THE cost of dying in Clydebank has gone up by 30 per cent since 2010, according to new statistics.

Citizens Advice Scotland have found 10 per cent of families struggle to pay the bills each year when loved ones pass away and funeral directors have condemned council charges as “immoral”.

Fees for interment in West Dunbartonshire Council have risen from £475 in 2010/11 to £616 in 2017/18 - and that’s before counting any other costs.

The average cost for a funeral in Scotland is reportedly £3,600.

Other areas, such as East Renfrewshire, are up by 136 per cent and Edinburgh is the most expensive at £1,095, under figures obtained by BBC Scotland.

Council leader Jonathan McColl said all parties were working to eliminate the costs for laying children to rest.

He said: “Funeral costs in West Dunbartonshire remain comparable with other councils, and as an area with high levels of deprivation, it’s important that we continue to provide value for money to our residents in their time of need.

“This is a service area where Labour and the SNP have had no cause to disagree with each other, and I welcome the unanimous decision of Cosla leaders two weeks ago, to work with the Scottish Government to eradicate charges for children’s funerals.

“At present West Dunbartonshire does not charge local residents for children up to the age of 16, but we do levy a charge for those living out with the area.

“The proposed changes will extend the free service to all who need it up to the age of 18. It’s the right thing to do and I’m glad that the Scottish Government will be providing councils across Scotland with the resources to deliver this new national policy.”

Clydebank MSP Gil Paterson said the Scottish Government was aware of how costs hit families at the worst time.

He said: “That is why they are using their very limited powers over social security to introduce the new funeral expenses payment and widen the eligibility so that more people will be entitled to this vital support.

“The Scottish Government have also provided funding that will abolish funeral charges for children and will put in place a direct cremation service.”

Jim Brodie, of the Scottish Association of Independent Funeral Directors, told the BBC: “There are many pressures on the councils, I have no doubts about that, but you have an essential service that is being used to make money, to offset other parts of the council.

“I can’t say it’s wrong - I just think it’s immoral.”

A spokeswoman for West Dunbartonshire Council said their fees were the eighth lowest in Scotland.

She said: “Burial costs in West Dunbartonshire are considerably lower than the majority of Scottish councils, and residents pay less than people living outwith the area making use of our services.

“Over the last couple of years we have invested more than £3.5million in expanding and enhancing our cemeteries and crematorium to fully meet the needs of our communities. It is also worth noting that anyone who is in hardship can apply for a funeral expenses payment to help meet costs.”