How does The Localism Act affect funeral businesses?

June 16, 2015   //   No Comments

In 2011 The Localism Act was quietly enacted in Parliament to provide local authorities with greater freedoms and flexibilities in their activities.

SAIF in conjunction with NAMM and NAFD, have met on a number of occasions to try to gauge its ramifications in North East Lincolnshire, where the council (NELC) has commenced memorial trading.  We have engaged a QC to act on our behalf to try to interpret the intricate detail of the Act which could determine what action might be taken to oppose implementation in the future.

Under the Act, local authorities are enabled  to do “anything that individuals generally may do” and offer a service on a “cost recovery basis” or on a commercial basis when it must be carried out by a company.  This is supposed to ensure fair play in the commercial arena.

We understand that NELC is currently in receipt of government funding to carry out a financial assessment to examine the viability of offering an “affordable funeral service” by way of a “One stop shop”.  It is relatively early days in this saga but we would urge any funeral director who has any knowledge of their local authority planning to set up any commercial business where a local service already exists, to notify SAIF immediately so that we can unite with kindred associations to try to stave off this unfair threat to our future livelihood!

Richard Edwards, SAIF Past President.