NORTH Ayrshire Council staff are set to meet with funeral directors following complaints over delays to local burials.

Officials have organised the meeting as part of an ongoing effort to ensure funerals are held as quickly as possible.

The Herald reported in recent weeks that many residents have complained of delays to funerals.

Following seasonal delays – which are experienced by most local authorities in Scotland during winter months – North Ayrshire Council claim waiting times have now returned to a normal level.

The council is now exploring a range of options to ensure that bereaved families don’t have to wait longer than expected to bury their loved ones.
As a first step, the council is to invite local funeral directors to a meeting with its Bereavements Officers and Registration Services to discuss how the service can be developed.

It is hoped that this will allow a ‘Charter’ to be agreed by all parties with timescales for actions. Among the proposals to be discussed include agreeing a timetable for the process of organising a funeral which would give families peace of mind.

A spokesperson for North Ayrshire Council said it is hoped the discussions will help ensure families continue to receive the best possible service during what is a difficult time.

“Unfortunately, during January, delays can be experienced due to greater demands,” the spokesperson added. We know it is a difficult time for families and we don’t want them to wait longer than necessary so our staff have been working extremely hard to reduce waiting times.

“Thankfully, those waiting times have come back down to a normal level and I hope that will give some comfort to bereaved families.

“But we are determined to ensure that we continue to minimise any delays and that’s why we are arranging a meeting and exploring a number of proposals to ensure families get the best service possible.”