AN MSP who is calling on the Scottish Government to scrap funeral fees for children is “heartened” that Clackmannanshire Council is already leading the way.

No family experiencing such an “unimaginable loss” should have to worry about the costs, argued Conservative representative Alexander Stewart after the UK Government announced a new fund to help those bereaved.

The idea to establish a fund originates from Wales and while some Scottish local authorities do waive fees for children, the extent of the provision varies across the board.

In Clackmannanshire, there is no charge for the interment of a child up to the age of 18.

If a baby dies or is still-born, they can be buried in a small individual grave at Sunnyside Cemetery at a special area featuring a large memorial stone, where a plaque can also be placed.

A full-sized grave can also be purchased at full price, this can allow parents or other family to be buried in later years.

Furthermore, there is no charge for the hire of a council premises in connection with the funeral service of a child aged five or under for up to two hours.

In neighbouring Stirling, there is no interment charge up to the age of 15, but a memorial plaque costs £100.

Perth and Kinross Council, however, only provides free interment for still-born babies and children up to the age of just two, while the cost for the burial of a child between the ages of two and 15 is £138, down from the regular £916.

The MSP said: “I am delighted and heartened that Clackmannanshire covers the costs for children under 18; however, no family going through such a traumatic experience should have to worry about funeral costs.

“The SNP Government should follow the lead of the Conservatives at Westminster – and indeed that of Clackmannanshire Council – to explore the establishment of a similar fund north of the border.”

A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: “We will introduce a new funeral expense assistance from summer 2019.

“We have engaged with local authorities, the funeral sector and other services to find ways to provide more affordable funerals and we will continue to support innovative measures to address the costs. We note this announcement from the UK government.

"We are already actively considering ways to further support families in Scotland suffering the bereavement of a child.”