Funeral arrangements to help residents avoid being ‘plunged into serious debt’ due to soaring costs have been approved by council chiefs.
The executive board backed proposals for the authority to set up and begin operating a community funeral plan at the Town Hall on Monday.
Once implemented, it is anticipated that cremations and burials would be priced at around £1,960, although the figure is subject to a tender process.
Current arrangements are estimated at costing up to £5,400.
Cllr Judith Guthrie, executive board member for environment and public protection, said councils have created funerals for residents ‘in an effort to tackle funeral poverty’.
She said: “Costs are expected to continue to rise in the coming years.
“People on low incomes are increasingly finding that the death of a loved one plunges them into serious and long-term debt, as they have little or no savings.”
Cllr Guthrie (LAB – Westbrook) added there would be no reduction in income if the scheme is introduced – but highlighted ‘potential negative implications’ if it is not adopted.