WHETHER a merger of local authorities is feasible when it comes to the work of HM Coroner will be explored before a new appointment is made.

The jurisdiction of Swansea and Neath/Port Talbot’s assistant coroner, Paul Bennett, has been shifted to include Pembrokeshire following the resignation of HM Coroner Mark Layton in May.

Pembrokeshire County Council’s cabinet approved a report recommendation that consideration be given to exploring the amalgamation of the authorities before a senior coroner for the county is appointed.

This follows guidance from the Chief Coroner that asks that council consider if the Coroner jurisdiction of Pembrokeshire and Carmarthenshire should be amalgamated with another coroner area.

Head of legal and democratic services Claire Incledon said the council must consider if the amalgamation is “appropriate and justify whatever decision it reaches.”

“Consent to the appointment of a permanent Senior Coroner will not be given until the issue of amalgamation of Coroner areas is fully considered, hence the reason for this interim appointment,” a report to cabinet on Monday (September 14) adds.

Approval was given for Mrs Incledon to “take the necessary steps required to address the issue of amalgamation of the Pembrokeshire and Carmarthenshire Coroner area with another Coroner area, as required and in accordance with the directions of the Chief Coroner, Lord Chancellor/Ministry of Justice.”

A further report will then be brought back to cabinet.

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