Cost of dying to rise again?

THE council is considering putting up the cost of funeral services by another 7 per cent.

That is on top of the 10 per cent rise imposed in January.

The move has been prompted by warnings that the community services budget is heading for a £125,000 shortfall.

Increasing charges for the 1,700 services at the Park Wood Crematorium, in Elland, could raise £55,000 in a full year.

Financial manager Wendy Halstead has told councillors: “We continue to review opportunities for introducing or increasing charges where this is a viable option.

“Increasing charges for funeral services should yield an additional £14,000 in 2011/12 and £55,000 in a full year.”

This will ensure that they remain competitive and in line with neighbouring authorities.

“Stringent controls” have been put in place to keep costs down, including a recruitment ban and authorisation continues to be required for all purchases over £100.

Calderdale Council Communities Panel will hear on Thursday how serious financial pressures are affecting sports facilities, public halls and the Victoria Theatre, Halifax, which have been set tough income targets.

“Sites are also experiencing unforeseen maintenance costs, including a compensation claim for Brighouse Civic Hall.”

The budget for community services this year will be almost £17 million.