Public health funerals and Freedom of Information

Under the Public Health (Control of Diseases) Act 1984, when a resident in the area passes away the council has a duty to make arrangements for the funeral, if living relatives cannot be found, or are unable to pay for any funeral expenses. Public health funerals are also known as national assistance, welfare or pauper funerals.

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 publish details of these funerals. This information is supplied by financial year since 2013/14 onwards and the listings contain all the information we hold that can be made publically available.

There are relatively few public health funerals in Herefordshire and therefore we consider that publication of this information at quarterly intervals is reasonable. The provision of updated information before the next planned update will be exempted under Section 22 of the FOI Act, as it is information we hold with the intention of publishing at a future date, as specified above.

We apply the following exemptions to the release of any further 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.

Section 21 – information reasonably accessible by other means

All deaths in Herefordshire are registered. The death certificates contain details of the deceased’s date / place of birth, marital status and any maiden names. As such we consider that information to be exempt as it is reasonably accessible via Herefordshire Registry Office.

Section 31 – law enforcement (prevention and detection of crime)

Revealing details of any assets of an estate before the Treasury Solicitor has undertaken their own enquiries would provide an opportunity for criminal acts to be committed (for example, theft or fraud). Similarly we would have concerns about making the last known address of the deceased public, as the property is likely to be unoccupied and may still contain the deceased’s personal papers and effects. There is also a continuing risk after the estate has been secured of, for example, identity theft. Taking into account the above issues, the council considers that there is no over-riding public interest in releasing this information. Any public interest would be best served by upholding the exemption under Section 31 of the Act as disclosure would be likely to prejudice the prevention of crime by enabling or encouraging the committing of offences.

Section 40(2) – personal data of third parties

The council sometimes makes arrangements for a funeral to take place if living relatives are unable to pay for any funeral expenses. Details of those funerals are not published as release could lead to the identification of these relatives, which could cause distress to them.

We have however published details of the total number of public health funerals arranged - which includes those with known next of kin and no next of kin.

Deceased persons 2020/21

Name of deceased Date of death Date/Place of birth, maiden names, marital status Last known address Whether matter referred to Tsol or other by LA Male / Female M/F Next of kin Yes/No
Kathleen Alberter 17/04/2020 Exempt S21 Exempt S31 No referral F N
             
Total of 5 PH funerals            

Deceased persons 2019/20

Name of deceased Date of death Date/Place of birth, maiden names, marital status Last known address Whether matter referred to Tsol or other by LA Male / Female M/F Next of kin Yes/No
Frances Boland 17/12/2019 Exempt S21 Exempt S31 No referral F N
Milo Cananno (Howard Warren) 30/12/2019 Exempt S21 Exempt S31 No referral M N
             
Total of 11 PH funerals            

Deceased persons 2018/19

Name of deceased Date of death Date/Place of birth, maiden names, marital status Last known address Whether matter referred to Tsol or other by LA Male / Female M/F Next of kin Yes/No
Derek Richard Phillips 06/04/2018 Exempt S21 Exempt S31 No referral M N
Arnis Neimanic 03/06/2018 Exempt S21 Exempt S31 No referral M N
Thomas Shaw 06/03/2019 Exempt S21 Exempt S31 No referral M N
Carol Ann Gladwin 04/02/2019 Exempt S21 Exempt S31 No referral F N
             
Total of 7 PH funerals            

Deceased persons 2017/18

Name of deceased Date of death Date/Place of birth, maiden names, marital status Last known address Whether matter referred to Tsol or other by LA Male / Female M/F Next of kin Yes/No
Paul Pace 22/06/2017 Exempt S21 Exempt S31 No referral M N
Lillian Kilner 12/10/2017 Exempt S21 Exempt S31 No referral F N
Douglas Jenkins 17/08/2017 Exempt S21 Exempt S31 No referral M N
Michael Sutherland 27/11/2017 Exempt S21 Exempt S31 No referral M N
David Williams 05/02/2018 Exempt S21 Exempt S31 No referral M
             
Total of 8 PH funerals            

Deceased persons 2016/17

Name of deceased Date of death Date/Place of birth, maiden names, marital status Last known address Whether matter referred to Tsol or other by LA Male / Female M/F Next of kin Yes/No
Eunice Thomas 20/03/2016 Exempt S21 Exempt S31 No referral F N
Christine Watkins Not Known Exempt S21 Exempt S31 No referral F N
             
Total of 11 PH funerals            

Deceased persons 2015/16

Name of deceased Date of death Date/Place of birth, maiden names, marital status Last known address Whether matter referred to Tsol or other by LA Male / Female M/F Next of kin Yes/No
N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
             
Total of 8 PH funerals            

Deceased persons 2014/15

Name of deceased Date of death Date/Place of birth, maiden names, marital status Last known address Whether matter referred to Tsol or other by LA Male / Female M/F Next of kin Yes/No
Ron Hart 14/07/2014 Exempt S21 Exempt S31 No referral M N
Jeffrey Ward 20/08/2014 Exempt S21 Exempt S31 No referral M N
Alan Barrat 27/09/2014 Exempt S21 Exempt S31 No referral M N
David Goble 13/11/2014 Exempt S21 Exempt S31 No referral M N
Alex Cann 11/12/2014 Exempt S21 Exempt S31 Yes referred F N
Edna Fairlam 13/02/2015 Exempt S21 Exempt S31 No referral F N
Olive Gwendoline Bishop 16/02/2015 Exempt S21 Exempt S31 Yes referred F N
Elsie Mary Thomas 16/03/2015 Exempt S21 Exempt S31 No referral F N
Herta Eichenberg 24/03/2015 Exempt S21 Exempt S31 No referral F N
             
Total of 15 PH funerals            

Deceased persons 2013/14

Name of deceased Date of death Date/Place of birth, maiden names, marital status Last known address Whether matter referred to Tsol or other by LA Male / Female M/F Next of kin Yes/No
John Apperley 27/08/2013 Exempt S21 Exempt S31 No referral M N
Brian Holloway 02/10/2013 Exempt S21 Exempt S31 No referral M N
             
Total of 6 PH funerals            

Table Key

  • Next of kin = The legal person - representative, who can make a claim to the deceased estate.
  • LA = local authority
  • Section 21 - (information already reasonably accessible by other means)
  • Section 31 (1) (a) - (law enforcement -the prevention or detection of crime)
  • Section 40 (2) - (personal data of third parties )

Download a copy of the tables