Stoke-on-Trent burial fees see inflation-busting 7.5% hike

Cremation and burial fees have seen an inflation-busting increase in Stoke-on-Trent - so a cash-strapped council can cover its costs. Stoke-on-Trent City Council has increased most fees and charges across public health by 6.7 per cent, in line with the Consumer Price Index inflation rate last September.

But charges within bereavement care have gone up by at least 7.5 per cent, with some seeing an even bigger increase, in order to allow the council to recover the full cost of providing the services. For example, the cost of a right of burial lease for a city resident has increased from £1,640 to £1,765, while the cost of interment of cremation remains has gone up from £1,195 to £1,295.

The charge for 'direct cremations' - cremations without a funeral service - has increased by 41 per cent, from £350 to £495. Direct cremations were introduced in December 2022, and take up has exceeded expectations, resulting in a loss to the council.

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Same-day short-notice burials, mostly used by members of the Muslim community, will see charges increase by 18.65 per cent, from £3,110 to £3,690. The council is incrementally removing a subsidy for this service, currently equating to £1,030 per burial, over three years.

And the council has introduced fees for burials and cremations of stillborn babies for the first time - but these will be charged to the Children's Funeral Fund, a government-run scheme, rather than the families. Income from this source will go towards a dedicated children's garden.

A council's fees and charges are expected to recover the cost of service provision, unless forbidden by law or by a decision of the authority. But according to a council report, a 6.7 per cent increase would not be enough to cover costs within bereavement care, due to the 'variables and uptakes' across the service.

The report states: "There are multiple options in terms of the mix of price increases to be applied. One of these would be to leave prices at 22/23 levels (or increase by less than inflation). This is not considered sensible because the council is being faced with inflationary cost pressures which it needs to cover.

"Ultimately, not passing on these pressures to the end user would put the existence of these services at risk . Following this to its logical conclusion, the collapse of these council-run services would lead to less competition in the market and could ultimately lead to even higher prices for the customer."

Here are some of the new bereavement care fees and charges:

All Rights of Burial Leases for 30 years
Right of Burial for Cremation Remains Lease 25 years:

Dec 2022

Apr 2024

City Resident



Non-City Resident



Adult interment including cremation remains to depth of 6’ including new graves 4’6” and public interments:

Dec 2022

Apr 2024

City Resident



Non-City Resident (existing grave)



Non City Resident (new grave)




Dec 2022

Apr 2024

Cremation - Weekdays Full service up to 30 min



Direct Cremation 8.30 & 8.45am Mon - Friday