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(1)It shall be the duty of a local authority to cause to be buried or cremated the body of any person who has died or been found dead in their area, in any case where it appears to the authority that not suitable arrangements for the disposal of the body have been or are being made otherwise than by the authority.
(2)Any council which is the local authority for the purposes of the M1Local Authority Social Services Act 1970 may cause to be buried or cremated the body of any deceased person who immediately before his death was being provided with accommodation under Part III of the M2National Assistance Act 1948 by, or by arrangement with, the council or was living in a hostel provided by the council under section 29 of that Act.
(3)An authority shall not cause a body to be cremated under subsection (1) or (2) above where they have reason to believe that cremation would be contrary to the wishes of the deceased.
(4)Subsections (1) and (2) above do not affect any enactment regulating or authorising the burial, cremation or anatomical examination of the body of a deceased person.
(5)An authority may recover from the estate of the deceased person or from any person who for the purposes of the M3National Assistance Act 1948 was liable to maintain the deceased person immediately before his death expenses incurred under subsection (1) or subsection (2) above, . . . F1.
(6)Without prejudice to any other method of recovery, a sum due to an authority under subsection (5) above is recoverable summarily as a civil debt by proceedings brought within three years after the sum becomes due.
(7)The Secretary of State may cause such inquiries to be held as he may deem necessary or desirable for the purposes of this section.
(8)The Secretary of State may by order made by statutory instrument direct that this section, in its application to the Isles of Scilly, shall have effect subject to exceptions, adaptations and modifications.
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