Published: 9th Jan 2020

Local authorities spent £6.3m on public health funerals in 2018/19, with more than 4,000 taking place, according to research. Insurance company Royal London sent FOI requests to 400 councils asking how many of the funerals they paid for. A public health funeral is arranged by the allocated council of the deceased when there is no traceable family, or the family is unable or unwilling to arrange and pay for a funeral. From the 383 councils that responded, the average cost of a public health funeral to local councils was £1,507. Their research also revealed that 21 councils in the UK by default do not return ashes to the family after a cremation funeral and 18 councils charge bereaved families for the ashes to be returned. Louise Eaton-Terry, funeral cost expert at Royal London, said: ‘It’s incredibly sad when bereaved families have no choice but to seek a public health funeral. But … (To read the full article, subscribe below)