Memorandum by Chepping Wycombe Parish
Council (CEM 31)
This Council owns three cemeteries: one adjoining
a closed churchyard in Tylers Green which has only a few spaces
left for cremated remains, a recently opened one close to our
offices in Cock Lane, Tylers Green, and a third at Loudwater.
The Council is fortunate in having had far-sighted
councillors in the past who purchased land so that we now have
large enough cemeteries to last many years. They are open to residents
and non-residents of the Parish and have taken over from the churches
at Loudwater and Tylers Green whose graveyards are closed. The
Parish Council is responsible for the care and maintenance of
these graveyards as well as the cemeteries.
The Council has three groundsmen who maintain
the cemeteries as part of their work. The site at Cock Lane has
been open for about 10 years. It adjoins woodland owned by the
Parish and used extensively by local residents. An area has been
prepared for burials, but the rest of the site is maintained as
a nature reserve, in keeping with its surroundings.
The cemetery at Altona Road, Loudwater was opened
in 1927. There are over 1,700 grave spaces and about 700 are still
vacant. The adjoining land is kept as allotments and for grazing.
The site has some landscaping.
The Council does not put any restriction on
the type or style of memorials, which is much appreciated by the
bereaved. We are often contacted by people tracing their family
histories or who have lost touch.
The main problem experienced by the Council
is the ongoing care and maintenance of the memorials. The plots
are purchased in perpetuity so, in theory, the owner is responsible
for making sure the headstone is secure, and the capping on the
grave is sealed. However, we can rarely trace the family and so
the cost has to be borne by the Council.
We realise that we have a duty of care under
the Health & Safety legislation to ensure that visitors to
our cemeteries are not put in danger, but it is clearly going
to be expensive. The fees we charge for burials do not include
an amount for continuing maintenance and this may have to be reflected
in our future charges.
B C Day
Clerk of the Council