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Cemeteries and Crematoria

The latest network queries circulated for this service are listed below. 

If you would like more information about any of these queries or want to submit a response, please email Wayne Priestley.

Network queries from previous years are available on the links at the bottom of the page.

CEM061 - Excess soil from grave digging - 23.05.18

A local authority has about 1-2 tonnes of displaced soil after digging
a grave which equates to about 500-750 tonnes per annum.
There is a need to remove this soil from sites, as there is limited
opportunity to use this for landscaping.

Therefore they are interested to here from other local authorities as
to their approach to dealing with this excess soil, in particular:

  • Do you stockpile the excess soil before removing it from site?
  • If you do stockpile the soil does this need to be stored under permit from the Environment Agency?
  • If you dispose of the excess soil are you able to do this free of charge – i.e. where does it go and what is it used for?
  • If you dispose of excess soil does each load need to be tested for contamination and characterisation?
  • Would you class the excess soil as waste or a useable product?
  • If the soil is classed as a useable product what do you use it for?



CEM060 - Risk assessments and method statements for crematoriums - 210518

A member authority is reviewing their Council’s Risk Assessments
and Method Statements for their Crematorium.

They are enquiring whether other authorities have best practice for
Crematoriums that would provide some reference material for the
enquiring authority to undertake the work.

Also if any authority would be willing to share their risk
assessments for a Council run Crematorium they would be very


CEM059 - Registration of Funeral Directors - 06.03.18

A member authority is interested to know if other authorities ask
funeral directors to register with them and produce insurance and
qualification/accreditation information.


CEM058 - Grave Space Strategies - 23.02.18

A member authority is at the outset of preparing a new Grave Space
Strategy and would value sight of other member authorities strategy
documents in respect of grave space.

If you have a document identifying land for future graves and/or
defining measures to manage the demand for grave space, that you
would be happy to share.


CEM057 - Burial cost information – 01.02.18

A member authority is looking for burial cost information from other
local authority members in order to assess its own costs and
performance, in particular:

  • Grave digging team make-up – e.g. number of operatives, no. of mini-diggers/ tippers.
  • Hourly rate for the team
  • Time taken to dig, prep and fill in graves – preferably for different depths (e.g. 4’6”, 6’, 7’6”, 9’)
  • How many graves dug per year
  • Do they hand-dig for natural burials and if so can they provide any information on digging, prep and filling-in for these graves.


CEM056 - Operating hours for burials/funerals - 01.02.18

A member authority is currently reviewing their burial services.
They are looking for information regarding the current practices of
other local authority-run cemeteries with regards to what their
working hours are in which burials take place, and also the latest
time funerals are allowed to to take place.


CEM055 - Cemetery machinery - 09.01.18

A member authority is enquiring as to what Machinery other
Authorities use to dig Graves (JCB etc) and what they found useful
or useless, fantastic or good, etc.

They would also be interested in the types of machinery used for
general Cemetery operations, e.g. off road trucks etc) John Deere
Gators or similar.


CEM054 - Backfilling of graves by families - 09.01.18

Following a recent burial, all the burial furniture and grave shoring
were irretrievable as the family backfilled the grave and wouldn’t
allow the cemetery staff near the grave to remove anything.
Therefore the enquiring authority is enquiring whether other local
authorities allow families to backfill a grave following a burial.

Therefore they would like to ask the following questions:

  • Do you allow families to backfill graves
  • If family are allowed to backfill the grave do you ask for an indemnity or disclaimer from the funeral director that they will instruct and supervise this and also cover against injury and loss of equipment
  • If shoring or other grave furniture is lost while family are backfilling is this cost then passed onto the funeral director or the family
  • Do you require risk assessments and method statements from funeral directors with regards to moving coffins from the hearse to graveside
  • If you shore a grave and leave the shoring the grave when backfilling what type of shoring do you use



Promoting excellence in public services

APSE (Association for Public Service Excellence) is a not for profit unincorporated association working with over 300 councils throughout the UK. Promoting excellence in public services, APSE is the foremost specialist in local authority frontline services, hosting a network for frontline service providers in areas such as waste and refuse collection, parks and environmental services, cemeteries and crematorium, environmental health, leisure, school meals, cleaning, housing and building maintenance.





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