Agenda and minutes

North East Surrey Crematorium Board
Tuesday, 10th March, 2020 10.00 am

Venue: Civic Offices, St Nicholas Way, Sutton, SM1 1EA

Contact: Sharon Major, Clerk to the Board  Tel: 020 8770 4990, Email:  committeeservices@sutton.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

33.

Apologies for absence

Minutes:

Councillor Nick Draper welcomed those present. There were apologies for absence from Councillor Joan Henry, Councillor Tony Belton and Councillor Jean Crossby.  Councillor Anne Moral attended as substitute for Councillor Jean Crossby. Councillor Terry Walsh gave apologies for lateness.

 

34.

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

35.

Minutes of the last meeting pdf icon PDF 77 KB

To approve as a correct record the Minutes of the meeting held on 3 December 2019 and also the minutes from the Special meeting on 21 January 2020.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED: The minutes of the meeting held on 3 December 2019, and also the public and exempt minutes from the special meeting held on 21 January 2020 be signed by the chair as an accurate record

36.

Report of the Surveyor pdf icon PDF 76 KB

This report is to provide an update to the board on activities in the quarter to March 2020 relating to the management agreement between North East Surrey Crematorium Board (NESC) and Wandsworth Council. The day to day management responsibilities are carried out on behalf of the Council by Enable Leisure and Culture.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Surveyor, Clive Andrews, presented the report to the Board to provide an update on activities in the quarter to March 2020, relating to the Management Agreement between North East Surrey Crematorium Board (NESCB) and Wandsworth Borough Council.  

He confirmed business level activity is still above the 5-year average, and that he is confident that the revised figure of 1900 cremations this year will be met.  

In respect of performance monitoring the Surveyor highlighted the moderate risks identified in the fire assessment and the mitigating actions that had been taken.

10.10am Councillor Graeme Henderson arrived, and at 10.12am Councillor Pauline Birchall joined the meeting.

The Surveyor advised the board that the cremators are running at 96% efficiency. This compares to an average efficiency score of 85%  which the Surveyor would usually expect. This was commended by the Board. The Surveyor introduced Mr Herman Martin Design Services Officer from London Borough of Wandsworth Design Services Team, he had been commissioned to look at preparing design solutions for raising the ashes lawn project.

Councillor Terry Walsh joined the meeting at 10.20am

The Design Services Officer drew members attention to the drawings of the proposed new design of the ashes lawn and highlighted how this compared to the original design. It was confirmed that if the revised design was chosen there would no longer be a requirement for a retaining wall and railings thus making the site more inclusive and easier to access. 

The revised design showed a gentle slope to raise the area to the required level. The Design Services officer also highlighted the proposed improvements to the drainage of the area. The Board was advised there will be a topography study of the area and that a civil engineer will look at the proposed solution to make sure this is the best option. 

Members raised questions regarding the proposed drainage solution to ensure the area can be used all year round and also if the new design solution could incorporate the ability to harvest and store any excess water with a view to using it in Summer months or to have a wider community benefit. 

The Design Services officer confirmed he will investigate solutions that would incorporate that suggestion.  Members advised they would share the design proposals with their respective Councils Officers in due course. 

Once the final design solution is confirmed and a contractor appointed the works are estimated to take 3-4 weeks to complete. 

It was confirmed that the war memorial monument will be retained. The Surveyor suggested retaining the smaller walls to use as a plinth for new seating and that the two larger walls would be removed. He pointed out that as a gesture of goodwill the memorial would be refurbished. The Chair looked to clarify Board Members views on the new design compared to the original design. In debate it appeared that Members preferred the new design. CouncillorDraper asked that Members confirm which of the two designs they would prefer.   Councillor Birchall proposed a motion  ...  view the full minutes text for item 36.

37.

Report of the Treasurer pdf icon PDF 96 KB

This report is to provide an update to the Board on the performance against the Management Agreement Annual Budget as approved in December 2019 and to provide an update to the Board on the latest Interim Accounts for the 2019/20 financial year and an estimate of the closing year-end balance.

 

The report also includes information on the lease agreement between the Board and Wandsworth Borough Council in respect of the ongoing arrangements relating to the office premises within the crematorium grounds and seeks approval to sign the Rent Review Memorandum and delegate the future signing of such documents to the Treasurer.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The report was presented by Mark Davies, the Treasurer to the Board. He provided an update to the Board on the performance against the Management Agreement Annual Budget as approved in December 2019 and on the latest Interim Accounts for the 2019/20 financial year and an estimate of the closing year-end balance. The Treasurer also discussed the information on the lease agreement between the Board and Wandsworth Borough Council regarding the ongoing rent arrangements and the Board were asked to approve the rent review.

The Treasurer drew Members attention to areas within the accounts of significant underspend and in particular highlighted the underspend in Capital projects due to delays in completing the changes to the ashes lawn and also the acquisition of the land which he advised was not likely to complete in the current financial year due to protracted negotiations with Wandsworth Borough Council on the terms of the lease. 

Members asked if there is money in reserve to replace cremators at the end of their life. The Treasurer advised that as previously noted provision will be made over the next 15 - 20 years where feasible to ensure sufficient funds are available to replace the cremators when needed or to at least minimise the extent to which future distributions would be impacted to cover the replacement costs. The Treasurer confirmed this may be shown as a separate reserve in the accounts. The Treasurer also drew the boards attention to the requirement to complete the rent review and to sign the review memorandum and sought a delegation to sign such documents in future without reference to the Board.

RESOLVED:

1.         To note the Management Agreement performance for the period 1 April 2019 to 31 January 2020, attached at Appendix A, for information,

 

2.         To note the Interim Accounts for the year ending 31 March 2020, attached at Appendix B, for information, 

 

3.         To authorise the Treasurer to sign the Rent Review Memorandum to acknowledge and accept the revised rent level payable from 21July 2015, and

 

4.         To delegate the future signing of such Rent Review Memorandum documents to the Treasurer where amounts requested are calculated in line with the provisions contained within the lease and can be met from approved budget estimates.

 

38.

Any urgent items brought forward at the discretion of the Chair

To consider any items which, in the view of the Chair, should be dealt with as a matter of urgency because of special circumstances in accordance with S100B(4) of the Local Government Act 1972.

Minutes:

Members asked about planning for pandemics like the CoronaVirus.  The Surveyor confirmed that there is a plan in place and that revised arrangements could be implemented if and when required. Members were reassured that there is a pandemic plan in place.  

 

11.35am Councillor Ryder left the meeting

 

 

39.

Date of next meeting

The next meeting of the Board will take place on 23 June 2020 at 10am at North East Surrey Crematorium Chapel, Lower Morden Lane, Morden, SM4 4NU.

Minutes:

The next meeting of the Board will take place on 23 June at 10am at North East Surrey Crematorium Chapel, Lower Morden Lane, Morden, SM44NU.

The meeting ended 11.40