Cemeteries contract handover causes funeral service delay in Northampton

Some grieving families in Northampton are facing a long wait to bury their loved ones in Northampton as part of a cemeteries maintenance handover.

Wednesday, 16th May 2018, 7:26 pm
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 8:29 am
A handover of contracts between environmental services providers is causing delays to funerals in Northampton.

The current holders of Northampton Borough Council's environmental services contract, Amey, will come to the end of their tenure for maintaining the town's green areas on June 4.

But a number of families have been in touch with the Chronicle and Echo to say they cannot book funerals for their departed loved ones at borough council-owned cemeteries until mid-June.

After enquiries were made by the Chron to Northampton Borough Council, the authority has revealed that its cemeteries are booked up until May 29.

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Bookings at Kingsthorpe Cemetery are affected.

They include burial sites at Dallington, Duston, Kingsthorpe and Towcester Road.

Then, because of the handover period between Amey and Veolia, there will be a further break of a week where bookings cannot be made.

A spokeswoman for the authority said: "Burial slots are now fully booked until the 29 May, but we do have availability in all borough council managed cemeteries on the 29, 30 and 31 May and from the 6 June onwards.

“We are unable to take any bookings on the 1, 4 and 5 June due to contract changes and training, and we understand people’s frustrations if they wanted a funeral on these dates. As always, we try to be as accommodating as possible with people’s requests.”

Two people who contacted the Chron were initially told they could not book a funeral until June 13.

A funeral home we spoke to said an email went out yesterday to say Amey had changed the handover completion date to June 6, meaning a number of families had to be contacted to rearrange funeral dates.

One woman, who did not wish to be named, said the delay had caused her family distress.

She said: "What concerns me is that from now until then there will be other people passing away.

"The funeral homes will be full up.

"It's going to be one big vicious circle."