Ipswich council set to consider waiving fees for funerals of children
PUBLISHED: 12:23 16 February 2018 | UPDATED: 12:23 16 February 2018
Ipswich council is to be asked to waive burial or cremation fees for services that involve children during a debate at next week's council meeting.
Former Conservative group leader Nadia Cenci has proposed the motion that would see fees waived for burials or cremations of anyone under the age of 18 – a move that would cost the council between £8,000 and £10,000 a year.
Ms Cenci said the issue was something she had been considering for some time, and she had persuaded the Conservative group to adopt it as its policy.
It will be discussed at the full meeting of Ipswich council at the Corn Exchange on Wednesday evening at 6pm.
She said: “Thankfully I don’t have any direct experience of this kind of tragedy in my own family, but I have been approached by people as a councillor who have said this is a concern for people at a very difficult time in their lives and I think we should look to show concern for them.
“The sum of money would not be great in the total council budget – I am sure it could be absorbed by the council’s reserves – but it could be one less thing for families to deal with at a difficult time.”
Her motion says: “Losing a child is an extremely difficult time for parents and we would like to reduce their burden of a sudden and unexpected cost when they are going through such tragic and devastating grief.
“The Conservative Group asks that Ipswich Borough Council waives all of its own burial and cremation fees for Ipswich residents under 18 with immediate effect.”
Ms Cenci said she hoped the motion would be accepted by the ruling Labour group at the borough – or amended in a way so the meaning of the motion was not changed.
Portfolio holder for communities at the borough Sophie Meudec said the Labour group would be considering its reaction to the motion when it met on Monday.
She said: “I am very sympathetic to this suggestion. It is the kind of situation no one wants to find themselves in. There are already heavily discounted fees for services for children.
“But there would be financial implications and we would have to look at these before we came to any final decision about what we will do in response to this proposal.”