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 in costs due to the increase in prices in the construction industry. The Bereavement Services Manager and Registrar
mentioned that a reasonable increase in cost was expected and the architect was aware that the cost of materials and construction has risen significantly right across the industry over the past 6 months, since the ending of the lockdowns. Everything is in short supply. It makes it very difficult to predict what new work will cost. If the project cost exceeded projection, it was not believed costs would increase by a large amount. The results of the tender would need to be awaited to give an accurate indication of the financial implications of the project. If the winning tender is within budget then the tender would be awarded accordingly but if costs exceeded budget, a further report would be brought before the Joint Committee. She stated there might be a requirement for an emergency meeting of the Joint Committee if the tenders exceeded the budget, but reassured the Joint Committee that the Crematorium's Reserve fund would be able to accommodate a higher construction cost if required as the accumulated balance of reserves by March 2023 is projected at 2.8 million. Should this be the case, Joanna would come back to the committee to discuss.
RESOLVED: That the Joint Committee:
Delegated to the Clerk and Technical Officer, the power to approve the final terms of the contract, in consultation with Bridgend Council Chief Officer, Legal and Regulatory Services, Human Resources and Corporate Policy, and therefore arrange for the execution of the contract on behalf of the Joint Committee in accordance with the recommendation in 9.1.