SOLIHULL Council is looking to expand its cremation services at Robin Hood Crematorium, at a potential cost of over £1 million.
Bosses say they need to offer more facilities, including replacing cremators and extending operating hours, to meet the predicted future rise in bereavements.
Robin Hood Crematorium currently undertakes around 2,000 cremations a year but, based on national predictions, this figure is expected to double over the next 20 years.
A council report suggests the Robin Hood chapel could undertake cremations before 9.30am and 3.30pm to meet demand.
Similarly, there would also be an option to increase services at Woodlands Crematoria from four to six per day, according to the report.
The local authority is also looking at options to build a new waiting room for bereaved families and offer a ‘care for the bereaved overnight’ service, which would allow cremations to be carried out during less busy periods - at weekends and during the evenings.
“The consideration for the option to ‘care for the deceased overnight’ is a very sensitive issue for the bereaved, and one that would need to be considered very carefully and respectfully to ensure that stakeholders and the bereaved are engaged in the development of this option,” said the report to the neighbourhood services scrutiny board.
“Therefore, before this option would be introduced it would be necessary to undertake a detailed consultation exercise with stakeholders and the bereaved during 2013.”