Leicester

Leicester City Council burial costs set to rise

Leicester City Council is facing criticism over proposals to raise its fees for bereavement services.

Charges for cremations, burials and spaces in cemeteries are expected to go up by 8% in 2012.

Vinod Popat, from the Shanti Dham bereavement project for Hindus, Sikhs and Jains, said he was "flabbergasted" at the proposals.

The city council said painful decisions had to be made as it was facing cuts of £40m over three years.

Mr Popat said: "I'm really flabbergasted by this. Seven or eight months ago, they put up the crematorium charges by 22% and now they're going for another 8%."

'Vulnerable' people

Barry Naylor, Urban Canon at Diocese of Leicester, echoed Mr Popat's concerns.

"I think this is absolutely appalling because it is actually hurting people at the neediest moments of their lives.

"The council could look at other areas to cut, certainly as the prices were increased last year quite significantly.

"Is this the right time to be hitting people who are most vulnerable and are going through a very difficult time?"

The council's cremation fee is currently £623 but would increase to £672 under the new proposals.

Interment of adults currently costs £551 but would rise to £595 and an adult grave which currently costs £1,800, would rise to £1,944.

The proposals would go out to public consultation and a final decision would not be made in February, Leicester City Council said.

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