Public Health Funerals

In some circumstances, the Council has to take responsibility for arranging funerals.  This comes under the Public Health (control of disease) act 1984, where no suitable funeral arrangements have been made, or are being made for a deceased person.

When this happens the Council will first seek monies from the deceased estate to pay for the funeral.  If there are insufficient funds the Council will arrange a Public Health Funeral through a contract we have with a local funeral director.  Any family and friends are able to attend if they wish to do so.  This is a dignified but basic funeral that minimises the cost to the local taxpayer, and unless specific instructions from the deceased have been found will be a cremation at Rose Hill.  The only exception would be if the deceased or family had a strong objection to cremation, in which case a burial in a public grave would be arranged in Rose Hill Cemetery.

If you are the relative of the person who has died, and cannot afford to pay for a funeral, and are in receipt of certain welfare benefits, it is possible that you will qualify for financial help to cover the cost.  For more information on this you should contact the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) on one of the following numbers or visit their website:

  • Telephone: 0800 169 0140
  • Textphone: 0800 169 0286
  • Welsh language: 0800 169 0240

(telephone lines open from Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm)

Please be aware that if you have already made arrangements with a Funeral Director the Council will not take responsibility for the funeral by part funding the costs nor will it be responsible for any costs incurred.

 Public Health Funerals - Freedom of Information Requests (FOI)

We are frequently asked for information about public health funerals and people who have died with no known next of kin.

In response to the volume of FOI requests on this subject we have published all such cases we have an involvement in. These will be updated on a quarterly basis and listings contain information that can be made publicly available (see links to the right of this page)

This means we are able to refer those requesting information on this subject to this page which in turn enables the Council to deal with such requests pursuant to section 21 of the FOI Act (information accessible to applicant by other means).

Also frequently requested is the cost of such funerals:

Year Average cost Total
2016/17 £1,283 £115,495
2017/18 £1,249 £67,427
2018/19 £1,387 £77,663
2019/20 £1,163 £32,573
2020/21 £1,265 £65,756
2021/22 (to December) £1,617 £42,031


Last updated: 25 May 2022 12:07:23