When we arrange a funeral

Public health funerals

We are frequently asked for information about public health funerals.

In response to these requests, we are releasing the following information about public health funerals:

Public health funerals information: Estate values  (2009 to 2017)
Public health funerals information: PH84 yearly stats (2009 to 2016)

This information will be updated with information relating to public health funerals, on a quarterly basis on the closure of a case following disposal of the deceased.

Exemptions of updated information 

We won't provide any updated information before the next planned update. That information will be exempted under Section 22 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 as it is information that we hold with the intention of publishing at some future date.

Exemption of additional information 

We won't provide additional information about:
  • public health funerals
  • people who have died with no known next of kin
  • bona vacantia estates
  • estates which have been referred to the Treasury Solicitor, or Duchy of Lancaster or Cornwall

because we will apply the exemption of additional information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. 

Our reason for applying this exemption is that details of all deaths within the borough are registered. Deaths can be registered at any Register Office. Find out more about registering a death.

Information that we hold on estates passed, or estates to be passed, to the Treasury Solicitor, is considered to be held on behalf of the Treasury Solicitor's Department. Some details of the estate of those persons who have died and which have been passed to the Treasury Solicitor can be accessed via the Government Legal Department's website or via the Bona Vacantia website

Revealing details of the 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, there would be concerns about making the last known address of the deceased public, as the property is likely to be unoccupied and might 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 these issues, we consider that there is no over-riding public interest in releasing the information requested.

Any public interest would be best served by upholding the exemption under Section 31 of the Act as disclosure of the information would be likely to prejudice the prevention of crime by enabling or encouraging the commission of offences.

(The statutory duties with regard to provision of welfare funerals is currently being reviewed by the South London Legal Partnership (as at December 2015). When the review is finished then the information on these pages will be updated as appropriate.)