YORK and North Yorkshire have the same coroner for the first time in many years

Jonathan Heath has been appointed senior coroner for the city and both the coroner areas for the county.

He had previously been acting senior coroner for York, working alongside the acting senior coroner for North Yorkshire, Rob Turnbull.

Mr Turnbull retired earlier this summer.

Inquests for the county have continued under Mr Heath.

He has also been holding inquests for York as he reduces the backlog caused by the pandemic.

Currently inquests are being held up to three days a week, with several listed morning and afternoon.

Now City of York Council has formally appointed Mr Heath as senior coroner for its area and North Yorkshire County Council has formally appointed him to its eastern and western coroner's areas.

Both appointments started on Wednesday.

At the start of the century, each of the areas had their own coroner.

A statement issued through HM Courts and Tribunal Service said: "The appointment to three coroner areas is made on the basis that these areas are likely to be merged in due course (subject to a public consultation, the will of parliament and the formal agreement of the respective local authorities).

"The Chief Coroner wishes Jonathan every success in his new post."

The courts and tribunal service has been gradually setting up a team of senior coroners each responsible for large areas and leading a team of assistant coroners.

All inquests for York and North Yorkshire are currently being held at the former Northallerton Magistrates Court.