Welcome to Fenland - where it's about to get a whole lot more expensive if you die and want to be buried here

PUBLISHED: 15:37 08 January 2019

Burial charges in Fenland could rise by 10 per cent. Picture: ARCHANT

Burial charges in Fenland could rise by 10 per cent. Picture: ARCHANT

Archant

Burial charges in Fenland cemeteries are set to rocket - with cost increases ranging from 13.5 per cent in some instances to as high as 45 per cent in just two years.

Illustration shows how some of the burial charges in Fenland cemeteries have risen in recent years – and will do so again this year. Source: FENLAND COUNCILIllustration shows how some of the burial charges in Fenland cemeteries have risen in recent years – and will do so again this year. Source: FENLAND COUNCIL

New fees imposed by Fenland District Council have been discussed privately by the ruling Conservative group ahead of being debated by the overview and scrutiny panel on January 14.

The biggest increases for interment in lawned areas of local cemeteries which in 2017-18 would have cost £620 before rising by 31.5 per cent last year to £815 and to be agreed at £900 for 2019-20, a further rise of 10.4 per cent.

Interment in what the council calls a ‘traditional area’ that would have cost £800 in 2017-18 will, for 2019-20 set you back £1,010, a rise of 26.25 per cent in two years.

And should you need to exhume a coffin at any time that also will now cost you £2,100, up 13.5 per cent in two years.

Fenland Council says it provides a burial service in six cemeteries across the district, whilst maintaining another 15 closed cemeteries.

A report to the overview and scrutiny panel for next week says: “Fenland District Council works hard to make sure that the cemeteries are well kept places to visit.

“In order to deliver what visitors to the cemeteries expect, we work together with our contractor, Tivoli Group, to ensure that high standards are maintained.”

The council report says that following a benchmarking exercise, it is proposed to increase interment fees and exclusive rights of burial fees to make them comparable with neighbouring authorities’ fees.

The council says the rises are also “to reflect the cost of providing and investing in the service and the limited size of the cemeteries themselves”.

Here’s the list of those fee rises proposed by the council that will cross the 10 per cent threshold from 2018/19.:

Interment Fee for residents (including memorial safety inspection fee) Monday to Friday (excluding Bank Holiday)

Any person (lawn area): £900 – up from £815, a 10.4 per cent rise

Any person (traditional area): £1,010 – up from £915, a 10.4 per cent rise

For the internment of a single casket of cremated remains: £250 – up from £220, a rise of 13.6 per cent

Exclusive rights of burial in earthen grave for residents

Children’s plot (6ft by 3ft): £90 – no change

Adult plot (lawn area, 9ft by 4ft); £740 – up from £670, a rise of 10.4 per cent

Adult plot (traditional area, 9ft by 4ft): £950 – up from £860, a rise of 10.5 per cent

Cremated remains (size 2ft by 2ft); £190 – up from £185, a 2.7 per cent rise.

Choosing plot for exclusive rights of burial

Visiting cemetery with cemetery staff to choose plot - £64, up from £62, a 3.2 per cent rise

Exhumation of coffin – minimum charge - to rise from £1,900 to £2,100, an increase of 10.5 per cent.

Exhumation of cremated remains – minimum charge – to rise £440 to £485, an increase of 10.2 per cent.

In 2017/18 the council decided to freeze charges at the previous year’s prices – “following a step change in prices for cemetery services over the last three years,• Fenland’s prices remain at the market rate.

“This being the case any increase would be difficult to justify as current income levels covers the cost of providing the service.

“Consequently, prices (apart from some targeted increases for harmonisation purposes) are recommended to remain at their current level for 2017/18.”

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