Clive Andrews, Surveyor, introduced the report. The Board noted that the winter weather and the end of the ‘Baby Boomer’ generation’s natural lifespan could have an effect on the rate of need. The report included:
Clive Andrews moved on to discuss the digital music provision at North East Surrey Crematorium (in addition to the organ), he informed the Board that most other crematoriums had already moved to a more modern digital music system as relying on CDs and various iPods and mp3 players was not reliable and could pose potential copyright issues where a customer brings in a burned copy of a CD. He highlighted that there would be less room for error with a digital system where customers have chosen from a library of tracks available to them. Simon Ingyon confirmed that the system would assist with preparation for services, and that the installation of such systems had been successful for other crematoriums. Councillor Abdul Latif asked whether the system allowed access to music that may be required for residents from varying religions and ethnicity, such as for a Sikh or Hindu service, Clive Andrews confirmed that the systems were designed to access a wide range of music.
Simon Ingyon took the Board through the formal tender process undertaken by Enable and an evaluation of the tenders received from the two suppliers in the market music systems. It was suggested that the Board could choose which service to tender or delegate the decision to Officers. Councillors raised concerns about the cost of providers versus the guarantee of quality and it was confirmed that the tender analysis would take account of both cost and quality.
One provider (Provider A) had displayed further innovation than Provider B, however Provider B had been running for a long time and was popular with other crematoriums. Councillors discussed the benefits of the add-on features, in particular the potential for income generation that would be available to the crematorium if they had the facility to provide a webcast. Councillor Wingfield raised concerns about endorsing a monopoly for Provider B’s system by continuing to go with the ‘tried and tested’ service providers.
The discussion moved to whether the music system was required, and Simon Ingyon confirmed that the crematorium would prefer to move towards installing the system as soon as possible.
Following a motion from Councillor Philip Jones, The Board agreed that the decision for the contract award to the service provider for a digital music system would be delegated to the Surveyor, subject to his first reporting his recommendation to Board members
Clive Andrews informed the Board that there had been positive news in regard to opening up space for cremated remains graves and above ground niches. Councillor Candida Jones asked if there could be annual reports including statistics on the amount of carbon and energy that had been saved by using the new heating system once it was installed, and the energy saving light bulbs that were in place. Clive Andrews agreed to seek the statistics from Wandsworth Energy Management to bring to future meetings of The Board.
RESOLVED that the North East Surrey Crematorium Board agreed that the decision to award the contract for the provision of a digital music system would be delegated to the Surveyor, subject to his first reporting his recommendation to Board members.