Council sparks anger after installing red flashing light to tell mourners to hurry up at crematorium
COUNCIL bureaucrats have put a flashing red light in a crematorium chapel to make sure grieving families don't take too long to mourn their loved-ones.
Staff at Perth Crematorium time funeral services to make sure they take no longer than 20 minutes.
And if a service over-runs, they switch on the red light in the minister's eye line to tell him to cut it short.
The move - designed to prevent backlogs and save cash in the long run - has angered funeral directors who use the crematorium.
One said: "Time has never been an issue at Perth. The system had worked perfectly well since 1962 but this council likes to fix things that aren't broken.
"If a service over-runs, it over-runs. These things happen in life. A flashing light isn't going to change anything.
"Ministers received a letter about this and the tone of it left a lot to be desired."
It's understood t he 20-minute limit is on the service itself.
Mourners are told to be seated by a certain time, which is when the clock starts. If the minister over-runs, the red light tells him to finish up - no matter where he is in the service.
Perth and Kinross Council were defiant yesterday when the Record asked them about the light. A spokesman said: "Ministers have been aware for a long time that the allotted time is 20 minutes.
"If a service over-runs, it can create problems for the next service.
"We have recently begun, where a service is due immediately af terwards and it appears ministers will run over, to ask them to finish up within five minutes."
The council have also axed organists at the crematorium. Families who want an organist now have to pay £50 to hire a freelance musician.