Select Committee on Environment, Transport and Regional Affairs Memoranda

Memorandum by the Federation of British Cremation Authorities (CEM 21)

  In response to the request for information on the above, the Federation of British Cremation Authorities would wish to make comment but only in respect of crematoria and their grounds.

  Many crematoria and cemeteries provide a combined service in a single location making them inextricably linked. They may, perhaps, have a single chapel for both burial and cremation services or a common approach for both entry and exit from the grounds, thus creating a situation where parts of the service provision overlap.

  All crematoria have Gardens of Remembrance ranging in size from, perhaps, a few acres to 20 acres, or more. In many of the major towns and cities, crematoria and their gardens will be located in urban areas providing urban green space and enhancing the amenity of the area. Part of the objective of Gardens of Remembrance is the provision of areas for the disposal of cremated remains and the provision of memorial facilities. However, the layout of gardens ranges from formal to informal including woodland areas and water features. In addition to providing for the needs of the bereaved, the gardens will offer varying levels of value as wildlife habitats and can be of both ecological and educational importance.

  The very nature of the gardens is to provide facilities for the bereaved and to be a focal point for the mourning process and it is therefore important that the standards of maintenance are high and fulfil the expectations of the bereaved.

  The Federation has a policy of self policing its member authorities by undertaking inspections and ensuring compliance with its Code of Cremation Practice. There is a feedback of comment to the Chief Executive of the Cremation Authority which would include comment, where necessary, on the condition of the grounds.

  Crematoria are required to comply with the Process Guidance Notes, PG5/2 (95), made under the Environmental Protection Act 1990. The effect of the Act is to regulate emissions to air and it requires continuous monitoring of this. The Guidance Notes are currently under review and the Federation is liasing with the DETR regarding this matter.

  The number of cremations undertaken annually in Britain is approximately 446,000. Without the provision of crematoria, the amount of land used for burial purposes, in addition to that currently used, would be approximately 300 acres per year, calculated on the basis of two interments for each grave space.

Bernard McHale


December 2000

previous page contents next page

House of Commons home page Parliament home page House of Lords home page search page enquiries index

© Parliamentary copyright 2001
Prepared 29 March 2001