The Report was presented by Clive Andrews.
The Surveyor highlighted the following areas:
The Surveyor drew the Boards attention to the business performance part of the report, highlighting that the business level activity recorded in the first seven months of this financial year is the highest activity for the last 20 years. This is believed to be due to a good level of service and competitive fees.
Regarding the alternative valuation required from the valuation office the results should be provided in the New Year and will be reported in March 18’ report to compare to the original Wandsworth land valuation.
Repair and Renewal - Routine Works and Capital Works. The Surveyor highlighted Appendix E item 13 confirming that fire safety improvement measures are mandatory, and also the item on improving security lighting, item 14, which would improve the safety of visitors to the crematorium during the Winter months and enhance the buildings appearance. It was highlighted that the burial chapel could be used more effectively by improving the music system and if this work was agreed then it could generate additional bookings and thus translate into additional income. Members asked for clarification on other facilities available within this chapel. Officers confirmed both chapels offer similar facilities to families. Discussion focused on the cost which is £15k for the music system and that the cost could be covered by less than 30 additional services. Members also sought clarification if the additional workload could be covered with existing staff and this was also confirmed that this had been discussed with staff.
Members were asked for their views on the idea of including commemorating 60 years since the crematorium opened as part of the 2018 annual remembrance service, and on the proposal of planting a memorial tree and plaque. Members asked if any celebration took place after 50 years and The Surveyor advised it had not therefore Members were supportive of this proposal. Members were asked for their views on introducing an annual Christmas Carol Service. Members asked how the service would be promoted. The Surveyor suggested that this should be advised to the congregation at the Annual remembrance service. He further advised that a small service has been planned for this year to test the public response to this idea. Members were positive to this suggestion and The Surveyor will report back at the next meeting regarding how this initial service has gone before deciding on full Carol service next year.
Members also asked for clarification regarding the impact of the heat exchanger- and what impact this has had on energy use and emissions. The Surveyor advised that Members would be updated after it has been in place for a year and an eco report will be provided in December 2018. Clarity was also sought regarding funeral poverty measures ie the reduced cost for booking an early morning services. The Surveyor advised that he believes this has generated new business from families that are looking for a lower cost option or where there are limited family members.
It was Resolved that:
1. The proposed work to elevate the Ashes Lawn be agreed and that a notice be placed on display in January for information to families.
2. The enhancement to Music System within the burial Chapel and the use of the Burial Chapel as an additional location for services to take place be agreed.
3. To mark 60 years of the NESC it be agreed that a Memorial Tree and Plaque should be implemented as part of the annual remembrance service.