We have had a look at the Cremation Society of Great Britain figures for the cost of cremation in the United Kingdom, are the headlines.
Countries in the UK in order of cost: Most expensive England; Scotland; Wales with the least expensive being Northern Ireland.
In England there is unsurprisingly a rough north south divide with the Home Counties being the most expensive, although the trend is has plenty of exceptions with Tyne and Wear being quite expensive whereas Brighton is cheapest in England.
The most expensive crematoria in the UK is in Scotland, Dundee charging £735 for the total cremation fee (The total crematorium charges include the following services: use of chapel, waiting rooms and all attendances, floral decoration, music (recorded or organ), scattering/strewing of ashes, Medical Referee’s Fee and environmental surcharge is applicable.). The least expensive is Belfast at £328 which is way less than anywhere less (worrying, heavily subsidised or?), after this the Downs crematoria Brighton which is £410, odd when Chichester ‘next door’ is £725.
The average cost of a cremation in 2012 was £584 a rise of 7% (or about £40) on the previous year. However the variation is inconsistent with many crematoria not increasing prices at all, and considering fuel is a proportion of their cost they effectively are losing money compared to the previous year, which given the pressure on authorities to cut cost seems surprising. There are two that buck the trend are Honor Oak in London upping fees by £172, but the real outlier is Barrow in Furness that increased its fees from £359 to £670! Again without a rationale attached it would be irresponsible to judge as it may be as a result of large capital costs such as abatement equipment which had to be met from the Department’s budget.
In some local authorities there were very wide variations for example Hertfordshire has two crematoria one charging £500 while the other is £730. The most expensive authority appears to be Oxfordshire with neither of their crematoria dipping below £700. The cheapest authority appears to be Nottinghamshire apart from decadents of Robin Hood as the Sherwood Forest crematoria is markedly more expensive than the others.
Now one of my next jobs is to map which of these are private facilities. But what I can’t do with this data is express it in terms of Value for Money, as whilst I am guessing that the private facilities are likely to charge more I would not like to suggest that there is profiteering going on. In fact it could be possible that you would get nicer experience in nicer surroundings. It is likely however a percentage of the fees will be as a result of payback on investment for the facility, although interestingly the three new facilities: Stourport, Melrose and Barry have priced themselves on the average or only slightly more (to get a foothold may be?). As for those existing facilities being outsourced to private companies, then that would need detailed investigation and at present I would not like to comment.
If you have any experience of crematoria in terms of value for money, quality of service and price – let us know