Dudley Council under fire for rising funeral costs as top bosses paid millions
Dudley Council has been criticised for targeting grieving families by putting up the cost of dying.
A councillor claimed top earners at the authority should have taken a pay cut rather than making families shell out more for bereavement services.
Burial and cremation charges have been put up by almost 10 per cent to try and save money but the move has been attacked by opposition councillor Karen Shakespeare.
The Conservative councillor told a full council meeting: "This makes us one of the highest-charging authorities in the West Midlands which has never been the case in the past.
"It is extremely sad the council has made this decision and at what is a very emotional and financially difficult time for people.
"It is particularly disturbing that the 12 highest people on this council are paid £1.5 million and consultants were last year paid £1.3 million."
It now costs £975 to bury an adult – a £72 rise – under the cash-strapped authority's new bereavement charges for 2017.
An adult burial has gone up to £975 – a rise of £72. The cost of a child burial has risen £14 to £194. Meanwhile an adult cremation will increase from £752 to £812, with cremations for children rising by £7 to £97.
Council bosses said they had been forced to cot costs due to a fall in funding from the Government and stressed investment had been pumped into cemeteries in the borough.
Councillor Khurshid Ahmed, cabinet member for regeneration at Dudley Council, said: "We have carried out some improvement works at our crematoriums.
"We have to raise money to put back into crematoriums to make sure we have sufficient services."
Dudley Council leader Pete Lowe admitted last year that funeral costs were expected to rise as the authority battles to meet its target of saving £25 million over the next three years.
Other charges that have also gone up recently include the cost of memorials in cemeteries, which will increase by £20 to a total of £276.
A memorial on a baby's grave now costs an extra £5 at £77.
The council is aiming to make an extra half a million from bereavement services up to 2020.
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