Fringe Box



Council Puts Finances in Place for Rebuild of Crematorium

Published on: 5 Dec, 2016
Updated on: 4 Dec, 2016
Guildford Crematorium

Guildford Crematorium, New Pond Road, where around 1,700 cremations are carried out each year

A proposal to rebuild Guildford Crematorium, at a budgeted cost of up to £10 million, is expected to be approved at a full Guildford Borough Council (GBC) meeting on Tuesday (December 6).

The requirement to upgrade the crematorium, which provides around 1,700 cremations per year, has been accepted by the council for some years. In January (2016) it was agreed to progress the project by commissioning consultants Press & Starkey to carry out further feasibility work for which £300,000 was assigned.

The gardens of remembrance

The gardens of remembrance

A report considered by the GBC Executive at the time stated: “…a redeveloped facility will be more appropriate to the borough’s current and future population’s need for this service. The use of this service was a small fraction of its current level when the present facilities were constructed in the 1960s.”

A displayed notice publicising this year's award of a green flag

A displayed notice publicising this year’s award of a green flag

It also identified economic and environmental reasons for the rebuilding work adding: “a more flexible design will allow the council to align more accurately the bereavement services to individual beliefs and customer choices.”

Although the deliberation on this subject was been held in camera by the Executive, with the public and press excluded, it has been made public that the full council will now be asked to ratify the Executive’s recommendation including: a transfer of £4 million to the approved capital programme and that: “the director of environment (James Whiteman) be authorised, in consultation with the lead councillor for infrastructure and governance (Cllr Matt Furniss, Con, Christchurch) and the lead councillor for finance (Cllr Michael Illman, Con, Shalford), to take such decisions as may be required for the delivery of the next stages 2-7 [of the project] and in relation to the capital cost of the project (within the £10 million budget) and the business case.”

Although the report recommends:  “…the rebuilding of Guildford Crematorium be approved on the basis of Option 1 ‘Courtyards’ (as detailed in the Haverstock Feasibility Study),” it does not describe that option, only that further options: “alternate courtyards using existing chapel during project”; “new build with full closure” and; “maintain/refurbish existing facility”, were ruled out.

The crematorium office

The crematorium office

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Responses to Council Puts Finances in Place for Rebuild of Crematorium

  1. Jim Allen Reply

    December 5, 2016 at 11:10 am

    The fires of progress proceed at long last in the correct direction.

    Perhaps the capacity of the roads approaching the site will be considered at the same time? The number of prospective ‘customers’ passing the site will rapidly increase as the additional houses in Waverley and Guildford are completed over the coming years, resulting in even more congestion on the surrounding roads.

  2. Dave Middleton Reply

    December 5, 2016 at 3:01 pm

    Perhaps I’m being naive, but £10 million seems an awful lot of money to knock the old building down and put up a new one. Surely the council already own the land that it sits on, so land purchase need not be factored in?

    Presumably the rubble of the old building could be used in the footings of the new buildings, it’s car parks and roads?

    That said, if there are many more £300,000 consultancy fees to be paid that’ll swallow up the budget nicely.

    Also, shouldn’t we be looking alternative means of dealing with the mortal remains of our loved ones, rather than burning a whole lot of fossil fuel gas to send the bulk of them up a chimney into the air?

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