The plans were approved by Cabinet members today (Thursday 11 October) and will come into force with immediate effect. This means that no cost will be levied against residents who are arranging the burial of a child under the age of 18.
The increase in the exemption from paying a burial fee, which is currently offered for burials of anyone aged up to 12 years old, aims to help reduce the burden of a sudden and unexpected cost to families trying to cope with the tragedy of losing a child.
Child burial fees have already been rescinded in Wales and Scotland and the UK Government has expressed intention to look at similar options, though there is no definitive plan in place at present. Gedling Borough Council has decided to remove these costs now so that they can begin to help families right away.
Charges will still apply to non-residents who do not contribute to services in the borough by paying Council Tax. The new fees exemption does means that charges for residents for a full burial, burial of a casket or scattering of ashes will be removed altogether for anyone under the age of 18.
Deputy Leader of the Council, Councillor Michael Payne said;
“Losing a child at any time is absolutely heart breaking and the last thing families should worry about is the financial burden of burying a child. Removing these costs is the right thing to do, we are a compassionate council whose ethos is serving people, improving lives and this is an example of how we can support residents during their darkness moments.”