East Lothian Council to stop charging parents for child funerals
East Lothian Council will stop charging bereaved parents interment fees to carry out a child's funeral, leaving just eight local authorities in Scotland as the only places in the UK to continue charging to bury a child.
Parents in East Lothian faced burial charges of £100 for children under 5, and £200 for children up to 18 years old.
This month Theresa May announced that the UK Government would fund the abolition of child burial charges across England, following a similar decision in Wales last year.
Councillors in East Lothian unanimously backed a motion brought by the SNP calling for the immediate scrapping of the charges, and committing the local authority to “make representations… to the Scottish Government to follow the lead taken by the Westminster and Welsh Governments and meet all Scottish child burial charges from Scottish Government resources immediately”.
Bereaved parents in eight other local authorities-Dundee, Inverclyde, Perth & Kinross, Borders, Midlothian, West Lothian, Western Isles and Dumfries and Galloway-continue to face charges of up to £800 to bury a child, depending on the day of the funeral and type of burial plot.
East Lothian SNP Group leader Stuart Currie said: “I am really pleased and proud that the council has approved the SNP motion moved by myself and seconded by Councillor Neil Gilbert which has scrapped burial charges for children in East Lothian.
“This will make a difference at times of intense sadness and tragedy with the loss of a child.
“I want to thank the hundreds of people who got in touch to support my call to scrap the charges. Local democracy matters and today our council did what was right for the people we are privileged to serve.”