FOI request (FOIR-304362178)
Requested Thu 04 February 2021
Responded Thu 04 March 2021
I am writing to request information under the Freedom of Information Act. I am looking for information about public health funerals, also known as paupers' funerals.
Please could you provide me with the following:
1. How many public health funerals were carried out by the council in the financial years 2020/21 (up to and including all of January 2021), 2019/20 and 2018/19? Please could you break this figure down year-by-year?
2. How much has the council spent on public health funerals it has carried out in the financial years 2020/21 (up to and including all of January 2021), 2019/20 and 2018/19? Please could you break this figure down year-by-year?
If possible, for those public health funerals carried out by the council in the financial years 2020/21 (up to and including all of January 2021) and 2019/20 please could the council state how many of those deceased individuals had COVID-19/coronavirus mentioned on their death certificate as one of the causes. Please could you break this figure down year-by-year?
3. Does the council allow family members or friends to attend public health funerals? If not, why?
4. In cases where the deceased person's body is cremated for a public health funeral, does the council return ashes to the family or friends? If not, why not? Does the council charge to return ashes to family or friends of the deceased where a public health funeral has taken place? If so, how much is charged and why?
If possible, please can you provide figures disclosing whether the deceased person who was given a public health funeral was cremated or buried? If the latter, please could you disclose whether they had their own grave or if they were buried in a shared grave? I would be grateful if you could break down these figures year-by-year for the financial years 2020/21 (up to and including all of January 2021), 2019/20 and 2018/19.
Please note, for the purposes of this request, a public health funeral is one provided by a local authority 'or people who have passed away and have no next of kin, or whose next of kin, relatives or friends are unable or unwilling to make the necessary arrangements for a funeral'. Under the Public Health Act (control of disease), local authorities have a statutory duty to arrange a burial or cremation 'where no suitable alternative arrangements are being made'.
Q1 - This information is available on our website via the following link: https://www.hastings.gov.uk/my-council/transparency/budgets/#funerals
2018-19 - £36,070
2019-20 - £43,850
2020-21 - £17,303 (up to end of Jan)
Q3 - Yes
We will return the ashes, no charge
We rarely have burials unless they are specifically required.
This year we had one in the Jewish section.
We do not use shared graves.
Freedom of Information