Agenda and minutes

Coychurch Crematorium Joint Committee - Friday, 4th March, 2022 14:00

Venue: remotely - via Microsoft Teams

Contact: Democratic Services 


No. Item


Declarations of Interest

To receive declarations of personal and prejudicial interest (if any) from Members/Officers in accordance with the provisions of the Members’ Code of Conduct adopted by Council from 1st September 2009.







Approval of Minutes pdf icon PDF 204 KB

To receive for approval the Minutes of 03/09/21



RESOLVED: That the minutes of the 03.09.2021 be approved as a true and accurate record.


Flower Court Facilities pdf icon PDF 151 KB


The Bereavement Services Manager and Registrar presented the report which advised the joint committee on the planned extension work to the Flower Court Facilities. The Facility has been designed to improve the mourner’s experience and the movement of the congregation by providing a larger covered facility on the current unused grass area which is in keeping with the crematoriums listed building status and the design ethos of the original architect.


At the meeting on the 14th of June 2019, the Joint Committee was introduced to the architect, Jonathan Adams, previous President of the Royal Society of Architects in Wales and noted for various prestigious projects including the Millennium Centre in Cardiff Bay. The Joint Committee was provided with a detailed presentation of his proposed design for the extension works, which the Joint Committee approved and authorised officers proceed to apply for planning permission and invite tenders for the construction works, subject to further approval. The funding for the project would be accommodated from the Crematorium’s reserve funds at an estimated £540,000. At the meeting of the Joint Committee on the 6th of March 2020, funds were re approved in the 2020/21 budget. At the meeting on the 4th of September 2020, the Joint committee was again updated that despite the pandemic, work had been progressing. Firstly, in relation to statutory approvals, planning approval had been received from Bridgend Council in July 2020 and listed building consent had been provided by the Welsh Government on the 25th of August 2020. Secondly, in relation to the building design, the architect, Jonathan Adams, had been working to perfect the bespoke structural elements such as the roof domes and the vertical supports in order to minimise the construction risk and provide cost certainty in advance of the contract commencing. Thirdly, in relation to the projects, health and safety requirements on site and the skill set of the design team.


At the meeting on the 5th of March 2020, the Joint Committee was advised that the pandemic had impacted upon the timetable and the Joint committee approved the funds at £550,000 for the 2021/22 budget to enable the architect to continue to actively progress the procurement stage and the preparation of tenders. The pandemic has had a detrimental impact upon procurement timetable. 


The Bereavement Services Manager and Registrar reported that tenders will be invited through E tender Wales in March 2022, in accordance with  Bridgend Council Borough Council’s contract and financial procedure rules. Construction works plan to commence summertime this year. The estimated budget cost of £550,000 for the project has been included today's accompanying business plan and fees report and accommodated in the 2022/23 revenue budget as detailed in the company accompanying Treasurer’s report.


A member of the Joint Committee expressed his approval of the proposal and stated he was pleased with the progress made with an idea he had taken to the Bereavement Services Manager and Registrar.


A member of the Joint Committee asked if there was a formal projection of the increase  ...  view the full minutes text for item 103.


Crematorium Business Plan and Fees pdf icon PDF 294 KB

Additional documents:


The Bereavement Services Manager and Registrar reported on the  business plan and the expenditure programme for 2022-2023, which  includes proposed fees and charges.


She informed the Joint Committee that the business plan is presented annually for approval, which includes service objectives and proposed maintenance and improvement projects to enhance and maintain the crematorium grounds and buildings for the forthcoming financial year.  She outlined the awards and achievements particularly, the achievement of the Green Flag Award again in 2021 and that the service remains financially self-sufficient.  She detailed the staffing structure, which included the two temporary crematorium technicians employed in May 2020 to assist with resilience during the COVID-19 pandemic.  The business hours were listed, the types of memorialisation provided, the different ways that the crematorium markets itself and communicates with its service users. The Business Plan also highlighted the different ways that the crematorium remains environmentally sustainable and the key achievements over the past ten years and mentioned those  most recently in 2021.  External lighting had been installed and the renewal of the two chapels digital music facilities, including the installation of visual tributes screens.


The Bereavement Services Manager and Registrar reported that performance indicators are shown for the previous five years which relate to user satisfaction, the results of which are taken from the service questionnaires sent to cremation applicants. The target is to achieve 100% overall satisfaction levels rated at good or excellent, and these remain constant at 100% with the target set for the same in 2022/23.


The Bereavement Services Manager and Registrar detailed the annual statistics for cremations in the calendar year 2021, which was 1887.

The total number of cremations for 2020 was 1933 compared to the 1887 in 2021, which was a decrease 46 cremations in 2021.However, there had been an increase in the number of cremations of 308 on 2019 as a result of the pandemic, so despite the 46 cremations decrease, it still showed the impact of the pandemic on the number of deaths.


The Bereavement Services Manager and Registrar reported on the agreed works in 2021-22, which relate to mercury abatement and improvements to Chapel Computerised music and media systems.  The installation of external lighting to the grounds again delayed due to the pandemic in the previous year was completed in July 2021, below the original estimated budget.  The flower court extension, very much delayed by the pandemic, has now reached the procurement stage for the construction phase of the project.  The estimated budget amount is included in the 2022/23  budget. With regard to mercury abatement charges to Cameo following the installation of mercury abatement plant in April 2016, this enabled the crematorium to trade with Cameo to generate an annual income of £5006 which has been received from the trading year 2020/21. 


Confirmation was awaited on the potential amount of income expected in 2021/22.  There was an expectation of a slight decrease in this annual income in the future as more crematoriums install mercury abatement plant.  The main focus of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 104.


Programme Of Meetings 2022-23 pdf icon PDF 134 KB


The Bereavement Services Manager and Registrar presented a report that sought approval from Members for the proposed programme of meetings of the Joint Committee for year 2022/23. She  stated that the Memorandum of agreement stated that the joint committee should hold a minimum of two meetings  each year. The first of which will be the annual general meeting, at which the  chairperson and vice chairperson for the ensuing year would be elected.



She stated that the 10th of June meeting may be subject to change because of the Council elections and whether Members representing the Joint Committee will have been chosen in time for that meeting date. There may also be a need for an emergency meeting on the Flower court extension if budget costs are exceeded.


The proposed meetings were as follows:-


Friday 10th June 2022 - Annual General Meeting

Friday 9th September 2022

Friday 3rd March 2023


RESOLVED: That the Joint Committee approved the Programme of Meetings for 2022/23 , as outlined in the Officer’s Report.


Financial Performance 2021-22 and Proposed Revenue Budget 2022-23 pdf icon PDF 184 KB

Additional documents:


The Finance Manager reported on the projected financial performance for the crematorium for 2021/ 2022 and to obtain approval from the Joint Committee for the proposed budget and fees and charges for 2022/23 set out in Appendix One.


She stated that the 2021/22 revenue budget was approved by the Joint Committee at its meeting on the 5th of March 2021 and she outlined a comparison of the budget against projected spend as at the 31st of January 2022.  When the budget was set, there was an anticipated budget deficit of £451,000, the  projected outturn as at the end of January is a surplus of £148,000.


The Finance Manager reported on the main variances which are a £48,000 overspend on employees due to two additional crematorium technicians being employed for the full financial year, offset by an underspend of £2,000 on other employee costs, a £78,000 underspend on premises  made up of underspends on planned  maintenance of £75,000 and minor and underspends  on business rates and grounds maintenance, a £26,000 overspend on supplies, services and transport, the majority of which is due to increase spend on items for resale and a £495,000 underspend  on planned capital maintenance.

The underspend on the flower court extension is due to the project being delayed as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. The underspend on site lighting relates to retention payment to be made in 2022/23 . Both projects are included in the capital budget for 2022/23 . 


Income is higher than budgeted resulting from an increased number of cremations and receipt to the Welsh Government COVID-19 hardship fund.

The 2022/23 proposed budget showed a deficit of £232,000.  All 2021/22 non-employee budgets have been reviewed and any necessary adjustments have been made to meet expected expenditure for 2022/23. Employee budgets have been adjusted to reflect salary increments and an increase in National Insurance due to the social care levy where applicable, although no allowance has been made for a pay award.


The Joint Committee was informed of the planned capital maintenance spending requirements, with four schemes detailed budgeted at £665,000 and will be met from the capital financing costs budget.  The income budgets have been prepared assuming a general increase in fees of 5.4% and are based on the usual levels of activity and the 2022/23 proposed fees table outlined.  The effect on the accumulated balance of the proposed budget for 2022/23 is shown, with an accumulated balance of £2.815 million. The balance of reserves as at the 31st of March 2022 is considered a sufficient level to maintain and protect the service in light of unknown demands or emergencies.


Capital expenditure for 2022-2023 will not require any loan charge or contribution from constituent authorities and will be directly funded from revenue contributions and the accumulated surplus from the previous year.


RESOLVED: That the Joint Committee: 

  • Noted the projected financial performance for 2021/22.
  • Confirmed and approved the revenue budget to be adopted for 2022/23

Approved the increase in fees and charges with effect from the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 106.


Urgent Items

To consider any other item(s) of business in respect of which notice has been given in accordance with Rule 4 of the Council Procedure Rules and which the person presiding at the meeting is of the opinion should by reason of special circumstances be transacted at the meeting as a matter of urgency.




No urgent Items.


Councillor Julia Williams thanked the Joint Committee stated that she had enjoyed her work on the Committee and that she was standing down.  Councillors Turner, Venables and Edwards were also standing down and they thanked the officers for the support they had been given whilst they were on the Committee.


The Chairperson thanked the members of the Joint Committee for their service and wished them well for the future.