North Lincolnshire’s coroner area is set to be merged with Grimsby and Greater Lincolnshire coroner areas in a move that will streamline the service and give better support to bereaved families.
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 1 April, pending parliamentary approval.
The new area will become one of the largest and busiest in the country and enable the service to work consistently across the whole of Greater Lincolnshire.
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.
Larger coronial areas are believed to be more effective, allowing work to be managed more efficiently.
Cllr Rob Waltham, leader, North Lincolnshire Council, said: “I welcome the decision by the Ministry of Justice to have a coroner’s service that spans the whole of Greater Lincolnshire.
“Working in this way will help us provide a joined up, more efficient service that avoids unnecessary duplication and gives consistency to relatives.
“This merger dovetails with our vision of a unified Greater Lincolnshire, sharing and co-operating over resources and services that benefit us all.”
Cllr Elaine Marper, cabinet member for governance at North Lincolnshire Council, said: “The needs of bereaved families will be at the centre of this merger, giving them a consistent, supportive service while fulfilling a very necessary role.”