Council considers cremation price rise

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The cost of cremation or burial in Argyll and Bute could rise by eight per cent as part of a new proposal within the council’s budget.

Argyll and Bute already charges above the Scottish average for exclusive right of burial and coffin interment, but below the average for a cremation. The area’s only crematorium is in Cardross.

The proposal, which it is claimed will save the council £80,000, was not part of the original list of savings options which were published in December.

A report was presented to the authority’s policy and resources committee on February 17. The council will set its budget for 2022/23 on February 24.

In the report, a council officer states: ‘A benchmarking exercise has been carried out using data published by the Scottish Government including the cost of lairs and coffin interment for all 32 Scottish authorities.

‘In addition, cremation fees have also been benchmarked across Scotland where facilities are available. Please note that some of these locations are privately operated rather than operated by a local authority.

‘Please note we do not know whether any other authorities will apply any increases to these charges.’

The report acknowledges the risk of ‘public reaction to increased charges’.

A table showing costs across the 32 council areas shows that Argyll and Bute currently charges £1,011 for a burial against the national average of £942.

Neighbouring West Dunbartonshire Council charges £1,030, with Highland Council’s price being £851.

Argyll and Bute’s coffin interment charge of £857 is slightly more than the national average of £827. West Dunbartonshire Council charges £790 while Highland Council charges £959.

A cremation in Argyll and Bute costs £812, with the national average being £859. West Dunbartonshire’s price is £752, while Highland’s is £959.