Hampshire coroners services set to merge

CORONERS services in Portsmouth will merge with the rest of Hampshire.

Existing services in Portsmouth and South East Hampshire, Southampton, Central and New Forest and North East Hampshire will be combined following a decision made at a Portsmouth cabinet meeting on Tuesday.

It is thought the move would save Portsmouth City Council £25,000. A second proposal, to merge with the Isle of Wight, was predicted to save £15,000.

Council leader Gerald Vernon-Jackson said: 'It seems sensible that we go with the Hampshire model. The needs of families and the people who have died need to be at the centre of this and we have had the reassurance that will be so.’

It comes following the planned retirement of three senior coroners this year.

Portsmouth families will use the service as usual – including the Guildhall Square court for inquests.