Increase in Council Owned Cemetery Fees in Cornwall
By JanePublisher | Friday, June 15, 2012, 09:52
Cornwall Council's portfolio holder for the Environment announced yesterday on 14th June, a revision to fees for burials in Council run cemeteries.
The fees form part of the Council's new Cemetery Policy which was delayed from being introduced in April after concerns were raised by Members and funeral directors.
Having postponed the implementation of the policy, Councillor Steve Double today went back to Members to outline the new charges.
Councillor Double said: "I appreciate that an emotive subject such as an increase in burial fees is going to cause concern. However, we need to reflect the cost of the service which includes digging and maintaining the plot. Given the current charges, it is not fair that people living in some areas of Cornwall pay more than double that of others."
When the unitary authority was formed in 2009, Cornwall Council inherited four very different sets of regulations and fees for burials depending on the subsidy from the district council concerned. As a result, there is currently a 56% disparity between the lowest and highest fees.
From August 2012 all residents will pay the same for services whether they live in west, mid or east Cornwall. Councillor Double said: "After I agreed to postpone the implementation of the policy, we wrote to Cornwall's 112 funeral directors and memorial masons to ask for their views on the fees. I have now had the opportunity to consider the responses I received, together with the views expressed during meetings with representatives from the industry."
Cornwall Council subsidises the maintenance and repair of 24 operational cemeteries, ten closed cemeteries and over 50 closed Church of England churchyards.
The new fees are regarded as a fair reflection of the true cost of the services. As these charges are usually built into the package from the funeral director, members of the public will be able to see how much of the fees relate to the Cornwall Council charges.