Cremation

Costs of cremations ‘soar’—Daily Mail

The cost of cremations has soared, according to a Daily Mail article published earlier this month (July 2020). The paper reports that two-thirds of councils have raised their prices by 16 percent, making the average cost £775 (up from £752), despite limited numbers being able to attend funerals because of social distancing due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Funerals are no permitted in churches, but numbers are still limited to allow for social distancing. ‘Pauper’s funeral’ The average cost of…

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Funeral

Croydon Council supporting residents facing funeral poverty during COVID-19 crisis

In a recent article published in The Thornton Heath Chronicle, it was highlighted that Croydon Council announced as a response to the COVID-19 crisis that they will be reducing cremation costs for bereaved families within their borough facing funeral poverty. This reduction in direct cremation costs will withstand for the period of 10 weeks, assisting not only those facing funeral poverty, but further aiding the death management process within the borough. Croydon has developed and trained 12…

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Funeral expenses payment rises

The amount of money that the Government will pay towards a funeral has risen from £700 to £1000 for claims made where the person has died after the 8th April. This change applies to England and Wales under Funeral Expenses Payments and in Northern Ireland as well. The payment is made to help pay funeral costs, but will not cover all the costs incurred when making funeral arrangements. The amount paid depends on the individual claiming's circumstances and will also be reduced if the deceased had…

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Coronavirus legislation implements swift changes

MP’s are to debate new legislation that will bring in a package of emergency measures to help tackle the coronavirus outbreak. Whilst the legislation deals with a raft of proposals on public health grounds, medical provision and border controls, it also deals with the possible increase in mortality rates. The legislation proposes significant changes to the way deaths are recorded, which includes the easing of requirements upon coroners to sign death certificates when other health practitioners…

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Royal London finds funeral spend increasing

At a time when Local Authorities are under more scrutiny than ever before, the 2020 Public Health Act Funerals Conference is well placed to bring all parties together to discuss current provision, look at solutions and prepare for the future. The recent Royal London report found that Local Authorities have spent in excess of £6.3m on on PHA funerals in the financial year up to March 2019.With one council, Birmingham, providing funerals for 387 residents in the year. The report also highlights…

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DWP announce changes to funeral payments

The Department for Works and Pensions, DWP, announced today, 17th July 2019, that there will be changes made to the way it handles funeral expenses payments, which should help grieving families get help to meet funeral costs. The press release states that "Previously, a Funeral Expense Payment claim could not be processed without a confirmed date for the funeral to take place, which could lead to longer waiting times for payments to be processed. Today we’re announcing a change, where families…

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Public Health Funerals – Property and Squatters

Several authorities have recently remarked about issues surrounding properties occupied by Squatters when having to undertake a Public Health Funeral. Since 2012 it has been a criminal offence to squat in residential properties, with a fine of up to £5000 and a six month prison sentence being the maximum fine imposed. Squatting in a non residential property is not illegal, though it is a criminal offence to cause damage to that property. Advice on the Government Website - Gov.uk - is that…

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PHA Funerals – “Unfit for purpose”

The legislation that gives local authorities the statutory powers to carry out funerals is not fit for purpose. That’s what council officers told us at the second Finders International Public Health Act Funerals conference, which took place on 2nd May this year, and was attended by representatives of councils from all over England and Wales. The legislation, which has been in place for more than thirty years, does not consider how attitudes have changed towards funerals in society and how we…

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New National Assistance for Funerals?

Funding a funeral assistance programme through National Insurance contributions was one suggestion from council officers whom discussed the ongoing issues with Public Health Act Funerals at the Finders International sponsored conference in Birmingham. Delegates discussed the subject of service provision and what should or shouldn’t be provided by local authorities. It was clear that practices differ across the country with some authorities opting for cremation, whilst others undertake burials.…

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CMA to carry out further investigation of Funeral market

The Competition and Marketing Authority have announced that they will be undertaking an "in-depth" market investigation into the Funerals sector. This follows the publication of its interim report in November 2018 and it's subsequent public consultation as reported on this site in early March. The CMA report that the vast majority of responses were positive but they still have their concerns over the effectiveness of competition. The investigation will focus on the supply of funeral and…

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