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Cost of dying up £300 in Barking and Dagenham

PUBLISHED: 10:00 03 February 2016

Legion members from Barking at the War memorial in Ripple Cemetery. The cost of dying has risen over the past year.

Legion members from Barking at the War memorial in Ripple Cemetery. The cost of dying has risen over the past year.

Archant

The cost of dying is on the up after grave fees were dramatically hiked for the third year in a row.

On Monday the price of a lawn grave – the most common mode of burial – leapt by £300.

“Some people struggle to find the money anyway – to put the prices up by 20 per cent is a strain on people financially at a difficult time,” said Dagenham funeral director Jeremy West.

In 2015 a lawn grave was £1,288, which this year increased to £1,545. This compares to just a £30 (or 2pc) increase between 2014-15.

The charges for Barking and Dagenham’s three cemeteries in Rippleside, Chadwell Heath and Eastbrookend are set by the council, which is responsible for the upkeep of the burial places.

“It’s not as if they’re kept any better – if anything the maintenance of the graves has got worse,” added Jeremy, who has worked for his family firm for the past 43 years.

“I can’t understand it. I’ve never seen such a dramatic leap.”

Originally, the prices were set to change only from April 1, meaning some families have been charged by 2015 prices but are now expected to pay extra cash.

A council spokesman said: “Due to rising costs and reduction in central government funding, many council charges have been reviewed to ensure best value for council taxpayers.

“The revised fees’ structure has been agreed to ensure it is in line with our neighbouring authorities and in many cases they are still very competitive.”


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