Waltham Forest council billed £19,000 for pauper’s funerals last year

Waltham Forest council paid £19,000 last year to arrange funerals for those in the borough who died penniless.

The number of pauper’s funerals organised nationally last year rose by 30 per cent, costing councils an overall total of £1.7 million.

Since January this year, 43 funerals have been organised in Waltham Forest for those who did not have the money to pay for their own arrangements.

The youngest person given a public health funeral in the borough this year was just 39, whereas the oldest was 90.
Public Health Funerals are arranged at the council or hospital’s expense when people die with no known next of kin or nobody willing to pay.

A new fund to help pay for these funerals across the country has been launched by, Finders International, the company which stars in the BBC programme Heir Hunters.

Local authorities can apply to the Finders International Funeral Fund for a subsidy towards the cost of their Public Health Funerals. In cases where individuals have no surviving next of kin.

Managing director of Finders International, Daniel Curran, said: “It is an unfortunate part of our society that increasing numbers of people are dying alone and this also leaves the responsibility of arranging and funding the funeral to the Local Authority or hospital.

“The Funeral Fund can help significantly with finance, while also confirming whether or not there are next of kin – free of charge.”

Source material: Guardian