Issue - meetings

Meeting: 23/05/2024 - Council (Item 292)

292 Coroners Devon Wide Service pdf icon PDF 82 KB

To Council is asked to endorse the Report of the Director of Legal and Democratic Services (LDS/23/16) which sought approval for adoption of functions and duties from Plymouth, Torbay and South Devon, following approval of the business case for the merger of the coronial jurisdictions of Exeter and Greater Devon and Plymouth, Torbay and South Devon, as recommended by the Cabinet (10 April 2024) (Minute 512 refers and replicated below). The Report is attached.

 

(a) that as the relevant lead authority for the Combined Coroner Area for the County of Devon, Plymouth and Torbay, to the extent necessary, recommend that Council adopt the duties and functions from Torbay and Plymouth under the Criminal Justice Act for the purposes of enabling Devon to deliver the Coroner’s Service for the County of Devon, Plymouth and Torbay; and

 

(b) take assurance from the progress report presented.

Additional documents:

Decision:

The Leader of the Council MOVED and Councillor Saywell SECONDED that the recommendations of the Cabinet, as set out at Minute 512, be approved, as outlined below;

 

(a) that as the relevant lead authority for the Combined Coroner Area for the County of Devon, Plymouth and Torbay, to the extent necessary, the duties and functions from Torbay and Plymouth under the Criminal Justice Act for the purposes of enabling Devon to deliver the Coroner’s Service for the County of Devon, Plymouth and Torbay be adopted; and

 

(b) that assurance be taken from the progress report presented.

 

The Motion was put to the vote and declared CARRIED.

Minutes:

The Council considered the Report of the Director of Legal and Democratic Services (LDS/23/16) which sought approval for adoption of functions and duties from Plymouth, Torbay and South Devon, following approval of the business case for the merger of the coronial jurisdictions of Exeter and Greater Devon and Plymouth, Torbay and South Devon, as recommended by the Cabinet (10 April 2024) (Minute 512 referred).

 

The Report had been circulated with the agenda.

 

The Leader of the Council MOVED and Councillor Saywell SECONDED that the recommendations of the Cabinet, as set out at Minute 512, be approved, as outlined below;

 

(a) that as the relevant lead authority for the Combined Coroner Area for the County of Devon, Plymouth and Torbay, to the extent necessary, the duties and functions from Torbay and Plymouth under the Criminal Justice Act for the purposes of enabling Devon to deliver the Coroner’s Service for the County of Devon, Plymouth and Torbay be adopted; and

 

(b) that assurance be taken from the progress report presented.

 

The Motion was put to the vote and declared CARRIED.


Meeting: 10/04/2024 - Cabinet (Item 512)

512 Coroners Devon Wide Service - Adoption of Functions pdf icon PDF 82 KB

Report of the Director of Legal and Democratic Services (LDS/23/16) seeking approval for adoption of functions and duties from Plymouth, Torbay and South Devon, following approval of the business case for the merger of the coronial jurisdictions of Exeter and Greater Devon and Plymouth, Torbay and South Devon, attached.

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED

 

(a) that as the relevant lead authority for the Combined Coroner Area for the County of Devon, Plymouth and Torbay, to the extent necessary, recommend that Council adopt the duties and functions from Torbay and Plymouth under the Criminal Justice Act for the purposes of enabling Devon to deliver the Coroner’s Service for the County of Devon, Plymouth and Torbay; and

 

(b) take assurance from the progress report presented.

Minutes:

(Councillors Biederman, Leaver and Whitton attended in accordance with Standing Order 25(2) and spoke to this item).

 

The Cabinet considered the Report of the Director of Legal and Democratic Services (LDS/23/16) which sought approval for adoption of duties and functions from Plymouth and Torbay and South Devon, following approval of the business case for the merge of the coronial jurisdictions of Exeter and Greater Devon and Plymouth, Torbay and South Devon, circulated prior to the meeting in accordance with regulation 7(4) of the Local Authorities (Executive Arrangements) (Meetings and Access to Information) (England) Regulations 2012.

 

The Cabinet noted that the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) had requested the coronial jurisdictions of Exeter and Greater Devon and Plymouth, Torbay and South Devon consider a merger of the coronial service on the retirement of the Senior Coroner for Plymouth Torbay and South Devon. The process required the production of a business case and in October 2023, the Cabinet agreed to submit a business case to go to consultation for the merger of the coronial jurisdictions of Exeter and Greater Devon and Plymouth, Torbay and South Devon. The consultation was launched, the MoJ reviewed the results and on 31 January 2024 the Lord Chancellor determined that the Coroner Service in Devon be served by one jurisdiction, named the County of Devon, Plymouth and Torbay Coroner Service to cover the whole County of Devon, with Devon County Council as the lead authority for the new jurisdiction. The statutory instrument had been laid and published on Friday 8 March with an implementation date of 1 April 2024.

 

The Report gave an update on the Implementation Plan which included the numbers of cases likely to be dealt with, where they would be held and the numbers of open and live cases to be transferred. The facilities that were available for courts and jury inquests were also explained as well as the appointments to key posts. The current Coroner for Exeter and Greater Devon and Acting Senior Coroner for Plymouth, Torbay and South Devon will be appointed as the Senior Coroner for the new County of Devon, Plymouth and Torbay area.  It was noted that additional administrative resource would be required initially to support the doubling of the caseload especially during the transition period and the ongoing increased telephone traffic as the public become familiar with the centralisation of the administration.

 

The introduction of the Statutory Medical Examiner Service in April/May 2024 would hope to see the number of referrals to the new area fall, although those cases referred to the Coroners Service were likely to be more complex. Close working would continue with the Medical Examiner Service to share good practice and align processes to ensure smooth implementation.

 

There was one Plymouth contract which would novate to Devon and there would be a transfer of the data held within the case management system in Plymouth to the Devon system.

 

The service would continue to look for efficiencies with a restructuring of the work between standard  ...  view the full minutes text for item 512