Agenda and minutes

North East Surrey Crematorium Board
Tuesday, 4th December, 2018 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

19.

Apologies for absence

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Councillor Graeme Henderson and Councillor Terry Walsh, Councillor Skeet. Also absent were Councillor Belton and Councillor Crossby. Apologies for lateness was received from Councillor Cowper.

20.

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

 

21.

Minutes of the last meeting pdf icon PDF 72 KB

To approve as a correct record the Minutes of the meeting held on 11 September 2018.

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 11 September 2018 were agreed as a correct record and signed by the Chair.

 

22.

Report of the Treasurer pdf icon PDF 171 KB

This report is provided to allow the Board to consider proposals on Fees and Charges, the Management Agreement Annual Budget, the Board’s Annual Budget and the Distribution of Surplus and to provide an update on the work of the External Auditors in relation to the Annual Governance and Accountability Return for the Year Ended 31st March 2018.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Mark Davies, the Treasurer to the Board presented the report and highlighted proposals on Fees and Charges, the Management Agreement Annual Budget, the Board’s Annual Budget and the Distribution of Surplus and to provide an update on the work of the External Auditors in relation to the Annual Governance and Accountability Return for the Year Ended 31st March 2018.

He drew Members attention to the proposed increase of 3.3% for the standard cremation fee.

Councillor Birchall highlighted the issue of overall cost of funerals and queried if we should be increasing the cremation charge. The Officer advised this is in line with inflation and is still less expensive than fees charged by other surrounding authorities. The Surveyor further advised Members that in the latest report on overall funeral costs these can be in the region of £4,000 and that the majority of that total fee is charged by the undertakers with the actual cremation fee making up a relatively small proportion.

In debate Members confirmed they would like to keep the reduced fee for early morning cremations and discussed that the usual inflation increase should be added to the current costs. Councillor Birchall asked if the price before 10am could be kept the same and the officer responded that it was proposed that this would remain at 50% of the standard cremation fee.

In respect of the Management Agreement Annual Budget the Board was required to approve the annual budget. The Treasurer highlighted the revised budget is based on the assumption of 1950 cremations per annum increased from the original estimate of 1850. The overall Management Agreement budget for both 2018/19 and 2019/20 was increased largely due to cost of sales which was a direct consequence of the increase number of cremations and higher energy costs. The final point of note was the increase in the quarterly management fees to Enable from £875 to £1,000 per quarter.  Councillor Galligan asked why this increase was 11% and asked what is included in that increase. The Officer responded accordingly and confirmed that in cash terms the increase was fairly modest.

In respect of appendix C the overall budget for the Board, the Treasurer pointed out the overall increase and confirmed that the largest increase is due to the increase cost of the Management Agreement as previously discussed. He also highlighted that an increase in income of more than 10% is expected due to the increase in the estimated number of cremations plus additional income from mercury abatement income. The Treasurer pointed out the delay to the ashes lawn programme. He also advised Members that balances are held at a higher level currently so that, should, the opportunity arise to purchase any additional land there would be funds available to do that.

In respect of the Boards Annual Budget and the distribution of the Surplus the Treasurer highlighted that in the past distribution would previously have stopped if there was a year of large expenditure. He advised the Board that in his view  ...  view the full minutes text for item 22.

23.

Exclusion of the press and public

The following motion should be moved, seconded and approved if the committee wishes to exclude the press and public to deal with reports revealing exempt information:

 

“That the public be excluded from the meeting for the following items of business on the grounds that they involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraph 3 Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972.”

 

Minutes:

Councillor Michael Ryder motioned that: That the public be excluded from the meeting for the following items of business on the grounds that they involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraph 3 Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972.

This was seconded by Councillor Birchall

RESOLVED: That the public be excluded from the meeting for the following items of business on the grounds that they involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraph 3 Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972.

All Members of the Public and Enable Staff left the room.

 

24.

Report of the Surveyor pdf icon PDF 206 KB

This report is to provide an update to the board on activities in the quarter to December 2018 relating to the management agreement between North East Surrey Crematorium Board 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 introduced the report, which provided an update on activities covering the quarter to December 2018 relating to the management agreement between North East Surrey Crematorium Board and Wandsworth Council and the responsibilities carried out by Enable Leisure and Culture. Members attention was drawn to the following points:

Business Level activity has increased by 13% and it is predicted that the number of cremations will be increased to over 2000 cremations for the year.

Performance Monitoring of Enable Leisure and Culturefor quarter 1 year 4 (Nov 2018) was discussed. The Surveyor discussed the exempt report, and highlighted the need to resurface the pathways in the Garden of Remembrance over next couple of years. It was confirmed that the heat exchanger is now in place and being used to heat the crematorium, and buildings whilst the cremators are in operation and this is beneficial environmentally.

Councillor Galligan asked about burden sharing agreement and the Surveyor covered this in the action plan.

Councillor Birchall asked about efficiency rating of 78% and asked how that performance is compared to others. The Surveyor responded that this will improve the more the cremators are used and that once a certain temperature is reached they are very cost effective. So, if for example there are between 9 and 12 cremations during each day then the machines run more efficiently and the gas needs and costs reduce. This is due to the heat being built up and left on rather than the machines being turned on and off and left to get cold and then turned back on again.

In respect of action plan- Item 2 Tradeable Mercury Abatement burden Sharing Agreements the Board were advised that this will be discussed further in the new year. The Surveyor advised discussions are ongoing with a new proposed partner and if this comes to fruition this would be for tradeable mercury abatement cremations for the year 2019 and the calculations for this would be confirmed for payment to NESCB from January 2020. In respect of Item 3 regarding the ashes lawn it is hoped that the costing will be ready for the March meeting and the Surveyor advised he would like to send dates for Board Members to meet on site to look at the two options, in February, for a decision to be made in September 2019. The board members agreed they would like to go ahead with a site visit in February.

In respect of capital works It was highlighted to the board the provision of air conditioning in the crematorium chapel to help resolve the excessive temperatures in the summer months. Also highlighted was that the main drive lighting is to be improved. Councillor Galligan agreed this is needed for Health and Safety reasons and Members concurred with this.

In respect of the 2018 Carol Service. Councillor Birchall asked why it will be conducted by a humanist minister. Barbara Ward (Bereavement Services Manager from Enable) advised that it is a multi  ...  view the full minutes text for item 24.

25.

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:

There was no urgent business.

 

26.

Date of next meeting and proposed meeting dates for 2019

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:

12 March 2019

11 June 2019

10 September 2019

3 December 2019

Minutes:

The next meeting of the Board will take place on Tuesday 12 March 2019 at 10am at London Borough of Sutton Civic Centre.

RESOLVED That:  The following dates be agreed for the meetings in 2019

12 March 2019,

11 June 2019,

10 September 2019,

3 December 2019.