Wyre burial costs top £750 after price hike

Councillor Terry Lees
Councillor Terry Lees

The cost of an average burial in Wyre will top £750 this year following a price hike.

Councillors have voted to increase its burial fee at all cemeteries in the borough from £744 to £751 – despite the cemeteries department making a £34,500 budget surplus last year.

The idea is not to make money but to make sure the service covers its costs

Council

The move has been branded concerning by an opposition councillor, although the council said it is acting to bring prices in line with other local authorities.

In a report, director of people and places Michael Ryan and director of resources Philippa Davies said: “It is suggested the majority of fees be increased by approximately one per cent having considered the fees charged by neighbouring authorities.”

Other increases include the burial of stillborn babies or babies under the age of one month, children up to the age of seven, the scattering of ashes, and the buying of burial rights.

They will increase from the new financial year, although the prices for bronze vases and their holders will go up immediately ‘due to increased supplier costs’.

Certain items, such as certain urns, plaques, and caskets will not go up in price, documents added.

Coun Terry Lees, from Waring Drive in Thornton, said he was concerned at the rises: “I know, in these times, the council is having to look at saving money in all areas, but I have to be concern if we seem to be making money out of this.

“It would not sit easy with me.

“When you look at funerals over the last 10 to 15 years, charges have gone up in a fantastic fashion. I would hope it’s not seen as a money-making exercise.”

A Wyre Council spokesman said: “Bereavement services have historically been heavily subsidised by the council tax payer.

“In the last 10 years, eight of those years have resulted in a deficit with one year as high as £87,000.

“The idea is not to make money but to make the service covers its costs.

“The surplus now being generated is marginal and we always look to reinvest in the cemeteries where possible.”