By One Chappy
Increasing funeral costs have left Leeds residents facing the third highest charges for burials and cremations in the country.
A recent report by the Local Government Association reveals that a rising number of Leeds families are unable to contribute to the cost of the funerals for their loved ones.
At the start of April this year, the cost of burying families went up by seven and a half per cent.
A standard burial in Leeds can be anything between £1,848 and £1,931.
Dawn Horkan, 37, from the Friends And Relatives Of Hunslet Cemetery Group said: “My friend’s mum died and she was quoted £1400 just for the plot, not including the cost of the funeral or the cremation. That was just for a small memorial plot where she can go lay flowers. She just couldn’t afford it.”
Neighbouring authorities like Bradford and Wakefield offer the same services hundreds of pounds cheaper, which has left communities in Leeds wondering why they are paying more for giving their relatives decent funerals.
Leeds City Council is responsible for the city’s Bereavement Services and sets these burial prices.
The council’s spokesman said: “As part of the council’s long-term planning to cope with big cuts to our budgets we have to review all our finances, including the £576 000 annual subsidy within the Bereavement service. We are having to make savings of £54.9million this year and so it is important that we consider all our options. ”
The main complaint that residents have is that the amount they are paying is not justifiable by the services they get.
“Everything is going up. The cost of everything is getting higher and higher but we are not getting anything back. If they are getting all that money and the prices are going up, where is this money going?” said Miss Horkan.
Leeds city council say they are actively promoting the availability of hardship grants and that they are offering financial support to those in need by providing them with a service that covers the cost of burials.
Only those who die alone or in poverty benefit from these services, but the rest are left to cover the cost alone.
Miss Horkan says many grieving Leeds families have to make sacrifices in order to say goodbye to their loved ones in ways they want.