Medway Labour and Co-operative Group have today welcomed the Council’s U-turn on their plans to almost double the price of crematorium services and are calling on Cllr Rupert Turpin, the portfolio holder responsible, to apologise for this insensitive proposal.
In a move that would have seen grieving families pay £710 for a 30-minute service, almost double the current price of £482.50 for a standard 20-minute service, the Conservative Council planned to hike crematorium prices in the midst of a pandemic which has seen 649 Medway residents sadly lose their lives.
After pressure from the Medway Labour and Co-operative group, including a letter written by Cllrs Andy Stamp and Vince Maple to the portfolio holder responsible and an online petition that received over 2,000 signatures in less than 48 hours, the Council announced that the price of service would not be increased.
You can view the petition here: https://www.change.org/p/medway-council-stop-the-68-increase-in-medway-cremation-charges
Medway Labour and Co-operative Group Spokesperson for Regeneration and Communities, Cllr Andy Stamp said that, ‘I’m really pleased to see this U-turn and to hear that the Council have come to their senses. Capitalising on the pandemic and loss of life in Medway is appalling, and it’s shameful that this is something we even needed to highlight this as an issue.
‘I hope to see Cllr Turpin, the portfolio holder responsible for the Crematorium Services, apologise for the insensitivity of these proposals and the upset caused to families in Medway.’
Medway Labour and Co-operative Group Leader, Cllr Vince Maple, added,
‘Footing grieving families with a 48% increase in crematorium services in the middle of a pandemic is abhorrent, and quite frankly it is shocking this is something we even needed to start a petition on. I would pay tribute to the whistleblowing funeral director who first highlighted the potential 48% increase.
‘I welcome the council coming to their senses on this matter, but our community deserve an apology from the Council leader and the Portfolio Holder responsible for this insensitivity.’