Thomas Bridge 19 August 2015

Council-run cremation costs climb by a third

Council cremation prices have risen by a third since 2010, with average costs for adults now reaching £640.

Local authorities said the services were not run for profit and linked the rise to the climbing cost of stricter environmental requirements.

The figures were uncovered by freedom of information requests sent by the BBC.

More than 170 councils run at least one crematorium, with private firms operating services in other regions.

Fees for cremating an adult have climbed by more than 100% in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, from £359 to £721.

However the borough council said the original cost had been ‘completely behind the market’, with new prices being based on ‘the two nearest crematoria’.

Northumberland saw a rise from £407 to £695, with a county council spokesperson saying the price had been bought ‘more in line’ with neighbouring authorities.

A Local Government Association said: ‘Cremations are not run to make a profit, but meeting the standards bereaved families expect requires continual investment in chapels of rest, grounds maintenance and equipment.

‘Meeting environmental targets for crematoria from 2012 has meant local authorities have also had to fit expensive abatement equipment over the last few years.

‘Although these factors have pushed up the price of a cremation, these costs represent a relatively small portion of the overall cost of a funeral.’

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