The Bereavement Services Manager and Registrar presented a report, the purpose of which, was to advise the Joint Committee on the improvements required to the computerised music and media provision systems serving Crallo Chapel and Coity Chapel at Coychurch Crematorium and to seek approval of expenditure for their replacement, in order to provide a more modern facility to bereaved service users.
The report gave some background information, following which, the Bereavement Services Manager and Registrar, advised that Wesley Media Ltd has developed specialist products and applications suitable for crematoria that meet the expectations of the bereaved in the 21st Century. Due to its proven reliability in this specialist area it is utilised by most UK Crematoria and all the neighbouring Crematoria, as referenced to in bullet point format in paragraph 4.1 of the report.
The Bereavement Services Manager and Registrar proceeded to confirm, that Wesley Media provides a specialist adapted hardware computer package for each chapel, loaded with operating software with access to an unlimited range of music including any commercially available contemporary, hymn and classical styles. The software is also interfaced to ensure there is no room for error. Wesley Media also provides USB recordings of funeral services and arranges webcasts for those who are unable to attend the funeral service. Additionally it provides visual tributes that have been tailored to bereaved families’ requirements, downloading them onto the Wesley Media chapel music computer to be played on their compatible tribute screens during the funeral service. She added that every aspect of the funeral ceremony was considered, from the order of service to the acoustics of the individual venue, to the sensitive nature of personal ceremonies.
The Bereavement Services Manager and Registrar added, that whilst organ music is still a popular accompaniment to services and all hymn singing is accompanied using the Crematorium’s pipe organs, alternative types of music are frequently requested to replace or augment organ music.
Wesley Media were consulted in December 2019 and they undertook a review of the current music and media system at the Crematoria and their subsequent report, outlined that they could provide the Crematorium with all the modern facilities it required, as detailed in paragraph 4.5 of the report.
The addition of Wesley Media compatible screens in the two chapels would enable the bereaved to view the visual tributes that Wesley Media has formatted to their requirements. This is a service provided by neighbouring Crematoria which installed the Wesley Media system in more recent times with the benefit of these more modern additions to the Wesley Media service. The installation of additional Wesley Media compatible screens to the top and bottom of the cloister leading to Crallo Chapel, would utilise the Wesley Media chapel webcast camera which would be auto switched with the viewing of visual tributes, enabling mourners standing in this area on large gatherings, to view the proceedings in the chapel rather than just listening to the speakers. This would allow them to participate more in the funeral service.
To conclude her submission, the Bereavement Services Manager and Registrar, confirmed that due to the unique needs of the Crematorium service and the specialist nature of the digital music provision, BCBC’s Contract Procedure Rules would be applied, with the application of a waiver through the Scheme of Delegation, in accordance with provision 3.2.3.
A Member asked the Officer if there was a back-up plan, should either the existing or new equipment and associated facilities fail for any reason.
The Bereavement Services Manager and Registrar confirmed that the Crematoria always had a stock of USB sticks and compact discs on site that could provide music and families were always forthcoming to supply these also. If any such new smaller provisions for this purpose was required, then this could be achieved quickly with a minimum of expense, following a quick straightforward procurement exercise.
A Member asked if the works required were due to be undertaken in this or the next financial year and how would the works affect business at the Crematoria.
The Bereavement Services Manager and Registrar advised, that the works would be undertaken in accordance with the 2020/21 Business Plan proposals and it was hoped, that the works required would, as far as possible and practicable, be scheduled around funerals/cremations. On a worse case scenario, she added that there may be the possibility that the main Chapel would be temporarily closed in order for the works to be completed on schedule, with Coity Chapel then being used in its place during this time.
RESOLVED: That the Joint Committee approved expenditure for the works outlined in the report by Wesley Media Ltd, in the sum of £41,696, in conjunction with the approval of the Business Plan.