Croydon Council has reduced cremation costs for 10 weeks to assist residents facing funeral poverty.

In cabinet papers it is revealed that Croydon has the capacity within existing resources for 30 burials per week.

Croydon has developed and trained 12 volunteer redeployees to assist with the increased demand for death registration.

 In a normal year the council oversees 300 burials, and 1,800 but there are no new graves available at either Mitcham Road or Queens Road cemeteries.

The council has instead had to offer reused graves in these cemeteries where no burial has occurred for at least 75 years and where the grave is unvisited or neglected.

In January after a six year planning battle with  Tandridge District Council, the Planning Inspectorate granted permission for Croydon Council to build an extension to Greenlawn Memorial Park, in Warlingham, inside Surrey’s green belt.

In its application, Croydon council, which owns the cemetery, said ‘its burial space crisis was the worst of any authority in the country’, and that a study of 120 other possible sites had confirmed Greenlawn was the best solution.

The new part of the cemetery will have 3,216 individual plots for Christian and nonconformist burials and 261 plots for Muslim burials. 

However, Greenlawn’s is 10 miles from north Croydon and has poor public transport links.

Burial fees are also more than double £3,625 the cost of re-using graves.