Laura Sharman 17 January 2018

Councils spend £4m on 'pauper's funerals' in 2015/16

Councils spend £4m on paupers funerals in 2015/16 image

Local authorities spent £4m on public health funerals in 2015/16 - an increase of 36% over the past five years - new research has revealed.

An investigation by Royal London found the number of public health funerals has increased by 12% over the last five years as families struggle to meet rising costs.

The National Funeral Cost Index shows there were 3,784 public health funerals across the UK in the financial year 2015/16, with the East of England experience the biggest increase.

Louise Eaton-Terry, funeral cost expert at Royal London, said: 'It is always upsetting when the deceased has no family to arrange a funeral, or when their family simply cannot afford one.

'In these cases, local councils take on the responsibility of paying for a funeral and it’s evident that councils are facing increasing pressure to accommodate the rising number of public health funerals in the UK.

'With one in six people struggling to pay for funeral costs, urgent action is needed by the Government to tackle rising funeral poverty.'

The data also shows the cost of public health funerals varied regionally across the UK. West Midlands had the highest cost, with more than £900,000 being spent on funerals in 2015/16.

Sharpening the commercial edge image

Sharpening the commercial edge

The case for well-managed council commercial activity is one that needs to be defended if we want a mature and sustainable local state, argues Jonathan Werran.
SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Social Care Lead Officer

Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council
£35,745 - £40,876 per annum
You will have the confidence to deal with challenging and complex social and family situations, drawing on research evidence to... Sandwell, West Midlands
Recuriter: Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council

Senior Lead Engineer (Structural)

Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council
£41,881 - £46,845 per annum
You will form part of a specialist team managing and delivering all aspects of Structural Engineering requirements for a... Sandwell, West Midlands
Recuriter: Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council

Sensory Rehabilitation Officer

Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council
£30,451 - £34,728 per annum
We are a dynamic responsive team and operate a duty system that you will be part of alongside colleagues. Sandwell, West Midlands
Recuriter: Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council

Senior Care and Housing Support Officer

Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council
£20,903 - £24,491 pro rata
We currently have a vacancy for a Senior Care & Housing Support Officer to join our team to support and promote the values of this service. Sandwell, West Midlands
Recuriter: Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council

Strategic Commissioner

The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Council
£59,111 - £67,900 per annum
Delivering major service change and transformation to improve the lives of children, young people and families.   Kensington and Chelsea, London (Greater)
Recuriter: The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Council

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how how flexible workspaces can lead the way in regeneration for local authorities, Why local authority intervention is key to successful urban regeneration schemes and if the Government’s challenge of embracing beauty is an opportunity for communities.

The March issue also takes a closer look at Blackburn with Darwen Council's first digital health hub to help people gain control over health and care services.

Register for your free digital issue