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Notes of a site inspection of Ovingham Cemetery held on 21st July 2020 at 7pm
Councillors present: Mr I Campbell (OvinghamPC), Mrs S Glover (Horsley PC), Mrs D Jordon (Ovingham PC) and Mr M Senior (Horsley PC) (Vice Chair)

Also present: Mrs M Moore (Clerk to the Committee)

1. Quorum
Unfortunately, no representatives of Ovington or Wylam Parish Councils were in attendance so the meeting was not quorate and the formal meeting could not continue. All business requiring a decision would be held over until the September meeting of the Committee.

2. Apologies for Absence
Mrs A Francis and Mr J Joures (Wylam PC) and Mrs L Marshall and Mr P Pescod (Ovington PC)

3. Minutes
Acceptance of the minutes of the meeting held on 18th February 2020 be deferred.

4. Cemetery Inspection
 It was clear that the new grounds maintenance contract was being performed very well with members complimenting its appearance.
 A new small plastic fence had been installed around one of the plots and this was impacting upon the ability of the grounds maintenance contractor to cut the grass satisfactorily. This would be taken up with the deed holder.
 No further issues had been reported with regard to the gate into the cemetery from the adjacent house on Windsor Crescent but the situation would be monitored.
 The Clerk sought clarification as to who was responsible for the hedge at the east end and also the fencing around the cemetery. The majority was the responsibility of the Burial Committee but there was some private fencing on Windsor Crescent. D Jordon agreed to speak to the adjacent landowner re the wooden fence to the North to determine ownership.
 The tree stump left following the felling was being tackled gradually by Adrian with the aim of it being moved completely.
 Adrian was levelling graves with soil from the heap.
 Re-gravelling of graves would be done once the outcome of the stability testing was done to avoid abortive work.
 The metal gates were in poor condition so quotes would be obtained to have them refurbished.
 A new noticeboard at the Cemetery entrance was suggested. It was indicated that a wooden board may be the preferred option so a range of quotes would be obtained.
 The contact details on the current noticeboard be updated.

5. Current Grounds Maintenance Issues
No issues to report. Contractor is performing well.

6. Stability Testing
Testing to be carried out by NCC between 3rd and 5th August 2020

7. Burial Administration Update
Noted with an up to date report to be considered in September.

8. Finance
Deferred until September.

The Clerk did update the members present on the situation with regard to the AGAR process and the need for each Council’s appropriate share to be split from Wylam Parish Council’s figures. This had been done for Wylam but the presentation of the figures by each of the member Council’s was causing much confusion and stress as there was no practical guidance as to how this should be represented. Action was to be taken by the Clerk to try to ensure that requirements were clear for 20-21. Practical guidance would be sought from NALC and also from other affected JBC. This had not proved possible this year because of Covid-19.

9. Lodge Rent Update
The current position re the lodge rent was noted.