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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 Phillip Jones 65 12/05/2018 No
Ms Elizabeth Rosemary Smith 76 20/01/2018 No
Mr George Povey 66 17/12/2017 No
Mr Christopher Joseph Smith 67 25/11/2017 No
Mr Joao Manuel Marques 45 02/04/1972 No
Miss Mavis Elizabeth Roberts 70 25/02/1947 No
Mr Cesar Luis Ferreira Lopes 56 11/05/2017 No
Mr Paul Keating 49 03/01/2016 No
Mr Philip O’Reilly 82 01/07/2015 No
Mr Edgar James Wood 67 25/08/2015 No
Mr Mark Timothy Roberts 55 13/08/2015 No
Mr Joseph William Satterley 69 03/08/2015 Yes
Ms Carol Ann Hughes 52 19/10/2013 No
Mr John Anthony Evans 51 13/06/2013 No
Mr Michael Jeffrey Richardson 63 05/06/2012 No
Mr Norman Blackwell 69 08/04/2012 No
Mr Glyn Malcolm Davies 79 31/12/2011 Yes
Miss Jean Margaret Davies 88 18/08/2011 No
Mr Gary Edward Taylor 52 14/07/2011 No
Mr Robert John Jones 69 01/06/2011 No
Miss Auriel Samuelson 75 16/03/2011 No
Mr William Boswell 69 22/11/2010 No
Mr Athol Ernest Cowan 68 04/10/2010 Yes
Reginald Noel Hughes-Davies 74 16/08/2010 No
Mrs Vivianne Lewis 65 06/07/2010 No
Mr Geoffrey Chesters 70 09/06/2010 No
Mr Craig John Roberts 37 30/12/2009 No
Mr Colin Terrance Roberts 63 28/11/2009 No
Mrs Elise Douglas 85 14/10/2009 No
Mr Bryan Clifford Thomas 56 20/01/2009 No
Mr Lloydd Williams 78 02/01/2009 No
Mr Michael Anthony Chestney 65 26/11/2008  No
Mr Harold Barry Hopson 24/05/2008 No
Mr David Phillip Thomas 57 17/01/2008 No
Mr James Devline 68 26/12/2007 No
Mr Matayas Schoffmann 76 28/11/2007 Yes
Mr Kenneth Yates 60 14/09/2007 No
Mr William Thomas Rowland Bibby 56 05/10/2006 No
Mr Arthur Edward Roberts 80 20/06/2006 Yes
Ms Marilyn Rushby 57 28/05/2006 No
Miss Anne Catherine Maria Gordon 15/01/2005 No
Mr Arno Heinz (Harry) Roitzsch 79 15/11/2004 No
Miss Nellie Cross 90 05/12/2003 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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