Council to waive burial costs for children

Under the scheme parents of children under 18 will no longer have to meet the costs of burials.
Under the scheme parents of children under 18 will no longer have to meet the costs of burials.

Mid and East Antrim Borough Council is to waive burial fees for children.

The motion by UUP Councillor Stephen Nicholl comes after his party colleague Julie O’Flaherty brought a similar one to Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Council following the death of her 2-year-old son Jake.

Cllr Stephen Nicholl. INBT 22-147JC

Cllr Stephen Nicholl. INBT 22-147JC

Under the scheme parents will no longer have to meet the costs of burials and cremations with these being covered by government funding. A Children’s Funeral Fund will only be considered in Northern Ireland when power sharing is restored.

Cllr Nicholl said: “This council recognises the introduction of Government funding in England and Wales to cover the funeral costs of children. In the absence of a functioning government in Northern Ireland such action cannot be introduced regionally. We can resolve this until the introduction of a regional initiative.”

There was unanimous support for the local authority to waive all costs normally associated with the provision of a grave for children under 18 years of age.

Seconding the proposal, Cllr Lindsay Millar said: “This motion will not cause a great expenditure to the council but will truly make a difference to parents whose lives have been shattered by the death of a child, and I am glad our council has unanimously agreed to this.”

The Mayor, Cllr Paul Reid said “nobody should be denied the right to bury their own child in a dignified way”.