Unjust Fees charged to Blaris Cemetery grave owners. #Blaris3years2die

Unjust Fees charged to Blaris Cemetery grave owners. #Blaris3years2die

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Chris M started this petition to Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council and

Please help me persuade the Lisburn Borough Council to waive “non resident fees” to people who had purchased graves in Blaris cemetery prior to the boundary changes in 2015.  This effects anyone who owns a plot in Blaris Cemetery and still live in what used to be classed as Lisburn Borough and are now classed as Belfast City Council.  The Colin Area (Dunmurry, Poleglass, Lagmore, Twinbrook) are among the effected. 

My Story; 
My parents were part of the Lisburn Borough Council since 1984. My father died in 2013 and we purchased a grave plot in Blaris Cemetery.  Grave openings for “residents” are priced at £320.  My mother died in July 2019, but when I received the funeral bill I discovered we were charged a “non resident fee” of £1179.00 plus a £240 Saturday fee from Lisburn Council for the opening of the same grave my father is buried in a total cost of £1419.  I found out from the funeral billing that the council boundaries changed in 2015 and as a result my family were now considered part of “Belfast City Council”.  This boundary change in turn effected the fee charged to open the grave as my mother was now seen as a “non resident” (even though she did not move house) and we were therefore subject to the “non resident fees”. 
 
How can it be right that my parents die 6 years apart, my father classed as Lisburn borough resident and my mother a Belfast council resident are buried in the same grave, yet we can be charged 2 different grave opening prices? With no difference in service yet a price difference of £859. Money that the Lisburn Council gain per burial from others in similar situations to ours.   We had no control or input on the Councils decision to charge us “Non-Resident Fees” or “change the border”.   Do they want people to separate their loved ones into different boroughs for burials? I have followed their complaints procedure right through to ombudsman level, I contacted a counsellor in Lisburn, the Belfast Media even the Nolan Radio show to no avail .. all whilst grieving.  Although I did have full support from Sean Healy from Healy Brothers Funerals in Andersonstown who agreed with me and like me has brought it up to the council only to fall on deaf ears.  

I ask you this!.. “who has the power to change this!!?”  

My Goal. 
All Im requesting is that graves purchased “prior” to 2015 whilst still being part of the “Lisburn Borough” are honoured with “resident fees” as we can prove my family were part of the council when they were initially bought (May I add for over 30 years) and to “just be fair!” I don’t feel I’m being unreasonable here do you?


I found out whilst clearing my mothers belongings from a pamphlet (yes a pamphlet) which was posted in a mail drop, that the Lisburn Council offered a 3 year Tapered subsidy to grave owners which ran from April 2016 and April 2019 .  This was only applicable had you or a family member passed away in this “time frame”. So in other words ..you had “3 years to die!”  to avail of this discount, let that sink in.. 3 years!  Is this acceptable?

Firstly ..no one actually knows when they are going to die.  
I would like to know what your thoughts are on this?
And secondly, if you own a grave and live in the above areas why did the council not contact everyone from their database “individually” in a professional manner about the fees changing and their subsidy ?

Unfortunately the subsidy has now lapsed therefore you will now be charged full “non-resident fees” just like we were for my mother because she didn’t die! within the “3 years” stated.
I mean seriously! how ridiculous! 
https://www.change.org/Blaris3years2die

#Blaris3years2die

What this all means
Anyone who has purchased a grave prior to 2015 will now be charged and classified as a, “NON RESIDENT” subject to non resident fees on top of their funeral costs ..so ..think about this when you tip the grave diggers. 
These changes don’t just effect me and any remaining family I have but “everyone” who now finds themselves outside the boundary lines and have family who still plan to be buried here.  

Please note as of 1/4/21 these fees have risen to £1200 and £245 Saturday fee. 

To sum up;

Instead of being charged £325 to open the grave you will now be charged £1200, plus a further £245, if it’s a Saturday burial a whopping £1445! this is for “each opening”.  Then.. add this to your existing funeral costs and  I’m sure you will agree it all adds up.  In my case I have other siblings to think about.  Ask yourself can you afford this additional cost “each time” a family member passes away? 

Questions?

Who has the power to change this? 

Why does the cost fall on grave owners to pay the non-resident fees for each opening when the council changed the boundary? 

Why isn’t there a flat fee for all across Northern Ireland no matter where your buried as long as your a N.I resident?

What choice did we have?  


What can YOU do to help... 

Remember....you don’t have to be part of any particular council to disagree with this decision or see how unjust it is or..to sympathise let’s imagine it happening to your parents, family member or friend. 

So...if you “don’t agree” with the Councils decision to charge “anyone” these fees, like me think it’s unjust, or ..live/lived in the above listed areas and own or know a family member/friend who has a grave plot in Blaris Cemetery prior to 2015...then please take heed this change will effect you.  

Here’s what to do next...

Please sign/share this Petition far and wide to show your supporteven voice your opinion and lets try to change/reverse this ..or have them revise this. You also have the option to sign anonymous if you wish.  

Please tell all your Friends and family especially those who used to be part of the Lisburn borough Council and think they could be effected.  

Thank you all! for taking the time to read this to the end, and thanks to all who sign/share and talk about this.

Hashtags;  

#Blaris3years2die

#unjustfeesblaris

#Blariscemetery

https://www.change.org/Blaris3years2die

P.S I was only ever able to get a partial refund for my Saturday fee £240 nothing more, only because the cemetery was closed on Fri 13th the day my mother was supposed to be buried and we had no choice. 

0 have signed. Let’s get to 1,000!
At 1,000 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!