Cemetery and cremation charges in Burnley to be frozen to ease impact of coronavirus
Cemetery and crematorium fees and car parking charges in Burnley are to be frozen to ease the impact of coronavirus on bereaved families and businesses.
Burnley Council’s executive agreed to waive the rises as it agreed increases of 2.5% for many other services it provides.
The changes apply from April 1st to March 31st 2022 and will generate an additional £52,000 in income over the financial year.
The decision to peg burial, cremation and car parking charges was taken despite a projected budget overspend of £118,000 this year.
The fee for bulky and white goods collection will be reduced by half for a pilot period of three months from January 1 while the annual charge for green waste collection in 2020/21 will increase from £30 to £35. An early payment incentive of £30 will be offered for eight-weeks.
Council finance boss Coun. Sue Graham told the meeting on Tuesday night: “I think residents will be supportive of the fact there will be no increase in car parking charges.
“The main reason behind this is obviously to support the town centre and hopefully when things start to go back a bit more to normal, we will find footfall in the town centre will increase.
“It would be very callous of use in the middle of a pandemic to increase charges in the cemetery and crematorium so we have taken a decision this year to freeze the charges for the coming financial year.”
Borough leader Coun. Mark Townsend said: “Nobody wants to put fees and charges up and I think this proposal strikes that balance in terms of protecting residents but at the same time giving us some funding to support services going forward.”
Burnley Council Tory group leader Coun. Alan Hosker welcomed the freeze on car parking charges but said: “Why is it considerably cheaper to have a cremation at Accrington than Burnley? They should be reducing the charges not freezing them.”
His Liberal Democrat group counterpart Coun. Gordon Birtwistle said: “I have no objection to this provided they can deal with the deficit and overspend. If so fair enough.”
There is to be no increase to existing fixed penalty fines.
Towneley Hall’s daily car parking fees will be frozen but all other charges will increase by 2.5%.
The new regime needs to approved by the borough’s Full Council meeting on Wednesday.