Assisted Funerals

Public Health Funerals

Our statutory duty

Tendring District Council has a statutory obligation to undertake Public Health Funerals in accordance with the duty placed on them under Section 46 of the Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984. This duty ensures the cremation or burial of the body of any person who has died or is found to be dead within the Tendring District; where it appears that no suitable arrangements have been or are being made. In addition to this the undertaking of PHF’s also take place where there is no known next of kin, or the next of kin are unwilling or unable to undertake the funeral arrangements or if there are no financial means to pay for the funeral and the deceased has not left a valid will.

Arrange a Public Health Funeral

Tendring District Council has a nominated funeral director and if any person other than this funeral director is asked to make arrangements, the Council cannot be responsible for any costs incurred up to that point.

The Council will not be able to make funeral arrangements in cases where the deceased left a will and the executor is traced; in these circumstances the executor would be expected to organise the funeral. If the executor wishes to revoke their duties, they must make a formal renunciation of the will and declare that they wish to have no further involvement in the funeral arrangements.

The service for Public Health Funerals that is provided by Tendring District Council is undertaken by our nominated Funeral Director and is a basic service.  Please note attendance to the service is limited and is under the discretion of the Lead Officer. This is to ensure that whilst we are conforming to the requirements of the applicable legislation, the incurred costs are also kept to a minimum.

Cremated remains will be strewn in the Garden of Remembrance at Weeley Crematorium unless it is established that the religion of the deceased forbids cremation or the deceased expressed a wish to be buried.

In exceptional circumstances, we may give the cremated remains into the care of a close family member or re-unite them with the remains of a previously deceased close family member.

Burials will take place within a burial ground located within the District; should the deceased own a burial plot, they will be laid to rest there.   In other circumstances the deceased will be buried within the public section of the Local Authority burial ground (Burrs Road Cemetary)

Financial help with a funeral 

Before making contact with the Local Authority to discuss a Public Health Funeral, avenues to assist with funeral costs should be looked into.  With funeral costs high and rising, many people faced with a sudden loss can struggle to find an affordable send off for their loved ones.  If you need financial assistance, you may find these contacts useful.

Funeral Expenses Payment - The Department for Work and Pensions offers funeral support for those on low incomes (link is external), if living relatives are unable to pay for the funeral.

For more information or to make a claim, call the Bereavement Service helpline, Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm:

Telephone: 0800 731 0469

Down to Earth is a charitable organisation that can offer advice and assistance to those having difficulty arranging or paying for a funeral (link is external).

Telephone: 0208 983 5055

Reclaiming costs

The Council is also able to recover their costs involved in making the funeral arrangements from the estate of the deceased. (i.e. their property and possessions) and have statutory authorisation to enter a property owned / occupied by the deceased in order to locate information on the estate and to remove any items or assets which may assist in funding the funeral.  We will recover the cost of the funeral, together with administration costs, from the estate. If necessary, we can sell any belongings of the deceased in order to offset these costs.

When all costs are known, and if the value of the estate exceeds the cost of the funeral, the Treasury Solicitor will be informed. ‘Bona Vacantia’ estates (link is external).

Freedom of Information

This list shows the names of deceased persons for whom funerals were organised by Tendring District Council under The Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984.  This list is updated regularly.

Public Health Funeral List - Public Register 2021

Public Health Funeral List - Public Register 2020

Public Health Funeral List – Public Register 2019

Tendring District Council does not provide additional information about deceased persons given Public Health Funerals, because we consider that Section 31(1)(a) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 applies to this information.

Section 31 states that information is exempt from release under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 if to provide the information would, or would be likely, to prejudice the prevention or detection of crime.

For further advice and guidance on Public Health Funerals, please contact:

Environmental Protection Team

88-90 Pier Avenue

Clacton on Sea


CO15 1TN

Telephone: (01255) 686767

Last updated on: 14/01/2022 - 13:32