Cost of funerals becoming a grave problem for Burnley families

Lancashire Telegraph: Coun Howard Baker Coun Howard Baker

MORE people are asking for Burnley Council to pay for the funeral of relatives because they are unable to afford it.

A council report on public funerals said that the increase had come in the past three years. The council usually pays for a funeral when there are no relatives left to make arrangements.

In 2007 Burnley Council paid for three public funerals at a cost of £9,000, of which £7,000 was recovered through the deceased’s estate. But in recent years that number has risen by up to 400 per cent, with 13 public funerals in 2010, at a cost of £16,000, of which only £4,800 was recovered.

There were nine public funerals in 2011 and there have been seven so far in 2012.

Coun Howard Baker said: “It is an awful situation for somebody to be in. I know we have had a few funerals where there are no relatives left to pay recently.

“A lot of the time the council will pay and then reclaim some or all of the money from the estate.”

Jill Wolfendale, the council's principal environmental health officer, said that, historically, local authorities would only get involved in making arrangements where people seemingly died without any relatives.

She added: “However in the last three years there seems to be an increase in those public funerals where there are relatives but they are unwilling or unable to make the funeral arrangements.

“Council staff make every effort to point out to family or friends who may want to make arrangements but have concerns or difficulties meeting the costs that they may be entitled to claim a grant to help towards costs.

“However in recent years relatives are increasingly unable or unwilling to do this as generally they still have to provide up front deposits to funeral directors.”

The council is now looking at a number of ways to encourage more relatives to pay for funerals, or to get other financial assistance to pay for them.

Comments (10)

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2:09pm Tue 2 Oct 12

Keith Myath says...

Who's the funny guy in the LT office who came up with that headline! lol
Who's the funny guy in the LT office who came up with that headline! lol Keith Myath

2:16pm Tue 2 Oct 12

mavrick says...

I think this problem is widespread. It is a damming endightment on our country when people can't afford a funeral. I think the cost of funerals are kept artificially high, it is almost like a cartel. They have a saying in the funeral trade, It is catch them while they are weeping, They will never dispute the cost at a time like that. If you were to know the price of a coffin supplied you would gasp at the mark up. People have a right to be angry at the cost of funerals, This taboo is being pushed back at last. I would urge people to explore all options for a funeral, as well as ways to pay.
I think this problem is widespread. It is a damming endightment on our country when people can't afford a funeral. I think the cost of funerals are kept artificially high, it is almost like a cartel. They have a saying in the funeral trade, It is catch them while they are weeping, They will never dispute the cost at a time like that. If you were to know the price of a coffin supplied you would gasp at the mark up. People have a right to be angry at the cost of funerals, This taboo is being pushed back at last. I would urge people to explore all options for a funeral, as well as ways to pay. mavrick

2:41pm Tue 2 Oct 12

HairyBowls says...

mavrick wrote:
I think this problem is widespread. It is a damming endightment on our country when people can't afford a funeral. I think the cost of funerals are kept artificially high, it is almost like a cartel. They have a saying in the funeral trade, It is catch them while they are weeping, They will never dispute the cost at a time like that. If you were to know the price of a coffin supplied you would gasp at the mark up. People have a right to be angry at the cost of funerals, This taboo is being pushed back at last. I would urge people to explore all options for a funeral, as well as ways to pay.
spot on
[quote][p][bold]mavrick[/bold] wrote: I think this problem is widespread. It is a damming endightment on our country when people can't afford a funeral. I think the cost of funerals are kept artificially high, it is almost like a cartel. They have a saying in the funeral trade, It is catch them while they are weeping, They will never dispute the cost at a time like that. If you were to know the price of a coffin supplied you would gasp at the mark up. People have a right to be angry at the cost of funerals, This taboo is being pushed back at last. I would urge people to explore all options for a funeral, as well as ways to pay.[/p][/quote]spot on HairyBowls

2:49pm Tue 2 Oct 12

l m h jones says...

food banks and paupers funerals welcome to the big society by the way LT the headline may be witty to your writer but for families in this awful position levity is not appreciated
food banks and paupers funerals welcome to the big society by the way LT the headline may be witty to your writer but for families in this awful position levity is not appreciated l m h jones

3:53pm Tue 2 Oct 12

useyourhead says...

It was the so called disbursements that I was gobsmacked by, in June when arranging my mothers I was told I had to pay for 'little tips' that they were expected to pay the Burnley crematorium in order that they don't get messed about with future bookings. True only a few pounds but seems a bit like bribery to me. It was over and above the actual hire of the crem and its services. It was explained as a tradition.
It was the so called disbursements that I was gobsmacked by, in June when arranging my mothers I was told I had to pay for 'little tips' that they were expected to pay the Burnley crematorium in order that they don't get messed about with future bookings. True only a few pounds but seems a bit like bribery to me. It was over and above the actual hire of the crem and its services. It was explained as a tradition. useyourhead

4:36pm Tue 2 Oct 12

vanmanstan says...

my mate fat eddie will dig the hole for £40, i can provide the box and transport in my van for a further £65. no tips will be expected, if people attending the funeral mucked in it can be done cheaply.
my mate fat eddie will dig the hole for £40, i can provide the box and transport in my van for a further £65. no tips will be expected, if people attending the funeral mucked in it can be done cheaply. vanmanstan

4:52pm Tue 2 Oct 12

jellybiff says...

if you watched the recent panorama programme it showed all of these 'tips ' etc including ones to the councils .Just to put an advert in the paper was £360???? but the price to the funeral director was £200 .The vcoffins cost £45 but were marked up to £450 plus the list was endless and the cartel and the councils are hand in glove.
if you watched the recent panorama programme it showed all of these 'tips ' etc including ones to the councils .Just to put an advert in the paper was £360???? but the price to the funeral director was £200 .The vcoffins cost £45 but were marked up to £450 plus the list was endless and the cartel and the councils are hand in glove. jellybiff

7:10pm Tue 2 Oct 12

Michael@ClitheroeSince58 says...

If anyone from the local cement works is reading, please can you stick me through a kiln when I'm gone and give my remains a bag of cement to my family as a memento thanks Michael
If anyone from the local cement works is reading, please can you stick me through a kiln when I'm gone and give my remains a bag of cement to my family as a memento thanks Michael Michael@ClitheroeSince58

10:14pm Tue 2 Oct 12

2 for 5p says...

Michael@ClitheroeSin
ce58
wrote:
If anyone from the local cement works is reading, please can you stick me through a kiln when I'm gone and give my remains a bag of cement to my family as a memento thanks Michael
hello big fat Micheal.
I've not spoke to you for a long time
[quote][p][bold]Michael@ClitheroeSin ce58[/bold] wrote: If anyone from the local cement works is reading, please can you stick me through a kiln when I'm gone and give my remains a bag of cement to my family as a memento thanks Michael[/p][/quote]hello big fat Micheal. I've not spoke to you for a long time 2 for 5p

11:07pm Fri 5 Oct 12

Rimbus says...

2 for 5p wrote:
Michael@ClitheroeSin

ce58
wrote:
If anyone from the local cement works is reading, please can you stick me through a kiln when I'm gone and give my remains a bag of cement to my family as a memento thanks Michael
hello big fat Micheal.
I've not spoke to you for a long time
Looks like it might be a good bit longer.... He must have fallen out with you.
[quote][p][bold]2 for 5p[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Michael@ClitheroeSin ce58[/bold] wrote: If anyone from the local cement works is reading, please can you stick me through a kiln when I'm gone and give my remains a bag of cement to my family as a memento thanks Michael[/p][/quote]hello big fat Micheal. I've not spoke to you for a long time[/p][/quote]Looks like it might be a good bit longer.... He must have fallen out with you. Rimbus

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