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Friday, 19 December 2014

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Cremation, burial charges set to rise in Copeland

Cremation and burial fees, parking charges and council tax are set to increase in Copeland.

Gillian Troughton photo
Gillian Troughton

A meeting of the council’s executive heard that on top of the significant cuts of £2.6million already made, additional savings of £160,000 are required during the next financial year and £1.8million over the next three.

Crematorium and cemetery fees will rise by £30, which the council says is in line with inflation and will bring in £27,000 to its coffers.

An increase to park on council-owned car parks, between 10p and 20p an hour, will amount to £13,000 and the authority’s share of council tax will rise by 1.95 per cent, which increases a Band D property from £183.70 to £187.28.

A charge to replace refuse bins and boxesis also expected to be made.

A proposed £10 charge to fund improvements to online bereavement services has been postponed for a year, but a two-line entry in the crematorium’s book of remembrance will now cost £73, £2 more than it did.

The council’s 2014/15 budget includes £69,000 to meet a one per cent increase in national pay rates for its employees and an extra £82,000 has been included for the increase in pension contributions. Only 13 people responded to a public consultation on its budget proposals.

Gillian Troughton, councillor responsible for finance, said: “They don’t like what we are doing but they understand what we have to do.”

The council will also be looking at new proposals relating to a charge for new and replacement bins in some cases such as those to new housing developments; to landlords for replacing bins that go missing between lets; and to those who need their bins replaced due to damage from misuse.

“We cannot make the same savings over and over and the government is reducing its financial support even further, even though demand for many of our services is increasing,” said a council spokesman. “These are difficult times, but we are facing up to them to ensure we provide the services our residents need.”

All of the proposals will go before Copeland’s full council on February 27.

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