the registers – different options had been  ...  view the full minutes text for item 42.


Date and time of the next meeting - Thursday, 7th March, 2019, commencing at 1.30 p.m.


Resolved:-  That a further meeting be held on Thursday, 7th March, 2019, commencing at 1.30 p.m.