Fenland Council looking to create a ‘marketing plan’ to improve revenue from the six cemeteries it owns

14:03 23 February 2014

Eastwood Cemetery, March.

Eastwood Cemetery, March.

Archant

A marketing plan is being proposed for Fenland’s six council owned cemeteries in a bid to increase revenue.

Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Wisbech.Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Wisbech.

Cabinet member Peter Murphy will tell councillors on Thursday that Fenland must “make cemeteries more viable by developing and implementing a marketing plan.”

He says that council run cemeteries in Eastwood, March, and in New Road, Chatteris, have been extended.

“It is vital that we use these space and the existing spaces in our other cemeteries in the most efficient way to get the most out of these assets,” he says.

“To develop our ideas we have consulted with local undertakers on how the council can improve its offer to customers.”

Wisbech General CemeteryWisbech General Cemetery

Cllr Murphy concedes that because of the “nature of the cemeteries” and the limited space available, the council had limited options.

“We have to develop ideas that are in keeping with and not detrimental to existing custom,” he says.

“We are considering different options that provide the council with the chance to bring in additional revenue and to attract new revenue streams.”

He says further works being carried out includes an assessment of current costs and improvement of “visual aesthetics”.

Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Wisbech, where the body of Gertrude Frankham has been exhumed. 
Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Wisbech, where the body of Gertrude Frankham has been exhumed.

Cllr Murphy also believes it is important to develop effective partnerships with undertakers “and improve the promotion of what is available”.

In a separate report the council will be told agreement has been reached to increase some charges at the council’s six cemeteries at Walsoken, March, Chatteris, Wisbech, Wisbech St Mary and Whittlesey.

Biggest increase will be for exhumations where the cost will rise 20 per cent from £1,500 to £1,800.

Exhumations are rare but last year the council co-ordinated one

at Mount Pleasant cemetery, Wisbech.

This followed a police investigation and a request by the Frankham family who wanted the body of their grandmother Gertrude to be exhumed for a post mortem when they claimed she had been murdered.

Day to day requests such as headstones and internment fees are facing price hikes ranging from 2.3 per cent to 8.5 per cent.

The cost of burying an adult in the lawned area of a cemetery will rise from £575 to £595 while burying an adult in a traditional area will rise from £745 to £770.

The cost of burying a child will rise from £230 to £235.

Installing a kerb set for adults is to rise from £272 to £295 - an increase of 8.5 per cent - while a lawn area headstone charge will rise from £210 to £225, an increase of 7.1 per cent.

The cost of a headstone wash and clean will rise from £210 to £225, an increase of 7.1 per cent.

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