Public Health Funerals

We are frequently asked for information about public health funerals and people who have died with no known next of kin. In order to best respond to the volume of FOI requests we receive on this subject, we will publish such information where possible. This information will be updated on a quarterly basis and will only contain the information that can be made publicly available such as date of birth, date of death and marital status.

Information for Quarter 1 (1 April to 30 June 2019) and Quarter 2 (1 July to 30 September 2019) will be available from October 2019 and we will continue to publish quarterly thereafter.

The published information will also include details relating to people to have died with no known next of kin and who were known to the Council by our Adult Social Care department. Should the information you require differ to that which will be published, we will, of course, progress your request for information under the normal provisions of the Act.

Published information relating to public health funerals can be found on our external data site.

Please note: we will not release information in relation to full names of the deceased, maiden surnames of married or widowed females, last known addresses and estimated value of estates.

In these circumstances, we will use exemptions as permitted by the Act, namely:

Section 21 – information already reasonably accessible

Information on deaths and estates are available from the Treasury Solicitor's Department Bona Vacantia Division website. Additionally, information relating to the last known address are provided on the death certificate and this information is accessible from the General Register Office.

Section 31(1)(a) – law enforcement (prevent and detection of crime)

Where disclosure would be likely to prejudice a range of investigations and conduct, including the prevention and detection of crime. Disclosure of information on the assets of estates of deceased individuals, before steps had been taken by the Treasury Solicitor to secure the assets, could interfere with the statutory function to collect bona vacantia (ownerless goods) vested in the Crown and would provide an opportunity for criminal acts to be committed. Therefore it is not considered to be in the public interest to release this information for the reasons stated above.

Section 41 – confidentiality

The Council has a duty of confidence, not only to the deceased but also to any surviving relatives who may not yet have been traced. The disclosure of the information would constitute an actionable breach of confidence.

Section 43 - commercial interests

Disclosure may prejudice the commercial interests of another person as the information could provide the recipient with an unfair advantage.

For Section 31 and Section 43 above (qualified exemptions), and following legal advice received from the Treasury Solicitor, it is not considered to be in the public interest to release this information for the reasons stated above.

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