Published Thursday 29 June 2017 at 14:26
Proposals have been put forward to join-up Coroners Services in Lancashire, to provide a consistent service to bereaved families.
Lancashire County Council and Blackburn with Darwen Council have put forward proposals to the Lord Chancellor that the jurisdictions of West Lancashire, Blackburn and Darwen and East Lancashire be merged to provide a consistent and an improved service to bereaved families.
The proposal was triggered by the retirement of Mr Michael Singleton, Senior Coroner for Blackburn and Darwen after more than two decades of service.
Formal consultation on the proposal will be undertaken shortly by the Ministry of Justice but in the interim, Dr James Adeley will be Acting Senior Coroner for Blackburn with Darwen with effect from Saturday, July 1st, 2017 until such time as the merger is approved.
It is hoped that the merger will be approved before the end of 2017.
The Councils have ensured that services will continue to be provided locally in both Blackburn and Darwen and East Lancashire. The enlarged service will make use of improved technology to ensure administration of deaths are handled efficiently.
It is proposed that the new jurisdiction will be called Lancashire with Blackburn and Darwen and will be headed by Dr James Adeley as Senior Coroner, with the assistance of two Area Coroners, Mr Richard Taylor and Mr James Newman. Mr Taylor is currently the Senior Coroner in East Lancashire and brings 16 years of experience to the role. Mr Newman has been an Assistant Coroner in Derbyshire for three years and has experience of handling complex cases.
Dr James Adeley, HM Coroner for Lancashire said:
By working together, these two councils have ensured that strong services continue to be provided locally in both Blackburn with Darwen, and East Lancashire.
The larger service will make use of improved technology to ensure administration of deaths are handled efficiently. This includes a new Coroner’s database, ensuring that documentation is provided and shared electronically via secure sites, and the potential to use CT scanning, rather than the more traditional post mortem.
I’d like to acknowledge the long service given by Mike Singleton to the bereaved families of Blackburn, Darwen, Hyndburn and Ribble Valley. We will build on the foundations laid by Mr Singleton and wish him well in his retirement.”