THE cost of dying could rise if proposals before cash-strapped Pembrokeshire County Council are given the thumbs up.

At next Tuesday’s (September 10) meeting of the county council’s cabinet, members will consider starting a consultation on possible rises in fees and charges at Parc Gwyn Crematorium at Narberth.

A report for members states Parc Gwyn charges are “significantly lower than the Welsh average,” and “substantially lower than the nearest alternative private facilities in Llanelli.”

Current cremation costs are £581 in Parc Gwyn, £745 in Llanelli, £835 in Aberystwyth, with a Welsh average of £691.50.

Pembrokeshire currently has a lower-priced cremation option of no service, at £461.50.

“There exists substantial room to increase fees and income while still remaining at or below the charges levied by both the nearest neighbouring facility and the Welsh average,” the report states.

Two options are proposed; to increase charges to the £745 Llanelli level, a 28 per cent rise, or to the £691.50 Welsh average level, a 19 per cent rise.

There is no charge for those that suffer the loss of a child under the 18, or a still-born child.

It is estimated the proposals would generate an extra £123,000 and £182,500 respectively, which, the report states, would support services delivered by the county council’s environmental services and public protection division.

The report adds: “While there is an argument to increase the charges to that of the nearest neighbouring facility in Llanelli, this would increase the fee to above the Welsh average and consequently could disadvantage Pembrokeshire people disproportionately compared to the average Welsh resident.”