Councillors volunteer to cut grass at cemetery as price hike mooted
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Two councillors have said they would rather cut the grass themselves than raise cemetery fees, as a town council looked at a possible price hike.
Speaking at Tuesday’s Fakenham Town Council leisure and environment meeting, Mark Campbell and John Griffiths said they would prefer to get their hands dirty than see residents have to fork out more money to bury loved ones.
“I'd rather give up a few weekends a year and help cut the grass then raise the prices,” Mr Campbell said.
“I feel quite strongly about it, that's just my opinion, I don't think prices should be raised, I'll help whoever does it."
The council last reviewed prices at its two cemeteries, on Queen’s Road and Creake Road, in July. While nothing has been decided yet, the council will discuss the issue over the coming weeks.
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Last year at the Queens Road and Creake Road cemeteries, for the exclusive right of burial for 50 years in a plot not exceeding seven feet by three feet it cost £150. While the burial of cremated remains in a plot not exceeding two feet by two feet in area for 50 years costs £100.
No figure for any possible increase was mentioned, but some councillors insisted it would have to be looked at as running costs mounted.
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The council discussed the maintenance of cemeteries across the market town, but all voiced concern over the price hike, given the year people in Fakenham have endured.
Janet Holdom, deputy mayor, said: “The fees didn't provide sufficient income to meet the actual running costs of the cemeteries, so that's why a note was made to review them again.
“The costs and the revenue from cemeteries are almost breaking even right now, but those running costs do not include the estate management and the grass cutting on the two sides.
“In reality, unless there is a lot more income coming in in the next two weeks of the current financial year, there will be a deficit on the running of the cemeteries.”
Penelope Bucknell said: "We did have a good comparison at the time which by my recollection showed that, compared to other similar-sized towns, our fees were very reasonable.
“While I think emotionally I agree, I am with Janet. I think we do have to look at it.”