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Council Services:

Public Health Funerals

What is a Public Health Funeral?

Section 46 of the Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984(1) places an obligation upon the local authority to arrange the burial or cremation of a person who has died or been found dead in its area if it appears that there are no relatives or friends willing to make suitable arrangements. This does not apply to anyone who dies in hospital or in an ambulance on the way to hospital, as such responsibility lies with the relevant NHS Trust.

Who notifies the Council that a death has occurred?

The Coroner will normally notify the Council when a death has occurred and there is no known agency / persons making suitable arrangements for the disposal of the body.

How does the Council notify friends / family of deceased’s death / funeral?

The Council will endeavour to make reasonable efforts to contact the deceased’s next of kin and friends, but it will not normally place notices in the press or engage an agency. The relevant undertaker carrying out the public health funeral (or friends) may choose to make their own independent arrangements (e.g. Place a notice in the newspaper or take steps to publicise a notice on their own website) if they wish.

An officer from Environmental Health Section will normally register the death and visit the home of the deceased in order to search the property for details of family members (e.g. Address books), a Will and any financial information to assist in recovering of the costs of the funeral. If family members are found the Council would normally expect that they take over the necessary arrangements and/or pay for the funeral. Similarly, if a Will is found, the executor will be responsible for arranging the funeral.

What if no family or friends are found or are not prepared to make the arrangements?

The Council may notify the individual’s Landlord, their bank and the Benefits Agency of the person’s death and will aim to recover some or all of the costs of the funeral from the deceased individual’s assets e.g. money found at the home of the deceased, money in the deceased’s bank account(s), insurance policies, funeral plans or from the sale of goods found at the property. In such instances, no items of value should be removed from the deceased’s home until the Council has conducted its search. If an individual removes items of value from the deceased’s home (e.g. cars that are not on finance) the Council may seek to recover some or all of the funeral expense from that individual.

Which funeral director does the Council use?

The Council will seek 3 quotations from funeral directors in the vicinity of the deceased’s last residence on the island. The Council will not be responsible for any cost incurred by a funeral director prior to their formal appointment. In exceptional circumstances, where the deceased is in the care of a funeral director prior to its involvement, the Council may (at its discretion) seek a quotation from this and another two funeral directors, with an appointment being based on best value. Where this is different, arrangements must be made to for release the body to the appointed funeral director.

What happens to the deceased’s belongings / estate?

Where the deceased lived in rented accommodation, once the Council has satisfied itself that there are no items of value the landlord should take responsibility for clearing the premises at their cost. Similarly, if they lived in a care / nursing home, the home is accountable for the disposal of the effects.

If assets remain once funeral costs have been paid the Council will notify the Treasury Solicitor’s Department 

How is a Public Health Funeral funded?

The Council is entitled to recover the costs of the funeral from the estate of the deceased, in the form of a civil debt within three years.

Freedom of Information Act 2000

Personal information such as:-

i) The full names of the deceased

ii The date of birth of the deceased

iii) The date of death of the deceased

iv) Date of Funeral of the deceased

v) The last known address of the deceased

is exempt under Section 41(1) of the Freedom of Information Act, as it was provided to us in confidence by individuals and is, therefore, withheld. Furthermore, it has been confirmed by the Information Tribunal that the duty of confidentiality continues after the death of an individual to whom that duty is owed.

The Treasury Solicitor’s Department administers the estates of individuals who have passed away without any relatives, or a Will. The Treasury Solicitor’s Department publish estates valued at over £5000.

If you are dissatisfied with any aspect of a response to your request for information, and / or the decision made to withhold information, you may ask for an internal review.

Please address your correspondence to the Customer Care Officer, Legal Services, Council Offices, Llangefni, Anglesey LL77 7TW or email:

If you are not content with the outcome of any internal review you have the right to apply directly to the Information Commissioner, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow SK9 5AF.

Please note that the Information Commissioner is likely to expect internal review procedures to have been exhausted before beginning his investigation.

Contact Environmental Health

Public Protection Department
Regulatory and Economic Development
Council Offices
LL77 7TW
General enquiries:01248 752820
Animal welfare:01248 752866
Housing Enforcement Team:01248 752836/752835
Health and safety:01248 752866
Food Safety Team:01248 752866
Fax:01248 752880
Croesawir galwadau yn y Gymraeg

Useful information

Mae'r dudalen yma a'r dogfennau cysylltiedig ar gael yn y Gymraeg. Defnyddiwch y ddolen "Cymraeg" ar ochr dde'r bar uchaf.

Last update: 3 April 2018 Give feedback on this page
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