THE leader of BCP Council has said the authority is “committed” to bringing back a cremator to Poole Crematorium after almost 3,000 people signed a petition over the issue.

A funeral director has called it “bizarre” that the dead have to be “shuttled to Bournemouth” because the crematorium no longer has a working cremator.

The site at Broadstone is not getting a new cremator in the first, £500,000 phase of an upgrade. However, BCP Council says options for installing one will be included when phase two of the works is discussed in September.

The petition calling for a cremator was launched by resident Tony Reeves, who believes the council is prioritising Bournemouth over Poole.

Nick Douch, managing director of Douch Family Funeral Directors, which has seven branches in east Dorset, said “With no cremators at Poole, deceased bodies have to be shuttled to Bournemouth.

“Bournemouth already has the second busiest crematorium in the country so not to replace Poole’s cremators seems bizarre, especially when given the amount they are spending on it.

“Relatives want their loved ones cremated in the place where the service is held – they don’t like the idea of them being driven across the conurbation.

“Without a cremator it would be wrong to describe the Poole facility as a crematorium. It is just a service chapel.

“For the money they are spending they could easily install a cremator and we are confused as to why they aren’t.”

He said Poole Crematorium serves an area of more than 250,000 people and his firm was now arranging funerals in other areas where there were cremators.

BCP Council leader Cllr Drew Mellor said in a statement: "As part of Phase Two of the Bereavement Services Business Plan, options for the future facilities at Poole Crematorium will be considered by cabinet in September.

“This administration remains committed to providing cremator services at this site, and is finalising details ready for this paper.

“We appreciate the importance our residents place on the right time, place and space to grieve during times of bereavement. This is exactly why we continue with the much-needed improvements to Poole’s crematorium and why we continue to make sure Bournemouth Crematorium remains a welcoming location for services and cremations."

The petition can be found at