Bracknell Forest Council's child cremation fees plan criticised

A council in Berkshire is facing criticism over its plans to charge for the cremation of children.

Bracknell Forest Council said difficult decisions had to be made as it was tried to bridge a £6m funding gap.

Under the proposals, a child's cremation at Easthampstead Crematorium would be the full adult fee of £664.

"I'm staggered, they need to re-think this very carefully," Professor Khalid Aziz, Chairman of Naomi House and jacksplace hospices said.

"It's all very well saying there are areas where we must pull our belts in, but there is a limit - this really goes beyond the pale."

'High demand'

Free cremations for under 16s at the least popular times - early on weekday mornings - would be offered, the council said.

Councillor Iain McCracken said: "We all understand how distressing it is when you lose a loved one, particularly if it's a child.

"We have a very high demand [at the crematorium] which we have been trying to address. This proposal is to try and accommodate the situation."

The council said a decision was due to be made later this month.

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