Reassurance for people saying goodbye to their loved ones

Published on 15th January 2014

Cheltenham's cemetery

Cheltenham Borough Council would like to reassure residents that funeral services and cremations are running as close to normal as possible, despite reports that technical faults are causing delays.

Staff at the crematorium have been working round the clock to ensure that issues with the cremators have not affected service to the public, but extended shift patterns will hopefully come to an end this week when it is hoped that both cremators will be fully operational.

The services offered by the cemetery and crematorium are running as expected for this time of year. In general, there are more funerals during the winter period than at any other time. This means that popular times for services (eg lunchtime and early afternoon) are getting booked up quickly, but the crematorium still has bookings available for the week commencing 27 January.

Bereavement Services Manager, Rob Hainsworth, says, “Both cremators have experienced issues that have taken one or the other out of action, but we have been able to ensure that at least one of the cremators has remained fully functional and have thankfully been able to maintain our level of service. Now that the second cremator is running as it should be, our staff can return to their normal shift patterns.”

“In the very unlikely event that we take both cremators out of action, other local crematoria have agreed to help, and we would still offer Cheltenham as a venue for the service if that is the preference of the families and friends involved. However, this would only be a worst case scenario and we will pull out all the stops to avoid this.”

Cabinet member for sustainability, Cllr Roger Whyborn says, “People needing the services at the cemetery and crematorium can be reassured that we are coping with the issues that have faced us recently. We have brought a team of engineers on board to deal with any maintenance and repair issues and, although this has resulted in a taking one of the cremators out of action on a few occasions, we have been able to extend the use of the other cremator and continue as normal with our services. The professionalism and hard work of the staff at the cemetery and crematorium has been most commendable.”

The Council purchased two new cremators from ‘Crawford Equipment Europe’ in February 2012, but the company went into liquidation during the summer this year, leaving the council without a maintenance contractor.

ENDS

For press enquiries contact: Lisa Davies, communications and web team leader, telephone 01242 775037, email lisa.davies@www.cheltenham.gov.uk