Select Committee on Environment, Transport and Regional Affairs Memoranda

Memorandum by the Rt Hon Hilary Armstrong MP, Minister for Local Government and the Regions, DETR (CEM 49(c))

  During our session on 23 January regarding the funding of cemeteries, I undertook to send you some further information and clarification of the answers that I provided. This is set out below.

  Funding for Cemeteries and Crematoria is provided through a sub-block of the Environmental, Protective and Cultural Services (EPCS) block to authorities with district services responsibilities (ie Shire Districts, Met Districts, Shire Unitaries and London Boroughs).

  The EPCS block provides funding for all local authorities' revenue expenditure not explicitly covered elsewhere (it was formerly known as the All Other Services Block). In order to keep the formula relatively simple, rather than use specific indicators for each service covered, the methodology allocates funding according to a formula that is thought to be appropriate on the whole for the wide range of services covered.

  The main indicator used is called "enhanced population". This is a measure of the client group for the EPC services, and is basically the resident population of an area plus an uplift for commuters and tourists. The allocation is then topped up for areas with additional cost pressures—these are assessed as relating to areas with extremes of population density or sparsity, deprivation measures and in the south east and London, higher wage pressures. In response, therefore, to the question by Sir Paul Beresford (Q.550), there is no specific indicator for cemeteries.

  For 2001-02 the EPCS block as a whole will be some £8,586.9 million. The district services sub-block of the EPCS block, which includes the funding for cemeteries and crematoria, will be some £6,014.0 million. Last year the corresponding figures were £8,231.0 million and £5,759.8 million respectively—this year's figures represent increases of 4.3 per cent and 4.4 per cent.

Hilary Armstrong

February 2001

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