By Andrew Topping, Local Democracy Reporter
Health and safety concerns and repairs needs mean Mansfield Crematorium needs as much as £195,000 spending on it to bring it up to scratch.
Concerns include a cremator flue way system funnelling smoke and fumes into the wider building, as well as leaky water pipes and damaged walls and a mezzanine floor needing repair.
It follows assessments of the Derby Road site by Mansfield District Council which identified four separate contracts that will need to be drawn up to make improvements and repairs to the building.
One contract, expected to cost about £30,000, will address issues with the building’s water supply following issues with leaks, water pressure and quality.
The second contract, costing £35,000, outlines a series of works due to be conducted by one contractor in the coming months.
These works include new fire doors, the removal of ducting, filling in holes and repairing walls, and erecting a new wall to prevent staff from receiving “no protection” from the hot surfaces of cremators.
The mezzanine floor repair will be made within the crematory and yard, with documents confirming this needs to be done as areas of the damaged floor pose a “significant health and safety issue”. This is expected to cost £25,000.
And the fourth contract will address the cremator flue ways funnelling smoke and fumes into the building. Repairs, estimated at costing £40,000, will see the refurbishment of vents and flue sections of each cremator in the building.
All four contracts will be funded through unused capital funding carried over from the 2021/22 financial year.
Further maintenance works have also been identified at the site, with councillors approving funding for them to take place.
This includes replacing a blast tube on one of the cremators following a “significant crack”, which will cost between £5,000 and £10,000, as well as the re-bricking of a separate cremator in August at a maximum cost of £55,000.
Members of the Mansfield and District Crematorium Joint Committee, which includes senior councillors on Mansfield, Ashfield and Newark and Sherwood councils, approved the works during a meeting on Monday (May 23).
Councillor Andy Burgin (Lab) is the portfolio holder for environment and leisure on Mansfield District Council.
Speaking in the meeting, he said: “These works are essential to make sure the cremators are going to get us through this period and not reduce the capacity.
“The items listed do all seem to be relating to health and safety issues and we have a duty of care to our staff to make sure they’re working in a safe environment.
“I think we need to make sure we’re following this duty of care and to press ahead and get these works done as soon as possible.”
Nada Colclough, the crematorium and cemeteries manager and registrar, added: “This work is an absolute necessity just because of our environmental obligations and our health and safety requirements.
“A lot of these works will be one-offs. Yes, they need to be serviced and maintained on a regular basis, but the costs should be a one-off.
“All of this work results from a [previous] contract being terminated. They’re works we knew we needed to complete at some point and unfortunately, they are unavoidable.”
Concerns were raised that the works would be taking place at a time when the committee is progressing with plans for a new-build crematorium.
However, Ms Colclough told the committee most of the work would need to be conducted regardless of the new-build plans, stressing they are a “necessity” due to the health and safety risks.