CBCE 2021

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

Session one

Review of DEFRA Process Guidance on Crematoria
Simon Holbrook, B.Sc. Chemical Engineering, Manager - Local Authority Review, Environment Agency

Crematoria are regulated by local authorities for their emissions to air. All crematoria require an environmental permit and the conditions included in these permits are set using the published Statutory Guidance.

The presentation will set out a process for the review of the Statutory Guidance Note PG5/2 for Crematoria, which was last reviewed in 2012. The presentation will describe how the guidance review process will seek to be inclusive, evidence based, transparent and consensus building.

The presentation will also consider a number of the key environmental issues that will need to be considered during the review, these will include mercury emissions and nitrogen oxides. The extent to which climate change policies may impact on crematoria will also be considered.

And, in light of the Covid-19 pandemic, the review will also be an opportunity to review the operation of those emergency clauses in the guidance which relate to mass fatalities.

Simon has managed the Local Authority Unit (LAU) at the Environment Agency since 2016. The LAU provides technical advice to Local Authorities in England and Wales on the processes that they are responsible for regulating, which includes emissions to air from crematoria.

Simon joined the Environment Agency in 2002, his work has included work as a Process Industries Regulator, National Permitting Service and 3 years at the European Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control Bureau in Seville working on Large Volume Organic Chemicals and Waste Incineration. Previously Simon worked at Unilever in Research and Development, Process Safety and Environmental Protection.

The Environmental Stewardship Group and you
Jon Cross FIoD, ESG Group Co-Ordinator, Environmental Stewardship Group

The “Environmental Stewardship Group” is an innovative public / private collaboration, formed to lead the bereavement sector to sustainability. The presentation will highlight the issues surrounding the Climate Emergency and the impact it has on our sector, it will give you facts and figures to help understand the key targets and timescales in reaching Carbon Net Zero.

The presentation will also reflect on the key concerns, barriers and opportunities that have been shared with us in our round table consultations to date. Government Departments, Funeral Directors, Owner Operators and Suppliers have engaged, openly and enthusiastically helping to shape the contents of our proposed actions.

A publication on how we can respond to the challenges, help influence and shape any regulatory improvements for the sector is set to be launched just prior to COP26 later this year, so why not add your voice to this fascinating opportunity.

Jon Cross is the MD of Essenjay Associates Ltd., working on innovation between the Public and Private sectors, and has a passion for developing solutions to emerging issues. Having spent many years supporting Local Authorities in a senior capacity, he recognised opportunities to build upon the services they provide by developing advantageous collaborations.

He has dedicated the last 5 years to the bereavement sector, assisting organisations with specific challenges and creating new opportunities. Currently alongside other projects, he is facilitating the newly established collaborative “Environmental Stewardship Group”, to lead the sector in responding to the challenges of the Climate Emergency.

Ethical Commitments to Funerary Environments
Professor Douglas Davies Ph.D., D.Litt., Hon. Dr. Theol, FAcSS, FLSW, FBA

Ethics, Law, ideas of Human Rights, Duty of Care, as well as voluntary and professional Codes of Conduct provide different kinds of platform for morality, social obligation, and responsibility across many aspects of life. Set within the British context, and against the ever sharpening concern with ecology and environmentalism, and with end of life care, death, and funerary options in mind, this talk seeks to prompt ongoing discussions that are alert to matters of individual choice, social-cultural constraints and opportunities, especially as these concern funerary agencies.

Professor Douglas Davies, PhD (Nottingham University,) Master of Letters and Doctor of Letters (Oxford University), Honorary Doctor of Theology (University of Uppsala, Sweden), Fellow of the Learned Society of Wales, Fellow of the UK Academy of Social Sciences. Douglas was appointed as Vice-President of the Society on 22 November 2016. He trained in Anthropology and Theology, teaching at Nottingham University before becoming Professor in the Study of Religion and Director of The Centre for Death and Life Studies at Durham University. He has published many books on traditional and natural burial, on cremation, and on the theology of death. He edited the Encyclopedia of Cremation in 2005. He is also internationally known as an expert on Mormonism.

Session two

An Update on the Medical Examiner System
Dr Alan Fletcher B Med Sci (hons), MB ChB, FRCP (Edin), FRCP (Lond), FRCEM, RCPathME, National Medical Examiner, NHSI

The session will give an update on the medical examiner system and the roll out to the non acute sector.

Dr Alan Fletcher is the National Medical Examiner for England and Wales, appointed in March 2019. He was Lead Medical Examiner in Sheffield before this. He pioneered the medical examiner role since 2008 as part of the Department of Health reforms of death certification; personally reviewing over 22,000 deaths. He has overseen the introduction of the medical examiner system in England and Wales. It is expected the medical examiner system will become statutory in due course. The new system ensures that every death scrutinised by a medical examiner or a coroner to ensure issues with patient care are identified promptly, and as a consequence, to improve services and care for patients overall. Core to the system is providing bereaved people the opportunity to raise any concerns they may have about the care and treatment provided to the deceased person. Dr Fletcher maintains his clinical practice as Consultant in Emergency Medicine and General Medicine at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals.

The Funeral Industry in Scotland
Robert Swanson, Senior Inspector of Burial, Cremation and Funeral Directors, Scottish Government

Mr Swanson will update Conference on recent and ongoing changes within the Funeral Industry in Scotland.

This will include a brief resume about his Ministerial appointment in 2015, as Inspector of Crematoria (Scotland), and his extended appointment in October 2020 as Senior Inspector of Burial, Cremation and Funeral Directors (Scotland).

He will provide Conference with details on the current draft Code of Practice for Funeral Directors, and how Inspections of these three areas within the Industry is likely to be carried out in the future.

He will conclude by providing a brief resume on some of the main issues faced by the Funeral Industry in Scotland in their handling of the Coronavirus pandemic, and examples of some of the formal complaints investigated during that period.

Mr Swanson retired from the police service on 31st December 2013, after having served for over 41 years, having attained the rank of Detective Superintend Major Crime.

As well as having conducted many high profile cases, he served for a period at Lockerbie following the atrocity in 1988, and in 2004 was deployed to Thailand to assist with Disaster Victim Identification following the Asian Tsunami on Boxing Day.

In March 2015, he was appointed as Inspector of Crematoria of Scotland, a post that was extended in October 2020, to include Burials and Funeral Directors.

Bereavement Services, we always do it that way….
Scott Storey, UK Operations, OpusXenta

An overview of the global changes in society and the implications for bereavement services. How to recognise the change, adapt with change and capitalise on change.

Scott built his career working with companies to optimise operational processes in a variety of different sectors including retail, supply chain, hospitality and visitor attractions.

Wanting a new a new challenge and to push the boundaries to deliver comprehensive solutions, Scott joined OpusXenta in 2020. Scott thrives in being part of a team that are disrupting the sector and delivering the tools and ongoing support to its customers.

Session three

Modifications to Death Certification and Registration during the Pandemic
Eric Powell, Head of Reform, General Register Office for England and Wales

Our experiences of the pandemic and how it has impacted on the registration service within England and Wales. The lessons we have learned from it, the benefits it has brought in modernising the service and where we go from here.

Currently Head of Reform at GRO, with responsibility to lead on modernising the system of civil registration in England and Wales. Has worked at GRO for 20 years in a variety of project, stakeholder engagement, policy and operational roles.
The changing face of Cremations in the UK
Andy Tait, Chief Executive Officer, GreenAcres Group,
Karen Halpin, Park Manager, GreenAcres Rainford and
Sharon Solomon, Senior Operations Manager, GreenAcres Group

The consumer trend towards personalisation of services has come to the funeral sector. This takes many forms, such as choices reflecting more environmental consciousness and reflecting a loved one’s life in the way funeral services are organised. Offering variety and choice is essential to providing a customer centric service.

GreenAcres were historically known for woodland burials but in recent years have developed a cremation service offering which focusses on the service itself with the cremation taking place elsewhere with one of our partner crematoria.

We will provide an overview of this service as an example of innovation in the sector that reflects changing consumer attitudes and the need to provide more choice for families dealing with bereavement.

Andy joined the bereavement sector in 2017, leading the MBO of the GreenAcres Group. He has since developed and grown the business to be the forward looking, customer focussed model of today.

Andy is driven by the challenge of finding those marginal gains that add real value to the customer experience and received the WeDo Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 2019 recognising the positive transformation of the GreenAcres Group.

Prior to GreenAcres, Andy established a successful career in Business Finance including the creation of the Scottish subsidiary for Bibby Financial Services, which became the largest independent invoice finance company in Scotland. He also spent 5 years on the UK Board at Bibby.

Karen began her employment with GreenAcres in June 2013 before the site was officially opened. This enabled her to see the construction of the new building, be part of the recruitment process and share in the new concept that was GreenAcres Cemetery & Ceremonial Park in Rainford with the community. She has over 30-years experience of working in the Charitable and Social Enterprise sector with responsibilities in financial management, liaising with multi-disciplinary teams and developing services. Karen feels honoured to manage this beautiful park and together with her dedicated team, offer a first class, personal service to families.

After gaining over 17 years operational experience in the travel assistance sector, Sharon joined GreenAcres in 2017. She is based at their busiest site in Chislehurst, Kent. During her career in the funeral industry, Sharon has led a rapid increase of burials and cremation services. A respected industry professional, she has secured GreenAcres Kemnal Park as an established cemetery in the South East. Her strength lies in building united, resilient and multi-skilled teams who feel invested in their employer thus increasing productivity through job-satisfaction. Her biggest motivator, however, are customers who each deserve personalised, empathetic care during their bereavement journey.