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Agenda item

Merger of York Coroner Area with North Yorkshire County Council Coroner Areas

The Director of Governance to present a report which seeks approval to submit a business case to the Ministry of Justice and Chief Coroner requesting permission to merge the existing City of York Council coroner area and the North Yorkshire County Council coroner areas into one area, in order to improve the resilience and efficiency of the service.

Decision:

Resolved:  (i)      That approval be given to submit a business case to the Ministry of Justice and Chief Coroner seeking permission to merge the existing City of York Council coroner area and the North Yorkshire County Council coroner areas into one area, and that authority be delegated to the Chief Operating Officer (in consultation with the Director of Governance or her delegated officers) to make minor changes to the business case should they be required.

 

                   (ii)      That the proposed Service Level Agreement with North Yorkshire County Council be approved, and that authority be delegated to the Chief Operating Officer (in consultation with the Director of Governance or her delegated officers) to take such steps as are necessary to finalise and enter into the resulting agreement.

 

Reason:     To improve resilience and efficiency, with minimal financial impact, and in line with the Chief Coroner’s Guidance.

Minutes:

The Director of Governance presented a report which sought approval to submit a business case to the Ministry of Justice and Chief Coroner requesting permission to merge the existing City of York Council (CYC) coroner area and the North Yorkshire County Council (NYCC) coroner areas into one area, in order to improve the resilience and efficiency of the service.

 

Although coroners were not local authority employees, local authorities were responsible for their appointment and payment, and for meeting all costs of the service.  It was the view of the Chief Coroner, set out in guidance attached at Annex 1 to the report, that the number of coroner areas should be reduced.

 

On 17 January 2019, Executive had granted approval to discuss a potential merger with NYCC (Minute 96 of that meeting refers).  That merger was now possible, as North Yorkshire was considering the East and West areas due to the retirement of both their senior coroners.  On 28 April 2021, NYCC had agreed, subject to formal approval by CYC, to submit a business case to merge all three existing coroners areas into one area.  Members were recommended to grant this approval; the alternative, to seek permission to remain a separate area, was unlikely to gain the support of the Chief Coroner and Ministry of Justice.

 

Resolved:  (i)      That approval be given to submit a business case to the Ministry of Justice and Chief Coroner seeking permission to merge the existing City of York Council coroner area and the North Yorkshire County Council coroner areas into one area, and that authority be delegated to the Chief Operating Officer (in consultation with the Director of Governance or her delegated officers) to make minor changes to the business case should they be required.

 

                   (ii)      That the proposed Service Level Agreement with North Yorkshire County Council be approved, and that authority be delegated to the Chief Operating Officer (in consultation with the Director of Governance or her delegated officers) to take such steps as are necessary to finalise and enter into the resulting agreement.

 

Reason:     To improve resilience and efficiency, with minimal financial impact, and in line with the Chief Coroner’s Guidance.

Supporting documents:

 

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