Memorandum by the Home Office and the
Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions (CEM
1. Central government responsibility for
cemeteries (and crematoria) within England is shared. The Home
Secretary is responsible for burial and cremation law, and related
matters concerning the disturbance of buried human remains. The
Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and Regions
has responsibilities by virtue of the fact that most burial and
cremation authorities are local authorities and are organised
and funded accordingly. He also has an interest arising from land
use and regeneration considerations and implications for environmental
2. The Home Secretary is also responsible
for exhumation and cremation law in Wales, but burial law has
otherwise been devolved to the Welsh National Assembly and the
Northern Ireland Assembly. Separate arrangements apply in Scotland.
The Home Office has no general information about cemeteries in
3. Cemeteries and burial grounds are provided
by burial authorities,
private companies and religious bodies, including the Church of
Burials have also taken place in prisons, hospitals and other
privately-owned land. Other, forgotten, cemeteries may be discovered
in the course of building and other site development work. There
are no central records of all places which have been used as places
of burial and the total numbers of burial grounds are not known.
(However, according to statistics from the Chartered Institute
of Public Finance, in 1998 local authorities in England were responsible
for 1,124 cemeteries).
4. Until the early part of the 19th century,
burial facilities were provided by the Church of England in parish
churchyards, and by other religious bodies. The population increase
following the industrial revolution meant that the existing churchyards
were unable to cope with the numbers of dead for disposal. Initially,
a number of private cemetery companies were established by statute
but with the increasingly scandalous conditions at many urban
churchyards, where existing burials were frequently disturbed
by new graves, and with the consequent risks to public health,
a string of new burial laws were passed. These not only tightened
the regulation of burial but also provided for cemeteries to be
established by local burial boards, and subsequently local authorities,
in response to local needs. The Local Government Act 1972 consolidated
much of the preceding legislation to reflect the new local government
organisation it introduced.
While regulations under that Act (the Local Authorities' Cemeteries
Order 1977) set out the general powers and responsibilities of
the statutory burial authorities.
5. The Church of England and other religious
bodies continue to provide burial facilities but these and private
cemetery companies are not subject to the local authority legislation.
The great majority of operational cemeteries are run by the statutory
burial authorities. The Church of England, and other religious
bodies, are understood to have a significant number of disused
There is provision for responsibility for the maintenance of Church
of England churchyards to be transferred to the local authority.
Similarly, where private cemeteries have become full, most have
been transferred to local authority control and are maintained
in the interests of the community.
6. The Home Office has long been responsible
for cremation law (the Cremation Act 1902, and the Cremation Regulation
1930, as amended) and such burial law as relates to the exhumation
or removal of human remains (eg section 25 of the Burial Act 1857,
the Disused Burial Ground Acts, and relevant regulations under
the Town & County Planning Acts). Since 1995, however, responsibility
has been assumed from the then Department of the Environment for
the remaining burial legislation (including extant provisions
of the Burial Acts 1851-1906, relevant provisions of the Local
Government Act 1972, and the Local Authorities' Cemeteries Order
1977, as amended).
7. In view of the wide discretion for the
management of cemeteries granted to burial authorities under the
1977 Order, neither the Home Office nor its predecessor department
has issued guidance or has otherwise sought to intervene in the
day-to-day management of burial grounds. A similar approach has
been adopted towards private cemeteries and churchyards. Nevertheless,
in response to any enquiries about developing new cemeteries,
a memorandum providing basic information about planning permission,
choice of site location, cemetery size and management, will normally
8. The Government has no general responsibility
for the protection of cemeteries in terms of their security (other
than in respect of confirming any necessary cemetery bylaws),
or the protection of memorials, headstones or monuments (except
to the extent that provision is made in relevant legislation for
the authorised disposal of such memorials and monumentssee
footnote 10 below). These are matters for the burial authority
and, where appropriate, the owners of the memorials or buildings.
The architectural or historic importance of some buildings and
monuments in cemeteries is recognised by their being protected
as listed buildings. This means that the owners are required to
obtain listed building consent for any works which affect them.
The statutory list of buildings of architectural or historic importance
is maintained by the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and
Sport; he is advised on these matters by English Heritage, his
statutory adviser on the historical environment. It is understood
that English Heritage will be submitting to the Select Committee
further evidence on these aspects.
9. The Home Office is responsible, however,
for the protection of buried remains (including cremated remains)
from unauthorised disturbance. The general position is that buried
human remains may not be removed or disturbed without a Home Office
licence or, in certain circumstances, a Bishop's faculty,
or otherwise as may be provided for by statute to enable burial
grounds to be developed for other purposes.
The effect of the prohibition on the unauthorised disturbance
of buried remains is to constrain the sale or development of disused
cemeteries because of the additional costs arising from the need,
in most cases, to remove the buried remains for re-burial or cremation
10. War graves of the Commonwealth forces,
wherever they are located, enjoy the additional protection of
the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. The Commission was established
by Royal Charter in 1917, and its duties include marking and maintaining
the graves of the members of the forces of the Commonwealth who
were killed in the two World Wars and to keep relevant records
and registers. Statutory burial authorities may not take any action
in relation to any tombstones or other memorial provided by the
Commission, without the Commission's consent.
11. Public policy in relation to cemeteries
and crematoria is that their provision is a matter for local and
commercial decisions in the light of demand. Regulation is light,
and designed primarily to uphold the public interest in the decent
disposal of the dead, to ensure that proper records are kept and
preserved, to avoid public nuisance, and to protect buried remains
from unnecessary disturbance. The regulation of municipal cemeteries
also seeks to ensure uniform provision of the grant of burial
rights and consistent arrangements for the maintenance of graves
12. Cremtoria and cemeteries are both subject
to environmental protection regulations, and there is additional
regulation in relation to crematoria in the interests of deterring
any attempt to dispose permanently of evidence of crime.
13. The Home Office interest in the environmental,
historical or cultural significance of cemeteries is limited primarily
to where the condition of the cemetery is such that consideration
ought to be given to the discontinuance of further burials (in
accordance with the provisions of section 1 of the Burial Act
1853) or to the taking of measures in the interests of public
protection or public health (section 23 of the Burial Act 1857).
14. Nevertheless, the Home Office is also
responsible for the provisions of the Open Spaces Act 1906, under
which local authorities may enter into agreements with site owners
to secure cemeteries for use in trust by the public as open space.
The legislative provisions under Local Government Act 1972, which
enable local authorities to provide financial support to anyone
providing local burial facilities, and require them, on application,
to assume maintenance responsibility for churchyards closed to
further burials by an Order in Council, are also relevant.
15. The Government recognises that cemeteries
and burial grounds can be havens of green space and tranquillity
in otherwise built-up areas. Although any use for recreation must
be clearly subsidiary to and compatible with their main function
as places of burial, they are one aspect of the public realm and
can provide places for walking or quiet reflection. They can also
serve as a valuable habitat for trees and other flora and fauna.
16. By virtue of the Home Secretary's general
responsibility for burial law, and having regard to the powers
available to him, under section 8 of the Burial Act 1855, to appoint
a person to inspect a burial ground to ascertain its state or
condition, it is the practice of the Home Office to respond to
complaints about cemeteries which may be made by members of the
17. Under the Local Authorities' cemeteries
Order 1977, local authorities have a wide discretion as to the
way in which they discharge their responsibilities for their cemeteries.
The Home Office does not consider it appropriate to seek to intervene
in, or comment on, that discretion. Furthermore, it is also a
matter for judgement by local authorities as to the priority to
be attached to competing demands for expenditure by local services.
Normal Home Office practice is therefore to refer complaints direct
to the relevant local authority for consideration. Where appropriate,
the correspondent's attention will be drawn to the procedures
available to pursue such complaints, including reference to the
Commission of Local Administration in England. In cases of complaint
against private cemeteries and Church of England churchyards,
complainants will again normally be referred to the relevant owner
or, in the case of churchyards, the incumbent. The Home Office
received 38 items of correspondence about cemeteries and burial
grounds in 1999-2000.
18. The Home Office does not inspect the
condition of cemeteries as a matter of routine, nor maintain central
records of their condition. Where, however, the condition of a
cemetery is reported to be such that consideration should be given
to discontinuing burials, or to require work to be undertaken
in the interests of public protection or public health, the Home
Office will consider the appointment of a suitably qualified person
to undertake an inspection of the site and to make a report. Three
such reports in relation to six cemeteries (five of which were
municipal) have been obtained since 1995. Recommendations arising
from the reports have been pursued with the relevant burial authority.
In most cases, action has been taken, or is being taken, to address
any identified shortcomings. It has not been Home Office policy
to publish the reports.
19. Some cemetery buildings and monuments
are listed on the English Heritage Buildings at Risk Register.
20. There is no obligation on the Home Office
(or central government as a whole) to provide cemeteries or to
require others to do so. The absence of such a responsibility
reflects the fact that provision of facilities for the burial
of the dead had long been accepted as a responsibility of the
Church of England and other religious bodies. With the development
of local authorities in the 19th century and their assumption
of many of the powers and duties of the Church, responsibility
for burial was in due course transferred to local authorities.
The decision as to whether a burial ground was needed, however,
was always one for local decision.
21. Since assuming responsibility for burial
legislation, the Home Office has maintained that policy. There
are therefore no central records of the location or remaining
capacities of burial grounds, whether municipal, private or belonging
to the Church of England.
The Home Office understands that cemeteries continue to be established
by local authorities and others, and that the process is consequently
responsive to demand. The Home Office also understands that new
ideas for the provision of burial space are also being introduced
in some areas.
These developments are being kept under review. In some areas,
it has been claimed that there is nowhere suitable for new burial
grounds (see paragraphs 22-24 below), but the Home Office is not
aware of any communities which have been unable to provide themselves
with, or have access to, burial facilities, even if not always
as conveniently located as they might wish.
22. It should also be noted that, since
cremation was legalised and relevant legislation enacted at the
beginning of the last century, the choice between burial and cremation
has grown steadily in favour of the latter, especially since the
This has inevitably mitigated the demand for new burial space.
The question as to whether there was a need for longer term planning
for new cemeteries, and by whom, has thus only emerged in the
last few years, mainly as a result of concerns expressed by representatives
of the burial industry and the then London Planning Advisory Committee,
primarily in respect of the position in London. 
23. Because of the Home Office responsibility
for exhumation law and practice, however, its central interest
in the claimed shortage of land for burial has been focused on
the implications of the proposed solution. This is because it
is proposed that existing cemeteries should be re-used by disturbing
existing burials and burying the remains at a deeper level. While
such proposals have obvious attractions from the point of view
of effective use of land, especially within urban areas, authority
to disturb buried human remains for this purpose would be entirely
new departure, requiring new legislation and procedures to regulate
the process in order to provide, amongst other things, public
reassurance as to the propriety with which the development was
to be carried out.
24. Because of the sensitivities of the
proposed solution, and questions about its practicality, it has
been felt that consideration should be informed by a wider public
view. At this stage, although work has been undertaken on behalf
of the burial authorities to estimate realistic available land
for burial (see footnote 17), and some research has been carried
out to ascertain public attitudes, 
it is not clear that the facts have been fully established and
more work on this seems likely to be required. No decision has
yet been taken on how consultation might be most effectively undertaken.
25. Burial authorities are authorised, but
not required, to provide burial grounds. 
The Church of England and other religious bodies may also make
burial ground available. Private companies, which may or may not
be established by Act of Parliament, also offer public burial
facilities. New cemetery facilities will be subject to any necessary
planning consents (see paragraphs 35-40 below).
26. Regulation of cemeteries is diverse.
Burial authorities are subject to the provisions of the Local
Authorities' Cemeteries Order 1977. Church of England churchyards
are subject to ecclesiastical law. Private burial grounds may
be subject to the Cemeteries Clauses Act 1847, if incorporated
in any Act of Parliament which established the cemetery company,
or otherwise to such provisions as may be included in such Acts.
If the cemetery is owned by a private company not established
for the purpose by an Act of Parliament, no cemetery-specific
regulations will apply.
27. Whether to offer exclusive rights of
is a matter for the cemetery authority, but where such facilities
are provided by burial authorities under the Local Government
Act 1972 they are regulated in accordance with the Local Authorities'
Cemeteries Order 1977. The Order similarly regulates depth of
burial, the need for grave and burial records and their storage,
and the management of memorials (including their removal). The
Order also empowers statutory burial authorities to manage, regulate
and control their cemeteries, to lay out, repair and provide access
to the cemetery, apply for part of the cemetery to be consecrated
or set apart for particular denominations, to provide chapels
or mortuaries, to set certain fees and charges, and to maintain
28. Minimum standards in respect of all
burial grounds are maintained by the prohibition on the disturbance
of buried human remains, the powers available to the Home Office
to require the discontinuance of burials, and commercial considerations.
The further Home Office powers, under section 23 of the Burial
Act 1857, to require preventative or corrective action to be taken
in respect of vaults and places of burial which may be dangerous
or raise public health concerns are not known to have been used
in recent times, and are likely to be exercised only in extreme
cases. If applied in respect of local authority cemeteries, it
would cut across local decisions on spending priorities. If applied
in cases of private cemeteries, the costs would by default fall
to the relevant local authority.
29. It is understood to be the practice
for burial services in cemeteries and burial grounds to be subject
to local requirement. Provisions within the Burial Laws Amendment
Act 1880 may also apply so as to require, for example, burials
to be conducted in a decent and orderly manner.
30. Unless otherwise provided for in any
Act of Parliament establishing the cemetery company, the fees
chargeable by the company, burial authority or Church are not
subject to regulation.
31. Professional standards of service and
performance in cemeteries are supported through the work of representative
bodies, such as the Confederation of Burial Authorities, and organisations
such as the Institute of Burial and Cremation Administration.
The latter runs training courses, leading to professional qualifications,
on the administration of cemeteries, and from time to time issues
guidance on specific issues (such as exhumation practice and memorial
management). These bodies have also promoted initiatives such
as the Charter for the Bereaved, which promotes standards of service.
32. The Local Government Act 1999 introduced
a new duty on local authorities to secure best value. Best value
authorities are required to make arrangements to secure continuous
improvements in their services. Key drivers include the use of
performance indicators, standards and targets and consultation
with the public. Best value authorities are required to carry
out fundamental reviews of all their services over a five-year
period. Accountability to the public is secured by the publication
of an annual best value performance plan.
33. Where authorities provide or manage
cemetery services, these will need to be subject to best value
review (except parish and town councils with a budget of less
than £500k. )
Reviews provide an opportunity for local authorities to think
afresh about how they deliver continuous improvements in providing
their services and reassess priorities. Through best value, authorities
are being encouraged to adopt far-reaching approaches to procurement
and service delivery. This includes, where authorities deliver
the same service, exploration of the economies of scale of joint
delivery with neighbouring authorities.
34. Like cemeteries, provision of crematoria
is also a matter for local and commercial decision. It is open
to burial authorities
to provide cremation facilities, or they may be provided by any
company or person by whom a crematorium has been established.
Regulation is more coherent. The Cremation Regulations 1930, as
amended, apply to all crematoria and require their opening and
closing to be notified to the Home Office. The Regulations also
require crematoria to be maintained in good working order, to
be provided with sufficient number of attendants and to be kept
constantly in a clean and orderly condition. Fees and services
are not regulated. The Home Office and the Department of Health
have powers under the Cremation Regulations to inspect crematoria
at any reasonable time.
35. For planning purposes, cemeteries and
crematoria are not grouped with any other land uses: both are
"sui generis". Any attempt to create a new cemetery
or crematorium on land previously used for something else would
be regarded as a material change of use of land. The developer
would have to submit a planning application for consideration
by the local planning authority.
36. The Development Plan provides the framework
for determining the future pattern of development in a local authority's
area. Where an adopted or approved Development Plan for the area
contains relevant policies, planning applications or appeals must
be determined in accordance with the Plan, unless material considerations
indicate otherwise. Applications not in accordance with relevant
policies in the Plan should not be allowed unless material considerations
justify granting planning permission. The planning system is often
described as "Plan-led".
37. In broad terms, any consideration which
relates to planningthat is, to the use and development
of landmay be taken into account when an application is
being decided. For example, extra traffic, visual impact, fumes
and other consequences for local amenity could be material. Relevant
national guidance, such as that provided in DETR's Planning Policy
Guidance Notes, would also have to be weighted in reaching a decision.
PPG2, for instance, says cemeteries can be acceptable in Green
Belt. By contrast, matters outside planning, such as the effect
of the development on property values, would normally not be material.
38. In a cemetery managed by a local authority,
however, the authority can carry out certain works, and put up
small buildings and structures, without submitting a planning
application, by virtue of permitted development rights granted
by the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development)
Order 1995. Similarly, development authorised by a local or private
Act or Order would also not require specific planning permission.
39. Under Article 10 of the Town and Country
Planning (General Development Procedure) Order 1995, where an
application is made for development relating to the use of land
as a cemetery, the Environment Agency must be consulted. The Agency's
concern is the effect of burial sites on aquifers, watercourses,
springs and boreholes, and as a statutory consultee in a planning
case it can provide informal advice about the risk to any of these.
The Groundwater Regulations 1998, which are also the responsibility
of DETR, regulate disposals to land and provide the Environment
Agency with powers to stop or control activities in or on land
which could threaten groundwater. Burial grounds fall within scope
of these Regulations. In practice, the Environment Agency would
aim to avoid the necessity of using its powers under the Regulations
by, for instance, liaising with local authorities at the planning
stage, to ensure that the siting and operation of the cemetery
would minimise any risk to groundwater.
40. Council Directive 85/337/EEC as amended
by Council Directive 97/11/EC, on the assessment of the effects
of certain public and private projects on the environment, requires
environmental impact assessment (EIA) to be carried out before
development consent is granted for certain types of projects judged
likely to have significant environmental effects.
The Directive is transposed, in the main, by
the Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment)
(England and Wales) Regulations 1999 (SI No. 293).
While cemeteries and crematoria are not specifically
listed as development in the Directive it is likely they would
fall within the general heading of "Urban development projects"
in Annex II of the Directive (equivalent to Schedule 2 to the
Regulations) and may require EIA if the proposed development is
likely to have significant effects on the environment.
41. Development Plans may make specific
provision for cemeteries and crematoria, along with other community
facilities. Anyone concerned about the future pattern of development
can participate in the preparation of a Plan. Members of the public
also have an opportunity to submit their views to the local planning
authority on individual planning applications.
42. Air pollution emissions from crematoria
are regulated under Part I of the Environmental Protection Act
1990, which is the responsibility of the Department of the Environment.
Under this provision, crematoria must be authorised. Authorisations
must include conditions aimed at securing the use of the Best
Available Techniques Not Entailing Excessive Cost, to prevent,
minimise and render harmless emissions. The Secretary of State
for Environment, Transport and the Regions issues statutory guidance
on what constitutes BATNEEC, and is currently reviewing the guidance
issued in 1995 concerning crematoria. Local authorities in England
are the regulators for both municipal and private crematoria.
43. Municipal cemeteries are funded through
the normal mechanisms for the funding of local authority services.
They are, however, a trading service, and income is derived from
fees and charges, sales and other sources. The income may not
necessarily recover the full costs to the authority of providing
and maintaining burial grounds. This is because the revenue-earning
capacity of a burial ground, from burial fees and the sale of
exclusive burial rights, is finite as the burial space available
is consumed. In contrast, site maintenance costs can be significant
and indefinite. Burial authorities may also need to provide for
the cost of maintaining local churchyards which have been closed
to further burials under the Burial Act 1853. Such a maintenance
responsibility may be transferred compulsorily to the parish or
district Council, or equivalents, in accordance with the Local
Government Act 1972 (see footnote 6 and paragraphs 46-47 below).
44. In 1998-9, expenditure on municipal
cemeteries and crematoria in England was £132 million, income
was £121 million, and the net cost £11 million. In the
previous year (when the expenditure and costs between cemeteries
and crematoria were last disaggregated), expenditure was £127
million (of which £87 million was spent on cemeteries), income
£108 million (of which £47 million derived from cemeteries)
and the net cost was £19 million (a loss of £40 million
on cemeteries, but a profit of £21 million from crematoria).
45. Cemeteries are eligible for funding
in accordance with current Heritage Lottery Fund guidelines. In
recognition of the fact that they often represent a "green
oasis" in urban areas, they have been funded for their importance
in terms of nature and habitat conservation, as well as on account
of their intrinsic heritage merit, or for their association with
well-known individuals buried there. The Heritage Lottery Fund
has so far funded 10 projects involving cemeteries in England,
totalling nearly £3.2 million. These include both the restoration
or repairs of buildings, and more general improvements or restoration
plans for the cemeteries themselves.
46. As mentioned above, where a Church of
England churchyard is closed to further burials in accordance
with an Order in Council under the Burial Act 1853, responsibility
for maintenance may be transferred to a relevant local authority
after three months' notice of the intention to do so. The transfer
is compulsory, not dependent on the condition of the churchyard
in question (although the parochial church council is under an
obligation to maintain the site in decent order and its walls
and fences in good repair), and not dependent on the local authority's
ability to meet the additional maintenance costs.
47. Many local authorities are known to
be concerned with this obligation and the difficulty of making
proper budgetary provision. However, it is a provision which continues
a practice dating from the middle of the last century. It recognises
that the Church of England has for centuries borne the burden
of providing burial facilities for the community, that the Church
of England, and parochial church councils, are not generally in
a position to meet the costs of maintenance indefinitely, and
seeks to return the maintenance burden to the community as a whole.
However unwelcome such a burden may be for local authorities,
they offer the only realistic source of funding, if the churchyard
is not to become overgrown and fall into decay.
48. Old private cemeteries may present similar
problems to old churchyards. They are normally full and cannot
be properly used for further burials. They are uneconomic to operate
and no private concern would wish to undertake to provide indefinite
maintenance. They have little or no commercial value, although
in certain cases the land might be suitable for development, subject
to planning permission (and sometimes the need for private legislation).
In most cases, the relevant local authority has acquired responsibility
for the cemetery, either under the provisions of the Open Spaces
Act 1906, or in some other way. In some cases, maintenance responsibility
has been undertaken by local trusts, with local authority support.
Very few such cemeteries continue in private ownership.
49. Unlike old Church of England Churchyards,
however, there is no straightforward legislative mechanism to
bring them under public ownership or otherwise to provide for
public funds for their future maintenance. The Home Office does
not consider this to be a satisfactory position since such sites
may quickly become a public nuisance.
3 These are defined in the Local Government Act 1972
as the councils of districts, London Boroughs, parishes and communities,
the Common Council, and the parish meetings of parishes having
no parish council, whether separate or common. Back
The Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport is responsible
for the management and maintenance of Brompton Cemetery. The responsibility
is exercised through the Royal Parks Agency. Back
Sections 214 and 215 of the Act, and Schedule 26. Back
Home Office records indicate that approximately 4,000 churchyards
are subject to Orders in Council discontinuing burials in all
or part of the burial ground. Back
Under section 215 of the Local Government Act 1972. Back
Section 25 of the Burial Act 1857. Back
Under the Disused Burial Grounds (Amendment) Act 1981, a disused
burial ground owned by or on behalf of a church or other religious
body may be built upon or otherwise developed provided the buried
remains are removed in accordance with any Home Office directions.
Similar provisions are made in respect of redundant Church of
England churchyards under the Pastoral Measure 1983 and, in respect
of land acquired by local authorities and similar public bodies,
under the Town and Country Planning Acts. Local and private legislation
may make comparable provisions. If the development will not disturb
the remains, the Home Office may issue a dispensation order to
relieve the requirement to remove them. The legislation also makes
provision for the orderly disposal of memorials and monuments. Back
Section 214(6) and section 215(3) of the Local Government Act
The Chartered Institute for Public Finance has recorded the amount
of land set aside for future use for burial purposes by local
authorities (780 hectares in England in 1998). Back
For example, so-called "green" burial grounds where
graves are overplanted with trees so that in due course the cemetery
will become or revert to a wooded area. Another development, so
far limited, is the provision of above-grounds catacombs or mausolea. Back
It is understood that burial authorities may charge higher fees
for the burial of persons from outside their areas. Back
In 1960 cremation occurred in 35 per cent of deaths, by 1970 55
per cent and by 1990 70 per cent. Back
Burial Space Needs in London, 1997, a study for the London Planning
Advisory Committee by Halcrow Fox in association with The University
of York's Cemetery Research Group and The Landscape Partnership,
and Planning for Burial Space in London, 1997, by the London
Planning Advisory Committee in association with the Confederation
of Burial Authorities, the Institute of Burial and Cremation Administration,
and the Corporation of London. Back
Reusing Old Graves, 1995, Davies and Shaw, University of
Under section 214 of the Local Government Act 1972, local burial
authorities may provide and maintain cemeteries either within
or outside their areas. They may also contribute to the expenses
incurred by others in providing or maintaining cemeteries for
the use of their inhabitants. Back
The right to determine who may be buried in a particular grave.
If there is no exclusive right to burial, it is open to the burial
authority to bury unrelated bodies in the same grave, subject
to sufficiency of depth and provided any existing buried remains
are not disturbed. Such graves are known variously as common,
public or "pauper" graves. Back
Only 41 parish and town councils have budgets in excess of £500k. Back
See footnote 1. Back