Agenda and minutes

North East Surrey Crematorium Board
Tuesday, 22nd June, 2021 10.00 am

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

Contact: Cathy Hayward  Tel: 020 8770 4990, Email:  committee.services@sutton.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies for absence

Minutes:

Councillor Mike Ryder gave apologies for absence.

2.

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

3.

Minutes of the last meeting pdf icon PDF 69 KB

To approve as a correct record the Minutes of the meeting held on 9 March 2021.

Minutes:

RESOLVED: that

 

1.    the minutes of the meeting held on 9 March 2021 be agreed as an accurate record.

4.

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.

5.

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 2021/22 should be elected from amongst the London

Borough of Wandsworth councillors

 

 

Minutes:

Councillor Terry Walsh proposed that Councillor Rosemary Birchall be Chair 2021/22 this was seconded by Councillor Nigel Benbow.

 

RESOLVED: that

 

1.    Councillor Rosemary Birchall be appointed as Chair for the year 2021/22

6.

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 2021/22 should be elected from amongst the London

Borough of Merton councillors

Minutes:

Councillor Rosemary Birchall proposed that Councillor Nigel Benbow be Vice Chair for the year 2021/22 this was seconded by Councillor Jean Crossby.

 

RESOLVED: that

 

1.    Councillor Nigel Benbow be appointed as Vice Chair for the year 2021/22

7.

Report of the Surveyor pdf icon PDF 111 KB

This report is to provide an update to the board on activities in the quarter to June 2021 relating to the management agreement between North East Surrey Crematorium Board (NESCB) and Wandsworth Borough Council. The day to day management responsibilities are carried out on behalf of Wandsworth Borough Council by Enable Leisure and Culture.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Clive Andrews, Surveyor to the Board presented the report.

 

Members noted that data for the 2020/21 year could be seen as an anomaly

as the figures covered the period of the pandemic. Members asked that the Surveyor and Treasurer consider how the five year data be presented in the future in order that the data reflected a five year average that could be used for planning purposes.

 

Members noted that government advice was due for publication regarding environmental emissions which may include consideration of additional investment for equipment to manage NOX emissions from crematoria.

 

The surveyor informed the Board that £10k would be donated to the Royal Marsden Hospital by the NESC which had been raised through the recycled metal scheme. It was noted that relatives were aware of the scheme, and metals were only used as part of the scheme if consent had been obtained.

 

Members discussed staffing at the NESC drawing attention to the specialist skills such as interpersonal communication skills required as staff in all roles had contact with the bereaved. Members drew attention to advantages employing permanent staff rather than agency staff, including that permanent staff may have better understanding of the sensitive nature of a role at NESC. Members asked about links between the NESC and local colleges which provided horticultural courses.

 

Members congratulated all staff at NESC that the ‘Gold Status’ in the Charter for the Bereaved annual review of the crematorium at the NESC had been retained.

 

The Surveyor confirmed that the site had been open to the public (apart from during the period when COVID restrictions had not permitted) throughout 2020/21.

 

The Surveyor drew the Board’s attention that the new ashes lawn was now almost completed including the replacement of the memorial to the civilian casualties from the Battersea area during the second world war. Members discussed that an event should be arranged to commemorate the refurbished memorial, the event should include invitations to the Mayor of Wandsworth (as the memorial is to the civilian casualties of the Battersea area), the British Legion and the Imperial War Museum.

 

Councillor Jean Crossby proposed that the Surveyor arrange an event to commemorate the refurbishment of the memorial to civilian casualties of the Battersea area during the second world war, this was seconded by Councillor Annie Moral.

 

RESOLVED that:

 

1.    The report as an overview of the Surveyor’s findings for the management of the crematorium for the past three months (April – June 2021) be noted.

 

2.    Approval be granted to increase the staff establishment list and employ one additional FTE Assistant Gardener as detailed in paragraph 3.20 and note the financial impact to the cost of the establishment list as part of the Treasurer's report be agreed.

 

3.    The Surveyor arrange an event to commemorate the refurbishment of the memorial to civilian casualties of the Battersea area during the second world war.

 

8.

Report of the Treasurer pdf icon PDF 89 KB

A report  to provide an update to the Board on the Annual Review of Internal Control, the performance against the Management Agreement Annual Budget, the Board’s Accounts for year ending 31 March 2021 and the Annual Governance and Accountability Return for year ending 31 March 2021.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Mark Davies, Treasurer to the Board presented the report.

 

The Treasurer confirmed that the statement of accounts were publicly available should the Section 151 officers for each of the constituent boroughs wish to view the financial position of the NESC. It was confirmed that there is currently no process for consultation, nor a requirement to consult, although the S151 officers were advised annually if it was agreed to distribute any surplus NESC funds.

 

The Treasurer outlined the issues raised as part of the Internal Audit and the

Management responses and actions to each of the points raised. Overall the NESC had been given a rating of Substantial Assurance.

 

The Treasurer gave an overview of the financial position highlighting the increase in surplus for the year and the current balance of funds held. The Treasurer confirmed that surplus balances, above the normal working balance level, were invested via Wandsworth Borough Council in line with the Council’s Treasury Management policy. The current cremator replacement reserve stood at £200,000. It was confirmed that consideration would be given to the level of distribution that could be justified as part of the budget setting process in December 2021 which would factor in any immediate expenditure commitments and requirements for investments in relation to emissions and climate change.

 

Finally the Treasurer explained the requirements for the signing of the Annual Governance and Accountability Return for the 2020/21 financial year and drew attention to the reporting deadlines, and that it was expected that these would be met this year.

 

RESOLVED that:

 

1.    In relation to Appendix A, the Annual Review of Internal Control:

 

a) The report by the South West London Audit Partnership and endorse the management actions proposed be noted; and

 

b) The re-appointment of the South West London Audit Partnership as the Board’s internal auditors be approved.

 

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

 

a) The Management Agreement performance for the period 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021, attached at Appendix B, for information be noted.

 

3.    In relation to Appendix C, the Board’s Accounts:

 

 a) The Board’s Accounts for the period 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021, attached at Appendix C. Page 1 of 3 Page 27 Agenda Item 8 be approved.

 

4.    In relation to Appendix D, the Annual Governance and Accountability Return for year ending 31 March 2021:

 

a) Section 1 - Annual Governance Statement be approved; and

 

b) Section 2 - Accounting Statements be approved.

9.

Date of next meeting

The next meeting of the Board will take place on 7 September 2021 at 10.00am.

Minutes:

The next meeting will be held on 7 September 2021 at 10.30am.