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Volume 487: debated on Thursday 5 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice if he will publish guidance to local authorities on (a) the length of time ashes should be retained by crematoria and (b) the methods to be used to dispose of ashes not claimed by the family of the deceased. (253654)

We currently have no plans to issue guidance on these issues. Regulation 30 of the Cremation (England and Wales) Regulations 2008, which came into force on 1 January, sets out the duties of cremation authorities in respect of the disposal of ashes. These are that the cremation authority must give the ashes to the applicant for cremation or someone nominated by the applicant for that purpose. If the applicant does not want the ashes and has not nominated anyone, the cremation authority must retain the ashes for burial or scattering within the crematorium grounds. The authority must not inter or scatter the ashes unless it has given 14 days’ notice of its intention to do so to the applicant.