Mark Whitehead 30 November 2015

Councils facing soaring cost of 'paupers' funerals'

Councils facing soaring cost of paupers funerals image

The cost to councils of a rising number of 'paupers' funerals' has shot up almost 30% in the past four years and now stands at a total of £1.7m, according to new research.

The number of the funerals has risen by 11%, a Freedom of Information request by BBC Local Radio revealed.

Public health funerals, as they are known, are carried out by local authorities for people who die alone or do not have relatives who can pay.

It is thought the increases may be due to people living longer and dying alone and a rise in the cost of traditional funerals which makes them unaffordable to some families.

The research found that the north-west England has the greatest number of public health funerals, followed by London.

The biggest cost increase was in south-west England, where public health funerals cost councils 39% more now than they did four years ago.

Councillor Izzi Seccombe, of the LGA's community wellbeing board, said: 'It is a sad fact that there are thousands of people across the country with no family or friends to arrange, attend or pay for their funeral. Nobody should find themselves in that position.'

She said public health funerals were a last resort as many people on low incomes were entitled to a social fund funeral.

In competition with the PWLB image

In competition with the PWLB

Christian Wall considers what alternative funding channels are available to local authorities beyond the Public Works Loan Board.
Highways jobs

Director of Learning

Camden London Borough Council
Up to £85,850
To be considered for this post we are looking for a degree educated innovative and diligent Director who has previous demonstrable experience. Camden, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Camden London Borough Council

Chief Officer

Leeds City Council
Up to £106k
Leeds, a city built on talent! Leeds, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: Leeds City Council

Head of Educational Safeguarding and Inclusion

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
Up to £61,751
As an experienced educational specialist, with a depth of knowledge, passion and commitment for inclusion you’ll... Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Resourcer/Support Officer

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
£19,554 - £21,166
You will provide appropriate support to and work alongside a disabled Corporate Policy Officer working within the Strategy and Policy Team.  Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Newly Qualified Children’s Social Worker

London Borough of Bexley
£29,966 inclusive of Choices and Market Premium
If this sounds exciting and reassuring, we want you to get in touch with us! Bexleyheath, London (Greater)
Recuriter: London Borough of Bexley

Local Government News

Latest issue - Local Goverrnemnt News

The March issue of Local Government News explores alternative funding channels that are available to councils beyond the Public Works Loan Board, what hurdles merging councils face in coming together, and how local government is handling GDPR.

This issue also has a special highways and street lighting section exploring how councils can use lighting to embark on their smart city journey and using IoT technology to weather the storm.

Register for your free magazine