MOURNERS in Thurrock could face a £12.50 charge to pay their last respects to loved ones, a councillor has warned reports the Local Democracy Reporter.
Mark Coxshall, leader of Thurrock Council, told a cabinet meeting on Wednesday plans to extend the capital’s Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) to Greater London would mean families of Thurrock residents being cremated in the South Essex Crematorium in Havering would face an emmissions charge.
The council hopes its new ten-year burial strategy will include plans for a crematorium for the borough.
Mr Coxshall said: “We don’t have a crematorium in the borough of Thurrock and I know most people use the crematorium in Havering. What I’m worried about now is the Mayor of London is just about to put a ULEZ right on our borders. It will make it unviable for residents of Thurrock to go there, paying a £12.50 charge to use a car to go to the crematorium.
“This strategy is important. I know previously we’ve had Pitsea and I know Having would object to a crematorium in our area because of the visitors to there but ULEZ has now made that slightly more important.”
Mr Coxshall added: “A ULEZ coming in with £12.50 a day to go and pay your last respects is just inappropriate.
They should either reconsider and move the ULEZ or we should make sure there is some sort of dispensation or use the strategy as another reason to look at a crematorium in our borough to make sure we can pay our last respects to our loved ones.”
A public consultation carried out last summer showed “strong support” for a crematorium to be built in the borough.
The consultation was accessed by 500 and 88 people completed a survey after it was extended by a week. The responses will form part of the strategy. Residents also indicated they would like to see more trees in cemeteries and memorial benches along with natural burial grounds.
While the cash-strapped council tackles a £469million deficit and is prevented from spending any new money on anything other than statutory services after declaring it can no longer balance its books, it is unclear where the money would be found for a crematorium.