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Council reveals plans for low cost funerals

A new scheme introduced by Halton Borough Council in Cheshire will offer residents the option of a fixed cost funeral. The overall fee will fall below the current national average, reports the Council.

The cost of a Halton Resident Funeral would include the funeral service itself, cremation at Widnes Crematorium or burial at one of the boroughs cemeteries.

The package would include a hearse and one following car. Mourners could choose to add further options, such as a function at the Select Security Stadium or Runcorn Town Hall.

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Halton Borough Council’s Executive Board Member for the Cemeteries & Crematorium section, Cllr Stef Nelson, said: “We believe that access to a dignified funeral, without getting into crippling debt, is a basic human right.

“It is unacceptable that a bereaved family, trying to come to terms with the loss of a loved one, should go through the stress of worrying about how they can afford to pay for a funeral.

“Many people end up with expensive credit card or payday loan debts, or need to borrow from friends or apply to charities to pay for the funeral.”

The Halton Residents Funeral would be available to residents of the Borough. It would be available to any resident who wanted to purchase it regardless of means.

The Council’s announcement states that an individual purchasing a Halton Residents Funeral may access the following options:

• Collection of the deceased from any location in the Borough or from Whiston or Warrington hospitals.
• Dressing of the deceased. Viewing of deceased at Chapel of Rest (restrictions apply to latter – Based upon funeral directors’ operation. This would come out in the tender offers.)
• Provision of a suitable oak (or similar) finished coffin with handles and an engraved nameplate.
• The funeral directors’ professional fees for making all necessary arrangements for the funeral service including provision of all appropriate staff and facilities to ensure that the funeral service proceeds with dignity.
• Transportation of the deceased in a hearse from the funeral home to the funeral service and one following limousine.
• A funeral service of 30 minutes in the Widnes Crematorium chapel or a graveside ceremony at Runcorn cemetery.
• Cremation at Widnes Crematorium or burial at Runcorn, Widnes or Peel House cemeteries. Cremated remains would be scattered without attendance in the garden of remembrance at either Widnes or Runcorn cemeteries (families would be free to make alternative arrangements with regards to ashes should they wish).

The initial plans were approved by Halton Borough Council’s Executive Board Meeting.

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