Milton Keynes Council Public Health Act Funerals

CONDITIONS APPLIED FOR FUNERALS CARRIED OUT UNDER SECTION 46 OF THE PUBLIC HEALTH (CONTROL OF DISEASE) ACT 1984

When a person dies within the Milton Keynes Council area and there is no one available to take responsibility for the funeral, under Section 46 of the Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984, Milton Keynes Council may arrange the funeral.

The Council would not usually undertake these arrangements if there was a next of kin, or if the next of kin was in receipt of benefits as the Department of Work and Pensions would pay for a very basic funeral.

If the deceased was an ex-soldier (RAF & Royal Navy) and had been receiving a War Disablement Pension (or something similar) AND their cause of death as shown on the Death Certificate was mainly related to the reason they received the War Disablement Pension, then there may be a payment made towards the funeral from Veterans UK.

The Council is empowered under the Act to recover any sums of money due or belonging to the deceased and to sell any belongings of the deceased in order to help recover the cost of the funeral. Any shortfall would be borne by the Council.

The Council will not become involved if funeral arrangements have already been made or the funeral has already taken place. Anyone giving instructions to a firm of funeral directors is responsible for any costs incurred.

The funeral will be a cremation unless the deceased had expressed a preference for burial or it is ascertained that due to religious beliefs a burial is necessary. A dignified funeral will be provided with a coffin which will be of a respectable. The general manner of the funeral is such that an ordinary observer could not differentiate between this and any other funeral service.

After the funeral and other costs incurred in arranging the funeral have been deducted and if there were no other bills outstanding, money left in the deceased’s estate would go to the treasury solicitor in accordance with their guidelines for referring estates in Bona Vacantia cases.

Please click for Register of Funerals (PDF, 11KB) arranged by Milton Keynes Council.

Please see our Bereavement Services homepage

Freedom of Information Requests

We are frequently asked for information relating to Public Health Funerals carried out by this authority where a person dies with no known next of kin and referrals made in relation to these to the Treasury Solicitor or Duchy of Lancaster or Cornwall. In response to the large number of requests we receive, we are releasing the information regarding Public Health Funerals we have carried out quarterly.

Exemption of updated information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000

The provision of updated information for each quarter will be exempted under Section 22 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 as it is information we hold with the intention of publishing at a future date as specified above.

Exemption of Additional Information under The Freedom of Information Act 2000

In accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000 names and addresses have been redacted or withheld under the following two exemptions:

Section 21: Information Reasonably accessible to the Applicant by Another Means.

The Council’s reason for applying for this exemption is that details or all deaths within Milton Keynes are registered. Please click here for Milton Keynes Registry Office

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. Details of estates which have been passed to the Treasury Solicitor can be accessed on the Government Legal Department website. You can also visit the Bona Vacantia website.

Section 31: Law Enforcement

Revealing details of the assets of an estate before the Government Legal Department have undertaken their own enquiries would provide an opportunity for a criminal act to take place, such as theft or fraud. There would also be concerns regarding disclosure of the deceased last known address as the property is likely to be unoccupied and may still contain the personal effects of the deceased.

Taking into account these issues, the Council considers that there is no overriding public interest in releasing this information. Any public interest would best be served by upholding the exemption under Section 31 as the disclosure of the information would be likely to prejudice the prevention of crime by enabling or encouraging the commission of offences.

Last Updated: 31 October 2019