Brent Council plan to increase the cost of burying your loved ones

Town hall propose to hike funeral costs as part of programme to save �104miliion

Few residents will be left unscathed as Brent Council continues to wield the axe as it enters the third of its four year programme to save �104million.

Following cuts of �42 million last year that resulted in the closures of day care centres, a respite centre and half of the borough 12 libraries, the belt-tightening measures will continue throughout 2012 to next year and possibly longer.

Shared houses which are home to supported residents could be closed or the numbers of places available may be slashed to save the council �1.5m over the next two years.

Residents face inflation-bursting increases in a range of services with grieving families having pay more to bury their loved ones.

Under the plans, the price of a memorial or headstone will rise by six per cent, to hire a chapel by 6.6 per cent and the cost of cancelling or arriving more than 20 minutes later to bury your loved one will surge by 6.5 per cent.

Active residents also face splashing out more to keep fit with the cost hiring a sports hall during off peak hours at Bridge Park Sports Centre in Harrow Road, Stonebridge, rising by 7.4 per cent and the concessionary rate of a six-month Active gym card rocketing by 16.7 per cent.

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The council’s proposed budget, which will be heard before the Executive this month, will save �14m in the next financial year.

However, Council Tax has been frozen for the third year.

While the council have pledged not to introduce any further Controlled Parking Zones in the borough unless requested by residents, derivers face an increase in parking charges, the cost of permits and moving traffic offences.

Pete Firmin, chair of Brent Fightback, said: “The council shouldn’t be putting up charges by more than inflation.

“This is the other side of the coin as it has made their services less accessible to people.”

Cllr Mohammed Butt, deputy leader of the council, said the council was left with no choice because of the Government cuts.

He said: “We are making cuts because we have to not because we want to.

“We want to provide the best services we can to all our residents but we have to do this with much reduced funding from the government.”