The Surveyor, Clive Andrews, presented his report in detail, and responded to comments and questions from members of the Board. Matters discussed are detailed below.
Clive Andrews explained that Simon Ingyon, the Executive Director of Enable Leisure and Culture and Mark Ferguson, Wandsworth Councils Design Services Project Manager, were both in attendance . Mr Ferguson was here in order to assist with any questions that may arise with regard to the installation of the cremators, the cremated remains grave circles, and the works to resurface the main drive.
Clive Andrews highlighted the suggestion that the March meeting of the Board take place at the Crematorium so that members can take a tour of the new cremators and receive a presentation on the internet based music system, and members agreed that it would be useful.
Councillor Claire Clay welcomed the proposal to introduce a reduced early morning adult cremation fee to address funeral poverty, as detailed in paragraph 5.9 of the report. She asked if funeral directors support this, and Clive Andrews confirmed that they were supportive, particularly as many people are now seeking lower cost options for funerals.
Councillor Candida Jones and Councillor Philip Jones also commended the proposal. Councillor Candida Jones suggested that when the crematorium has returned to full service operation, consideration be given to reducing the charge for no-service cremations. Clive Andrews undertook to look at the possibility of offering a reduced rate for no service cremations. . Simon Ingyon added that it must be remembered that the fees for all cremations go toward covering the costs of operating the crematorium and the upkeep of the grounds.
Councillor Candida Jones also welcomed the plans to consider the introduction of an internet based music facility, but noted that the costs are quite high and asked why a service such as Spotify can’t be used. Clive Andrews reminded the Board of their responsibilities with regard to Performing Arts licences, and also of the costs of purchasing and servicing the current PA system. Councillor Claire Clay also noted her concern about the cost, and suggested that Clive Andrews obtain information on the equipment used by other crematoria.
Councillor Candida Jones commended officers for identifying three areas for the creation of new cremated remains circles.
Clive Andrews undertook to append the inspection programme in relation to monitoring the performance of Enable LC in carrying out the day to day management of the crematorium to future Surveyor’s reports.
Councillor Candida Jones asked if there was any scope to reduce the fees charged by doctors in order to register a death. Clive Andrews explained that the fees are set by the General Medical Council, and Councillor Claire Clay suggested that councillors progress this issue via the Health Scrutiny function in each authority.
Councillor Claire Clay challenged the high expenditure on light bulbs, as detailed in the Treasurer’s report, and Mark Ferguson explained that the figures include the price of installation. At the request of Councillor Candida Jones, he undertook to investigate the possibility of using low energy bulbs in future.
The Board welcomed the suggestion from Clive Andrews to meet at the Crematorium in March, in order to undertake a tour of the new cremators, and to receive a demonstration of an internet based music system.
RESOLVED: That the North East Surrey Crematorium Board
1. Approves the introduction of an early morning adult cremation fee from 1 January 2016.
2. Approves the progression of a plan to introduce an internet based music facility to the crematorium and to obtain costs from both Wesley Music and Vivedia, as well as information on services used by other crematoria.
3. Approves progression of the plans to introduce three new cremated remains circles, and for instructions to be issued to Design Services to produce associated plans of the three new areas within the Garden of Remembrance, including design details and associated construction costs.
4. Notes the information items detailed within the report.