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Picture shows headstones in lawned cemetery

Affordable options for grieving families

Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council is to consider the introduction of an affordable funeral scheme as part of its bereavement services. 

The Council hopes that giving families and individuals more options on the type of funeral service available, with an option to eliminate some of the costs associated with a traditional funeral, will help to ease the strain at an extremely difficult time.

The proposal was discussed at the Bereavement Services Stakeholders meeting held today at Keele Cemetery. This is an annual meeting with funeral directors, memorial masons and members of the clergy, where industry developments, service issues and future improvements are discussed.

Cllr. Trevor Johnson, Cabinet member with portfolio responsibility for bereavement services, said: “The cost of a funeral can be extremely daunting for some families and can add to the stress of losing a loved one.

“Although this is an extremely sensitive issue, and we are treating it with the greatest care, the affordable funeral concept is quite well-established and is already in place in some local authorities.

“We feel that it is appropriate that we begin to develop plans with our local providers to give our residents in Newcastle more choice, whatever their financial circumstances or service preferences.”

The average cost of a traditional funeral is around £4,000, which can often be very difficult for families to find, and ‘funeral poverty’ is an issue increasingly facing families. An affordable funeral would seek to provide a simpler, dignified service at a fixed and more affordable price.

The Council will listen to the views of stakeholders before deciding on how we will develop the idea, and what format the offer would take.