Residents in Market Rasen could soon have to pay a fee to the town council if they need to close the Market Place for a wedding or funeral at the adjacent St Thomas’ Church.
Market Rasen Town Council says it costs ‘quite a bit of money’ to close the Market Place and is looking at bringing in the charge from January 1 next year.
The town’s Deputy Mayor Steve Bunney said: “It used to be the situation if it was closed a charge was made because it costs us money.
“It does cost us quite a bit of money to close the Market Place.
“We’re paying out about £20 per funeral, and that’s probably on the conservative side.
“The proposal is to make a charge to cover our costs.”
If councillors approve the proposal, residents will be charged either £25 or £35 depending on the scale of the closure.
Coun Bunney added: “No one wants to prevent marriages and funerals taking place, but the cost isn’t great.”
But news of the potential fee has not been popular with all residents.
Lynn Chapman said: “Ridiculous.”
Charles Bray described the move as ‘disgraceful’.
Janet Booth Staves said: “Another added expense to funeral costs.”
Tracey Mutton said: “This is just wrong. The church was there long before the market.”
And Belinda Tyler said: “Seems like nothing gets in the way of getting yet more money out of people.”
But Dene Kemp said: “Seems reasonable.”
June Clark said: “There is a cost associated with closing the Market Place down.”
Market Rasen town clerk Faye Lambkin-Smith said: “The council have been arranging closure of the Market Place for many years.
“When requests have been put in to close the Market Place for a wedding or funeral, the town have covered this cost.
“This arrangement takes time.
“A suggestion has been made to introduce a charge to cover the cost for this closure.
“This charge will apply to people who are requesting this closure.”
Town councillors have agreed to write to church and funeral directors to get their comments.
The matter will then be discussed in front of the public at one of the council’s monthly meetings.