Hume council will stop providing support services to the Sunbury and Bulla Cemetery trusts from next year.

Councillors last week voted to cease providing administrative, operational and secretarial services to the trusts, in response to a council officer report which stated they were not a “core service of council”.

The Sunbury Cemetery Trust pays Hume council $20,000 per year for the services. The Bulla Cemetery Trust pays $12,000 each year.

The annual fee also covers booking funerals, record keeping, lawn and garden maintenance, burial of ashes and responding to customer service inquiries.

Sunbury Cemetery Trust member of more than 25 years, Jack Ogilvie said he was disappointed in the decision.

“If we had been given the opportunity for proper public consultation, I’m certain we would have been able to work something out,” he said.

“What is a core service and why can’t we sit down with Hume [council] and discuss this because I am certain we would have loved to have done that.”

Cr Jack Medcraft said the council was not in a position to provide Sunbury with a “proper maintained cemetery.”

“We want to have the best cemetery service that we can have,” he said.

“It needs the proper care. Council’s existing services are only able to provide a basic service.”

Cr Jodi Jackson said it was a “bit of a stretch” for council officers to label the services as not a core service of council.

The council will stop providing the services by July 1, 2020. Alternative providers have been identified.

Cr Jodi Jackson said it was a “bit of a stretch” for council officers to label the services as not a core service of council.

“From my perspective, cemeteries provide a wonderful amenity for our community,” she said.

“Now we are palming off our involvement with the cemetery trusts.

“I think the average resident wouldn’t find it acceptable. This is not in the best interest of the broader community. I am sticking up for the thousands of people in our community who have loved ones resting in these cemeteries and for those residents who shall come to rest there in the future.”