23 January 2015

Scarborough Borough Council: We Hold No Information About Savile Exhumation Plans

Jimmy Savile

Secret plans are in place for the exhumation of prolific child sex offender Jimmy Savile, according to recent reports in the Sunday Express.

However, an investigation conducted by FOI By Proxy would appear cast the significance of those plans into doubt - assuming they really do exist.

The body of Savile is encased in a reinforced concrete tomb, which is buried overlooking the sea in Scarborough's Woodlands Cemetery. The cemetery is owned and maintained by Scarborough Borough Council.

Savile's ghastly £4,000 headstone was removed shortly after his burial, amid concerns that protestors would vandalise his grave.

According to the Sunday Express article: "Removing the coffin would take much longer and involve closing the graveyard for two days, the council plans show."

FOI By Proxy made a request to Scarborough Borough Council for all information held in relation to planned exhumation of Savile's body, as reported by the Sunday Express on 6th January.

A Scarborough Borough Council spokesman told us, quite unequivocally, that the Council "does not hold any information in relation to the exhumation, cremation and subsequent relocation of Jimmy Savile's remains".

On the basis of that request it would appear that any plans seen by the Sunday Express have not been made available to the local authority, which casts some doubt on the accuracy of the piece.

It seems unlikely plans to exhume Savile's remains would be made without at least notifying the authority responsible for the cemetery.

Our Reference:
2015-001

Public Authority:
Scarborough Borough Council

Request by FOI By Proxy (sent 18th January 2015):
Dear Scarborough Borough Council,
I am making this request under the terms of section 1 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.
The remains of Jimmy Savile are buried at Scarborough Woodlands Cemetery.
Recent press reports indicate that plans have been drawn up for the exhumation, cremation and subsequent relocation of Savile's remains.
Under the terms of the Act, please provide all information produced or held by Scarborough Borough Council that mentions or relates to the planned exhumation, cremation and subsequent relocation of Savile's remains.

In accordance with section 11 of the Act, please provide your response in electronic format to the return email address associated with this request.

Please also note that your response will be published on our website.

Yours faithfully,

[Name]
On behalf of FOI By Proxy

Response by Scarborough Borough Council (received 19th January 2015):
The Borough Council does not hold any information in relation to the exhumation, cremation and subsequent relocation of Jimmy Savile's remains.

Supporting Material:
Material supporting this request can be viewed here.

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