Cranfield Cemetery rules are set to be enforced by the Parish Council Image:Cranfield and Marston Vale Chronicle

Ten graves in Cranfield Cemetery could be breaking the rules

Cranfield Parish Council could soon be contacting residents about the condition of burial plots in the village’s cemetery.

It was announced at last week’s Parish Council Meeting (19th September 2018) that ten graves had been identified as breaking the cemetery rules.

These rules include the maximum size of the headstones, the materials that can be used, forbidding curbstones and the actions the council will take over any unauthorised memorials.

Not following these rules (last reviewed in 2016) can prevent the maintenance of individual plots and the cemetery as a whole. It could also create a hazard to visitors.

Cranfield has a Lawn Cemetery which has restrictions on the memorials allowed Photo by Madison Grooms on Unsplash

During the discussion, PCllr Delise Ball, Chair of the Council, said:

“Rules are rules and are there for a reason.”

The council will remove any unauthorised memorials, vases, etc,. Any costs will be passed onto the person responsible for the infringement.

As these rules are not currently available on the parish council’s website or on the cemetery’s notice board, it is possible that people are unaware that they are doing anything wrong.

Poor behaviour in cemeteries could result in a fine

There are three types of rules for cemeteries; the by-laws, the cemetery’s regulations and the rules of etiquette.

The 1977 Local Authority Cemeteries’ Order sets down some basic laws of conduct, which are all fineable offences. Such as committing a nuisance, wilfully interfering with burials or graves, and playing games or sports.

The Order states that every person who contravenes these could be fined up to £100.

Health and safety is also a concern

The Parish Council has a duty to members of the public and its workers to make sure that the cemetery is a safe place. Headstones are regularly checked to ensure that they won’t topple over.

The council will take out temporary remedial actions to any unsafe memorial without prior notice. This could mean laying the headstone down flat on the grave.

If a more permanent repair is required the council will attempt to contact the owners of the memorial.

The Cemetery Rules are due to be discussed again at the Committee Meeting on 3rd October. Residents are welcome to attend, or they can contact the council’s clerk via email.