Thursday, 6 June 2013

Barnet DRS - Increased Charges at Hendon Cemetery and Crematorium

Going through the DRS Business Case which will be discussed at the Budget & Performance Overview & Scrutiny Committee  on 11 June, there are some very worrying statements which every resident should be concerned about.

Hendon Cemetery and Crematorium has been identified as generating an extra £4.3 million of net additional revenue. That is just £1 million less than Barnet will receive from all of the costs savings over the period of the contract. They will generate this revenue through "Pre-purchased graves, extended opening hours, additional cremation activities". Now we don't have the full details  of exactly how this will be generated but to my mind it does not stack up.

Pre selling graves seems a bit tasteless to me but more to the point it is just bringing forward income that will be realised at a later date so after the end of the contract we run the risk of having lots of burials to fulfil without the income.

More worryingly is the extended opening hours and addition cremation activities. Are they proposing hosting budget late night cremations with higher prices for peak periods. This runs the risk of pricing out the less well off to late night and early mornings. I wonder if this is what was envisaged when the title EasyCouncil was previously used?

As for the additional cremation activities, does this mean pet cremations? Who knows because there is absolutely no details and as ever the contract itself is strictly confidential. Hopefully Tuesday will give us a few answers.

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