Brant County council passed a motion to request further review of the proposed assisted funeral services agreement with the City of Brantford in a meeting on Tuesday, December 21.
Ward three councillor John Bell raised his concerns with the proposed agreement and put forward a motion to have the new social services committee look deeper into it.
“I am concerned that when I read the report that you actually struggle to find the word County anywhere in it,” Councillor Bell said. “The analysis does not attempt to determine the differences between the County and City resident needs.”
Councillor Bell stated that the county representatives on the committee “have basically voted against the recommendations of the city.”
Because the city has six members on the committee while the county only has four, Councillor Bell said that he is worried that the county will be outvoted no matter what.
Councillor Robert Chambers stated that he would not support the motion proposed by Councillor Bell because he felt that council should not dictate what the social services committee looks into.
“Passing this motion will set a precedent that we are directing members of the social services committee on what to do,” Councillor Chambers said. “I don’t think we have to direct them, they should be able to just do it.”
Councillors Marc Laferriere and David Miller felt similarly to Councillor Chambers and suggested that the motion be reworded as a request to the committee.
Councillor Bell adjusted his motion to read, “county council is unhappy with the current status of the assisted funeral services agreement and would request that the new social services committee conduct a further review once established.”
After amending the motion, it was carried unanimously 10-0.
The social services committee is currently in the works. Council members from both county and city council will be appointed to the committee in January and meetings are scheduled to begin in February.
The proposed assisted funeral services agreement includes a four-year extension of the current agreement with Tranquility Burial & Cremation Services Inc., an increase of five percent in fee schedule maximums, reasonable purchase or contribution by the family of items to personalize a loved one’s funeral, and more.