Agenda item

Paddington Cemetery Groundworks

The purpose of this report is to set out the findings from an investigation into the circumstances for procuring works to conduct landscaping work at Paddington Cemetery and the steps being taken to address concerns about contamination of the site.


Subsequent to this meeting the investigation report (without appendices) which was restricted has been published and can be viewed via the following link:


Michael Bradley introduced the report which set out a summary of the findings from an internal audit investigation into the procurement of landscaping work at Paddington Cemetery in 2010. Members heard that the investigation had been conducted in light of the discovery of asbestos contamination at the Cemetery. He stated that the review examined procurement procedures within the Cemeteries service at the time the work was undertaken in 2010 and had concluded that the procedures had been inadequate. Members heard that the review had also set out recommendations for the Council’s senior management to urgently review procurement processes particularly in the cemeteries service and consider the best course of remediation action to proportionately mitigate the soil contamination identified.


Chris Whyte (the Council’s Operational Director of Environment Services) emphasised that the Council had undertaken remediation work to ensure that the issues identified were solved. He outlined that the deficiencies in the Council’s procurement processes would be addressed and that a specialist excavation investigation of the site had found that the contamination was very low risk and could be properly contained. He re-iterated that the Council sought to offer a clear assurance that the site was safe and that the Council remained focused on the issues being rectified moving forward.


As a result of the discussion on the report moving to focus on information classified as exempt, it was agreed that the remainder of the meeting should be conducted in a closed session.

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