Executive Chairman’s October Post

October 7, 2013   //   No Comments

I’m not sure where the last twelve months has gone but it will soon be time to renew your company’s subscription for membership of SAIF.  The fees for 2014 show a small increase of approximately 2.5%.

SAIF continues to represent members’ interests at Government level at regular meetings on Death Certification Reform, Burial & Cremation Advisory Group and the Health & Safety Executive as they look into the risks of mortuary working.

We look to provide benefits which can make you some £££ savings. We have recently updated our arrangement with The FuelCard people to offer you extra services such as Mileage2Count and CO2Count while a new arrangement sees Windsor Telecom offer special rates to our members for use of Cloud Phone Numbers and we have enhanced our telephone HELPLINE service.

In accordance with the rule change unanimously passed at the Annual General Meeting in March it is now obligatory to submit your company declaration with payment of your subscription.

After 18 years, John Weir has given notice he intends to step down from the role of National PR Spokesman for SAIF from March 2014. John has been outstanding in the way he has dealt with Press and TV enquiries over this time and will be a hard act to follow. John’s replacement will be Paul Allcock who comes with experience of this role from his previous work with the NAFD in East Anglia.

David Crampton of the FFMA, assisted by Richard Barradell, is working on A Coffin Standard for Cremation with the objective of defining and establishing a comprehensive standard, together with and associated test programme, to warrant that all coffins presented for cremation are ‘fit for purpose’. Richard will keep me updated on developments as they arise.

We held well attended regional meetings in both Essex and Devon. More than 40 attendees at Essex listened to Amy Donovan of Essex Coroner’s Service outline what improvements had been made to the service in her twelve months in post. Amy also gave an insight into the new contract being prepared and how this might work. As you would expect this raised many questions from the floor.

At Tiverton in Devon, a meeting hosted by second Vice President Gemma O’Driscoll, twenty-five members and their staff attended a talk by Chris Howe of the Institute of Civil Funerals.  In general, the new format of a guest speaker and sit down meal has been well received and we will continue with the same pattern next year.

I am pleased to report that Angela Camp, having successfully completed her probationary period is now a permanent member of staff. Angela has dealt most efficiently with the arranging of regional meetings and, over the next few weeks, will be concentrating on loading information onto the new website.