Memorandum by Southport CrematoriumCemeteries
Memorials, information, unusual occupations,
Flora, fauna, tree age, protection and conservation.
Religions, Christianity, Jewish, Muslim, etc.
Epitaphs, design, inscriptions.
Dealing with death, bereavement process.
Feelings of loss and sadness.
Prompt to sharing concerns.
The increasing use of contractors to dig graves
and maintain the cemeteries has resulted in a lack of interested
staff on site and increased vandalism and misuse of cemeteries.
Vandalism, neglect and lack of controls relating
to authorising stonemasons' work has led to memorials becoming
Many cemetery lodges, chapels and buildings
are old, badly maintained, derelict and well below the required
standards for other Council buildings and housing. Some are listed
and some have been listed after they have fallen into disrepair.
THE DETR AND
Water, drainage, waste management.
H & S Exec
Listed buildings and memorials.
Change in law to allow for re-use of old gravesdig
Many cemeteries are experiencing shortage of
Land and planning for new burial grounds is
not easily available.
West Lancashire has run out a new burial space
but has granted planning permission to a private company to develop
a crematorium and burial ground.
Compulsory Competitive Tendering brought about
the contracting out of cemetery maintenance and grave digging.
If specification had been expertly drawn up, this could have been
a vast improvement, however, in reality, standards have slipped,
training is lacking, as is commitment and interest.
Where management are active, qualified members
of the Institute of Burial and Cremation, there is a greater awareness
of the requirements and legalities relating to Cemetery services.
The cemeteries seem to have become the Cinderella
service within local authorities, with most investment going to
Crematoria and other Council services. Management appears to be
better balanced in Joint Committees and Boards, where funding
is ploughed back into the service.
Fees and charges should be realistically set,
based on costs and not on annual inflation. Local Authority Cemeteries
should be funded from taxes and income and kept to a high standard,
as in the private sector.
Heritage lottery grants should be made available
for the repair and maintenance of listed buildings, memorials
Burial chambers are widely used in Europe, both
below and above the ground. This could be the way forward in Britain
to facilitate re-use of graves, exhumation, safety, drainage,
manpower charges and memorial stability.
Liaison with primary schools is recommended
to encourage participation in projects. This not only addresses
many areas of the curriculum but also encourages respect and proper
use of cemeteries later on.