Public Health Funerals

What is in this data? The data provides details of Public Health Funerals (also known as National Assistance Funerals) carried out by the Council under Section 46 of the Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984
Licence Our data is provided under the terms of the Open Government Licence.
Why we publish this type of data This dataset is produced in response to an increasing number of FOI requests for details of Public Health Funerals carried out by the Council.
How often is it published? There are relatively few public health funerals in this district and, therefore, we consider that publication of this information at half-yearly intervals is reasonable. The provision of updated information before the next planned update will be exempted under Section 22 of the FOI Act as it is information that we hold with the intention of publishing at some future date, as specified above.
What does each column mean?

For each funeral

  • Gender of the deceased
  • Date of death
  • Place of death (at town or village level)
  • Next of kin found (yes or no) - If possible the cost of the funeral is met out of the estate of the deceased, or from a spouse or a parent. If details of family are found they will be informed of the death and invited to make the funeral arrangements. If it is not possible to contact a spouse or a parent the cost will be met by the Council.
  • Type of funeral, cremation or burial
  • Details passed to the Treasury Solicitor (yes or no) - If the deceased left furniture or other personal effects, arrangements will be made for the disposal of these items and any money recovered offset against the cost of the funeral. When all costs are known and the value of the estate exceeds this, the Treasury Solicitor is informed
  • Funeral cost

We apply the following FOI exemptions to the release of any further information about public health funerals, people who have died with no known next of kin, bona vacantia estates and estates which have been referred to the Treasury Solicitor.

Section 21- Information Reasonably Accessible to the Applicant by Another Means.
The Council’s reason for applying this exemption is that details of all deaths within the district are registered. Name of the deceased, date of birth and exact place of death of the deceased can be found on the death certificate of the deceased. Certificates can be obtained from Somerset Heritage Centre, Brunel Way, Norton Fitzwarren, Taunton, TA2 6SF or can be requested online through Somerset County Council.

Information that the council holds 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 Treasury Solicitor’s website at or via the Bona Vacantia website at

Section 31 – Law Enforcement
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 the above issues, the council considers that there is no over-riding public interest in releasing this type of information. 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.

What formats are available?

pdf - which can be viewed as a document.

How to ask for more information If you have queries with any of the information listed in the data, please contact us on 01823 356309.