Agenda and minutes

North East Surrey Crematorium Board
Tuesday, 5th December, 2017 10.00 am

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

Contact: Sharon Major, Clerk to the Board  Tel: 020 8770 4990, Email:

No. Item


Apologies for absence


Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Geraldine Stanford, and Councillor Claire Clay. Councillor Sue McKinney was also absent.


Declarations of Interest


            There were no Declarations


Minutes of the last meeting pdf icon PDF 136 KB

To approve as a correct record the Minutes of the meeting held on 12 September 2017.


Minutes of the meeting held on 12 September 2017 were approved by the committee and signed as a correct record by the Chair.


Appointment of Officers

Appointment of Officers –


Aimee Wittams – Smith will be leaving the Authority in December, Sharon Major has been nominated as the new Clerk to the Board


Jean Stevenson will be leaving the Authority in January 2018 nomination of a new Treasurer will be discussed during the meeting.



Resolved that:

1.    Mrs Sharon Major was appointed as the clerk to the board.

2.    Mr Mark Davies was appointed as Treasurer to the Board.


Report of the Surveyor pdf icon PDF 314 KB

Additional documents:


The Report was presented by Clive Andrews.

The Surveyor highlighted the following areas:

The Surveyor drew the Boards attention to the business performance part of the report, highlighting that the business level activity recorded in the first seven months of this financial year is the highest activity for the last 20 years. This is believed to be due to a good level of service and competitive fees.

Regarding the alternative valuation required from the valuation office the results should be provided in the New Year and will be reported in March 18’ report to compare to the original Wandsworth land valuation.

Repair and Renewal - Routine Works and Capital Works. The Surveyor highlighted Appendix E item 13 confirming that  fire safety improvement measures are mandatory, and also the item on improving security lighting, item 14, which would improve the safety of visitors to the crematorium during the Winter months and enhance the buildings appearance. It was highlighted that the burial chapel could be used more effectively by improving the music system and if this work was agreed then it could generate additional bookings and thus translate into additional income.  Members asked for clarification on other facilities available within this chapel.  Officers confirmed both chapels offer similar facilities to families. Discussion focused on the cost which is  £15k for the music system and that the cost could be covered by less than 30 additional services. Members also sought clarification  if the additional workload could be covered with existing staff and this was also confirmed  that this had been discussed with staff.

Members were asked for their views on the idea of including commemorating 60 years since the crematorium opened as part of the 2018 annual remembrance service, and on the proposal of planting a memorial tree and plaque.  Members asked if any celebration took place after 50 years and The Surveyor advised it had not therefore Members were supportive of this proposal.  Members were asked for their views on introducing an annual Christmas Carol Service. Members asked how the service would be promoted. The Surveyor suggested that this should be advised to the congregation at the Annual remembrance service.  He further advised that a small service has been planned for this year to test the public response to this idea. Members were positive to this suggestion and The Surveyor will report back at the next meeting regarding how this initial service has gone before deciding on full Carol service next year.


Members also asked for clarification regarding the impact of the heat exchanger- and what impact this has had on energy use and emissions. The Surveyor advised that Members would be updated after it has been in place for a year and an eco report will be provided in December 2018. Clarity was also sought regarding funeral poverty measures ie the reduced cost for booking an early morning services.  The Surveyor advised that he believes this has generated new business from families that are looking for a lower cost option  ...  view the full minutes text for item 21.


Report of the Treasurer pdf icon PDF 64 KB

Additional documents:


The Report was presented by Jean Stevenson Treasurer

The Treasurer drew the Boards attention to the following within the Report:

Section A - The Revised Annual Budget 2017/18 and the Annual Budget 2018/19. It was confirmed that a number of items which have been purchased have not been coded correctly and this is being reworked.  Members were also advised that there is an ongoing issue with the energy supplier and the first 6 months of bills are incorrect, the in year figures in the report account for these issues.

Section B current year budget increased slightly due to additional cost of insurance and allowances made for valuation office costs of valuing the land as detailed above.  In respect of estimates of income and expenditure for the year ending 31 March 2019, an increase in number of cremations is expected and strong ancillary sales. The Treasurer has built in Capital programme expenditure. It was pointed out that the revised surplus for the year is lower than expected and is forecast at £300k at present.

Section C Report on Charges. The Treasurer highlighted the proposed increase to the cremation fee to £570 which is an increase of 2.7%. It was confirmed that this will still be lowest price in the area. Other proposed changes included a £200 proposed charge for a memorial service - without a cremation this will be a new service not previously offered, and also the introduction of a late cancellation fee to cover costs.  Members asked if there would be capacity in the chapel to offer memorial services. Offices indicated that this was not thought to pose an issue.

Members queried the increase of 4.8% for services before 10am.  The Treasurer advised that when the decision was taken to reduce the fee for cremations before 10am, it was set at half the fee in place at that time. Members were advised that this fee was not increased last year so the increase proposed was to bring this into line.  In debate the Chair sought to identify if members were minded to agree and if a consensus agreement on the best way forward was evident. Discussion took place on a number of options: on if the increase should be agreed at 4.8% or at a level in line with other increases at 2.7% increases or if the charge for this item should remain unchanged.  Members pointed out that a 2.7% increase equated to £7.20. Members were originally debating on the proposed increase to 4.8% or leaving the fee as is, and then moved on to debate if an increase of 2.7% would be more acceptable. In discussion it was also pointed out that the early morning slots are not just used by people who are looking to reduce costs but are also chosen by families where there is a limited number of family members attending. Discussion highlighted the need to cover increased costs. In moving to vote, the Chair motioned for members to vote on if they were minded  ...  view the full minutes text for item 22.


Any urgent items brought forward at the discretion of the Chair

The Chair must approve the reason for urgency.


There were no urgent Items


Date of next meeting and proposed meeting dates for 2018

The next meeting of the Board will take place on Tuesday 13 March 2018

 at 10am at London Borough of Sutton Civic Centre.




At the December meeting each year the dates for the quarterly meetings for the following year which are usually held in March, June September and December are agreed.


The following dates are proposed:


13 March 2018

12 June  2018

11 September 2018

4 December  2018



The next meeting of the Board will take place on Tuesday 13 March 2018 at 10am at London Borough of Sutton Civic Centre.



1.    The following dates be agreed for the meetings  in 2018

13 March 2018

12 June 2018

11 September 2018

4 December 2018


 Meeting ended 11.30am