Over £30,000 has been spent on ‘social funerals’ in Coventry during the coronavirus pandemic.
According to A Freedom of Information request to Coventry City Council found the authority put on 16 public health funerals between the period of March 1 to June 17, costing £30,993.
These funerals, which are paid for by a local authority for people who have died alone, in poverty, without relatives, or with relatives cannot or refuse to pay, is “disproportionately” higher when compared to last year’s total number.
In the full year of 2019, 35 public health funerals were held compared with 16 since the pandemic started.
According to The Coventry Telegraph, in an email to councillors, the authority’s director of streetscene, Andrew Walster, said the council has launched a support system for families of the deceased who may be struggling to pay for funerals during the coronavirus pandemic and are looking to avoid the “social funeral” route.
He said: “Normally if a bereaved family found themselves in this position their only option would be to apply for a “social funeral” where the costs are picked up by the city council and then defrayed via any value from the deceased’s estate.
“However, to assist people in the current crisis the city council has introduced time to pay arrangements for bereaved families on the fees levied by the city council. Whilst this is only a proportion of a funeral cost it has meant that bereaved families who are struggling financially because of the current crises can avoid a social funeral if necessary.”