CEMETERY and crematorium fees in Ribble Valley are set to rise again despite jumping up between 30 and 60 per cent last year.

Ahead of 2019/20, council bosses said the charges they imposed for grave plots and scattering ashes were among the lowest in Lancashire.

Proposals were presented to the borough’s health and housing committee which eventually saw the cost of a grave plot increase from £615 to £845 from next April, a rise of 37.4 per cent.

And the price for an ashes plot, under the same plans, saw a hike from £257 to £416, a 61.9 per cent increase.

Now council bosses have published proposed price increases for 2020/21, though at a much lower rate.

If adopted, the cost of a grave plot would rise from £845 to £862, while ashes plots would go up to £425.

And the cost of a woodland burial would increase from £765 to £781

Fees are doubled for anyone not from the Ribble Valley.

According to estimates, council bosses hope the net income to the local authority would be £73,700 over the course of the year.

The council has carried out a review of charges to be put before a health and housing committee meeting next week with the hopes of implementing the increases in the next financial year.

These proposals are the first stage in the review of the committee’s budget for the forthcoming 2020/21 financial year.

The council’s latest budget forecast allows for a 2 per cent inflationary increase in the level of income raised from fees and charges.

The review aims to increase budgeted income for 2020/21 by this amount as a minimum.

After applying this percentage increase, proposed charges have generally been rounded up or down to minimise any problems with small change.

Director of resources, Andrew Cook, said: "In September and October 2019, the Budget Working Group considered the overall three year Budget Forecast.

"This forecast assumes that fees and charges are increased overall by 2 per cent.

"Guidance from Budget Working Group to service committees is that they review their fees and charges in order to achieve this overall target increase in income of 2 per cent.

"The comparable budgeted income to be received from fees and charges which are set by this committee is £269,290 and a 2 per cent increase would therefore generate £5,386.

"Work is still underway on forecasting income budget levels for 2020/21 and such budget proposals will be reported back to this committee in January 2020 for approval.

"If this Committee agrees the fees and charges, the overall increase based on current budgeted demand levels is expected to be £5,700, which is an overall increase of 2.12 per cent.

"The majority of the proposed fees and charges for this Committee have been uplifted by 2 per cent and rounded up to the next 10p, 50p or £1, as appropriate.

"This inevitably impacts on the percentage rise for each individual charge."

The proposals will be discussed by councillors at a health and housing committee meeting at Clitheroe town hall on Thursday next week .