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Criticism over high burial prices for infants in Chelmsford
7:30am Thursday 9th January 2014 in News
A GRIEVING father has called on Chelmsford Council to review their policies around infant and child burials.
Dr Daniel Haroon, 32, has spoken out after being told it would cost him £875 to bury his baby son who tragically passed away on December 19, three weeks before he was due to be born.
His call for a review of the costs comes just weeks before council officers are due to look at prices for burials and funeral services.
Undertakers at the Chelmsford Cemetary and Crematorium, which is run by Chelmsford Council, told him this is the same price as an adult and they could put two other bodies in the same plot.
This compares to having to pay £404 in Maldon - or £108 in Dr Haroon’s hometown of Gillingham, Kent.
Dr Haroon, from Writtle, said the fees were too high and insensitively priced with the only other option being use of a communal grave.
He said: “My wife and I are reviewing our options, but may end up having to pay the sum.
“But I am more upset for other people as I have plenty of patients who I know would not be able to afford that, so it should be reviewed.
“The chaps at the cemetary were very nice and said the point has never been made before over the prices.
“Parents are probably so numb with grief they will pay the money.
“I think the policy there is ridiculous, quite insensitive and essentially capitalising on people’s grief.”
Ian Grundy, councillor responsible for safer communities, said he was sympathetic to Dr Haroon’s case.
The Conservative also said the council will soon be reviewing the prices charged at the cemetary.
Mr Grundy said: “The venue is well run and the services are pretty up-to-date.
“But we have been planning a review of the charges and this will start later this month.”
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