Accrington Crematorium furnaces to be replaced
THE furnaces at Accrington Crematorium will be replaced following a series of breakdowns, it has been announced.
The two cremators are coming to the end of their lifespan, and almost £5,000 has been spent on emergency callouts, and maintenance, since May, figures revealed.
Six payments were made for emergency callouts in the last three months, at an average of £358 each, and a payment of £2,667 was made for routine maintenance.
Councillor and portfolio holder Ciaran Wells said no services were affected by the breakdowns.
He said: “We are always looking to plan ahead for the future, and we have identified the cremators are coming to the end of their life, which is between 20 and 25 years.
“They were installed in 1995 and we are already planning to repl-ace them between 2016 and 2017.”
Coun Wells refused to be drawn on the potential cost of the replacements, but it is believed the figure would be around £1million.
Leader of the opposition and Oswaldtwistle councillor Peter Britcliffe said: “The council should not be waiting for the cremators to break down. They should be replacing them gradually.
“It’s something they will have been aware of for some time. The sooner the council can replace the cremators, the better, because it will be more economical for the tax-payer.”
The crematorium, it Burnley Road, has held more than 46,000 cremations since 1956.
Past increases in the prices of services, including a 250per cent hike in the cost of scattering ashes earlier this month, have been labelled a ‘death tax’ by critics.
However, at £540, a service at Accrington is still cheaper than Blackburn and Burnley.
Coun Wells said: “We’re still extremely competitive.
“We’ve had to increase some prices to bring them in line with other authorities, but for other things we’ve brought our prices down.
“Nobody wants to put prices up, but we have to meet budget dem-ands, and the demand to deliver a high standard of service at the best price.”
A memorial wall at the crematorium also cost £1,034 last month, while footpath repairs cost £375.
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