Charges will rise despite objection over burial fees

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COUNCILLORS have approved plans to put up various fees in Gosport – despite objections from some members over the new cost of cemetery burials.

Gosport Borough Council will charge more for services like car parks and sports facilities to help balance its budget.

As part of the measures, the cost of burial spaces and the interment of cremated remains will go up.

Councillors approved the new set of fees at a full council meeting last night.

But there were some objections from Labour councillors.

Cllr Keith Farr, the Labour councillor for the Forton ward, voted against the measures.

He objected at the meeting because of plans to put up the cost of burials at Ann’s Hill Cemetery.

Speaking after the meeting, Cllr Farr said: ‘I’m not happy about it.

‘It’s a disgrace because when you have just lost someone this is not the time you want to be facing extra fees.

‘It’s really bad. They should have tried to put the cost onto something else.’

Previously it cost £415 for the provision of a new grave but now it costs £432.

Provision of a cremated remains plot did cost £77 but now it is £80.

There is still no charge for graves for children.

The leader of the council, Tory Cllr Mark Hook, said: ‘It’s always difficult when you’re dealing with an emotive subject.

‘We have to try and be fair to all council tax payers and we do have to look at all the services provided.

‘We have taken the decision not to charge for child burials and we made a conscious effort to maintain that at no charge.’

Other changes in the fees and charges of the council will see the cost of short-stay car parks in Gosport’s town centre and Lee-on-the-Solent increase by 10p.

The council will also introduce some new charges, including charging for pre-planning application advice.

People building extensions to their house will not need to pay, but big businesses or housing developers will.

Most of the charges will come into force from January 1 next year.

The council estimates it will bring in an extra £100,000.

Gosport’s Lib Dem group also objected to the proposals last night.