Rachael Maskell MP
Rachael Maskell MP

MP Questions why City of York Council are denying residents the right to say goodbye to their loved ones 

Rachael Maskell MP has been contacted by many distraught families in York who are wanting to be able to say goodbye to their loved ones. She has been contacted by parents, children and siblings of the deceased who have now been denied the right to attend funerals of close family members. 

The York Central MP has raised her concerns with the Council and have asked them to overturn this decision. She has also raised this with the Local Resilience Forum, put in place to oversee all strategic matters concerning the Coronavirus outbreak, and the Secretary of State for Local Government. York’s Council have stepped way beyond the Government’s guidance which determines that 10 people should be able to attend a funeral and social distancing provision should be put in place. If people are living in the same household, there is no reason why they should be separated at the funeral either. 

It is also vital that for those of faith that religious and cultural observance is also adhered to. Respecting such wishes of the deceased is vital and falls in line with the United Nations Human Rights convention. 

“This is a very difficult time for everyone, but when crowds are still in our supermarkets and working in warehouses across the city, to stop close family members being able to say goodbye to a child, a parent or partner is completely insensitive and deeply damaging. Funerals provide an important role in the grieving process, and to be denied such an opportunity will cause lasting pain for families. At this time some people are unable to be with close family members as they die, and then not being able to be with them at their funeral is a step too far.  

“Constituents have shared their heartache over this decision by the Council, a Council who could institute safe funeral distancing measures as other Councils are like North Yorkshire which are enabling funerals to go ahead with 10 family members while observing safe social distancing as set out in the Government guidance. York must immediately revert to this too. 

“I will do everything possible to ensure that the rights of families and the wishes of the deceased are supported at this time, City of York Council must understand the pain that they are causing and change their policy today.” 

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