Denbighshire Council needs to raise it’s burial fees to stop people from other counties shopping around and using its graveyards for themselves.

A report before councillors said that Denbighshire has lower burial fees than other counties in the region and they needed to be brought in to line so it wasn’t seen as a cheaper alternative.

There is also concern that the graveyards in Denbighshire could reach capacity soon.

One cemetery at Rhyl has already been closed to new burials and the one in Rhuddlan is expected to reach capacity in eight years time.

Currently the council charges £960 for a single new grave, well below the fees for some neighbouring authorities.

Gwynedd charges £1,207, in Flintshire the fee is £1,071 and in Conwy it’s £1,050 for a similar burial.

Officers have proposed a 5% increase in charges for burials bringing the cost in Denbighshire for a new grave for one to £1,010.

A report before councillors on the communities scrutiny committee meeting on Thursday said: “The council’s burial fees need to be reviewed to bring them in line with neighbouring authorities. It is important to maintain Denbighshire’s burial rates at a comparable price to those of neighbouring authorities, both to maintain income at a reasonable level and to discourage burial in Denbighshire becoming the cheaper option and the associated additional demand this would place on our burial capacity.”

This is not the first time the council has faced up to the problem of cemeteries becoming full.

In 2004 a working group set up by the council looked at the problem and identified two potential sites for new cemeteries.

This working group had identified two potential new cemetery sites, and the total work costs at both of these sites was more than £950,000 each at 2004 price levels.

The option of developing new cemeteries was not pursued at that time, mainly on the grounds of cost.

The report added: “One of the council’s largest cemeteries (in Rhyl) is now closed to new burials and it is likely to represent a significant cost for the authority to provide new cemeteries for individual towns as and when the existing cemeteries become full, with suitable land not always being available in the areas required. An analysis of the detailed figures indicates that Rhuddlan cemetery will be the next cemetery to reach capacity in approximately eight years, probably followed by Ruthin. When these cemeteries are full, additional demand will be placed on the council’s remaining cemeteries.

“In Prestatyn and Llangollen, much of the spare capacity is on land that is

currently used for grazing, or consists of undeveloped fields. New

infrastructure works would therefore be required if these areas were to be

developed to provide additional cemetery capacity.”