A debate over burial costs in Derby City Council has revealed the council pays a £1,100 towards the £1,400 cost of providing a concrete-lined vault used in Muslim burials in the city.
The vaults are a preference for the Muslim community to use in burials and replace a previous system which used to line graves with bricks.
The authority says it has been paying the remaining £1,100 and had decided that it could no longer subsidise the Muslim funerals. The rise had been due for approval at the last cabinet meeting but a decision has been deferred following criticism that “Muslims had not been asked for their views.”
Although the concrete-lined vaults are not a religious requirement, they have been used in Derby to replace a tradition of lining Muslim graves with bricks.
The council said that for some time cremations had subsidised the more expensive burials. They added that since religious traditions mean Muslims can only be buried, and the grave requires a concrete lining, the extra cost should not be put on other communities.
Derby Councillor Fareed Hussain and former chairman of the Pakistani Community Association, said the council had made assumptions and had not spoken to Muslims.
“It is the way the council on this occasion appear to have gone about this that has got the Muslim community angry.
“These proposals have never been discussed, although it means an increase of £1,100 a time, they wanted to raise the cost immediately and they said they would want to consult with the community afterward.”