Cemeteries regulations - 10. Memorials
10.1.1. All memorials and memorial installations shall comply with industry best practice specifically in compliance with BS8415:2018 and any other relevant standard, legislation or regulation which ensures the safety of workers and other general users of Cemeteries.
10.1.2. Temporary memorials are only permitted where requested in advance of a permanent memorial. The Authorised Officer shall determine how long a temporary memorial can be permitted.
10.1.3. Only suitably insured and qualified Monumental Masons may erect any memorial or remove and replace the same at the re-opening of a grave. Monumental Masons shall comply with such conditions as may be specified by the Council, and in case of any contravention of such conditions, the Authorised Officer shall be empowered to; order to leave the Cemeteries, suspend or expel any Monumental Mason.
10.1.4. The Council shall not accept responsibility for any damage to memorials (excluding proven damage by the Council) including but not limited to, storm, wind, lightning, subsidence or other cause, or by third parties, and reserves the right to remove any damaged article subject to and in accordance with the provisions of Schedule 3 to The Local Authorities’ Cemeteries Order 1977.
10.1.5. Any claim of damage caused to memorials as a result of grounds maintenance operations shall be made in writing to the Council’s grounds maintenance contractor. The Council does not accept any liability on behalf of its Contractors.
10.1.6. Any person found soliciting orders within any Cemetery for the erection or repair of memorials shall be required to leave the Cemetery and shall not be admitted again without the permission of the Authorised Officer at any Cemetery.
10.1.7. Any unauthorised memorial, headstone or other material shall be removed by the Council in accordance with Article 14 of The Local Authorities’ Cemeteries Order 1977, without notice.
10.1.8. Memorial vases are permitted in all Cemeteries and shall be rectangular to an overall dimension not exceeding 18cm x 18cm x 18cm.
10.1.9. The Council shall issue a Memorial Deed to owners of the Exclusive Right of Burial at the time of purchase granting them the right to erect a memorial. The granting of the right to erect a memorial does not mean that a memorial can be installed without further authorisation. A Memorial Permit shall need to be attained as described in section 10.4. The Memorial Deed shall last for 30 years and can be extended on the same terms as described in section 8.
10.2. Maximum Memorial sizes – Lawn Section
(h) 76cm x (w) 61cm
(h) 30” x (w) 24”
Cremated remains burial
(h) 61cm x (w) 48cm
(h) 24” x (w) 19”
10.3. Maximum Memorial sizes – Traditional Section
Maximum Memorial sizes in the traditional section are typically;
(h) 120cm x (w) 89cm
(h) 47” x (w) 35”
10.3.1. Flexibility is however permitted, and the Authorised Officer shall accept any appropriate applications for larger and more elaborate memorials to enable greater choice. The Authorised Officer shall determine the appropriateness of any application and make the decision to approve the application or not.
10.4. Memorial Applications
10.4.1. A memorial may only be erected on a grave space within the Cemeteries with both the Council’s and the Exclusive Right of Burial owner’s permission. Drawings of all proposed memorials identifying materials to be used, inscriptions and sizes shall be submitted to the Cemeteries Office on the appropriate form together with the relevant fee.
10.4.2. Application for the approval to place a new memorial or kerbset in the Cemeteries, alter or add any inscription, or repair, replace, add to or remove from the Cemeteries any memorial or kerbset, shall be submitted to the Cemeteries Office on the appropriate memorial application form with the relevant fee.
10.4.3. Successful memorial applications shall result in the issuing of a memorial permit to the Exclusive Right of Burial owner and/or their appointed delegate and the Monumental Mason. The permit is limited only to undertake the work referred to in the application and not any future work or memorial installation.
10.4.4. Only the owner of the Exclusive Right of Burial (or their appointed delegate) can request work at a grave. The Exclusive Right of Burial owner’s name, address and signature shall be provided on any application form. No other signature shall be accepted. If the Exclusive Right of Burial owner is deceased, then the applicant/next entitled person shall make an application to transfer the Exclusive Right of Burial before any works can be approved.
10.4.5. The erection of a memorial on an unpurchased/public/common grave shall be at the discretion of the Authorised Officer, in accordance with these regulations and upon payment of the relevant fee. Where permission is granted to erect a memorial, it shall be subject to the right of the representatives of other persons interred in the grave to have those persons commemorated thereon. As there is no right to erect a memorial on an unpurchased, public or common grave, such a memorial does not in itself confer any rights and remains at the discretion of the Authorised Officer. No Trees, shrubs, bedding plants, bulbs, corms, rhizomes or tubers shall be planted on unpurchased graves. No unauthorised maintenance shall be undertaken, nor adornment placed without the permission of the Authorised Officer.
10.4.6. With any memorial application there shall be produced evidence of a policy of insurance taken out to cover the liability of the Monumental Mason in the sum of at least 5 million pounds sterling, and where applicable Employer Liability Insurance, and the receipt in respect of the premium paid under such policy.
10.4.7. Any Monumental Mason employed to undertake the installation, repair and/or maintenance of Memorials shall be registered with either the National Association of Memorial Masons (NAMM) Register of Qualified Memorial Fixers (RQMF) or the British Register of Accredited Memorial Masons (BRAMM). Monumental Masons shall provide evidence of their membership with either scheme at the time of application.
10.4.8. Monumental Masons shall also provide a copy of testing certificates (for memorials above 625mm) from the manufacturers/installers to prove that their memorials, installation and any component ground anchor and/or lock-down systems have been designed to meet BS 8415.
10.4.9. Monumental Masons shall, in the context of the Consumer Protection Act 1987 and the Consumer Rights Act 2015, provide a copy of their guarantee relating to all memorials sold and installed in Council Cemeteries. A Monumental Masons guarantee shall last a minimum of 6 years. A copy shall be provided to the Council upon application and to the Exclusive Right of Burial owner.
10.5. Memorial Installation
10.5.1. All installations and repairs shall be undertaken in accordance with industry best practice specifically in compliance with BS8415.
10.5.2. All memorials installed in the Council’s Cemeteries shall include the grave and section number, and name of the Monumental Mason.
10.5.3. The Council recognises the industry codes of working practice to be; the ‘Code of Working Practice’ (NAMM) or the ‘The Blue Book’ (BRAMM) and requires Monumental Masons to meet the requirements specified therein.
10.5.4. Ground conditions shall be appropriate before any memorial installation and the Authorised Officer shall permit this on a case by case basis. In some Cemetery sections a concrete raft may be provided onto which a memorial can be fixed. In these situations, the fixing of a memorial headstone can be installed at any time following or immediately prior to burial. Memorials for cremated remains can also be installed at any time following burial.
10.5.5. If jointed (resin or cement) memorials are erected, Monumental Masons shall guarantee their installation shall withstand the inspection process which shall exert a force of 25kg or less against the memorial. Such joints should be fitted in any case using mechanical bolting/lock down systems, as prescribed in the appropriate industry code of practice. If this joint then fails, although the memorial shall remain safe if fixed to the appropriate industry code of practice or equivalent, the Monumental Mason shall return and re-fix the joint. Bolting methods provide a mechanical fixing method that creates a compression joint, jointing compounds provide substantial additional strength to the joint. The use of such bolting fixings and resins shall ensure that joints shall not fail when inspected and shall allow memorials to be easily dismantled if so required.
10.5.6. All Monumental Masons employed on behalf of the Exclusive Right of Burial owner or personal representative of such person, to erect any memorial shall carry out the work strictly under the direction of the Authorised Officer and shall:
- By appointment only install and/or repair and/or add additional inscriptions to memorials.
- Fix to a foundation larger than the footprint of the memorial base using a recognised memorial anchorage system, dowels or recognised memorial locking system. The foundation shall be below ground level. Alternatively, monolith memorials are permitted, either located in a ‘shoe fixing’ or foundation slab.
- Have the grave number cut/engraved, the year installed and the name of the Monumental Mason undertaking the installation clearly at the foot in the righthand corner at the rear of the memorial.
- Align with the previously installed memorial in the adjacent grave.
- Provide their own tools and equipment and complete the work with due dispatch.
- At the cost of the owner, or personal representative, fill up and level the ground, remove all waste and unwanted material from site and make good of any damage whatsoever occasioned in the process of the work.
- Inform the Council of the removal of any memorial from the Cemeteries.
- Not install any unauthorised ornament and/or decoration.
- Ensure joints can withstand a force of 25kg
10.6. Maintaining Memorials
10.6.1. The owner of the memorial and/or the owner of the Exclusive Right of Burial is responsible for maintaining the memorial in a good condition and shall be properly informed, in writing, of their and other party’s responsibilities. All memorials shall be kept in a good state of repair by the owner.
10.6.2. The Council undertakes memorial inspections on a rolling 5-year programme. In the event of any memorial failing a memorial safety inspection and/or test and/or falls into a state of disrepair, the Authorised Officer shall make the memorial safe by any necessary means. The Exclusive Right of Burial owner shall be made aware in writing of the failure within 10 days.
10.6.3. Work to undertake effective repairs shall be completed within 28 days following notice being served. Any work to memorials requires the permission of the Council and requests shall be made in writing using the required application form. A permit shall be granted limiting any work to that which has been applied for.
10.6.4. Unsafe memorials may be removed by the Authorised Officer subject to and in accordance with the provisions of Schedule 3 to The Local Authorities’ Cemeteries Order 1977.
10.6.5. The Exclusive Right of Burial owner shall not be liable for any defect to any memorial (within the last 30 years prior to any failed test) where it can be determined that the memorial installation failed to meet the requirements of BS 8415 and/or an industry code of practice.
10.6.6. Memorials are owned in perpetuity, however the right to erect a memorial ends at the same time as the Exclusive Right of Burial (after 30 years) unless specified differently on the memorial permit. If memorials over 30 years old fail an inspection, the Authorised Officer shall inform the last known registered owner, however the Authorised Officer is free to make any decision regarding the memorial such is necessary to ensure the safety of the users of the Cemeteries.
10.6.7. The Council reserves the right to:
- Remove or make safe any memorial which has become or is likely to become dangerous or which is in a derelict or unsightly condition.
- Exclude or remove from the Cemeteries any memorial not in compliance with BS8415:2018.
- Exclude or remove from the Cemeteries any memorial which in the opinion of the Authorised Officer disfigures the Cemeteries or offends public decency.
- Exclude or remove from the Cemeteries any memorial which fails to meet the standards stated in these Cemeteries Regulations.
10.6.8. The following, but not limited to, items are not permitted;
- Stones/gravel etc. as this may damage grass cutting equipment unless contained within a raised kerbset
- Plastic, timber or other prefabricated structures
- Any glass vases or other items, as they shall shatter in frosty conditions and create a hazard to visitors and wildlife
- Wind chimes, lights or any other mementoes which shall infringe on the peaceful tranquillity of the Cemeteries
- Any other memorabilia that shall deteriorate over time (e.g. soft toys)
10.6.9. Memorabilia placed on graves are at the sole risk of the Exclusive Right of Burial owner and are discouraged. The Council shall not be held responsible for any damage caused to such items. Where memorabilia interfere with the maintenance of the Cemeteries, for example grass mowing/strimming, or give rise to the complaint of other Cemeteries users, then the Authorised Officer shall instruct the Council’s contractor to remove such articles, when found to be in violation of these Cemeteries Regulations. An area of unmown grass may be left around any grave which is not compliant. The Authorised Officer may remove or have removed any article at a grave not in compliance with these regulations without notice.
10.6.10. It is not permitted to hang any item on trees within any of the Cemeteries.
10.6.11. Christmas wreaths may be placed within the confines of the defined grave space. These shall be removed from the Cemeteries commencing the second week of January. Other Christmas decorations are discouraged. Other faith related festival decorations are permitted but shall be removed following a period of 14 days or when perished, whichever is sooner.
10.6.12. The Council reserves the right to remove and dispose of any memorial and/or memorabilia which are outside the allocated space without notice. Where memorials, memorabilia etc. extend beyond the allocated grave space but cannot be easily rectified without affecting the whole memorial then the Exclusive Right of Burial owner shall be given 28 days to remedy the situation. If no action is taken the Authorised Officer shall arrange for these items to be removed and put into storage for no longer than 28 days. The Exclusive Right of Burial owner shall be notified of this action in writing. Failure to claim any memorial taken into the Council’s custody after this time shall be disposed of in accordance with Schedule 3 to The Local Authorities’ Cemeteries Order 1977.
10.6.13. The Council recommends that the Exclusive Right of Burial owner has a policy of insurance taken out to cover damage to memorials (excluding proven damage by the Council). Where the owner does take out a policy of insurance it is recommended that a copy is provided to Council.
10.6.14. Anyone erecting a monument, memorial or kerbset or who undertakes any memorial work within the Cemeteries not in compliance with these regulations shall be required to remove the said memorial or kerbset within 48 hours of notification. Where this requirement is not undertaken the Authorised Officer shall remove the memorial or kerbset and the Exclusive Right of Burial owner shall be required to pay all associated costs.
10.6.15. No persons other than the Authorised Officer shall interfere with or alter the grass area of the grave, which shall be maintained by the Council at no cost to the grave owner.