Section 46 of the Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984 places a statutory obligation on local authorities to make funeral arrangements for those who die with the borough without anybody willing or able to make the arrangements.

What will we provide?

We will contact a local funeral director to make arrangements. In most circumstances, we will arrange a burial at our Lawn Cemetery in Hatfield. We do not routinely facilitate cremations as we do not have a crematorium in the borough. However, in circumstances wherein the deceased has recorded a preference to be cremated in their will, we will look to honour this wish.

As we are spending public money, we have a responsibility to ensure that arrangements are cost effective. We aim to provide a simple yet respectful burial. We welcome friends or family of the deceased to attend however, we are unable to provide funeral vehicles or flowers.

If we have identified the deceased to have followed a particular faith, we will endeavour to arrange a service reflective of this faith. On occasions where no faith is identified we will not arrange for a minister or celebrant to attend.

Will there be a memorial?

We do not authorise memorials on Public Health graves. The plots are owned by the Council and up to three coffins can go in each plot.

Will costs be recovered?

We will look to recover expenses from the deceased's estate. Under the Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984 the funeral costs are the first expense claimed in an estate.

Remaining funds are passed to the Treasury Solicitors office.

The document below provides a list of recent cases:

Icon for pdf Public Burials