Council begins consultation on use of technology in funeral services
23 July 2019Cheshire West and Chester Council has launched a consultation into the use of technology in funeral services.
The Council is seeking views on the technology used to display photographs of loved ones during chapel ceremonies held at Blacon Crematorium.
The Council manages the Crematorium and, as part of the services offered, a photo presentation can be shown at funeral services held in the chapel.
Currently photo presentations are usually saved onto a CD and passed by families to a funeral director to submit to the crematorium team. Unfortunately, this current method can result in a number of issues including formatting problems and issues with unlabelled, late or lost discs.
To overcome this, the Council has reviewed how other crematoria manage presentations. A number across the country now make use of an on-line facility that provides families with secure access unique to them. The facility allows families to upload their photographs in a format that can be played at the chapel prior to the service taking place in an easy and accessible way.
The Council’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Environment, Highways and Strategy Transport, Councillor Karen Shore said: “The new on-line system would help bereaved families at a very difficult time. As well as removing all the potential issues that could result from using CDs, they will also have more time to prepare a presentation to celebrate their loved one’s life.
“We’re aware that this is a very sensitive and emotive subject and during this consultation we will liaise with funeral directors to get their thoughts. The consultation questions will also be available at the Book of Remembrance room at Blacon cemetery and on the council website.”
Use of the facility does have a cost and in the consultation the Council is proposing that charges of £12 for a single photograph and £40 for up to 25 photographs are applied, in line with crematoria across the country that already use the service.
There is no intention to change the Council’s current commitment to provide burials and cremations for children (resident under 18s) for free. No charge would be made for photo presentations at children’s funerals.
Anyone with views they would like to share on this consultation should visit: www.cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk/crematoriumsurvey.