Local Cllrs are pushing for Town Hall to drop its ‘regrettable’ £1,000 death-rates for war heroes.
This year the Tory council ‘standardised’ its ‘cemetery rates’, which used to cost bereaved families from £620 to £958, for 99 years.
The ‘standardisation’ was upwards – to a flat rate of £1,000 for every family who loses someone – for just half the time of 50 years.
At the outset – the authority even wanted to tax parents who’d lost a child – but they dropped that plan after an outcry.
Now local politicians are pushing for the authority to axe its plans – and to make cemetery burial free for heroes who die in the field of battle.
Cemeteries chief Cllr Steve Double will bring the new charges in on August 1st.
The basic cost of buying a plot and interment is currently to be set at £1000.
Economy shadow Cllr Edwina Hannaford said: “The decision to raise fees across Cornwall is very regrettable.
“It is one thing to standardise the fees, but this should not have been taken as an excuse to raise charges. Surely an average would have been fairer.”
“We welcome the fact that Cllr Double has backed away from his initial plans to impose charges on families for purchasing a grave for children who die.
“That was an insensitive and thoughtless proposal.”
She explained: “In most of Cornwall, burial plots are bought for 99 or 100 years.
“The proposal to cut this to 50 years is wrong and I would like to see the old terms restored.
“Or, at the very least allow families to buy extended terms rather than try to chase them up for a further payment after the 50 years is up.”
The Lib Dems have also tabled amendments to the new fees and policies for military graves.
It’s Cllr Les Donnithorne’s idea.
Cllr Donnithorne, who represents St Agnes, explained: “Service men and women who lay down their lives for this country should be given every honour by Cornwall Council as they are by the nation as a whole.
“We should certainly be waiving cemetery fees as a mark of respect for their sacrifice.”
Cllr Double told CCN: “Having followed up the query from a Member at a recent briefing, I asked officers to look into this matter further as I agree that it is important to honour those members of our armed forces who have made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.
“In the case of a death in service, the costs of a funeral, including cemetery fees, are traditionally paid for by the Ministry of Defence.”