Decision details

Direct Cremations

Decision Maker: Executive

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: Yes

Is subject to call in?: Yes


To introduce a new service offer (Direct Cremations) which could provide additional revenue income by optimising un-met demand in the second chapel.



       i.          Direct cremations are offered as an additional service at Easthampstead Park Cemetery and Crematorium at an individual price of £285.00.


      ii.          the Council Constitution allows the Director to fix charges for any new service, provided that such charges are reported to the next meeting of the Council’s Executive Committee. It is therefore recommended that this service is introduced within the current financial year.


     iii.          the new service will be included in the 2020/21 fees and charges for approval at full Council in February 2020.

Reasons for the decision:

The number of additional funeral services that were expected to take place following

the opening of the second chapel at EPC&C in 2018/19 has not been realised. The

service is therefore underperforming against its 2019/20 income target and at the end

of September the income pressure totalled £180k. Direct cremations offer an

opportunity to supplement existing services and generate additional income that may

help to bridge some of this gap.

Alternative options considered:

1.     The current offer at EPC&C could remain as it is, without direct cremations. This option is not recommended given the current budget circumstances of the service and the council.


2.     In response to the income pressure, plans have been put in place to further promote EPC&C and attract additional custom - these include creating a vanity URL, contacting Funeral Directors that are in the local area but not currently using the site, exploring joint marketing options with Registrars and updating both printed and electronic marketing materials to better promote the service as a whole. Given these efforts, the current offer at EPC&C could remain the same, without direct cremations. However, it is uncertain that marketing, alone, could account for an additional £180k (or more) of custom.

Interests and Nature of Interests Declared:


Reason Key: Affects more than 1 ward;

Wards Affected: (All Wards);

Financial Impact: Will be contained in the report.

Declarations: None

Subject to Urgent Proceedings: No

Making Representations: In writing to the Executive Director: Delivery.

Other reasons / organisations consulted




Contact: Damian James, Assistant Director: Contracts Email: Tel: 01344 355157.

Report author: Damian James

Publication date: 17/12/2019

Date of decision: 17/12/2019

Decided at meeting: 17/12/2019 - Executive

Effective from: 26/12/2019

Accompanying Documents: