Philip calls for Bradford Council to scrap burial fees for the funerals of children

AN MP is calling on Bradford Council to scrap its burial fee charges for children.

Shipley MP Philip Davies is one of 100 cross party MPs urging Prime Minister Theresa May to act as figures show rising numbers of children are having paupers funerals due to rising costs.

Many local authorities across the country have announced in recent days they will be scrapping their charges and Mr Davies wants Bradford to follow suit.

He said: “Losing a child must be the most traumatic thing a person can go through. Nobody expects to plan their child’s funeral and I cannot imagine the stress and strain this must cause both physically and emotionally. On top of this families are faced with the financial burden of burial costs. Every parent has a right to choose if they want their child cremated or buried and should not have to make that decision based on cost.

“Nothing can make the tragedy any easier for the family but by removing the burial fees it gives them one less thing to worry about.”

 According to Bradford Council’s website cremations for children one month and under are free and £150 until the child is 16. But if a family choose to bury their child costs soar, with prices starting at £460 for a class 2 plot for half a grave space for a coffin less than 3ft and increase to £620 for a class 1 plot, then increase to £1,008 and £1,170 for a larger coffin.

Mr Davies is backing a campaign led by Swansea East MP Carolyn Harris whose son Martin died in a road accident in1989 aged eight. After his funeral she was presented with a bill for £1,750 which she could not afford. Ms Harris was 29 years old took out a bank loan to pay part of the costs.

The MPs want Chancellor Philip Hammond to abolish the charges in the Autumn Statement, when he sets out Government’s spending plans.

Funeral costs generally consist of a burial fee by the council as well as charges for various optional services, including the undertaker, funeral director, catering and person or religious leader conducting the service.