Greenwich Council

Agenda and minutes

Venue: Eltham Crematorium, Crown Woods Way, Eltham SE9

Contact: Jean Riddler  Email: or 020 8921 5857

Note: Moved from 28 September 

No. Item


Apologies for Absence

To receive apologies for absence from Members of the Committee.


There were no apologies for this meeting.


Urgent Business

The Chair to announce any items of urgent business circulated separately from the main agenda.


There were no items of urgency for this meeting.


Declarations of Interest

Members to declare any personal and financial interests in items on the agenda.  Attention is drawn to the Council’s Constitution; the Council’s Code of Conduct and associated advice.


There were no interests declared other than memberships of their Constituent Authorities.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 69 KB

Members are requested to confirm as an accurate record the Minutes of the meeting’s held on 16 February and 29 June 2017.


No motion or discussion may take place upon the Minutes except as to their accuracy, and any question on this point will be determined by a majority of the Members of the body attending who were present when the matter in question was decided.  Once confirmed, with or without amendment, the person presiding will sign the Minutes.

Additional documents:


Resolved –


That the minutes of the meetings of the Eltham Crematorium Joint Committee held on 16 February 2017 and 29 June 2017 be agreed and signed as a true and accurate record’s.



Bereavement Services Managers Report pdf icon PDF 133 KB

The Joint Committee is requested note the information provided in this report regarding cremation, memorial sales and operational issues.


The Head of Parks, Estates & Open Spaces present the report and advised that the number of cremations in the first 6 months of the current financial period showed a slight reduction on the previous 2 years. However, this was a position reflected across the country and matched a reduction in deaths.


She continued that there had been consistency in the number of cremations, over the past 10 years, and there was an expectation of an increase over the winter period, which was normal.


The Head of Parks continued that memorials, plaques, sales of niches as well as commemorative book entries were consistent in relation to the number of cremations and in line with other authorities.


She advised that, last year, a new five-year contract had been entered into for the maintenance of Cremators and Ancillary Equipment, which included three scheduled inspections a year.  Further, Cremators 1 and 3 were due to have their scheduled reline in 2018 and a new contract was being entered into which would see them lined with a new style of lining blocks which should last 10 years, opposed to the standard 5 year, and individual blocks could be replaced which would result in less down time of the cremators.


The Head of Parks responded to Members that the cost of changing from standard bricks to the new blocks was a difference of just of £11,000 per Cremator but this was balanced by the reduction in down time, as a result of blocks being individually replaced opposed to requiring a full re-line, as at present.  If agreed, it was intended to commence work on Cremator 3 at the beginning of December and Cremator 1 by the end of January, which were outside of the busy periods and would cause the least disruption to service provision.


The Members felt that it would be helpful to have a copy of a schedule of planned works which should be joined up with planned maintenance to ensure a continuation of service and avoid clashes and prevent any conflict issues that may occur in the summer.


With regards to the CAMEO (CrematoriaAbatement of Mercury Emissions Organisation) burden sharing scheme, the Head of Parks confirmed that Eltham was still meeting approximately 100% cremations undertaken as abated.  That any additional income from trading abated cremations was shorted term, whilst other Crematoria worked towards installing filtration equipment.  She responded to Members that this service had seen an income of around £35,000, and she anticipated reporting on the financial positon on CAMEO at the next meeting.



In summing up the remainder of the report the Head of Parks reported that the removal of the Leylandii Cypress Trees by the car park had been undertaken quicker and easier than anticipated with no negative comments from funeral directors or visitors to the crematorium.  It was proposed to continue with this work and install a robust wood fence along the area they formally occupied.


That the order had been raised to replace 80 chairs in the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.


Report of Maintenance Manager, Capital Projects & Property Maintenance pdf icon PDF 86 KB

The Joint Committee is requested to formally agree final accounts/fee for the completed 2016/17 Planned Programme; note the position on the Planned Works Programme for 2017/18 and consider and comment on the proposed 10 year maintenance programme.

Additional documents:


The Contracts Manager,Capital Projects & Property Maintenance presented the report, taking the Committee through the details of the Planned Works, as set out at Appendix A.  He advised that, whilst the cost of some of the works had increased others had been seen a reduction in expected cost and savings were still being achieved.  He highlighted that the renewal work to the boiler had been moved, as part of the joint works.


Taking the Committee through the planned works for 2018/19 he highlighted the improvement and repair to the North Chapel area and the West Chapel AC and boiler replacement, the latter of which was still undergoing a feasibility study. The replacement of the automatic door opening mechanism to the West Chapel Committal Room was due have been completed in September 2017, but had yet to be undertaken.


In response to Members questions the Contracts Manager confirmed that carbon emissions and nitrogen oxide (nOX) levels would form part of the feasibility study for the new boiler.  He confirmed that if the boiler failed, before renewal, the current service plan had a four-hour response time for repair or provision of alternative heating.


The Contracts Manager continued that the refurbishment work to the Toilets adjacent to Café & Flower Pavilion area had been delayed due to the discovery of asbestos, which needed specialist removal before works could continue. 


The Committee noted the 10 Year Maintenance Programme, supporting the need to invest regularly in the Crematorium and Service provision, within a balanced financial approach.


Resolved –


1.     That final accounts/fee for the completed 2016/17 Planned Programme be formally agreed


2.     That the position on the Planned Works Programme for 2017/18 be noted.


3.     That the proposed 10-year maintenance programme, presented on a year by year basis, be noted.





Finance Managers Treasurer Report pdf icon PDF 103 KB

Note the projected financial position at Period 6 2017/18, and note the findings and recommendations in the Internal Audit Report set out in the Appendix.


Additional documents:


The Finance Manager presented the report, taking Members through the financial position at Period 6 2017/18, as set out in Appendix A to the report.  That it was projected there would be a surplus of £24,000, which could be directed to the boiler work.  That there was £30,000 in reserves being held as payment towards the building of the Angel Wing canopy and benches to the North Chapel.


The Finance Manger confirmed that no monies from donations were held as reserves.


In response to Members questions the Finance Manger advised that the high charges for Gas and Electricity were due to a number of instances of miss billing following a change in contract and have taken time to resolve.  It was anticipated that this situation had now been resolved and cautioned there may be the odd charge period yet to come to light.  She confirmed that the Crematorium was on the best Utilities Charge that could be achieved.


The chair requested that an update on this situation be presented to the next meeting.

Action: Finance Manager


The Finance Manager confirmed to Members that there were two staff vacancies at the beginning of the year and there was a suggestion that an element of the budget be moved to overtime allowance to accommodate where these posts were covered.   Further, if, or when Saturday working was initiated there was financial capacity to cover the salary requirement of this.


Members raised concern that a single company appeared to be causing issues due to delayed or non-payment.


The Head of Parks, Estates & Open Spaces responded that officers were aware of the situation and the administration team were being proactive at pursing this debtor. She confirmed that the company concerned were financially sound but slow to pay their charges and often needed reminding.


The Finance Manager added that a new internal debtor account system had recently been brought on line which would stop this type of situation arising in the future but noted that it was a rare situation.


The Chair requested that, if the situation was not quickly resolved, Officers provided a copy of the debt analysis and, once all the correct procedures have been followed, wrote to them, on behalf of the Committee.


Resolved –


1.     That the projected financial position at Period 6 2017/18 summarised in 7.1.3 and detailed in Appendix A of the report, including all variances, be noted.


2.     That the Repairs & Renewals balance illustrated in 7.2.2 of the report be noted.


3.     That the Donations balance illustrated in 7.3.2 of the report be noted.


4.     That the Distribution and payments, also the projected 2017/18 figures illustrated in 7.4.1 of the report be noted.


5.     That the findings and recommendations in the Internal Audit Report set out in Appendix B of the report be noted.