Reporting Person – Geoff McManus
The Executive received a report regarding an application received by the Council to close the churchyard at St Mary The Virgin Horsell and transfer maintenance responsibility to the Council. The Executive was informed that the structural condition of a boundary wall on the southern side of the churchyard was of concern. As a result, it was proposed that the Council should not progress the application to close the churchyard and take on maintenance responsibility until funding had been identified to repair the southern wall. Councillor Kemp undertook to keep residents whose gardens backed onto the wall informed of the situation.
The Executive heard that it was proposed for Serco to continue its ongoing ground maintenance functions at a budgeted cost of approximately £20,000 per year. It was noted that the cost included grass cutting, hedging, weed control, tree inspections and overall maintenance across the site including litter picking.
That (i) the application to close the churchyard at St Mary The Virgin Horsell not to be progressed, pending necessary repairs to the southern wall;
(ii) ongoing ground maintenance functions currently being undertaken by the Council’s Environmental Partner, Serco, to continue in the interim; and
(iii) Officers to seek external funding opportunities to assist the church in delivering the repair works to the southern boundary wall.
Reason: To meet the obligation imposed on the Council under section 215 of the Local Government Act 1972.