8th Dec, 2016

Coventry council to hike burial costs by more than 20 per cent

Les Reid 5th Oct, 2016 Updated: 28th Oct, 2016

COUNCIL leaders are set to increase charges for burials by more than 20 per cent with similar hikes for cremations.

They blame the move on financial pressures, and say it is needed to help meet cemetery maintenance costs, including for extentions and repairs.

The proposals will will be discussed by councillors at the Cabinet Member for City Services meeting next Tuesday (October 10).

If agreed, they will come into force from November 1.

The cost of an adult burial will rise from £790 to £964 – or 22 per cent – and an adult cremation from £641 to £737, around 15 per cent.

Cremations and burials for anyone under the age of 16 will be free of charge.

A council statement said: “The city currently has lower charges than most other councils across the region and this increase will help support the cost of maintaining and extending burial grounds and the maintenance of equipment at Canley Crematorium, and will bring Coventry in line with average charges. It would be the first increase in charges since 2014.

“It would help to fund work on road surfaces in London Road and Canley Cemeteries, and the creation of new sections at Lentons Lane Cemetery with improved drainage.”

Andrew Walster, Coventry City Council’s Assistant Director with responsibility for Bereavement Services, added: “With the financial pressures we are facing, we have to look at bringing our charges more in line with other cities. We have done this as carefully as we can – checking how much our near neighbours charge and pledging that there will be no further price rises until 2018.

“If we keep charges at the current level, it means we would have to find money from elsewhere, putting other vital frontline Council services at risk.

“We know funerals and cremations are very difficult times for people and by making these changes we can make sure that we give the best service possible and provide the help and support that people need and expect at such a time.”

Councillors are also being asked to approve introducing charges for a number of services which have previously been provided free, including:

retention of ashes in the crematorium

scattering of ashes in the gardens of remembrance

late cancellation fee for the chapel

provision of temporary markers for new graves

late arrivals for a service or overrun of a service.

Council Bereavement Services staff will be in regular contact with Funeral Directors and make sure they are kept informed of any changes.