Agenda and minutes

North East Surrey Crematorium Board
Tuesday, 8th September, 2015 10.00 am

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

Items
No. Item

11.

Apologies for absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Sallyann Ephson.

12.

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

No declarations of interest were made.

13.

Minutes of the last meeting pdf icon PDF 59 KB

To approve as a correct record the Minutes of the meeting held on 9 June 2015.

Minutes:

RESOLVED:  That the minutes of the meeting held on 9 June 2015 are agreed as an accurate record of the meeting.

14.

Report of the Surveyor pdf icon PDF 90 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Surveyor introduced this report and highlighted key items for the benefit of the Board. He invited comments and questions. 

 

The Surveyor noted that the administrative assistant is now in post, and staff overtime should decrease as a result. 

 

The Surveyor pointed the Board to the revised timetable for the replacement cremator.  He noted that the length of time of reduced operation had been reduced by five weeks, which has had a positive impact on service levels during the period, as the crematorium was able to offer eight cremations per day for an additional five weeks.   The Bereavement Services Manager added that the first new cremator installed will be commissioned this week, and will be in use when staff training has taken place.  Councillor Claire Clay noted her thanks to all involved for the process going so smoothly. 

 

The Surveyor updated the Board on progress of the negotiations with LB Wandsworth to use land to create three additional cremated remains circles.  Detailed proposals and draft heads of terms, based on their valuation, have been submitted by Wandsworth.  The Surveyor suggested that an independent valuation is carried out prior to opening negotiations with LB Wandsworth.  The Board agreed this would be useful, and noted that a report will be brought to the December meeting for their consideration. 

 

With regard to the Board’s Medical Referee, the Bereavement Services advised that the Ministry of Justice have approved the changes set out in paragraph 7.2 of the report.  The Administration Manager explained the role of the Medical Referee, and the Bereavement Services Manager advised that charges for this service vary around the country according to location.

 

Councillor Abdul Latif advised that he attended the Annual Memorial Service in July in order to represent the Chair.

 

Councillor Candida Jones thanked the Surveyor for his report, and for his support to the Board whilst acting as Surveyor.

 

15.

Role of the Surveyor pdf icon PDF 90 KB

Minutes:

The Surveyor, the Bereavement Services Manager and the Administration Manager left the meeting for the duration of this discussion. 

 

The Treasurer outlined the facts contained within the report and asked that the Board decide on the course of action they wished to take with regard to the role of a new surveyor.   Points discussed are detailed below.

 

Councillor Candida Jones pointed to paragraph 11 of the report and suggested that the Board consider what the main focus of the Surveyor should be, as it would be challenging to find an individual with skills in both contract and asset management.  She suggested that the contract management aspect would be more useful, and the new Surveyor should act as the link between Enable, LB Wandsworth and the Board. 

 

Councillor Claire Clay challenged this view and suggested that the current Surveyor has expertise in both fields.  The Treasurer noted that he receives support from LB Wandsworth’s Design Team, who will continue to provide advice and support on asset management matters.  The Design Team will continue to sit within Property Services at LB Wandsworth and not Enable. 

 

Councillor Michael Ryder pointed to the minutes of the June meeting, and noted that the Board resolved that LB Wandsworth should appoint a senior officer as Surveyor.  Councillor Candida Jones responded that the matter had been raised and it had been suggested that the current Bereavement Services Manager might be an appropriate appointment.  The suggestion had been circulated to all members via email and the majority of the responses were in favour of his appointment.

 

It was noted by Councillor Claire Clay that the Bereavement Services Manager will be working for Enable for the next three months in order to oversee the replacement of cremator works, before he retired.  She questioned if it would be appropriate for him to take up the role of Surveyor, and reiterated the concerns raised that there was no suggestion made for an officer from LB Wandsworth for the position.  She noted her preference that the Surveyor be a senior officer from LB Wandsworth, which was supported by Councillors Stuart Thom and Michael Ryder. 

 

The Board discussed in some depth the suitability of the current Bereavement Services Manager for the post, both in terms of his skills and experience, and also his position with regard to Enable, and LB Wandsworth.  They also discussed the role that the Surveyor should play and the Treasurer provided some advice on the potential HR implications for the appointment.

 

The Board asked that a job description for the role and the hours of work required be provided as soon as possible.  It was also noted that the rate of pay should be equal to the honorarium currently paid.

 

It was moved by Councillor Candida Jones and seconded by Councillor Vincent Galligan that the current Bereavement Services Manager be appointed Surveyor to the Board for an initial period of one year.

 

A vote was taken; six members were in favour and three members were against,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 15.

16.

Report of the Treasurer pdf icon PDF 71 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Treasurer to the Board presented her report and invited comments and questions. 

 

The Treasurer advised that the reserves will amount to around £300K by the end of the financial year, and the Board will decide at the December meeting on distribution of the reserves to constituent authorities. 

 

The Treasurer noted that at the time of writing the audit had not been concluded, but that confirmation that it was now completed had been received from the External Auditor on 4 September.  She advised that the Auditor advised that the new insurance valuations should not be included on the balance sheet, although can be used for insurance purposes.  The Treasurer confirmed she had made the change, which had been accepted and the Annual Return has now been signed by the External Auditor. 

 

The Treasurer undertook to bring the Audit Report to the December meeting.  She pointed out that the External Auditor had criticised the provision of unsigned Board meeting minutes, although they had not asked for signed minutes.   She also confirmed that the Public Sector Appointments Body had accepted that this is a Joint Board, so they have appointed BDO to carry out the audit in 15/16 and 16/17. 

 

17.

Any urgent items brought forward at the discretion of the Chair

The Chair must approve the reason for urgency.

Minutes:

There were no urgent items.

18.

Date of next meeting

The next meeting of the Board will take place on 8 December 2015  at 10 am in meeting room 4, Sutton Civic Offices.

Minutes:

The next meeting will take place on 8 December 2015 at 10 am.