The second formal meeting of the FSCSR Steering Committee took place on 2 December 2018, during which it welcomed its two newest members: Carrie Weekes (A Natural Undertaking) and Alison Close (Co-operative Group).
Under its commitment to monitor the activities of the FSCSR, the CMA requested to see the meeting papers, while a representative of the Scottish Government’s Burials and Cremations team observed the meeting via tele-link.
Natalie McKail, Chair of both of the FSCSR working groups, updated the Committee on the work that has been accomplished by the groups to date. She paid particular tribute to the invaluable insight offered by a Quaker Social Action representative and the contributions of one particular independent funeral director who had been instrumental in developing the transparency proposals.
The main agenda item for the committee was to consider proposals that had been shaped and influenced by the working groups. These included a draft industry Code of Practice for the profession and recommendations on how information about funerals could be shared more transparently and widely for the benefit of consumers.
The Chair of the FSCSR, Lewis Shand Smith, expressed gratitude to the FSCSR working groups for their hard work in putting such considered proposals together in a very short period of time.
The Steering Committee debated the proposals and it became clear that there was appetite for an even sharper consumer focus, particularly in relation to price transparency. Committee members discussed various options for how the ideas presented could be further developed. The intention is now for the Committee, supported by the FSCSR Secretariat, to develop the proposals further to ensure they are as consumer focused as possible.
To enable this additional work to take place during the busy winter period and in recognition of the recently announced revised CMA timetable, the Steering Committee has opted move the consultation launch from December 2019 to early February 2020.
A more detailed overview of the project timescales can be accessed here.