Dying will be more expensive

Furze Lane Burial Ground in Winslow.'091112M-A142
Furze Lane Burial Ground in Winslow.'091112M-A142

SAYING goodbye to a loved one will become more expensive if new money saving proposals by Bedford Borough Council get the go ahead.

Council chiefs are required by the government to save £36million in four years under its new money saving strategy.

In proposals outlined by the council cemetery and cremation fees would increase by three per cent above inflation in the first year and then by a further one per cent for the remaining three years.

Altogether the council estimates that this will save them £85,000.

But Conservative Councillor Tom Wootton claimed that his party would be looking at the proposed fee increases very closely.

He said: “There are some serious questions to answer and we are doing some research on how much the council are putting up prices on things like planning applications.

“Cremation and burial fees are one of these things.

“Our group is looking into this because it is very serious. These costs fall on ordinary people.”

A spokesman for Bedford Borough Council said: “The council is currently consulting on burial and cremation charges. “It is also proposed that cremation and burial remains free for all under 16’s.

“Costs for this service are lower in comparison to other local authorities.

“ There are no proposals to increase the cost of registering a birth, death, or for a basic civil marriage. “However, we are looking at discretionary additional services and whether to increase our fees to reflect the actual costs involved; these include, for example, licensing a hotel to offer marriages in their grounds.”

He added: “As an aside, we will be offering an enhanced service from next month as part of the “Tell us Once” scheme.

“This scheme is designed to relieve people of some of the bureaucratic paperwork at an obviously very stressful time.

“There will be no additional charge for this added service.”