Kirklees Council engagement over bereavement services charges begins
A six week period of engagement on changes to charges in Kirklees Council’s Bereavement Services begins today (Monday 30 October 2017).
Interested groups and individuals can have their say on proposed charge increases, and are able to proactively suggest ways the service can cover its own costs.
Bereavement Services provide around 3,000 cremations, 500 full burials and 130 burials of ashes each year.
Cremations cover their own costs and so are not subsidised from other funds, however burial services currently lose money. Of the 500 burials each year, 15% are performed out of standard hours, and 25% are child burials – including pre-term babies.
A proposal placed before Cabinet members recommended raising the cost of burials over the next five years to reach a full cost recovery model, except in the case of child burials which will be free of charge. Kirklees Council maintains 14 cemeteries across the district, seven of them now closed to new burials.
Cllr Graham Turner, joint Cabinet Member for corporate services, said: “Like all councils, Kirklees is facing significant financial challenges and is looking at services where the cost of delivery is higher than the amount we charge. The burial services currently operate at a loss and we need to ensure the costs are covered. Our current proposals take us to a full cost recovery model in five years, including any equipment and future maintenance costs.
“We would like people’s views on that proposal, or their suggestions as to how we can reduce the running costs so charges can stay low.”
Cllr Musarrat Khan, joint Cabinet Member for corporate services added: “Our webpage details the costs for neighbouring councils to allow people to make an informed decision on the right level of cost. Where groups are affected, we would like them to discuss that with us.”
Taking part in the engagement process is by email to firstname.lastname@example.org with a closing date for responses of Friday 8 December. We will then invite a selection of people who have made suggestions to a meeting to discuss their ideas further.
Information is available at www.kirklees.gov.uk/bereavementengagement