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York Council to create funeral hardship to help struggling families

A funeral hardship fund to help families struggling to pay for a funeral could be launched by the City of York Council.

Speaking to York Press, councillor and funeral director Martin Rowley said people who are grieving the loss of a loved one can face “huge bills”, which include £12 for a single death certificate, when they may need to buy up to six certificates.

Rowley said other costs include forms that must be signed by two doctors before a cremation can take place, which can cost up to £164. 

Fees for a vicar or non-religious celebrant also add up to the “huge bills”, some can cost up to £215, not including flowers and vehicles.

Fees for cremations can cost up to £895 but from April, under the council’s budget, the fees will increase to £925.

Cllr Rowley added: “I sit with bereaved families day in and day out. None of the [political] groups have looked at funeral poverty – can I just implore the executive to look at creating a funeral hardship fund within the council, that bereaved families who need it can go to.

“If a family really struggles with funeral poverty, within the industry we are doing everything we can to reduce our costs.”

Council leader Keith Aspden supported the creation of a funeral hardship fund, he told York Press: “I’m sure that is something that the scrutiny committees would look at. It sounds like a really good suggestion to me to look at in the future and I suspect would address these issues in a far more effective way.”

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