Search

Increase in pauper’s funerals in Great Yarmouth

PUBLISHED: 07:00 20 August 2017 | UPDATED: 18:39 20 August 2017

The number of public health/national assistance funerals in Norfolk and parts of Suffolk organised and paid for by borough councils across the region over the past seven years. Picture: ARCHANT

The number of public health/national assistance funerals in Norfolk and parts of Suffolk organised and paid for by borough councils across the region over the past seven years. Picture: ARCHANT

Archant

More council-funded funerals are held in the Great Yarmouth area, compared with other areas of Norfolk and Suffolk figures reveal.

Sergiusz Meges who was killed in St Stephen's underpass in Norwich. Photo: The Peoples' Picnic/Facebook Sergiusz Meges who was killed in St Stephen's underpass in Norwich. Photo: The Peoples' Picnic/Facebook

Between April 2016-17, Great Yarmouth Borough Council paid for 58 national assistance funerals which cost the authority £65,844, according to an EDP Freedom of Information request.

The figures also reveal a six-fold increase in the number of council-funded funerals in the Yarmouth area, compared with 2010/11 figures.

National assistance or Public Health Act funerals take place when a person dies and nobody else can make arrangements for a burial or cremation.

Local councils have a responsibility, under the Public Health Act, to make arrangements in such cases.

A spokesman for Great Yarmouth Borough Council said: “Lack of money is not the sole reason why suitable arrangements might not be in place.

“Public Health Act funerals fluctuate from year to year, however generally Great Yarmouth Borough Council undertakes more such funerals than other Norfolk authorities because the James Paget University Hospital is within the local authority boundary. Legally, it is the local authority area where the person dies which is significant in determining which district council is responsible, not where the person normally lives, so Great Yarmouth is often responsible for Public Health Act funerals for patients from Waveney, Norwich, South Norfolk and further afield.”

The Yarmouth council recovers about half of the costs it spends on these funerals each financial year.

Figures from other councils reveal:

Norwich City Council held 14 national assistance funerals in 2016 and has so far held 17 in 2017;

Waveney and Suffolk district councils organised nine from April 2016-17;

North Norfolk District Council held eight in 2016 and has so far held seven in 2017;

Borough Council of King’s Lynn and West Norfolk held 11 in 2016 and has so far held 6 in 2017;

Broadland District Council held nine in 2016 and has so far held six in 2017;

South Norfolk District Council held five in 2016 and has so far held one in 2017;

Breckland District Council held three from April 2016-2017.

Norwich City Council pay for funeral of murdered homeless victim Sergiusz Meges

Homeless murder victim Sergiusz Meges was one of the dozens of people to receive a Public Health Act funeral.

The body of Mr Meges, known as Sergio, 29, was found in Norwich’s St Stephen’s underpass on June 10, 2015.

His death was initially treated as unexplained but forensic inquiries revealed fatal injuries.

A murder inquiry was launched which resulted in the arrest of two men.

But no further action was taken against the men, both from the Norwich area.

An inquest into his death revealed that the Polish national was found with splenic lacerations.

He was known to have had previous addresses in both Norwich and Thetford, but had been homeless in Norwich at the time of his death.

Anyone who could assist with inquiries into Mr Meges’ death should call Norfolk Police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

Other news

Yesterday, 21:26

Born in 1868 Prince Frederick Duleep Singh was the son of Maharajah Dueelp Singh, the last king of the Punjab, and grew up on the Elveden Estate.

Yesterday, 16:17

Snow could be on its way to Norfolk on Sunday as the temperatures plummet to below freezing overnight.

Yesterday, 11:21

A damning dossier compiled by a senior whistleblower from the region’s ambulance trust has claimed at least 40 patients died or were harmed due to delays over Christmas and New Year - including one person who froze to death.

Yesterday, 11:05

A consumer group has said two Norfolk postcodes are among the worst in the country for cash machine provision.

Most Read

Yesterday, 08:55

A man has been arrested after driving a stolen tractor through a town centre.

Read more
Monday, May 22, 2017

Former pupils of a Watton high school are being urged to join a new alumni group to help current students achieve their career aspirations.

Read more
Glen Allott
Saturday, March 11, 2017

A company was today fined £50,000 after a man suffocated while working in a grain silo on his father’s farm.

Read more
Norwich Crown Court
Monday, January 25, 2016

It is a shocking murder mystery which has kept a community wondering for more than 40 years.

Read more

An attempt to revive a Breckland heritage site has failed after dwindling visitor numbers forced the owners to close the attraction.

Read more

Local Weather

Snow

Snow

max temp: 3°C

min temp: 3°C

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Watton and Swaffham Times e-edition today
E-edition

Show Job Lists

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter