Agenda item

Crematorium Business Plan And Fees


The Bereavement Services Manager and Registrar, Bereavement Services, presented a report, seeking the Joint Committees approval of the Business Plan and expenditure programme for 2020-21, which includes a proposed increases in cremation fees.


She advised 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 period.


She confirmed that the total number of cremations for 2019 was 1,625, made up of 1,004 from Bridgend, 143 from Vale of Glamorgan and 400 from Rhondda Cynon Taff, with 78 non-residents. An agreement with the Princess of Wales Hospital for the cremation of non-viable foetal remains (NVF) has resulted in an additional 11 communal cremations. A further 8 individual NVF cremations were arranged directly with families. Statistical records for the period from January to December 2018 and 2019 are included in the Business Plan for comparison.


The proposed Service Level Business Plan for 2020-21 was attached at Appendix 1 to the report, and this outlined the service objectives for the period. The Bereavement Services Manager and Registrar gave a resume of this for the benefit of Members by extracting some of the more important elements of this.


The Business Plan covered the following key areas following it’s introduction:-


·         Section 1 – Serving our Community

·         Section 2 – Service Developments

·         Section 3 – Revenue Budgets

·         Section 4 – Business Plan Review

·         Section 5 - Contacts


The Bereavement Services Manager and Registrar stated that the Crematorium’s cremation charge was placed at 267 out of 299 cremation authorities, in a national fee league table published in summer 2019 by the Cremation Society of Great Britain (where the highest cost is detailed first).  It was recommended that the cremation charge is increased by inflation from £680.70 to £696.40. This is based on a general increase in fees of 2.3% (1% plus CPI at 1.3% in line with the most recent CPI figure published in December 2019).  The table in paragraph 4.3 of the report, indicated a comparison on current (2019-20) cremation fees for adjoining crematoria.


A Member noted from the report, that cremations were free for those aged under 18 on weekdays, but not for any cremations for this age category on a Saturday.


The Bereavement Services Manager and Registrar, advised that only the standard basic service was free under the appropriate Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on weekdays for under 18’s, whereby on Saturday there was an added charge to cover the Crematorium staffing costs to support and/or administer cremation work out of normal weekday hours. There were very few cremations however on a Saturday, she added.  


A Member noted with some pleasure, that the Flower Court extension was now progressing.


The Bereavement Services Manager and Registrar confirmed, that planning permission had been applied for this and that preparation works were presently ongoing. She added that the planning application for this project had taken a bit longer to prepare than had firstly been anticipated as the structure was a Listed Building.


A Member made reference to the report and Service Level Business Plan referring to issues such as, the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015 Assessment, Mercury Abatement and also Climate Change is something that also has to be considered moving forward, in relation to certain levels of decision making by the Authority. With all this in mind, she asked if the Crematoria had any long term plans or vision regarding global warming and emissions, etc.  


The Bereavement Services Manager and Registrar advised that the way and manner in which the Crematoria operated in a considerable number of aspects of its work, was governed by legislation and in accordance with its permit the provisions of which had to be complied with. Public Health Wales also monitored Crematoria, in order to ensure that they were complying with statutory guidance relating to the protection of the environment etc, in relation to for example, Cremators and Mercury Abatement plant.


RESOLVED:                       That the Joint Committee:-


(1)  Approved the Service Level Business Plan 2020-21

(2)  Approved the cremation fee for 2020-21 at £696.40 and a general increase of all fees of 2.3%  


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