Newport Cemetery discount rule change
People who move out of Newport and into residential care still qualify for the discount at the town’s cemetery, after councillors agreed a rule change.
Newport Cemetery previously offered discounts of up to 50 per cent to people who lived in the town when they died, but also gave unwritten discretion to those who had moved into care homes near the town less than a year previously.
The town council agreed to scrap the 12-month cut-off and amended the discount rule to include Newport residents who “enter a hospital, hospice, nursing home or other care setting outside the boundaries of Newport” before passing away.
A 50-year grave space purchase at the Audley Avenue cemetery, where interments have taken place since 1859, costs £1,323 to the general population but £743 to locals, while an interment administration fee is discounted from £350 to £164.
Describing the previous rule, Newport Town Council mayor Peter Scott said: “Someone could move to Newport today and die tomorrow and get the discount. It doesn’t happen, but it could.
“Equally, someone could move out – obviously it has to be their own choice – and lose it.”
At a previous meeting Cllr Scott said the one-year rule may need extension but said overall the system was “adequate”. Difficult and borderline cases were rare, but the cemetery officer had discretion to deal with them, he added.
Town clerk Sheila Atkinson said: “I’ve spoken to other councils that look after cemeteries. It’s not a unique thing to offer a discount to people who have moved out of the area. Some do it for a year. Some do it forever.”
She said Wem offers a discount to residents living in the town at the time of their death, or those who had lived there but moved into a hospital, hospice, nursing home or other care setting outside before dying.
Currently, those who moved out of Newport and into a nearby care home for up to one year before dying also receive the concessionary rate.
Minutes of a town council meeting in July, where this issue was raised, describe this as an “unwritten discretion”.
Thomas King, said this was unfair, and suggested adopting a rule similar to Wem’s.
“The nature of illness and death is changing,” he said.
“People are living longer and longer. Any cut-off point is completely arbitrary.”
Councillors voted by a majority to apply the discount to Newport residents at the time of death and those who lived there “immediately prior to entering under the care of a hospital, hospice, nursing home or other care setting outside the boundaries.”