A number of improvements are being considered for Wellingborough’s Nene Valley Crematorium.
Nearly 700 cremations were held at the county’s newest crematorium in its first year of trading, with an average of 12 cremations per week.
The target for year one was 500 so the total number was considerably higher than expected by Wellingborough Bereavement Services (WBC), which runs the crematorium on behalf of the council.
As part of a report looking back at its first year since opening in September 2016, members of Wellingborough Council’s resources committee will be asked to consider several improvements.
The report says: “There is significant pressure on the company to make some changes to the crematorium.
“A survey identified the key points - the most significant of which was the need for a covered waiting area.
“If this work is not undertaken it is possible that families will find the crematorium inhospitable in bad weather.
“There is also a growing need for a memorial garden which has a variety of options.
“To date the first scattering lawn is in place, and a wall of remembrance could be delivered within the next few months, subject to funding.
“The company’s main focus at this time is the delivery of a garden which is welcoming and attractive - and suits the architecture of the building.”
These improvements have been put forward after staff collected feedback from users and carried out a formal survey.
The report also says the company was not expected to make any profit in the first year and the accounts show the company reporting a net loss of £14,000 as of March 31, 2017. Despite this, the 2017/18 forecast outturn position for the current year is currently on track to deliver a £145,000 profit before tax.
It also says while the board is not proposing any change to the existing fees for the coming year, a new fee of £450 for direct cremations has been suggested.
This would be a drop-off by a driver (with no mourners) out of core hours and the cremation would take place at a time to suit the team.
Members of the council’s resources committee will be invited to recommend that the council:
- consider allocation of a capital budget to enable alterations to the canopy outside the waiting room
- consider allocation of a capital budget to enable phased development of the gardens of remembrance
- introduce a fee of £450 for a direct cremation which could take place at a time convenient to the crematorium staff and without any use of the chapel or other related services
- amend the make-up of the board of Wellingborough Bereavement Services Ltd to two councillors and two employees of the council or the company
The meeting starts at 7pm tomorrow (Wednesday) in the council chamber at Swanspool House in Wellingborough.