Agenda and minutes

North East Surrey Crematorium Board
Tuesday, 11th June, 2019 10.00 am

Venue: North East Surrey Crematorium Chapel, Lower Morden Lane, Morden, SM4 4NU

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

Items
No. Item

1.

Appointment of Chair

By convention the role of Chair of the Board is taken by the three constituent authorities in rotation. To accord with that convention the Chairman for 2019/20 should be elected from amongst the London Borough of  Merton councillors.

Minutes:

By convention the role of Chair of the Board was taken by the three constituent authorities in rotation. To accord with that convention the Chair for 2019/20 should be elected from amongst the London Borough of Merton councillors.

It was proposed by Councillor Joan Henry, and seconded by Councillor Jean Crossby that Councillor Nick Draper  be elected Chair for the municipal year 2019/20. A vote was taken and it was: 

RESOLVED: That Councillor Nick Draper from London Borough of Merton be appointed Chair of the Board for the municipal year 2019/20

2.

Appointment of Vice Chair

By convention the role of Vice-Chair of the Board is taken by the three constituent authorities in rotation. To accord with that convention the Chairman for 2019/20 should be elected from amongst the London Borough of Sutton councillors.

Minutes:

By convention the role of Vice Chair of the Board was taken by the three constituent authorities in rotation. To accord with that convention the Vice Chair for 2019/20 should be elected from amongst the London Borough of Sutton councillors

It was proposed by Councillor Jean Crossby, and seconded by Councillor Joan Henry. That Councillor Vincent Galligan be appointed Vice Chair ffor the municipal year 2019/20  A vote was taken and it was: 

RESOLVED: That  Councillor Vincent Galligan be elected Vice-Chair for the municipal year 2019/20.

3.

Apologies for absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Nick McLean, Councillor Nick Draper and Councillor Tony Belton.

4.

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest

 

5.

Minutes of the last meeting pdf icon PDF 90 KB

To approve as a correct record the Minutes of the meeting held on 12 March 2019.

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 12 March 2019 were agreed as a correct record and signed by the Chair.

 

6.

Report of the Surveyor pdf icon PDF 136 KB

This report is to provide an update to the board on activities in the quarter to June 2019 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:

Clive Andrews, the Surveyor  to the Board, introduced the report, which provided an update on activities covering the quarter to June 2019 relating to the Management Agreement between North East Surrey Crematorium Board and Wandsworth Borough Council, and the responsibilities carried out by Enable Leisure and Culture under the terms of that agreement. Members attention was drawn to the following points:

Business activity on the number of cremations for past year was 1972. This exceeded the estimate of 1950 cremations for the year. The figure shows a slight decline on last year and the Surveyor advised that the last four months have seen a decline in cremations Nationwide. The position will continue to be reported at each meeting of the Board. 

Performance Monitoring

The Surveyor outlined that exempt information is for example data relating to an individual's personal data or commercially sensitive information. 

Maintenance and equipment - The Surveyor confirmed all fire risk assessment recommendations have been actioned.  It was confirmed that the books of remembrance which are not on display will now be held in a fireproof safe to make sure they are fully protected as required under the terms of the insurance cover renewal for 2019/20

The board was advised that money invested in new cremators is now paying dividends as fuel costs have reduced significantly. 

Regarding the purchase of additional land from London Borough of Wandsworth (LBW), it was confirmed that the relevant LBW committee will meet on 4 July and the executive on 8 July 2019 to ratify the decision to sell the land to the NESCB.  

Establishment of an Ashes Lawn 

The committee were reminded that NESC is running out of room and in 2018/19 capital budget members agreed for a budget £75K to be established for the creation of a new ashes lawn.

The Surveyor outlined the two options available. 

In debate Members wanted to ensure that a full consultation with the families of the bereaved was carried to give the opportunity for people to comment and share their views. 

Wandsworth Council’s Design Services had obtained costs of both options. It was confirmed that Crematorium have a duty of care to provide an area for the ashes to be interred or scattered.

The Board were advised that no other public sector crematorium has carried out a project to raise an ashes lawn, but that private crematoria have carried out similar projects of this nature. 

The current cost of Option 1  is more than the current budget set aside, by £80k. The Treasurer confirmed that there could be sufficient funds in the budget to cover this additional cost if this option was preferred without negatively affecting future distribution to constituent Council’s.

Members sought clarification on the expected number of years each option is expected to last for.  The Surveyor confirmed that Option 1 would provide space for approximately 50 years and Option 2 for approximately 15 years. 

In a lengthy debate Members expressed their concerns regarding the sensitivity in particular with Option 1, and how  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.

7.

Report of the Treasurer pdf icon PDF 78 KB

This report is to provide an update to the Board on the Annual Review of Internal Control, the performance against the Management Agreement revised Annual Budget as approved in December 2018, the Board’s Accounts for year ending 31 March 2019 and the Annual Governance and Accountability Return for year ending 31 March 2019.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

 

Mark Davies, the Treasurer to the Board provided an update on the Annual Review of Internal control, the performance against the Management Agreement revised budget as approved in December 2018, the Boards Accounts for the year ending 31 March 2019 and the Annual Governance and Accountability Return for the year ending 31 March 2019.

The Treasurer confirmed that in respect of the Annual Review of Internal Control overall a substantial assurance had been given which meant that there was largely a sound system of internal control.  He highlighted the issues which had been raised by the auditors and the proposed management actions to mitigate these risks. 

In respect of the Management Agreement performance 1 April 2018 to 31 March 2019.

The Treasurer gave a comparison of the budget compared to the actual costs, he highlighted the areas that were under and over budget, and commented that overall total costs were under budget. 

In respect of the Accounts for the period to 1 April 2018 to 31 March 2019 Members attention was drawn to the balance sheet in particular to the improvement in collection of debts in a timely way.

Members sought clarification on a number of areas in particular the cost of employing  Enable Leisure and Culture and also how the surplus funds are invested to generate a return. The Treasurer responded accordingly highlighting that Treasury matters were covered by both the Scheme of Delegation and the Financial Regulations.

The Treasurer set out the requirements for the accounts of the Board to be published and the relevant time frames for these being available which had been provisionally set as being from 24 June 2019 to 2 August 2019.

RESOLVED: That

In relation to Appendix A and Ai, the Annual Review of Internal Control:

a.           The report by the South West London Audit Partnership be noted and the management actions proposed be endorsed,

and;

b) The appointment of the South West London Audit Partnership as the Boards internal Auditors be agreed.

2. In relation to Appendix B, the Management Agreement:

a.            The Management Agreement performance for the period 1 April 2018 to 31 March 2019, attached at appendix B for information be noted.

3. In relation to Appendix C, the Boards Accounts:

a.            the Boards accounts for the period 1 April 2018 to 31 March 2019, attached at Appendix C be approved.

4. In relation to Appendix D, The annual Governance and Accountability Return for the year ending 31 March 2019:

a.            Section 1 - The Annual Governance Statement be approved,

and;

b) Section 2 - The Accounting Statements be approved.

 

8.

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 Section 100B (4) of the Local Government Act 1972. 

Minutes:

There were no urgent items

9.

Date of next meeting

The Annual Memorial Service will be held on Sunday 7 July at 3pm, at North East Surrey Crematorium, Lower Morden Lane, Morden SM4 4NU.

 

The next meeting of the Board will take place on 10 September 2019 at 10am at London Borough of Sutton Civic Offices, St Nicholas Way, SM1 1EA.

 

Minutes:

The next meeting will take place on 10 September 2019.