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York Crematorium work leads to funeral delays
FUNERALS at York Crematorium are being delayed by a £1.7 million refurbishment project – despite work starting each day at 4am each day to minimise disruption.
City of York Council says it is carrying out the essential work and improvements to the crematorium at Bishopthorpe, including the installation of two new cremators and a state of the art filtration system.
Steve Waddington, assistant director of housing and community safety, says the work is being carried out partly to ensure the complex meets new air-quality legislation.
“To ensure disruption to the service we provide is kept to a minimum, building work is being carried out between 4am and midday,” he said.
“Consequently, we can only offer 35 service times per week, as opposed to the usual 55.”
Mr Waddington said that unfortunately, the essential work had left families having to wait longer than normal for a funeral.
However, additional service times were being made available on Saturdays and the council was working with local funeral directors to ensure that customers were kept fully informed and that, wherever possible, individual needs were met.
“It is anticipated that we will be back to normal service delivery within the next month.” The Press reported last year that the refurbishment, the biggest since the crematorium opened in 1962, would ensure it met Government guidelines on mercury emissions.
Warm gases would also be recycled and used in other buildings at the site to reduce its carbon footprint and cut annual gas costs by about ten per cent.
The work would also allow 20 more people to use the small chapel, which would have its own entrance and exit, and other improvements included new carpets, lighting, seats and decoration, and a web camera so that relatives who lived outside York could see services in their homes.
The crematorium’s manager, Gary Fewkes, has said that a large cremator was being installed so a service could be offered which could “facilitate customers of all sizes.”