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Burnley funeral cost increase row
4:00pm Monday 30th December 2013 in News
A WAR of words has erupted over a proposed Burnley Council charge increase which was once dubbed ‘a tax on death’.
Plans have now been announced to increase most crematorium and cemetery fees by around two per cent, by the borough’s ruling Labour administration.
This would bring the adult crematorium charge up to £571, from £559 and the interment fee from £905 to £924, with comparative rises for child burials and services.
But Liberal Democrat opposition leader Coun Margaret Lishman said: “I am sad to see that we have not attempted to again cap the charges as far as cemeteries and crematoriums are concerned.
“When we were in control, this was something that was very dear to (council leader) Coun Julie Cooper and when we put forward proposals to increase the charges she was extremely upset. It is sad that she can do this now but doesn’t appear to be so upset.”
Coun Mark Townsend, deputy council leader and resources cabinet member, said the Lib Dems could learn a lesson from history regarding burial and cremation fee rises.
“This year it is two per cent and that is the lowest it has been for some time,” he said.
“Let us go back to 2010-11 when the increase was 15.32 per cent – that is the history of the Liberal Democrats and their concern for people in their times of need, just to set the record straight.”
Coun Lishman said that the 2010-11 increase occurred when the authority was forced to spend around £900,000 on the Burnley Road cremators, to ensure that the borough could still offer such services.
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