A local councillor is investigating the cost of dying in Craigavon – especially for non-residents.
Increases levied recently for funeral services from the Civic Centre are, in some cases, up by almost 10 per cent. Councillor Kenneth Twyble said that people have been in touch with him over what they term are “exorbitant” increases.
“They are especially angry that a surcharge of 25 per cent has been levied on funerals that arrive late at our cemeteries,” said Mr Twyble. “If a funeral is large and the service is delayed – and is often the case in the real world – the high costs of burial are exacerbated.”
A local undertaker agreed that the disparages were hard to understand, and that the issue of late funeral was especially hard to take, “given that there can be so many delays along the line for families at such a traumatic time.”
The figures show, too, that burial costs in Craigavon are far above those in Armagh, which will create anomalies with Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon being amalgamated in 2015.
Examples show that the increase for plot sales for locals has risen from £215 to £236, and for non-residents from £550 to £605. The equivalent in Armagh is £175 and £350.
Grave opening has risen from £190 TO £209 for locals and from £440 to £484 for non-residents. The Armagh costs are £160 and £325.
Said Mr Twyble, “I cannot fathom why the Armagh costs should be so far behind those of Craigavon.”
The borough council said, “Benchmarking costs in this area of services is particularly difficult as there is a diverse range of pricing approaches from differing councils and providers. “Over the years costs in this area are set and ratified by the council as part of the rate setting process. As part of the Review of Public Administration with Armagh and Banbridge Councils we will be agreeing a common charging scheme for services and will review the costs in this area. These meetings are on-going and cover a wide range of subjects affecting all three councils.”