ROTHERHAM Council spent more than £16,000 on "paupers’ funerals" in eight months, new figures have revealed.
A Freedom of Information request found Rotherham Council spent £16,275 on 19 public health funerals in the financial year from April 2020.
It is a 943 per cent increase from the £1,560 spent on 18 paupers’ funerals in the financial year 2019 to 2020.
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The council say the increase is down to “significant costs” that were not recovered until the following year.
Cllr David Roche, cabinet member for public health, pictured, said: “The council recouped significant costs in 2019/20 that were not recovered until 2020/21. It is the delay in the recovery of these costs which accounts for the discrepancy in the figures.”
Public health funerals, or pauper’s funerals, are held by local authorities when no arrangements have been made for a deceased person in their area.
They are usually held for people who have died alone, in poverty or without relatives.
The basic service includes a coffin and the use of a funeral director.
Family and friends can attend, but flowers and transport are usually not included, and some public health burials take place in an unmarked shared grave.