THE COST of burying a loved one in a Powys County Council cemetery is set to go up by 10 per cent from April 1.
While the report explains all the problems with a price hike, the council believes the increase will generate an extra £42,810 a year.
Powys council manages 17 cemeteries all across the county and are responsible for burial bookings, keeping accurate grave and burial records, processing memorial applications and issuing deeds for exclusive rights to burial.
The council is also legally tasked with undertaking public health funerals when someone dies in Powys and there are no known relatives or friends able to make the funeral arrangements.
This happened eight times in 2020 and seven times in 2021.
Earlier this month the cabinet set their draft budget which includes increasing Council Tax by five per cent.
The price increase is part of a number of savings or cost cutting measures that are supposed to help Powys County Council bridge a funding gap of over £16.4 million in the next financial year.
Next week, Powys councillors will get their chance to probe the Liberal Democrat/Labour cabinet’s draft budget proposals.
The burial fees will be part of a raft of cost cutting measures looked at by members of the Economy, Residents and Communities scrutiny committee at their meeting on Monday, January 30.
The report on the burial fee increase said: “An increase in the cost of arranging a funeral in one of the council’s cemeteries may result in families no longer being able to afford to have their loved ones buried within their local community and with other family members.”
“This may result in them choosing alternative cemeteries where fees are less.
“This will potentially result in the service area losing income.
“If families are unable to meet the costs, the number of public health burials may increase, which places pressure on existing resources.
“The overall assessment is that the proposal will have a negative impact.”
The report adds that the fee rise is “likely” to see the council receive complaints from the public, funeral directors, memorial masons and councillors.
The report points out that burial fees had gone up by 67 per cent in 2016, 10 per cent in 2018, 20 per cent in 2019 and are amongst the highest in Wales.
Current burial licence fees include:
- Registration of Interment no charge for children under 18 – £294.56
- Burial of cremated remains – £259.79
- Purchase of exclusive right of burial (over 18) – £945.23-
- Purchase of exclusive right of burial – cremated remains – £468.34
- Scattering of ashes (includes Registration)- £294.56
Saturday burials (additional charge)
- Burial – £528.00
- Cremation – £264.00
Monument Registrations – For headstone with kerbstone both fees are payable.
- Right to erect a headstone and first inscription – £236.83
- Right to erect a kerbstone/cover slab – £236.83.
- Subsequent Inscriptions – £60.08.
- Memorial Plaque – £109.98.
Excavation, filling and re-opening of graves (Adult over 18 years old):
- Double depth or re-opening – £1034.75.
- Single depth – £820.91.
The committee will make recommendations on the draft budget which is set to be debated at a full council meeting on February 23.