Enfield Council has hiked the cost of some graves in its cemeteries by £3,000 – but says these plots are no longer for sale.

The council described the steepest fee increases for private graves as “purely administrative” and said no customers would be affected, as the last plot was sold around two decades ago.

The increases were set out in the fees and charges section of the council’s latest revenue monitoring report.

It reveals the fee for a traditional grave measuring 9ft by 4ft in the outer circle of a cemetery will climb from £6,000 to £9,000 year-on-year. The fee for the same-sized plot in the inner circle will jump from £4,500 to £7,600.

Tory leader Cllr Joanne Laban branded the rises “deeply insensitive” while the borough is still reeling from the coronavirus pandemic.

An Enfield Council spokesperson said: “No customers will be affected by the price increases for these two types of graves as there are none available for sale – the last sale being approximately 20 years ago. The updating of these prices is purely administrative.

“The figures in the overall fees and charges were showing a disproportionately low price compared to smaller graves, and we have now brought them in line with London-wide charges.”

Smaller price rises will affect customers, however, as the council confirmed the plots are still for sale.

These include a £445 hike on the cost of a reservation fee for traditional graves and a £1,000 increase on the cost of a 6ft 6in by 2ft 6in “premium or front row” plot. Non-residents will also have to pay an extra £1,000 for some types of “traditional premium or front row graves”.

The revenue monitoring report was agreed at a meeting of the full council on Wednesday, November 18. The Conservatives voted against and Community First abstained, while members of the Labour administration voted in favour.

According to the report, the increases in fees and charges across a range of council services will bring in an extra £100,000 during the second half of the financial year, which will “help alleviate some of the lost income and the financial pressures facing the council” due to the pandemic.

The report adds that a review carried out during the year provided the opportunity to ensure fees and charges are “aligned to the wider market.” This included identifying where the council had been “cheap within a specific market and there is scope to increase in line with competition”.

The total impact of Covid-19 on Enfield Council is forecast to be £64 million. The report reveals the Government has provided £30.9 million to support the council’s pandemic response, as well as around £4 million to help manage the loss of income from sales, fees and charges.