Shropshire councils funeral help increase revealed

The number of Shropshire people getting financial help for someone else's funeral has risen in four years.

Shropshire's councils said they gave assistance for 12 cremations and four burials last year, while nobody claimed money for them in 2009.

Cases included those who were unable or unwilling to arrange a funeral for a distant relative or someone they fell out with, Shropshire Council said.

It added the cost involved "depends on what we supply".

'No relatives'

But the council's environmental health manager, Martin Key, said what it delivers "as such wouldn't differ from any other funeral".

Asked why the increase had happened, Mr Key said: "It's doubled over the last year - [it's] mainly people who are unable or unwilling to arrange the funeral of perhaps a distant relative or a relative that they've fallen out with or have not seen for years."

He described the public health funerals or assisted funerals as ones where the person had either got no relatives, no friends or nobody able or willing to arrange for the final disposal of the body.

Mr Key added that the council tries to signpost people to other services, such as death grants from government or speaking "to a funeral director about perhaps a payment scheme".

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