Taxpayers to pick up the tab for new mortuary

PUBLISHED: 02:49 11 January 2007 | UPDATED: 10:25 24 May 2010

COUNCIL taxpayers will be forced by Government to pay for a new mortuary thanks to a 70-year-old law. Greater storage is needed for dead bodies and space to carry out post mortems in North Somerset according to a report by council officers. In order to s

COUNCIL taxpayers will be forced by Government to pay for a new mortuary thanks to a 70-year-old law.Greater storage is needed for dead bodies and space to carry out post mortems in North Somerset according to a report by council officers. In order to stem the shortage Weston General Hospital was used as an overspill facility for the current Backfield's site, and processed up to 4000 bodies per year. Now North Somerset Council has been asked to pay an annual contribution towards a total cost of £854,000 for new facilities at Flax Bourton to help alleviate the situation.Until recently the Coroner's office was a Home Office concern and not the responsibility of the council.But secretary of state for the environment David Miliband has used an old Public Health law to force councils to foot the bill. Executive member for finance Mike Bell said: "It's a very important service but regulated and controlled by Government and council taxpayers have to pick up the bill. They should pick up the tab.

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