Councils across the UK spent nearly £5.4m on "paupers' funerals" last year, it has been revealed. A Freedom of Information request, by insurance company Royal London, found 275 local authorities spent £5,382,379 on public health funerals in the 12 months up to April 2018.
More than 3,800 of the funerals, for people who have died alone, in poverty or without relatives, were held. The Local Government Association said the funerals were stretching budgets.
Birmingham's local authority spent the most, with public health funerals costing the city council £990,437. The city paid for 395 funerals in 2017-18 - about one council-funded funeral for every 22 deaths, which was the third highest rate in the UK.
A Birmingham City Council spokeswoman said: "As the largest local authority in the UK, Birmingham's spend on public health funerals will inevitably be higher when compared to other cities, reflecting the population it serves."