Public Health Funerals

There are occasions when someone dies and there are no relatives or friends to arrange a funeral. When no suitable arrangements are being made, Gwynedd Council may provide assistance in the burial or cremation of the deceased person.

When does Gwynedd Council arrange funerals? 

Occasionally, Gwynedd Council receives referrals where individuals have died with no known next of kin, or where there may not be anyone to make funeral arrangements on their behalf. In these cases Gwynedd Council may be requested to make funeral arrangements on behalf of the individual.

This duty falls under the Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984 section 46(1). The act requires the Council to arrange a cremation or a burial for a person who has died within Gwynedd where no suitable funeral arrangements have been or are being made.

What service does Gwynedd Council provide?

In these circumstances the funeral arrangements will be made with the undertakers nominated by the Council, it is therefore important that the Council is notified prior to arrangements being made with another undertaker.

If the deceased person has not made known their funeral preference to be buried or cremated, then a cremation will be arranged. However, the Council will always make every effort to meet the wishes of the deceased.

The Council will arrange a basic funeral service, this includes the placing of a notice in the press, however this will not include the provision of flowers or transport (other than the hearse). The funeral ceremony will be conducted as far as possible with the deceased's beliefs, with a simple service held at the Crematorium or at the appropriate cemetery.  

If the deceased has left any money in a bank / building society, from an insurance policy or pensions, this will be used towards the funeral expenses. The Council may also recover funeral expenses through the sale of individuals personal belongings.

In cases where there are assets that exceed the cost of the funeral, and where there are no other bills outstanding, any money left will go to the Estates Group within the Bona Vacantia (small receipts) Division of the Treasury Solicitor, in accordance with the rules set down by the Secretary of State. For more information and to view the Treasury Solicitor's Estates register, please follow this link Bona Vacantia.

Which funerals have we arranged? 

A list of public health funerals carried out by Gwynedd Council is available here, and is updated every quarter.

This list contains the individuals date of death, age, gender, confirmation of cremation or burial, funeral cost and whether the case was referred to the Treasury Solicitor. This list does not contain the individuals first name, surname, date of birth or last known address. This information is withheld to prevent crime and fraud.

Should you wish to further discuss Public Health Funerals within Gwynedd, please contact the Public Protection Department on 01766 771000.