Ipswich council to waive children's funeral fees at borough crematorium
PUBLISHED: 19:49 21 February 2018
Ipswich Borough Council is set to waive all fees for funerals of children from within the borough after a change in its fee structure was agreed at a full council meeting.
Conservative councillor Nadia Cenci had proposed the move to ease the pain faced by families who lose a child.
Her motion was amended by the ruling Labour group to ensuring the wording was correct – and the implementation of the new policy will be formally approved by the council’s executive at a meeting soon.
The cost of the change should be insignificant to the council because mercifully the number of child burials or cremations is very low.
The last cremation of a child between the age of five and 17 at Ipswich Crematorium was in 2012 and the last burial was in 2014.
Babies who die soon after birth at Ipswich Hospital and stillborn children have their funerals arranged and funded by the hospital unless families want to make special arrangements.
In 2016/17 the council received £4,600 in costs from seven infant deaths and this year it has so far received £1,100 from three infant deaths. These costs should be waived once the executive has implemented the changes.
The amended motion said: “Losing a child is an extremely difficult time for parents and guardians and we would like to reduce their burden of a sudden and unexpected cost when they are going through such tragic and devastating grief.
“This council therefore requests that, at the earliest possible opportunity, a report is brought to executive setting out changes to the council’s fees and charges which will remove the cost for parents and guardians of burial and cremation fees of Ipswich children under 18 years of age.”
Ms Cenci said she was pleased with the amendment and the fact it would be implemented by the council’s executive as soon as possible.
She added: “David Ellesmere (council leader) contacted me the other day and I am grateful for the respectful way he has dealt with the issue. I think it is something we can all agree on.”
Ms Cenci said she had taken up the issue after being approached by voters in her ward and by a local clergyman – although she was relieved this was not a situation of which she had a personal experience.