Crematorium fees could increase

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Crematoriums in Pontefract and Wakefield could be improved with a £1.7m investment - but a fee increase may be on the way.

Wakefield Council’s cabinet members will be asked to approve plans to spend the cash on new equipment and renewed and upgraded facilities at the crematoriums, including a new room for mourners and better car parking, at its meeting on Tuesday.

The plan would also ensure the two crematoriums comply with government guidance on the levels of mercury abatement - which need to be reduced by 50 per cent by the end of the year.

But the cabinet must also consider putting up fees charged by the crematorium. The council said this would put charges in line with neighbouring councils which have put fees up to pay for the changes needed to meet the new requirements.

Coun Maureen Cummings, Cabinet Member for Environment and Communities, said: “We recognise that times are tough for everyone and the proposal to increase fees is not something we have taken lightly, however we will always try to ensure that we keep costs as low as possible and that costs are only passed onto our customers if absolutely necessary.”

“The time has come when we have to invest in these facilities, not just to ensure we meet our legal responsibilities but to improve the service we provide.

“If a cremator breaks down it can have a very distressing impact on bereaved families, something we must seek to prevent by making sure our crematoria are fit for purpose.”