Coroners' areas to merge

Burnley Magistrates' Court, where inquests are currently held
Burnley Magistrates' Court, where inquests are currently held

The coroners’ areas of West and East Lancashire are set to be merged.

Standard, short inquests, usually held on Tuesdays in Burnley Magistrates’ Court, will continue to be held there.

It is felt that a merger between the two coroner areas would support the Chief Coroner’s aim for a coroner area to deal with a minimum of 3,000 deaths per year and reduce the number of part-time senior coroners. Support for both coroners is already provided by one central office based in Preston and West Lancashire.

Lancashire County Council will write to the Lord Chancellor to request a merger between the two areas.

Mr Richard Taylor, the current East Lancashire Coroner, would take the role of Area Coroner.

He said: “My officers will continue to be based at Burnley General Hospital and the majority of inquests will still be held in Burnley. However, longer, more complex inquests will be held at the purpose-built Preston Coroner’s Court so that we can take advantage of the readily available digital technology.”