This evening I presented a petition from residents of Birmingham Hodge Hill to the House of Commons on the second class burial services many of my constituents are receiving. You can read a press release about the petition below. With best wishes Liam Immediate Release News from Liam Byrne MP 16/09/2015 Byrne demands first class funeral services for his constituents Birmingham’s Muslim population are receiving second class funeral services from their coroners and local authority, Liam Byrne MP will tell the House of Commons later today. Mr Byrne will present a petition to Parliament later today that sets out the concerns of over 1,500 Muslim constituents over poor quality burial services in Birmingham. The current service too often suffers delays which leave Muslim residents unable to bury their loved ones for days on end – in contravention of the Islamic custom of burial within 24 hours. Meanwhile costs have soared; an average burial in Birmingham’s Hanwell Cemetery now costs near to £6,000. Mr Byrne’s petition asks the House of Commons to urge the Government to radically improve burial services in Birmingham, including providing 24/7 access to coroners and health professionals who can certify and register deaths, access to MRI scanners to speed up post mortem procedures where necessary and a review of rising burial costs in Birmingham with a view to reducing charges. Liam Byrne said: “My constituents are being provided with second class funeral services. This is just not good enough. We all face the death of a loved one at some time or another – it is one of the most distressing times in life. Too often constituents have contacted me at their wits end after waiting for days on end for the coroner’s office to release the body of their loved ones. This cannot be allowed to continue. We must have 24/7 access to coroners who can certify and register deaths quickly and a review into the rising cost of burial services.” Cllr Ansar Ali Khan said: “This is an issue which has affected me personally in recent months. While a family is in mourning these kind of delays are unacceptable. I know of community members having to rely on the charity of strangers to meet the soaring costs of burial services. We must have access to MRI scanners to speed up the process and a review into burial service costs.”
The average cost of a funeral in the UK is £3,551
Text of Liam Byrne’s petition:
To the House of Commons. The petition of residents of the Birmingham Hodge Hill constituency, Declares that there are too often delays in allowing burials within 24 hours in Birmingham; further that other cities have much better facilities; further that Birmingham has one of Britain’s biggest Muslim communities and therefore should have better services; and further that a local petition on this matter was signed by 1,572 individuals. The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to improve burial services in Birmingham, including providing 24/7 access to coroners and health professionals who can certify and register deaths, access to MRI scanners to expedite post mortem procedures where necessary and a review of rising burial costs in Birmingham with a view to reducing charges. And the petitioners remain, etc.