SOLIHULL MP Lorely Burt has halted Birmingham City Council’s “unlawful” proposals to charge for the release of bodies from its mortuary.
The controversial policy would have seen £20 charges brought in to release bodies from Birmingham Central Mortuary and £50 to funeral directors requiring a written invoice.
But Mrs Burt, in her position as Chair of the all-party Parliamentary Funerals and Bereavement group, raised concerns with Ministry of Justice Minister, Helen Grant MP.
She was informed that local authorities were required by law to fund a post-mortem examination requested by the Coroner or an inquest and, along with the borough-based National Association of Funeral Directors, NAFD, representations were then made to Birmingham Council who confirmed they have now withdrawn the charge.
NAFD chief executive officer, Alan Slater, said he was “delighted” with the MP’s support.
“The implementation of this unfair charge has been halted that would have hit both funeral directors and bereaved families,” he added.
Mrs Burt said: “I am grateful to the NAFD, who are based in my constituency, for alerting me to charges proposed by Birmingham City Council that would have put additional costs to the bereaved. I’m pleased that the Ministry of Justice has ruled that these charges were unlawful and that they have been withdrawn.”
A spokesman for Birmingham City Council said: “The city council has withdrawn £20 storage charge for bodies stored at the mortuary. We are now re-looking at this issue.”