CBCE 2017

in association with:

The Cremation Society of Great Britain

The Cremation Society of Great Britain

The Federation of Burial and Cremation Authorities

The Federation of Burial and Cremation Authorities

Papers & Speakers

Monday 3rd July

CWGC – The Centenary. Community Engagement in the UK
by Jennie Sweeney, BA (Hons), Head of Community Engagement, Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Looking back at our participation in national commemorative events in 2016 to mark the Battle of Somme; The Living Memory project, and our own centenary year engagement in 2017. Working with UK communities to explore local war graves and develop a model of local involvement to harness support and legacy, the presentation gives examples of community work within the cemetery and how we plan to sustain this engagement beyond the centenary period.

Jennie Sweeney is Head of Community Engagement with CWGC, working with community groups and volunteers to explore the heritage of WWI and WWII commemoration in the UK. With a background in Arts and cultural engagement projects, Jennie has delivered and produced national Arts in Health campaigns, launched the UK’s first Deaf Cultural Centre and produced community led works for national celebration and cultural events such as the Cultural Olympiad London 2012.
Investing in your future
by James Penney, MSc, Chairman, Darwin Alternative Investment Management Limited

This presentation will review the current issues facing the sector and explore a new option for “investing in the service”. We will look at the operational and financial pressures faced by Local Authorities and explore ways in which through investment we can achieve the removal of operational and market risk, whilst retaining the assets within the Public Sector.

We will look at the benefits on offer and provide an example of a “win-win” outcome for all concerned, and finally outline how in a public to public transaction we can establish a long term solution to a local need.

James is Chairman of Darwin Property Investment Management Limited and chairs the Investment Committee. He is also the owner and Managing Director of Darwin Consulting, a strategy consulting firm he co-founded in 1997. This firm provides strategic advice to directors and investors in a range of industries, including financial services, private equity and media.

Prior to founding Darwin Consulting, James had an academic career, which included undergraduate and postgraduate research at Trinity College, Cambridge, followed by six years as Principal Lecturer at Westminster College, Oxford. After Oxford, James was a Sloan Fellow at London Business School from which he has an MSc in Management Studies.

Updated Guidelines for Groundwater Protection in Cemeteries
Simon Holbrook, Local Authority Unit (LAU) Manager, The Environment Agency


Simon Holbrook is the manager of the Environment Agency’s Local Authority Unit (LAU). The role of the LAU is to give technical advice to local authorities, operators and other stakeholders on processes regulated under the Environmental Permitting Regulations, which includes Crematoria. Simon comes from a Chemical Engineering background, a graduate of Loughborough University, he worked for over 20 years for Unilever in Research and Development, Health and Safety, and Environmental Protection. He has worked the past 15 years for the Environment Agency in a range of regulatory roles, including a recent secondment to the European Commission to work on BAT (Best Available Techniques) reference documents (BREFs) for the Chemicals wand Waste Incineration industries.

Tuesday 4th July

The Burial and Cremation (Scotland) Act 2016 – Shaping the future of bereavement services in Scotland
by Gareth Brown, Deputy Director, Health Protection and Public Health Reform, Scottish Government
The Burial and Cremation (Scotland) Act 2016 is the most radical overhaul of burial and cremation practices for well over 100 years. With the implementation of the Act now underway this presentation will set out the issues that the Act addresses, provide an update on progress thus far and its impact on service delivery. Gareth Brown has been a career civil servant in Scotland since 1999. In that time he has worked on subjects as diverse as mad cow disease, museums and galleries and community sentences for offenders. Since 2007 Gareth has worked in health policy, for most of that time leading on health protection. From 2012 Gareth also took on responsibility for policy and legislation on death certification and burials and cremation, and he led the response to concerns about historical infant cremation practices.
Learning from the past: your energy future
by Martin Nicholson, BSc, Group Services Manager and Thomas Bates, Sales Manager, Northern Gas & Power Ltd
This presentation will provide a demonstration and explanation of the nascent industry of smart energy technology and strategies, how it must begin to integrate into the world of traditional rigid business practices, and an open investigation into how this can be best applied.



Sensitive handling of pregnancy loss
by Helene Marshall, BSc, RGN, SCM, Educational Project Manager Midwifery, NHS Education for Scotland

The Scottish Government announced an independent commission to investigate infant cremation practices in 2013. The commission, led by Lord Bonomy, published its report in June 2014. The report contained 64 recommendations, including some on training of professionals and staff involved in caring for families following a pregnancy or neonatal loss or in the cremation process. One recommendation stated that:

‘All relevant staff must successfully complete relevant, available training before their involvement in discussing, organising or conducting infant cremations.’

An educational subgroup including NHS maternity leads, funeral directors and crematoria managers identified that their organisations would value new educational resources on this important topic. We will be sharing the educational package developed along with a short animated film on talking to parents about their choices for burial and cremation after the death of their baby.

A midwife for over 30 years, caring very much about women and their babies and educating those who care for them.  Helene has held a number of clinical roles, but is currently an educational project manager and Director of the Scottish Multiprofessional Maternity Development Programme, providing wide range of quality clinical skills courses and other educational packages to meet the needs of professionals who may work with pregnant women and new-born infants.

Grief Across Communities
by Baroness Finlay of Llandaff, FMedSci, Chair, All-Party Parliamentary Group on Dying Well

Baroness Finlay will address the wider implications of grief and issues around those with an impairment of mental capacity, either permanent or fluctuating. She will also address ways in which, the wider community can be supported when disaster strikes, for example on schools, and support for grieving children.

Baroness Finlay is a Welsh doctor, professor of palliative medicine and an Independent Crossbench member of the House of Lords.  She is a professor of palliative medicine at Cardiff University School of Medicine, consultant at the Velindre cancer centre in Cardiff and a Vice President of Marie Curie.

Lady Finlay chairs the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Dying Well and is co-chair of the All-Party Carbon Monoxide Group.

Making a positive impact through shared knowledge
by Alison Crake, MBA, FCMI, President, National Association of Funeral Directors

As part of her tenure as President of the National Association of Funeral Directors, Alison Crake is promoting an agenda of shared knowledge and education.  She feels that the best care for bereaved people and the deceased is only achieved when teams from all end of life disciplines work collaboratively.

During her presentation Alison will showcase best practice examples of partnership working. Topics will include the recent Stirling Debate, an event organised by the NAFD and SAIF, to inform the process of regulating the funeral profession in Scotland, as well as her involvement with NHS England (North East).  For that particular project Alison worked alongside the NHS and multi-agency partners from across statutory and non-statutory organisations to focus upon resolving the difficulties throughout the deceased pathway with a view to improving multi-partner responses to seasonal increases in death rates.

Alison will also touch on her work as Chair of the NAFD’s Committee for Professional Development and its mission to share knowledge and improve competencies within the funeral sector.

It is sure to be a fascinating talk, with a focus on good work to date and some thoughts about how to build on this for the future.

Alison is President of the NAFD and Senior Partner at Crake and Mallon Funeral Service, in Stockton on Tees, a company founded by Alison’s late father Robert Crake in 1971.  Alison holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration and is a Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute.  Her dissertation looked at Emotional Intelligence and Leadership in the funeral profession.  This interest in EI led to Alison gaining a MSCEIT accreditation for the administration and interpretation of emotional intelligence testing.

Catholics and Cremation 2017
by Monsignor Kevin McGinnell, PhB, STB, PGCE, Joint Liturgical Group (GB)

Many Catholics question cremation for reasons rooted in tradition, custom or personal feeling. There is a challenge to respond to these attitudes positively and pastorally.

The recent Vatican statement still sees cremation as a stage in a Catholic funeral.

We need to reflect on whether we appreciate the different understandings of death and life to help our shared work.

Monsignor Kevin Mc Ginnell is a Roman Catholic parish priest in Luton in the diocese of Northampton where he is the Episcopal Vicar for Education and Formation. He serves as chair of the national and international ecumenical lituirgical bodies – Joint Liturgical group [GB], and English Language Liturgcial Group. Previously he was vice Chair of the Churches’ Group on Funerals.

Wednesday 5th July

Running out of space? The Legal and Practical Aspects of the Re-Use of Burial Sites
by Nicholas Evans and Mustafa Latif-Aramesh, LLB (Hons), Solicitor, Bircham Dyson Bell LLP; and Peter Mitchell, FICCM (Dip), Principal, Peter Mitchell Associates

Many cemeteries are dealing with the issue of running out of space in their sites.  Given the legal restrictions on dealing with human remains and the reluctance of local authorities to authorise cemetery use on alternative sites, a viable alternative is needed.  This presentation deals with how cemeteries can seek new powers to re-use existing burial spaces by extinguishing existing burial rights and “lifting and deepening” existing grave sites to allow for re-use.  Peter Mitchell will explain the practical benefits of this method and Nick Evans, a parliamentary agent, and Mustafa Latif-Aramesh, a solicitor, will present on the legal aspects of the issue and the process.

Nick Evans is a partner and parliamentary agent at Bircham Dyson Bell, a firm of solicitors based in Westminster. As a parliamentary agent he has been involved in the promotion of several “Private Bills” including work concerning private cemeteries. Nick also advises on the authorisation of major economic infrastructure, whether in the transport, energy, water or waste sectors, and associated environmental and planning issues.

Mustafa is a qualified solicitor who works for Bircham Dyson Bell, a firm of solicitors based in Westminster. He specialises in public, parliamentary and planning law working with a range of public bodies and private entities in dealing with niche areas of the law. Along with Nick, he has been involved in the promotion of the “New Southgate Cemetery Bill” which is the subject of their talk today.

Peter Mitchell is an independent consultant specialising in all matters relating to burial, cremation and exhumation.  This includes all aspects of the management of existing cemeteries and crematoria, assessing and proving the need for new developments, undertaking feasibility studies and planning applications.

Peter has project-managed the exhumation of over 30,000 burials in a wide range of circumstances and scales.

Clients include local authorities, private companies, churches, archaeologists, architects, construction companies, property developers, police forces and the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

Funeral Arrangements and Feuding Families: Who has the Legal Right to Decide?
Dr Heather Conway, LLB, PhD, Senior Lecturer, School of Law, Queens University Belfast

The death of loved one is an emotionally charged event, and can resurrect old grievances or trigger power struggles within families. Disputes over the funeral arrangements are a classic example: should the deceased be buried or cremated; should specific religious or cultural practices be followed; if opting for burial, which cemetery and in which grave; with cremation, what happens to the ashes afterwards? Difficult decisions are required within a short time, and if consensus or compromise cannot be reached, the law must intervene to ensure that ‘disposal’ of the dead takes place.

This paper explores the growing volume of case law around the topic, and how courts in England and Wales (and elsewhere) determine who has the best legal claim to make the deceased’s funeral arrangements when families cannot agree. It also suggests that change is needed, to prioritise funeral instructions where the deceased has made his or her wishes known and to make the law more reflective of current family structures.

Dr Heather Conway is a Senior Lecturer in Law at Queen’s University Belfast. Her research focuses on the substantive laws surrounding the treatment of the dead, the fate of corpses and who has decision-making powers over human remains. Her areas of interest include the resolution of family disputes surrounding funerals, exhumation and commemoration, and their underlying reasons; the legal status of funeral instructions; and the legal and financial issues posed by pre-paid funeral plans. Heather is the author of The Law and the Dead (Routledge, 2016).

Systemic Radiation Treatment and Cremation
by Paul Hinton, MSc, CSci, CPhys, Consultant Clinical Scientist, British Nuclear Medicine Society/Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine

This presentation will cover the following areas –

  • A background to radiation treatments including the difference between systemic therapies and radioactive implants
  • Radium-223 treatments
  • Advice currently available and where to get advice
  • Problems with notification of the death of radioactive patients
  • Actual experience with radium patients
  • Proposed new guidance
Paul started his career at the Royal Marsden Hospital, Sutton in 1984 in Radiopharmacy and then Medical Physics. He moved to the Royal Surrey County Hospital, Guildford in 1990 and became Head of Nuclear Medicine Physics in 2001. Paul has held several professional roles including Chair of the Nuclear Medicine Special Interest Group for the Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine and is currently serving a second term on the Professional Standards Committee of the British Nuclear Medicine Society.

Ministry of Justice update
by Judith Bernstein, MA (Oxon), LLM, Joint Head of Coroners, Burial, Cremation and Inquiries Policy Team, Ministry of Justice

Judith will provide updates from the Ministry of Justice on coroner, burial and cremation law and policy

Judith Bernstein has an MA in Modern History from St Anne’s College Oxford and an LLM from University College London. She qualified as a solicitor in 1981.

Judith started her Civil Service career advising the Social Security and Child Support Commissioners before transferring to an administrative position at the Judicial Studies Board, and then to a policy role in administrative justice. In her current role, Judith provides advice to Ministers, coroners, burial and cremation stakeholders and others on the law and policy relating to coroners, burials, cremations and inquiries as well as dealing with the day-to-day handling of policy and casework, correspondence from MPs, coroners and the general public.