Coroner’s services set to combine
The merger proposals have been approved by the Ministry of Justice and current HM senior coroner Paul Smith will become the HM senior coroner for Greater Lincolnshire from April 1, pending parliamentary approval.
The new area will become one of the largest and busiest in the country and officials say it will work more consistently and efficiently.
Coun Sue Woolley, executive councillor for registration and coroners at Lincolnshire County Council, said: “Times of bereavement are incredibly difficult for families. The coroner’s service is an important legal function, but also one that can give closure and peace to loved ones. By integrating the service over the whole of Greater Lincolnshire, we are ensuring that there is greater collaboration and a consistently high service for bereaved families.”
Coroners investigate all deaths where the cause is unknown, where there is reason to think the death may not be due to natural causes, or which need an inquiry for some other reason.
Coun Stephen Harness, Portfolio Holder for Finance, Resources and Assets at North East Lincolnshire Council welcomed the decision by the Ministry of Justice.
He said: “The merger will provide greater resilience and flexibility for the service, and reduce inquest waiting times.”
Coun Elaine Marper, cabinet member for governance at North Lincolnshire Council, said: “The needs of bereaved families will be at the centre of this merger.”