The Government has announced that the Cremation (England and Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2016 have been laid before Parliament. They are subject to negative resolution and, if not disapproved, will come into effect on 1 October 2016. The Regulations introduce a statutory definition of ashes. They also remove the current requirement that cremation authorities must keep original paper records for two years, even though they have also made electronic copies of those records.
The Government also announced the establishment of a National Cremation Working Group made up of representatives from the cremation and funeral industries, voluntary organisations that support bereaved parents, medical professionals and other Government departments with an interest in cremation. The group’s first priority will be amending statutory application forms regarding options for disposal of ashes and bringing the cremation of foetuses of less than 24 weeks’ gestation into the remit of the Cremation Regulations.