Phased shutdown in progress at Cheltenham crematorium

Published on 16th October 2018

Chapels

A phased shutdown of Cheltenham’s cremation facility has been agreed by cabinet in light of serious on-going technical issues with the cremation plant.

The decision has been taken due to the unreliability of the existing equipment and the associated risks to customer service, business continuity and safety.

If the cremation plant can be kept operational, the council will do its very best to honour existing cremations for those families with current bookings, which extend towards the end of October 2018.  The council has been communicating with funeral directors and affected families are being contacted by them directly, with details of the revised service options available.

The council will continue to take bookings for funeral services, but will not be offering further cremations at its Bouncer’s Lane site, until its new crematorium opens in spring 2019.  

Mike Redman, director of environment said: ‘’It is well known that our cremators have had technical reliability issues over several years and we are currently operating with only one cremator, which poses inherent delivery risks. We have therefore taken the difficult decision to stop cremating at our Bouncer’s Lane site, until our new crematorium facilities become available. Bereaved families are encouraged to discuss the options available with their chosen funeral director.

“I would extend our sincere apologies to those families who may be affected by this situation and can provide assurance that we will continue offering local services at our chapels, but with cremations now needing to take place remotely. We are grateful to local funeral directors and Gloucester City Council, who are providing valued assistance in this regard and in the event that there is excess demand beyond that which can be managed locally, we regret that some cremations may need to take place further afield.”

Cllr Chris Coleman, cabinet member for clean and green environment said: ‘’We are working closely with funeral directors who will ensure that following a service in one of our chapels, the onward journey to the place of cremation will always be carried out in a dignified and respectful manner.

“I am grateful to our bereavement services’ staff who have fought, against the odds, to keep our current cremation plant operational, but it is right that we now seek to minimise service disruption risks and switch our focus to ensuring that our new service offer is the best it can be in the circumstances.

“The construction of the council’s new £8.5 million crematorium at the Bouncer’s Lane site is well underway and remains on track for completion in spring next year.”

Find out more and view the new development web cam at www.cheltenham.gov.uk/new-crem


For press enquiries, contact Katie Sandey, communications and web team leader, 01242 264231, communications@cheltenham.gov.uk