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Cost of dying in Cornwall could be set to rise

Cost of dying in Cornwall could be set to rise

Published by Emma Carton at 7:17am 3rd November 2019. (Updated at 8:12am 3rd November 2019)

Written by Local Democracy Reporter, Richard Whitehouse

The cost of dying in Cornwall could be set to rise with increases of more than £200 for burials and cremations.

Cornwall Council is considering the increases as part of a review of its bereavement services fees for 2020/21.

A report set to go to the neighbourhoods overview and scrutiny committee next week states that in 2017/18 the service's expenditure exceeded its income by £432,000.

In that year the council looked to raise cremation costs to get them in line with the next nearest provider, so increased them to £765 as well as increasing burial charges by a similar level and agreeing to review them on a yearly basis.

Last year the council agreed to increase the cost of cremations by just £20 to £784 while burial charges were frozen at £1,492.

The report going to the scrutiny committee next weeks recommends that the cremation charge is increased to £930 and burials should rise to £1,790.

By approving the increases the report says it would make the service “cost neutral”.

The cremation costs would be for Penmount Crematorium near Truro, which is operated by Cornwall Council.

The cost of dying in Cornwall could be set to rise, as the council considers raising burials and cremations by £200

By comparison, the report states that the fee at the Westerleigh-run crematorium in Camborne is £865 and the Dignity crematorium at Bodmin is £999. The report states that it expects the private crematoria to increase their charges in 2020.

Penmount makes no charges for funerals for those aged under 18. The two private operators make no charge for funerals for those aged under 17.

In comparing burial charges the report highlights the charges made by some services which are run by town councils in Cornwall. These are:

Truro – £793
Falmouth – £675
Saltash – £982
Bodmin – £883
Bude-Stratton – £355.05
Padstow – £266

The report adds: “There are no private cemeteries within Cornwall. The private sector rarely provides burial provision as, unlike crematoria provision, running cemeteries is not profitable.

"The Church of England also has limited burial provision inside Cornwall and will not in future provide new burial spaces.

"Cornwall Council fees are more than those charged by other providers in Cornwall but are comparable or less than others across the South West".

In the report it is also highlighted that the council is responsible for 87 closed churchyards and 24 open cemeteries.

The cost of maintaining the cemeteries is currently £390,000 a year and the closed churchyards is £309,000.

The neighbourhoods overview and scrutiny committee will consider the report when it meets next Thursday (Nov 7th).

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