Members heard from the Housing and Enforcement Manager regarding a report that sought to provide the Committee with information relating to Public Health Funerals and seeking approval on the proposed policy for this work area. It was explained that under section 46(1) of the Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984 it was the duty of a local authority to cause to be buried or cremated the body of any person who had died or been found dead in their area, in any case where it appeared to the authority that no suitable arrangements for the disposal of the body had been or were being made otherwise than by the authority. This function was delivered by Officers within the licensing work area and any costs recovered contributed to reducing the overall costs incurred by carrying out the work. Since 2000, there had been 66 Public Health Funerals carried out by the Council, which equated to an average of three per year. The Council had not previously had a policy to set out its position in regards to this function and the report sought approval to implement a policy to influence future decisions made by the Council and its delegated officers.
Members of the Committee thanked the Officer for the report and extended thanks to those Officers who undertook the related work when the need arose. There was discussion regarding the wording in the policy to differentiate between monetary value and personal, or non-monetary, value and it was agreed that these terms would be consistent throughout the policy. Members were supportive of the introduction of the policy and, having been moved and seconded, it was
a) the proposed Public Health Funerals Policy be approved; and
b) any future minor policy amendments be delegated to the Chief Executive in consultation with the Chairman of Prosperous Communities Committee.