Under the Public Health (Control of Diseases) Act 1984, when a resident in the district passes away (excluding in hospital) we have a duty to make arrangements for the funeral, if living relatives cannot be found.
We do not publish details of public health funerals but where relevant, information is provided to the relevant Government Legal Department and found on the Bona Vacantia website.
We do however recognise that there is a public interest in understanding the cost to the public. Therefore, please see the table below for this information published in financial years.
|Date||No. of funerals||Cost||No. of Burials||No. of Cremations|
This information is updated in April and October.
We undertake relatively few public health funerals and therefore we consider that publication of this information at six monthly intervals is reasonable. We would therefore refuse any requests for updated information before the next planned update, under Section 22 of the Act, as it is information that we hold with the intention of publishing at some future date.
We will not disclose personal details of a deceased individual with no known next of kin. The disclosure of such information may lead to the commission of offences, cause loss to unsecured estates and potential identity fraud.
Taking these issues into account, we are therefore satisfied that the public interest in withholding the information outweighs the public interest in disclosing and believe that Section 31(1)(a) (Law enforcement - prevention and detection of crime) of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) is applicable.
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) supports our approach in the following decisions