The Surveyor introduced this report and highlighted key items for the benefit of the Board. He invited comments and questions.
The Surveyor noted that the administrative assistant is now in post, and staff overtime should decrease as a result.
The Surveyor pointed the Board to the revised timetable for the replacement cremator. He noted that the length of time of reduced operation had been reduced by five weeks, which has had a positive impact on service levels during the period, as the crematorium was able to offer eight cremations per day for an additional five weeks. The Bereavement Services Manager added that the first new cremator installed will be commissioned this week, and will be in use when staff training has taken place. Councillor Claire Clay noted her thanks to all involved for the process going so smoothly.
The Surveyor updated the Board on progress of the negotiations with LB Wandsworth to use land to create three additional cremated remains circles. Detailed proposals and draft heads of terms, based on their valuation, have been submitted by Wandsworth. The Surveyor suggested that an independent valuation is carried out prior to opening negotiations with LB Wandsworth. The Board agreed this would be useful, and noted that a report will be brought to the December meeting for their consideration.
With regard to the Board’s Medical Referee, the Bereavement Services advised that the Ministry of Justice have approved the changes set out in paragraph 7.2 of the report. The Administration Manager explained the role of the Medical Referee, and the Bereavement Services Manager advised that charges for this service vary around the country according to location.
Councillor Abdul Latif advised that he attended the Annual Memorial Service in July in order to represent the Chair.
Councillor Candida Jones thanked the Surveyor for his report, and for his support to the Board whilst acting as Surveyor.