Public Health Funerals
Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984
Wrexham County Borough Council has a duty under section 46 of the Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984 to "cause to be buried or cremated the body of any person who has died or been found dead" within the Wrexham County Borough where it appears "that no suitable arrangements for the disposal of the body have been or are being made".
In these circumstances, the Council is responsible for arranging the funeral of any person who has died within the Wrexham County Borough. This does not apply to anyone who dies in hospital, or in an ambulance on the way to hospital. Under these circumstances, the health authority will make arrangements.
If the person dies in a care home, then funeral arrangements are normally made by relatives or social services, who may be managing the finances of the deceased. We may claim the costs of the funeral from the estate where there are sufficient funds.
Unfortunately, no assistance is available from the Council if the funeral has already taken place or if someone has already taken responsibility for the funeral.
We are frequently asked for information about public health funerals, people who have died with no known next of kin, Bona Vacantia estates and estates which have been referred to the Treasury Solicitor, or Duchy of Lancaster or Cornwall. In response to these requests, we are releasing the following information about public health funerals:
Please note these funerals do not include those undertaken by Social Services or the Health Authority.
|Title||First Name(s)||Surname||Age||Date of Death||Referral to Treasury Solicitor|
|Mr||Cesar Luis||Ferreira Lopes||56||11/05/2017||No|
|Mr||William Thomas Rowland||Bibby||56||05/10/2006||No|
|Miss||Anne Catherine Maria||Gordon||-||15/01/2005||No|
|Mr||Arno Heinz (Harry)||Roitzsch||79||15/11/2004||No|
|Mr||Percival Thomas Henry Vaughan||Evans||83||24/09/2001||No|
"The Council considers that detailed information (beyond that published by the Council) is exempt from disclosure under sections 31 (law enforcement) and 41 (information provided in confidence) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (“FOIA”).
Under section 31(1) (a) of FOIA, information may be withheld if it would or would be likely to prejudice the prevention or detection of crime. The Council believes that if it released detailed information about deceased persons into the public domain, there would be a risk to the deceased’s property and personal effects (e.g. unlawful occupation, identity fraud, etc.) with the associated impact on individuals, organisations and the public purse in addressing such matters. The Council considers that the public interest test in avoiding prejudice to the prevention of crime outweighs the public interest in disclosure of this information.
In relation to section 41 of FOIA, the Council considers that in dealing with the affairs of the deceased, there arises a duty of confidentiality to the deceased's personal representatives and disclosure of detailed information would therefore breach that confidence. Section 41 is an absolute exemption and therefore the Council is not obliged to consider the public interest test.
Members of the public are referred to the website of the Treasury Solicitor’s “Bona Vacantia” division, which deals with certain estates (usually those with a net value of £500 or above) where there is no will or available next of kin. Further details can be found at www.gov.uk/government-legal-department .
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