Burial charges at Oakham Cemetery are set to more than quadruple
Burial charges at Oakham Cemetery are set to more than quadruple under new budget proposals put forward by Rutland County Council.
The authority is planning to significantly increase charges across its burial service as it says the cemetery in Kilburn Road has been running at a loss in recent years.
The authority has subsidised services and has been spending £25,000 each year to keep the cemetery running.
The proposals could see the cost of laying a single headstone increase by 400 per cent from £66 to £268. The cost of a ‘exclusive right of burial in a single earthen grave’ will increase by 750 per cent from £245 to £2085.
The cost of interning a body of someone aged more than one will rise from £540 to £902.
At a cabinet meeting on Tuesday last week Coun Gordon Brown (Con) said: “The cemetery has been running at a significant loss for a number of years. We wish to move to it becoming self-funding over the next couple of years.
“We charge £66 for laying a stone, even my small parish council in Nottingham charged over £100 for that, so we are increasing in line with neighbouring authorities.”
Under the Children’s Fund for England scheme parents will no longer have to cover the costs of burying children under the age of 18.
The cemetery is currently undergoing restoration work and has two listed chapels in its grounds.
The authority currently raises £4m per year in fees and charges and other fees that are set to increase include new applications for gambling premises licences. A house of multiple occupancy licence fee will also increase from £183 to £768.
The authority is planning to put its council tax rate up by 4.99 per cent, which includes a two per cent precept for adult social care services. It says it is one of the worst funded unitary authorities in the country.
At the meeting the budget proposals for the 2019/20 financial year were approved to go out to consultation and residents have until February 4 to have their say.