More than £15,000 was spent on “paupers’ funerals” in Blackpool last year, with families unable or unwilling to cover thecosts of their loved ones’ arrangements.
Blackpool Council spent a total of £15,033 on public health funerals over the 2017/18 financial year, according to a Freedom of Information request submitted by mutual insurer Royal London.
The Local Government Association said there are thousands of people across the country “with no family or friends to care for them or arrange, attend or pay for their funeral”.
Public health funerals, which are also known as paupers’ funerals, are “no frills” services provided by local authorities, which in general include a coffin and the services of a funeral director but do not include flowers, obituaries or transport for family members. Families can attend if they wish.
There were 32 carried out in Blackpool in 2017/18.
From 2010 to 2015, Blackpool Council buried or cremated an average of 33 people a year, but that rocketed to 62 in 2016, when the Victoria Hospital also spent £33,557 on cremation services for 48 patients who died there, The Gazette previously reported.
The council said it tries to claw costs back through deceaseds’ estates, with any items of monetary value be sold if necessary.