A POSSIBLE merger of coroner's offices will be considered by councils.

North Yorkshire County Council and City of York Council say the proposed merger from three to two offices would improve standards, and the Executives of both will look at options at meetings this month.

The Chief Coroner and Ministry of Justice suggested the merging of small coroner areas to create larger ones across England and Wales to improve consistency and standards across regions, with any mergers expected to come into effect by April 2020.

Cllr Carl Les, North Yorkshire County Council’s leader said: "We believe a merger should result in a more resilient and consistent service for bereaved people.

"However, a merger would not mean that inquests would be centralised. Given the size of the area our view is that there would continue to be a need for inquests to be held in various towns within North Yorkshire as well as York."

A previous proposal to merge York with Hull and East Riding was refused by the York Coroner, North Yorkshire Police and councillors.

Councillor Ian Gillies, leader of City of York Council, said: "It has been suggested by the Chief Coroner that having larger coroner’s areas can improve the support provided and increase the capacity and consistency of the support available. Hopefully this can be achieved with the possible merging with North Yorkshire."