AN agreement has been made to remove all financial charges for child burials and cremations.

In South Ayrshire, there are currently no charges for cremations and burials for those aged under 16, and with the new plans from the Scottish Government and COSLA, the age will be extended to 18.

While most local authorities have already removed their fees, this new commitment will see the removal of their fees consistently and completely across all areas.

Previously, it would have cost £848 for crematorium fees and £810 for cemeteries charges for persons over the age of 18 in South Ayrshire.

Cabinet Secretary for Communities, Social Security and Equalities, Angela Constance, said: “The death of a child is one of the most tragic experiences that anyone can go through.

“At such difficult times, it is important that we look to support parents and families. We have been actively looking for some time at ways in which we can further support bereaved parents in Scotland with funeral costs.

“Most local authorities do not charge child burial and cremation fees but the picture across Scotland is a mixed one, as local authorities introduce adult burial and cremation charges at different ages across the country.

“We agree with COSLA that no family should have to pay to bury or cremate their child. I am therefore delighted to confirm this agreement between the Scottish Government and COSLA.”

A spokesman for South Ayrshire Council, added: “We work closely with bereaved families to make the process as easy as possible and there are no charges for cremations and burials for those aged under 16.

“We welcome the statement from the Scottish Government to remove charges for young people under the age of 18 and are currently identifying ways to make the change.”

Cllr Elena Whitham, COSLA spokeswoman for Community Wellbeing, commented: “We are pleased to work with the Scottish Government to ensure that all local authorities can fully commit to removing their charges for the burial or cremation of those aged under 18.”