Berkshire

Bracknell Forest child cremation fees plan dropped

A council in Berkshire is set to withdraw plans to charge for the cremation of children.

Conservative-run Bracknell Forest Council said it was responding to criticism of the proposals.

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

Councillor Iain McCracken said: "We looked at it again and it's my intention to recommend we take this proposal off the table."

There is currently no fee for the cremation of under 16s.

It was estimated the proposals to charge would have raised about £10,000 a year, as part of plans to bridge the council's £6m funding gap.

Mr McCracken, executive member with responsibility for the crematorium, said: "It's a measure of the financial environment that we are in as a nation that we are having to look at this sort of level."

Among those who criticised the plans was Professor Khalid Aziz, Chairman of Naomi House and Jack's Place hospices, who called them "beyond the pale."

The authority's annual budget is due to go before the full council at the end of the month.

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