Oxford City Council has announced that it is scrapping burial fees for children. The council will no longer charge bereaved parents in Oxford for a grave for children who tragically pass away before their twelfth birthday.
The new policy will take immediate effect and follows a decision made at Full Council on 6 February where the move was unanimously backed by councillors from all parties.
Cllr Linda Smith, City Executive Member for Leisure, Parks and Sport, said of the move: "The last thing newly bereaved parents need is a bill they might not be able to pay; no one puts money aside in anticipation of such a horrific event as a child dying.
“When parents are grieving it is not the time to expect them to apply for a grant or take out a loan to cover the bare essentials of a burial. This change to our fees and charges tariff will cost the council relatively little, but I hope it will have a positive impact by removing a bit of avoidable extra stress and worry for parents in the immediate aftermath of their loss."
The City Council offers cemetery services in four cemeteries at Wolvercote, Headington, Rose Hill and Botley.
Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust will continue to offer a free burial service for babies who die before 24 weeks of gestation through the John Radcliffe Hospital Bereavement Service. Oxford City Council will now provide a free burial service for babies from 25 weeks gestation and children up until the age of twelve, for Oxford City residents. Funeral directors in the city have been notified of the changes.