Cost of dying set to rise as council increases charges

close-up of the side of a coffin with brass handles

Cemetery and crematorium charges are set to rise in Colchester - Credit: Getty Images

The cost of dying in England's oldest recorded town is set to rise by up to 10% as community leaders look to address a "significant budget gap".

Cemetery and crematorium services run by Colchester Borough Council are being reviewed on November 17.

Cabinet is asked to vote on raising costs for some council services from April 1, 2022, including cremations by £85 and burials by £34.

This would represent a 10.5% rise in the cost of cremations and a 5% rise in the cost of burials.

Fixed Penalty Notices for flytipping and littering would also increase by £50 to £200, according to council documents.

The report said a “significant budget gap” in the authority’s finances has been created by the coronavirus pandemic and recommends councillors approve “reasonable increases” in fees and charges.

A section reads: “Our Bereavement Services are high quality and well loved. 

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“The service they provide is in line or better than that offered by other commercial and public sector providers. 

“The income generated is important and is reinvested into all the other services the council provides, many of which are for the most vulnerable people of Colchester. 

“Without this income we would have to cut some of these services, and we need to protect and generate more income to help balance our budgets in future years and cover soaring prices and uncertainties.”

The council expects to raise £1.6million from cemetery and crematorium charges.

Other fees expected to rise include those for pest control services.

These would rise to £74.20 for rodents, £92.70 for cockroaches and tropical ants, £193.65 for bedbugs, £68.35 for wasps and hornets, £86.50 for fleas and £28.85 for a call out with no treatment. All of these figures include VAT.

Recycling and trade services would increase by an average by 2.5%.

This year’s budget for sales fees and charges is around £13million, £3million less than last year.

Additionally, losses are expected to continue into 2022-2023, particularly from car parking income, commercial rents, and from sport and leisure facilities.

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