No increase to cremation and burial fees in Scarborough borough, after councillors criticise 'poorly timed' proposals

A price increase for cremations and burials in Scarborough has been delayed following a challenge by a group of councillors.

By Sarah Fitton
Wednesday, 28th October 2020, 11:40 am

A mixture of Conservatives and non-affiliated independents on Scarborough Council had urged the authority to rethink the “poorly timed” rise as families continue to struggle with the coronavirus pandemic.

In September, the councillors called in the decision by cabinet member Cllr Tony Randerson to implement the changes and convinced the council’s Overview and Scrutiny Board to back a motion to cap any potential rise in fees at 2.5%.

Scarborough Council had hoped to bring in an extra £100,000 to the authority each year by increasing some of the prices at the borough’s crematorium and cemeteries.

Woodlands Crematorium

Cllr Randerson, the council’s cabinet member for Neighbourhoods, has now decided not to raise the fees at all but says that he remains convinced that the decision to increase prices was the correct one.

In his written decision Cllr Randerson wrote: “After careful consideration, I have decided to maintain crematorium and cemeteries fees and charges at current levels.

“I do, however, remain absolutely convinced that the said proposals will take us in the correct direction to transform our fees and provide better choice, flexibility and affordability options for customers and better reflect the actual costs of delivering the services our Bereavement Service Team provide.

“However, I have taken on board members’ concerns over the timing of these proposals, given we are still in the face of a Covid-19 pandemic.”

Cllr Randerson said he would review his decision in the early months of next year.

Among the price changes that had been due to take place was an increase in the cost of a 60-minute cremation service for an adult from £830 to £915.

Purchasing an adult burial site would have gone up by £110 to £1,000 for Scarborough residents, while the cost to a non-resident now stands at £1,300, a rise of £80.