City councillors agreed to end child funeral charges in Brighton and Hove at a meeting of the policy and resources committee last night (May 4).
Cllr Warren Morgan, the Labour leader of Brighton and Hove City Council, said: “I’m very pleased that my proposal to end all child funeral charges has been agreed unanimously today.
“I can’t imagine the pain and loss parents suffer when losing a child, but if their distress can be lessened even a little by knowing they won’t have to bear the costs of any burial or cremation fees then that is surely the right thing for us as a council to do.”
Conservative councillor Ann Norman said: “The death of a child is usually totally unexpected and certainly unplanned, and the death itself is an enormous loss. And many families will not have sufficient money for a burial, they won’t have planned for that. We think this is a reasonable way forward.”
Charges for cremations for under 18s in Brighton and Hove was already free, but there was a £125 charge for burial and a £50 charge for headstone permits, which will now be scrapped.
The move will cost the council around £6,000, but the shortfall is ‘expected to be met from other corporate resources’.
This move was inspired by the campaign run by Carolyn Harris in Parliament following her own experience, and has led to the Welsh Government and a number of other authorities following suit.