Cost of burials to increase in Sandwell to pay for new cemetery
The cost of a burial plot in Sandwell is set to rise to more than £2,000 to help pay for a £2.2 million cemetery in Rowley Regis.
But cremation and funeral fees in the borough will still be among the lowest in the Black Country, council officers have said.
Sandwell’s cabinet is being asked to approve the seven per cent increase, which officers say "ensures the council is able to recover both the costs associated with the delivery of these services and effectively delivers the necessary funding to develop a new cemetery for Rowley Regis".
If accepted, the cost of a cremation will increase in April by £51 to £775 and burials will go up by £135 to £2,064.
But the council’s low cost funeral service. which provides a cremation, coffin funeral car and a minister to conduct a service, will remain unchanged at £1,643.
The proposed increase in costs comes after the authority approved a plan to build a new cemetery on open land opposite the current cemetery on Powke Lane.
Council officers said the graveyard was needed because the borough is running out of plots in existing facilities.
The scheme was opposed by residents who presented a petition with 1,200 signatures calling for it to be rejected.
It was finally approved in October when a full council meeting narrowly voted in favour by 35 to 25 votes with three councillors abstaining.
Recommending the increases to next week’s cabinet, council bosses have said they will generate an extra £303,541 for the authority.
Cremations will increase from £724 to £775, the cost of a traditional leased burial plot is to go up from £1,929 to £2,064, and interment fees will increase from £995 to £1,065.
Members of the cabinet will vote on the recommendation at their meeting on January 22.
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