Public funerals

Where there are no friends or relatives willing or able to make funeral arrangements, your local Council might be able to help under the Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984. If an individual passes away and there are no friends or relatives in a position to organise a funeral, the Council can handle the process as a last resort.

Arrangements are made with a local funeral director in line with a contracted agreement and will involve a burial in a common grave. Where it is possible, the Council will recover costs from the deceased’s estate. In addition to the funeral charge, there is also the Council’s administration fee that will be reclaimed.

A public funeral carried out by Broadland District or South Norfolk Councils follows these guidelines;

  • memorials, marker crosses, fencing, shrubs and potted plants are not permitted on common graves and will be removed by the Cemetery department
  • no minister attends at the time of burial
  • no music or hymns are played
  • under no condition are balloon releases allowed on Cemetery grounds
  • friends or relatives can stay behind once the funeral director and bearers leave if they wish to pay their respects

You will need to contact your local council before any arrangements are made. Any costs from arrangements made before our involvement will not be our responsibility.

To contact your local council about a public funeral, please email us using the links below.

Email Broadland Council

Email South Norfolk Council

What do I do if the Council is closed?

If a death occurs out of office hours and you cannot keep the deceased in your care, please contact our agreed Funeral Directors directly. You will then have to contact the Council for further instructions when we re-open.  You should then contact the Council on the next working day (Monday - Friday, 8.30am-5pm).

We currently have an agreed contract with East of England Co-Op Funeral Services who will be able to take the deceased into their care. Their contact details are;

Co-Op Norwich Funeral Directors
01603 625495

Public funeral register

  • We keep details of the funerals undertaken by South Norfolk and Broadland District Councils using a register of information that is accessable to the public. All funeral arrangements are made in line with the Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984.

    View our public funeral registers