Someone must have been hiding somewhere in the woods holding a stopwatch, clicked start as the bereaved family walked into the crematory and clicked stop as the last one of them checked out.
Apparently, a council in North East Lincolnshire, which runs Grimsby Crematorium, issues penalties for services which overrun their allocated time slots.
As per the council, a 40-minute slot at the crematorium costs Ksh 62,000 (£620). Suppose the funeral service prolongs past the stated time, the grieving families are expected to book another slot at the crematorium beforehand. A direct cremation, without family and friends getting involved in the funeral service is at a slashed costs Ksh 44200 (£442) and chapel extension time costs Ksh 20,000 (£200) equivalent to the penalty for overrunning the service. An even simpler 10-minute service cremations are also available.
Crematorium bosses fined a grieving family Ksh 20,000 after their loved one’s funeral overran by 14 seconds. The service was actually finished on time were it not for an infirm mourner with walking sticks causing a very short delay in clearing the site.
Responding to the incident, Councilor Mathew Patrick in charge of the funerals for the council said they try to avoid delays at all costs in funeral processions so they can operate efficiently.
“Any delay causes delays for later funeral processions which is what we would like to avoid. There is a disincentive for funeral directors to do that and stick to the time slot that is given to them. I can understand why it is so rigid because you do not want to be held up at the start. It has to be efficient. But if there is someone who is infirm you need to be sensitive and maybe a warning would be more appropriate,” he noted.
A local family approached by the upset family noted that condemned the act by the officials terming it as inhumane. Measures to save other families lumped with fines by the council have been unsuccessful.