Public Health Funerals

The Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984 places a statutory duty on the District Council to make arrangements for registering the death and making funeral arrangements in cases where there are no known relatives or friends able to make the necessary arrangements.

The Council only has a duty in respect of those who have died within the East Herts Council District. The District Council only deals with those that die at home (or on the street). Hospitals and care homes make similar arrangements to the Council. Residents of the District who pass away in another area are not the responsibility of the District Council.

When involved the Council will contact a local funeral director to make arrangements. Because the Council is spending public money it must ensure that the arrangements it makes are cost effective whilst maintaining the dignity of the occasion. After the funeral the Council is obliged to attempt to recover its cost from the deceased's estate.

Getting help to pay for a funeral

The service is not provided in the form of a grant. So for example in the case of relatives of the deceased being willing to make their own funeral arrangements but being unable to fund them, East Herts Council will not act as a "topping up" agency. However if you or your partner are getting certain social security benefits you may be eligible for a grant from the government. Please read Hertfordshire County Council's - Bereavement and Benefits factsheet for more information.

The Funeral Expenses Payment from Department for Work and Pensions is a government scheme for people on a low income who are receiving certain benefits to help them pay for a funeral. Please visit GOV.UK for more information.

The Bereavement Support Payment is a government scheme available to those who have lost a spouse or civil partner. Please visit GOV.UK for more information.

For further information please contact Environmental Health on 01992531502.

Register of Public Health Funerals

The Public Health Funerals public register is reviewed (and if necessary) updated on a monthly basis. The information in the attachments below show public health burials and cremations where the deceased has been laid to rest. Ongoing cases will only be updated when the Council's involvement has concluded.

Requests received under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 for information on public health funerals will likely be directed to the register. Releasing information about 'last known addresses' into the public domain poses a security risk, as such properties are likely to be unoccupied and still contain the deceased's possessions. Therefore we will withhold disclosing such information until 12 months after the date of the funeral under Section 31(1)(a) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (prevention and detection of crime).

Details of the Public Health Funerals carried out since 2020 can be found on the Public Health Funerals Public Register (2020 - 2024).

For details of the Public Health Funerals carried out from 2009 to 2019, please see the Public Health Funerals Public Register (2009 - 2019).

If you would like records of previous years before this, please request via our contact us form.