Public Health Funerals

There are occasions when someone dies and there are no relatives or friends to arrange a funeral. When no suitable arrangements are being made, Barrow Borough Council may provide assistance in the burial of the deceased person.

When does Barrow Borough Council arrange funerals?

Occasionally, Barrow Borough Council receives referrals where individuals have died with no known next of kin, or where there may not be anyone to make funeral arrangements on their behalf. In these cases Barrow Borough Council may be requested to make funeral arrangements on behalf of the individual.

This duty falls under the Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984 section 46(1). The act requires the Council to arrange a burial for a person who has died within the district of Barrow In Furness where no suitable funeral arrangements have been or are being made.

What service does Barrow Borough Council provide?

In these circumstances the funeral arrangements will be made with the undertakers contracted by the Council, it is therefore important that the Council is notified prior to arrangements being made with another undertaker.

The Council will arrange a basic graveside funeral service, this includes the placing of a notice in the press, however this will not include the provision of flowers or transport (other than the hearse). The funeral ceremony will be conducted as far as possible with the deceased's beliefs, with a simple service being held at Barrow cemetery.  

If the deceased has left any money in a bank / building society, from an insurance policy or pensions, this will be used towards the funeral expenses. The Council may also recover funeral expenses through the sale of individuals personal belongings. We also claim £300 from the estate for officers time and attention. 

In cases where there are assets that exceed the cost of the funeral, and where there are no other bills outstanding, any money left will go to the Estates Group within the Bona Vacantia (small receipts) Division of the Treasury Solicitor (Farrer & Co, London), in accordance with the rules set down by the Secretary of State. For more information and to view the Treasury Solicitor's Estates register, please follow this link Bona Vacantia.

Which funerals have we arranged?

list of public health funerals carried out by Barrow Borough Council is available here, and is updated every quarter.

This list contains the individuals date of death, age, gender, confirmation of burial, funeral cost and whether the case was referred to the Treasury Solicitor. This list does not contain the individuals first name, surname, date of birth or last known address. This information is withheld to prevent crime and fraud.

Should you wish to further discuss Public Health Funerals within Barrow Borough Council, please contact Public Protection Services on 01229 876543.

Environmental Protection Section, 
Public Protection Services,
Barrow-in-Furness Borough Council,
Town Hall, 
Duke Street, 
Cumbria LA14 2LD.