Under the Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984 the local authority 'must cause to be buried or cremated the body of any person who had died or been found dead in their area, in any case where it appears to the authority that no suitable arrangements for the disposal of the body have been or are being made otherwise than by the authority'.
In such cases, the Council will arrange and pay for a simple but respectful funeral to keep costs to a minimum.
Where the local authority has arranged and paid for the funeral, they may recover from the estate of the deceased person any expenses incurred.
The Council receives a large number of requests under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the FOI Act) where the enquirer seeks information about public health burials.
In order to reduce the amount of time taken dealing with these requests, basic details of all public health burials arranged by this Council since 1 January 2010 will be displayed on the website. (In most cases, this list will be updated within seven days from notification of death). In practice the Council deals with very few cases where there is no next of kin and where the case is subsequently referred to the Treasury Solicitor.
All deaths have to be registered with the Suffolk Registration and HM Coroners Services.