Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Room 1-04, Lambeth Town Hall, Brixton Hill, London, SW2 1RW

Contact: David Rose, Democratic Services, 0207 926 1037, Email: drose@lambeth.gov.uk  Democratic Services Officer

Items
No. Item

1.

Welcomes, introductions and declarations of interest

    Minutes:

    The Chair, Nicholas Long, welcomed all to the meeting and proposed initially commencing the meeting informally due to inquoracy arising from Council delegates, which was resolved after Councillor Fred Cowell joined the meeting. The following declarations of interest were raised:

     

          Robert Holden had a family interest and a potential right to burial in five graves;

          Nicholas Long was a grave owner.

2.

Minutes of the West Norwood Cemetery Scheme of Management Committee pdf icon PDF 102 KB

3.

Minutes of the West Norwood Cemetery Advisory Group pdf icon PDF 127 KB

4.

Project Manager HLF Project Update pdf icon PDF 360 KB

    Minutes:

    During the discussion of this item, Councillor Fred Cowell arrived at 17:41 and the meeting became quorate and proceeded thereafter on a formal basis.

     

    Dan Thomas, Programme Manager for Capital Programmes, introduced the report, noting that:

     

              The National Lottery Heritage Fund (NLHF) programme output had not  

    changed and permission had been granted to start works.

              A paper had been submitted to the Council’s Procurement Board to start the process of securing capital by appointing a market consultant over the 3-4 years of capital delivery.

               The recruitment of a Project Manager to oversee construction programme had begun.

               Few NLHF capital works would take place this financial year and were scheduled into Years 2-3.  The Chair noted the urgent need for a Communications Strategy so that the public could be informed on progress and phasing of works, with officers confirming that there would be information boards around the cemetery and online material, which would be forwarded to attendees.

               Proposed governance structures had been developed and would be presented to the Scheme of Management Committee (SoMC) and Project Board after Project Owner approval. 

               The Chair noted the importance of making progress with Faculty petitions, especially in relation to governance to allow for a Strategic Partnership to be created and that the SoMC be concluded.

               The Chair also noted that the St Stephen’s Chapel capital works ideally required completion with sufficient time for slippage by the end of March 2022, to coincide symbolically with the bicentenary of the Chios Massacre.

               The transfer of assets within the Greek Enclosure had been agreed with Greek Cathedral Trust and was now with lawyers to finalise due diligence, with both parties content with agreement.

               The agenda pack, page 11, detailed activities over the coming months to encourage visitors and the Activities Programme was in effect; whilst officers were also utilising the Council’s Communications team to increase exposure.  In discussion it was noted that the only non-built-in charges for this service were if external bodies were engaged and represented no additional project cost.

               The monitoring and evaluation plan had been sent to the NLHF to ensure year-on-year auditing of progress and activities, with metrics set to demonstrate increased threshold/visitor numbers.

               The Chair outlined the Faculty Petitions process as follows: following Diocese Committee recommendations, Faculty Petition was applied for and after consultation, could then be granted Faculty by the Diocese Chancellor.  Faculty submission was separate to the planning process and generally took around six month to process.

               The Hubbard Road entrance consultation expired on 30 April 2019 and was hopefully pending Faculty, however, Faculty for the Robson Road entrance was outstanding, and officers would chase.

               After assessment, the Council had decided to create an internal officer post to contact grave owners affected by Cemetery works and a job description was being developed. 

               The process of altering project deliverables was set out in the original NLHF agreements which detailed red lines or potentially undeliverable works.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.

5.

Cemeteries Investment Update pdf icon PDF 431 KB

    Minutes:

    Dan Thomas, Programme Manager for Capital Programmes, noted the report and provided the following responses to questions:

     

               The Letts Memorial’s carved lamb designs would now be installed in late May and not June, with English Heritage to visit in early June for sign-off and to remove the Thomas Memorial from the Heritage-At-Risk register.  These works were exemplary and showed Lambeth as a credible custodian, whilst the Chair acknowledged the support from the Friends of West Norwood Cemetery (FoWNC) in completing these works.

               Officers would confirm to the Chair of the Advisory Group when English Heritage were visiting.

               The Rose Garden would be fully resurfaced in late May with a bonded gravel product and would be in touch with the Operations team to ensure works did not unduly disrupt Cemetery business.

               The Chair noted the condition of the timber in the Rose Garden and asked whether repair and preservative treatment was planned at the same time.

               Funds had been secured from the Asset Board to commence work on long-term Catacombs aspirations and designs, and it was likely that the Council would go to the NLHF to secure funding for this work to mirror other Cemetery work.

               Engineers were currently assessing the Catacombs scaffolding, and had been delayed getting on site due to health and safety concerns, of which approvals had now been granted.  This work would devise a short- to medium- term solution that was watertight and protected the monument.

               Contractors were also providing quotes to improve Catacombs access and security, with three quotes currently under inspection by Hanna Radlowska, Project Manager.

               The scrub area near the Nettlefold railings (between the Cemetery and cinema) had been cleared,  and officers were awaiting advice from structural engineers from the railing and wall industry to cost replacement railing and officers would report back at the next meeting.  It was noted that this work was co-dependent on other pieces of work nearby including the Visitor Centre entrance.

6.

Operational Update pdf icon PDF 1006 KB

    Minutes:

    The Chair noted that this paper had previously been assessed by the Advisory Group and was to be taken as read, with Dan Thomas, Programme Manager for Capital Programmes; and Doug Black, Design and Conservation Manager, responding to questions as below:

     

               The Chair noted the utmost importance of commencing tree works and the need for it to assume a higher priority, and officers confirmed there were unused funds from the Cemetery Investment Programme to allocate to tree works.

               The Chair stated that a permanent parking location for the gravel excavator was needed, and that this had to be both secure and out of sight.

               Attendees offered congratulations on Lambeth Council’s restoration work to the Johnston Memorial, with the Chair of the Advisory Group noting that clearance of rubble was required, suggesting that officers contact the family to see if they would contribute.

               Officers would chase Tolu Fatogbe, Head of Operations for Property Services, to respond to requests to repair the damaged crematorium wall and nearby memorial, but confirmed the retention of the wall structure, and would add to the list of Cemetery items to review.

               Jacqueline Landy’s Bereavement Services team was now fully staffed and would allow a greater upkeep and remit of the cemetery services, including low-cost funerals and interactions with the local community.

     

    The Chair noted the considerable progress made and welcomed the imminent report on the governance structure and timetabling of governance changes, and thanked attendees for their participation.