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Cremation: Standards

Volume 488: debated on Wednesday 25 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice with reference to the Answer to the hon. Member for Brentwood and Ongar (Mr. Pickles) of 25 November 2008, Official Report, columns 1291-12W on Department for Constitutional Affairs Cemetery and Burials Advisory Group, and the minutes of the meeting of the Advisory Board on 25 February 2008, what assessment has been made of the adequacy of supply of (a) coffins, (b) crematorium services and (c) funeral services in the event of pandemic influenza. (258021)

Following the Advisory Group meeting on 25 February 2008, the Home Office published ‘Planning for a Possible Influenza Pandemic: A Framework for Planners Preparing to Manage Deaths’ on 22 May. This provides guidance for local planners on providing cremation and funeral services in these circumstances. We have since been working with representatives of the funeral industry and coffin manufacturers to explore existing supply arrangements and options to increase capacity if necessary. This work continues.