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The 2016 network queries circulated for this service are listed below. 

If you would like more information about any of these queries please email Wayne Priestley.



CEM0019 - Renewing expired burial rights - 101116

A member authority is approaching the time when some of their older grave rights are beginning  to expire. These are the used graves.
They are looking for information as to what other local authorities do in relation to policies on renewing the right for such graves. As part of this query they would also like to know what  extension periods other authorities offer e.g. 50 years? more or less?


CEM018 - Integration of Parks and Cemetery Services – 101116

A member authority is integrating parks and cemeteries into one structure, they were previously separate services and are looking to provide examples of structures other authorities have in place covering these services.
Another new feature of the structure will be a business development post aimed at helping the service maximise income generation opportunities across all aspects of the service, including:
 Burials & Cremations
 Grounds Maintenance
 Landscape Design and Construction
 Play Area Maintenance and Improvement
 Arboricultural Advice and Tree Surgery
 Wildlife advice

CEM017 - Closure of cemetery by Environment Agency – 091116

A member authority would be interested to know from other Burial Authorities whether any have been in the position of managing the permanent closure of a cemetery as a result of Environment Agency intervention restricting burials into standing water/ unresolvable drainage issues / potential groundwater contamination.
• Bearing in mind the emotional and practical impacts on 1000’s of Exclusive Rights Of Burial (EROB) owners how was this managed by the Authority in practice?
• How were difficult messages communicated on such a large scale, what was the public relations approach?
• Did the Authority consider any form of compensation scheme to EROB owners affected and what was this comprised of?


GM0518 - Closed Churchyards management – CEM016,211016

Closed Churchyards are subject to Section 215 of the Local Government Act 1972 but after that they have found that there is not much more guidance  available.  There is the view that the Act is sufficient , but the member authority is looking for further guidance on the following issues:
 Inspection regimes- does any local authority have policies or schedules for inspections?
 What should be included in the inspection; boundaries, paths, memorials etc.  There are some that don’t inspect paths but others do.
 The process for liaising with the Diocese for work required.
 Guidance on if for example, a stone wall falls down which forms part of the boundary does it have to be replaced by a like for like stone wall or can the boundary be maintained with  a fence of some description.  It is the enquiring authorities understanding  that it has to be like for like but the cost of replacing even a small section of stone wall can be astronomical.
 Best practice on how much Councils budget is set each year for inspections/work required.


GM0517 - CEM015 - Cemetery memorial inspections 211016

A member authority is reviewing its Cemeteries Memorial inspections programme and would be interested in the following information:
·         Do local authorities carry out inspections in-house or do they appoint a contractor?
·         How often are the inspections carried out?
·         Would individual local authorities supply an average cost per Memorial for inspections?


CEM014 - Cemetery rules and regulations – 110816

A member authority is enquiring whether any local authority has revised their rules and regulations in the past 5 years and if so would they be willing to answer the  following questions and also  whether they undertook consultation.
1.      How long ago (approx.) did you last revise your cemetery rules and regulations?
2.      Did you undertake any consultation on the revised rules? (please select one)
Yes                         No             (if no, please go to question 6)
3.      Who did you consult with? (please select all that apply)
 Funeral Directors
 Memorial Masons
 Members of the public
 Other group/s (please state which groups)
4.      Given that businesses may favour over-sized coffins / over-sized memorials (as it allows greater opportunity to upsell) did you take any steps to prevent their feedback from skewing the overall results?
Yes                          No


CEM013 - Cremator and abatement condition assessment report – 010816

A member authority is wanting to obtain a detailed technical report on the condition of their cremator and abatement equipment at a local crematorium.

They are therefore asking whether any other authority has commissioned such a report and who they employed to undertake the work and write the report.


CEM012 - Memorial safety inspection policy – 250716

A member authority is currently reviewing its memorial safety inspection policy. They are interested to learn how others have addressed the following issues:

Do you have in-house or contracted out staff to carry out

a)   Memorial safety inspections?

b)   And/or making safe / repairs?

Where it has been possible to find the grantee / NOK etc.

a)   Are they asked to make arrangements privately to repair / refurbish the memorial

b)   Are they able to pay the authority directly to repair / refurbish the memorial

c)   If they are able to pay the authority, do you levy any additional costs over and above the actual cost of the works to cover administration etc

Where there is no grantee or where it has not been possible to contact either the grantee or their descendants or where descendants are unwilling or unable to fund repairs to an unsafe memorial to what standard is the memorial repaired

a)   Made safe only – laying flat/ stacking kerbs or some other method

b)   Repaired e.g. new dowels or ground anchors fitted

c)   Removed from grave

d)   Something else?

Where repairs or making safe has taken place at the authorities’ expense is a charge levied on the grave which can be recouped in the event that a grantee (etc…) is subsequently located?

If you have a memorial safety policy that you are willing to share please attach a copy.







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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