Councils pick up 1.7 million pound bill for public health funerals

The cost to local councils of public health funerals - where local authorities foot the bill for those who die alone or have no relatives able to pay - has risen by nearly 30 per cent over the last four years, amounting to £1.7m. Though an increase in fees is partly the cause, it’s thought that it may also be due to more people living longer and dying alone.

Under the Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984 (Gazette issue 49792), councils must arrange and bear the cost of a funeral when a person who lived in the area dies without anyone able or willing to pay.

Another reason cited for the rise is that with funeral costs going up, families may be struggling and turning to local authorities for support.

Read more: Councils pick up £1.7m bill for 'paupers' funerals