Agenda and minutes

Coychurch Crematorium Joint Committee - Friday, 8th March, 2019 14:00

Venue: Committee Rooms 2/3, Civic Offices Angel Street Bridgend CF31 4WB. View directions

Contact: Mark Anthony Galvin  Senior Democratic Services Officer - Committees

No. Item


Apologies for Absence

To receive apologies for absence from Members.


Apologies for absence were received from the following Members/Officer:-


Councillor G Cox

Councillor G Hopkins

Councillor JC Spanswick

Councillor DBF White

Councillor JE Williams

Zak Shell


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 60 KB

To receive for approval the Minutes of 14/09/2018


RESOLVED:                  That the Minutes of a meeting of the Coychurch Crematorium Joint Committee dated 14 September 2018, be approved as a true and accurate record.


Pipe Organ Repairs pdf icon PDF 78 KB


The Bereavement Services Manager and Registrar presented a report, the purpose of which, was to advise the Joint Committee on repairs required to the pipe organ in Crallo Chapel at Coychurch Crematorium and to seek approval for improvement and maintenance works.


She explained that the Crematorium is a Grade 2* listed and an important work by architect Maxwell Fry. The existing organ was original to the 1970 building and was built by the distinguished company N P Mander of



The Bereavement Services Manager and Registrar confirmed that the pipe organ has many tangible advantages over an electric organ, such as visual beauty, longevity and the quality of materials and craftsmanship

employed, but primarily it’s the sound quality. The Crematorium she felt, was extremely fortunate to have a pipe organ of such size and quality. This was without doubt one of the unique selling points, which was demonstrated by the wonderful singing that we have come to be known for, attracting

many choirs and soloists.


She proceeded by stating, that the organ has received minimal financial input since 1970, other than that required for basic tuning and maintenance. However, its reliability of late has become more challenging and causing lengthier and more expensive tuning visits. The tuners recommended in 2016 some modernisation of the electrical contacts and some consideration for the safety of the tuner when accessing the pipes at height. The

2017/18 and 2018/19 business plans made provision of £20,000 for minimal repairs, but these had again been postponed in order to fully assess requirements. The original builders, Manders Organs Ltd, were subsequently consulted to carry out a full inspection in October 2018.


She then gave a full resume of the outcome of the inspection, including details of some expansive works that were now required to the organ as a result of such an inspection.


Following this, she added that the organ unusually does not include a reed instrument sound and so it is planned to include an oboe as part of the solid state.


The Bereavement Services Manager and Registrar advised the Joint Committee, that a substitute organ would be made available during the 4 to 5 month duration of the works.


Considering the Crematorium’s Grade 2* listing is it proposed that this work is carried out by Manders Organs Ltd, as a trustworthy means of rendering it mechanically reliable for the future and in order to preserve its authenticity.


The cost of the above works is £96,400 and is included in the Crematorium’s Business Plan for 2019/20. (for clarification, £20,000 is carried forward from this financial year plus an additional £76, 000 from Crematorium reserves).


A Member asked why the works required to the organ had not gone out to tender, in order to obtain ‘best value’ in terms of the cost for its repair/upgrading.


The Bereavement Services Manager and Registrar, advised that the pipe organ was a very unique and complex instrument and as such, it was considered extremely important to secure the company who originally  ...  view the full minutes text for item 42.


External Lighting pdf icon PDF 66 KB


The Green Spaces and Bereavement Services Manager presented a report, in order to seek approval from the Joint Committee for the proposed installation of external lighting at the Crematorium


By way of background, he explained that the provision of such lighting would not just make the site more aesthetically pleasing, but this would also improve safety and security of the Crematoria building and the surrounding grounds, including the car park. Such lighting would also improve visibility for visitors/mourners.


He proceeded further by stating, that the provision of lighting would improve the Crematorium’s ability to comply with the current disability access requirements of the Equality Act 2010.


The proposal was, added the Green Spaces and Bereavement Services Manager, to install low level lighting bollards along the main entrance driveway and pathways, complimented by column lighting to the two main Chapel and office car parks. The style of the lighting would be chosen to compliment the architectural style of the building.


He confirmed that the lighting scheme proposed had been assessed by the Council’s Electrical Engineers and an estimated budget cost calculated which has taken account of all associated fees for design works, planning applications, ecology reports and Contract and Project Management costs.


Finally, the Green Spaces and Bereavement Services Manager confirmed to Members, that the estimated cost of the works ie £300k, had been accounted for in the Crematorium’s Business Plan for 2019/20.


A Member asked if the lighting would be LED and set on a timer so as to reduce electricity costs. She also asked if the lighting would have any adverse effect on any neighbouring properties situate in the nearby vicinity of the Crematoria.


The Bereavement Services Manager stated that the lighting would utilise modern technology, as it was more cost effective than standard lighting. She added that such provision of lighting would not have any impact on neighbouring dwellings, particularly as it was low level style lighting and timing devices would be utilised.


RESOLVED:                  (1)      The Joint Committee approved, in principle, the provision of external lighting to the grounds at Coychurch Crematorium.


                                        (2)     The Joint Committee further authorised the Clerk and Technical Officer to invite tenders in respect of the works to be undertaken and report back to the Joint committee with a view to commencing works within the 2019/20 financial year.


Crematorium Business Plan and Fees pdf icon PDF 98 KB

Additional documents:


The Bereavement Services Manager and Registrar presented a report,

the purpose of which, was to approve the Business Plan and

expenditure programme for 2019/20, which includes proposed increases in cremation fees.


By way of background information, she confirmed that a Business Plan is presented annually to the Joint Committee 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 then referred to the Business Plan, which commenced on Page 19 of the report, where Members will see Awards and Achievements noted (on Page 22), and of particular note, the achievement of the Green Flag

award once more in 2018, as well as further noting, that the service remained financially self-sufficient.


The report then detailed the staffing structure and the business hours; the types of memorialisation provided, the different ways that the Crematorium marketed itself and communicates with its service users and finally, the different ways that the Crematorium remains environmentally sustainable.


On Page 25 of the report, the Bereavement Services Manager and Registrar highlighted the key achievements over the past 10 years so listed there, with the most recent being the construction of the crematory extension followed by the replacement of the cremators for

bariatric cremators, including refrigeration facilities and full mercury abatement plant. Also detailed in this section of the Plan, was the replacement of the flat roof above the original part of the crematory. She then further highlighted the extension of the grounds into the new land and the associated new memorialisation in that area, together with the further extension of the road infrastructure and additional car parking in 2017, named as Phase 2, and the landscaping of this new area in 2018.


The refurbishment of the Chapel of Remembrance also took place in 2018, she added.


At the bottom of Page 26 the performance indicators were highlighted for the previous five years, which related to user satisfaction, the results of which are taken from the service questionnaires sent to cremation applicants. The target, was to achieve 100% overall satisfaction levels rated good or excellent and these remained constant at 100%, with a

target set for the same result in 2019/20.


The Bereavement Services Manager and Registrar, then referred to the annual statistics for cremations, details of which were included on page 28/29 of the Business Plan. The total number of cremations for

2018 was 1614, made up of 998 from Bridgend, 145 from Vale of Glamorgan and 415 from Rhondda Cynon Taff, with 66 non-residents. An agreement with the Princess of Wales Hospital for the cremation of non-viable foetal remains (NVF) had resulted in an additional 12 communal cremations. A further 9 individual NVF cremations were arranged

directly with families, she further added.


The statistical record tables for the period from January to

December 2018 and 2017, were included for comparison purposes on pages 27 and 28 of the Plan and from this Members would note, that the total number  ...  view the full minutes text for item 44.


Christmas Service 2018 pdf icon PDF 60 KB


The Bereavement Services Manager and Registrar submitted a report, the purpose of which, was to update the Joint Committee on the arrangements that took place for the Christmas Service 2018.


She advised that as part of these arrangements, the Joint Committee had been previously advised that refreshments for the Service would be sponsored by Rosemount Funeral Home, Bridgend (Co-operative Funeral Care.)


She further explained that unfortunately Rosemount Funeral Home, Bridgend (Co-operative Funeral Care) withdrew sponsorship at a late stage, for corporate business reasons. Refreshments were then instead sponsored by WH Preene and Son Funeral Directors, Pontyclun.


Members agreed to send a further letter of thanks from the Joint Committee to WH Preene and Son Funeral Directors, appreciating their stand-in assistance with regard to the support of the Christmas Service.


RESOLVED:                       That the Joint Committee noted the report.


Programme of Meetings 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 67 KB


The Bereavement Services Manager and Registrar submitted a report, seeking Members approval for the proposed Programme of Meetings for 2019/20.


The proposed dates for such meetings in the next term were as follows:-


  • Friday 14 June 2019 – Annual meeting and Site Visit (of the Crematorium grounds);
  • Friday 13 September 2019;
  • Friday 6 March 2020


RESOLVED:                      That the Joint Committee approved the Programme of Meetings for 2019/20.


Proposed Revenue Budget 2019-20 pdf icon PDF 90 KB

Additional documents:


The Accountant, Financial Control and Closing presented a report, the purpose of which, was to inform the Joint Committee of the projected financial performance for the Crematorium for 2018-19, and to obtain approval from the Joint Committee for the proposed Budget and Fees and Charges for 2019-20.


She referred Members to paragraph 4.1 of the report and Table 1, which reflected the financial position at 31 January 2019 together with the projected outturn for 2018-19.


The Accountant, Financial Control and Closing, advised that when the budget had been set, there was an anticipated surplus of £373k. The projected outturn as at the end of January was a surplus of £464k, which will require a transfer to the Crematorium’s Accumulated Surplus. Paragraph 4.2 gave an explanation of the main variances between the Budget and Projected Outturn, and the presenting Officer outlined these for the benefit of Members, including in Table 2, Planned Maintenance for 2018-19.


Paragraph 4.3 of the report gave details of the Proposed Revenue Budget for 2019-20, which currently showed an estimated overall surplus of £336k. She added that employee budgets have been adjusted to reflect salary increments where applicable, including a 2% uplift for the 2019-20 pay award.


Paragraph 4.6 then gave information on the Business Plan for 2019-20, that included a budget requirement of £776k to meet proposed expenditure itemised in Table 2 in this section of the report, entitled Business Plan Spending Requirements.


The income budgets had been prepared she advised the Joint Committee, on the assumption of a general increase in fees of 2.8% (1% plus CPI at 1.8%) based on current levels of activity. The 2019-20 Proposed Fees Table was attached at Appendix 1 to the report.


Paragraph 4.9 of the report gave the effect on the accumulated balance of the proposed budget for 2019-20 in table form (ie Table 5), with any deficit taken from the accumulated surplus. It was projected that at 31 March 2020, there will be an accumulated balance of £1,387,000. The Accountant, Financial Control and Closing informed Members, that the balance of Reserves (at 31 March 2020) was considered a sufficient level to maintain to protect the service in light of any unknown demands or emergencies.


Finally, she concluded her submission by stating that capital expenditure will not require any loan or charge contribution from constituent authorities in 2019-20. She added, that items of a capital nature for 2019-20 in Table 4 (paragraph 4.6 of the report), will be directly funded from revenue contributions and the accumulated surplus from previous years.


RESOLVED:                            That the Joint Committee:-


(1)      Noted the projected financial for 2018-19.

(2)         Confirmed and approved the revenue budget to  be adopted for 2019-20.

  Approved the increase in fees and charges with effect from 1 April 2019, outlined in Appendix 1 to the report.


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.