Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Privatise cemeteries - kerching!

Only in the minds and jargon of local government execs could the idea of privatising 'Cems/Crems' - their word, not mine - be described as a 'quick win'. But that is what the council is proposing.

In early March the trade unions were given some more details of the Future Shape work groups - on which neither they nor residents are collectively represented, by the way. One of the documents contained the diagram below.
We took this to be illustrative, and did not think that the council would actually move quickly to 'privatise' cemeteries and crematoria, ie, pay a private company to run them. But the papers for the Cabinet Resources Committee meeting tomorrow (23 April) show they propose to do just that.

There are 3 companies apparently interested in taking over the running of Hendon Cemetery and Crematorium. The appendix to the document shows that other c(r)ems (sorry, it's catching) in north London are run by... local councils or by the London Cremation Company, "the trading arm of the Charity, The Cremation Society of Great Britain", or by New Southgate Cemetery and Crematorium, a wholly owned UK company. Who are the 3 companies that are interested?

More to the point:
(1) a bit of consultation wouldn't have gone amiss over this move;
(2) whatever company takes over, they don't do it for love, do they?

Is it appropriate for private companies to make profits from burials and cremations? Shouldn't we be allowed some time for public reflection on this?

1 comment:

Rog T said...

My mum will be turning in her grave (literally as it's in Hendon)