Hartlepool MP welcomes creation of new funeral fund for grieving parents

Hartlepool’s MP has welcomed action by the Government that ensures families grieving the tragic loss of a child will no longer have to pay for funeral costs.

Monday, 15th July 2019, 6:00 am
Updated Monday, 15th July 2019, 6:00 am
Hartlepool MP Mike Hill. Picture by FRANK REID

A Children’s Funeral Fund for England has been established which means no parent will have to pay for their child’s burial or cremation.

And the fund will provide additional contributions towards the price of a coffin.

Town MP Mike Hill has welcomed the news. Last year, Hartlepool Borough Council agreed to scrap cremation fees for parents of children up to the age of 16.

Mr Hill said: “I very much welcome the introduction of a Children’s Funeral Fund for England and praise the work of Carolyn Harris MP, a bereaved mother herself, in getting cross party support for this initiative which is already available in Scotland and Wales.

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“It is only right that families who have suffered the agony of losing a child should not have to go through the additional stress and pressure of having to find money to pay for cremation or burial fees and this provision by the Government finally recognises that.

“It is also a vindication of the policies of cash-strapped councils like Hartlepool to do the right thing and shoulder the costs well ahead of it becoming Government policy to bring the provision into law.”

Hartlepool council previously charged £70 for ‘cremation of foetal remains or a stillborn child or a child under five years of age’ and £219 for a child aged between 5-16.

The then Council Leader Councillor Akers-Belcher took up the issue with senior council officials after it was raised with him by Mr Hill.

The Government says it is a fulfilment of a pledge by Prime Minister Theresa May.

Mrs May said: “At a time of such unimaginable loss, no grieving parent should be faced with the stress and worry of finding the money to cover the costs of their child’s funeral.

I hope the Children’s Funeral Fund will bring an end to this and give families some comfort and support when they need it most.”

The fund is due to come into effect from July 23 this year.