Skip to main content

Public health funerals - further information

Easthampstead Park Cemetery and Crematorium

Steve Loudoun, chief officer for environment and public protection, said:

"We recognise the death of a loved one is a time for sensitivity and understanding and we would like to apologise for any confusion over the council’s policy on public health funerals that has arisen over the past few days.

“We’d like to assure our residents that all our cremations and burials are treated with the utmost respect and dignity regardless of how they are paid for. We are updating the policy information on our website as a priority to make it clearer so as to avoid further confusion.

“In response to press coverage on our public health funerals policy, which follows national guidance, below is a link to a document listing the questions raised in the media.

"The Times’ reporter claims to have recordings which suggest we breached this policy. We are committed to fully investigating any concerns raised; however, in this instance we were not afforded the opportunity to review the recordings despite requesting them. Therefore, we’re unable to fully investigate the claims made and the context in which the information was provided.

“We consider each case alongside the facts and in this instance we believe we outlined the facts based on our policy for if there is no known next of kin. We believe this was interpreted by the journalist to be taken as the standard approach to public health funerals, which is not the case. If evidence is produced which allows us to look in more detail at the case referenced, then we will of course investigate further.

"We have no desire to deny anyone, with a reasonable right, the opportunity to say farewell to a loved one." 

For more information, please read our Q&As.