Burial Committee – Cemetery Rules & Regulations

Regulations made by the Burial Committee in respect of the Cemeteries at Burnham-onSea, Highbridge and Brent Road in the County of Somerset, under Article 3 of the Local Authorities Cemeteries Order 1977 for the management of cemeteries for which the is the Burial Authority.

  1. The word “parishioner” means a person who, at the time of death, was an inhabitant of the area of the Burial Authority or, in the case of a stillborn child, where either or both parents are or were such inhabitants.
  2. On the occurrence of a death, notice of interment including cremated remains shall be given on the printed form supplied by the Burial Authority, on which all particulars requested shall be clearly stated. Notice of interment may be accepted by telephone but shall be subject to confirmation in writing immediately afterwards.
  3. Notice of all interments shall be given to the Burial Authority’s office between 9:00 am and 4:00 pm Mondays, Tuesday, Thursday & Friday (closed to the public on a Wednesday), excluding Christmas Day, Good Friday and Public Holidays.
  4. Four working days’ notice shall be given for a burial interment. An interment at less notice shall, however, be permitted if certified by a Medical Practitioner to be necessary, or may under other exceptional circumstances, be authorised by the Clerk.
  5. After notice of interment has been given, any alteration required in the arrangements shall be subject to the consent of the Burial Authority. An additional charge may be imposed if such alteration is likely to involve the Authority in additional expense.
  6. In selecting the grave space for interment the wishes of applicants shall be met as far as may be deemed practicable, but in all cases the situation shall be subject to the approval of the Burial Authority.
  7. No rodding of graves shall be permitted.
  8. All rights of burial shall be subject to the rules and regulations of the Burial Authority in force at the time of burial or any which may be issued by any other competent authority in regard to burial grounds.
  9. The fees and payments are to be in accordance with the Table displayed at the office of the Burial Authority and must be paid on giving notice of interment or before the work is begun in respect of which they are payable.
  10. No burial shall take place before 10:00am or after 2:30 pm (1:30 pm on Fridays) without special permission. No burial shall take place on Saturdays, Sundays, Christmas Day, Good Friday, or Public Holidays.
  11. The appropriate certificate for disposal issued by a Registrar or Deputy Registrar of Births and Deaths or a Coroner’s order for burial shall be delivered to the Caretaker when a funeral enters a Cemetery. A certificate issued by a Cremation Authority shall be required for the disposal of cremated remains.
  12. A body shall not be accepted for interment unless it is enclosed.
  13. The person arranging a burial shall be responsible for the attendance of a Minister of Religion to officiate at the burial service and for the payment of the requisite fee to the Minister.
  14. All graves shall be dug and excavated by the gravedigger appointed by the Burial Authority. A grave space shall measure not greater than 7 feet by 3 feet for the interment of an adult and 4 feet 6 inches by 3 feet for the interment of a child. A cremated remains plot shall measure 3 feet by 3 feet. The required excavation for an interment within these measurements of an adult may be to a maximum depth sufficient for two interments.
  15. Cremated remains shall not be scattered in any part of the Cemetery.
  16. Three working days’ notice shall be given for the burial of cremated remains.
  17. No burial of cremated remains shall take place before 9:30am or after 4:00pm (3:00pm on Fridays) without special permission. No burial shall take place on Saturdays, Sundays, Christmas Day, Good Friday, or Public Holidays.
  18. On the grant of a right of burial for a period of 30 or 50 years in a grave space, the Lessee shall be entitled to, and shall receive, a formal deed signed by the Clerk to the Burial Authority in respect of same. No grant of burial right is transferable without the consent of the Burial Authority. The written consent of the owner or his or her executor must be lodged with Clerk to the Burial Authority when it is desired to inter in the grave the body of a person other than the owner of the grave.
  19. The Burial Authority shall keep in order all parts of the cemeteries and reserves the right at all times to remove floral tributes & wreaths on any grave space after 28 days, to cut back or remove any plants or shrubs growing thereon. Artificial Flowers including silk or Artificial Wreaths shall not be placed in the Cemeteries. Neither shall glass, ceramics, jars, ornaments, lanterns, wind chimes, loose stones / chippings or other free-standing memorials or any other breakable items. These will be removed by the Caretaker and stored for collection. In the Garden of Rest this rule includes any separate vases.
  20. If there is a breach in regulation regarding additional items on graves and there is no response to communication with the lessee, the cemetery operative will remove any glass or ceramics that are considered a safety risk. Other items that are in breach e.g. artificial flowers, windmills etc, a notice will be placed on the grave asking the owner to remove the items not permitted before the next monthly inspection. These items will be stored by the caretaker until the end of the next month.
  21. All memorials remain the responsibility of the owner, any memorial on any grave space not kept in good order condition and repair by the owner to the satisfaction of the Burial Authority shall be removed or otherwise dealt with at the discretion of the Authority. The Burial Authority reserves the right to remove any memorial which has been placed on a grave, in respect of which the right of burial has not been purchased, after a period of not less than fourteen years from the date of interment.
  22. No memorial shall be erected or placed on a grave or removed therefrom until the owner of the grave space has been granted permission to do so. Such permission shall not be granted until six months after the internment and become operative until the requisite fees and charges have been paid. During this initial six months permission may be given for a temporary stone vase to be placed on the grave, please seek advice from your stonemason or the Burial Committee office.
  23. Application for permission to erect or place a memorial on a grave space shall be made on a form obtained from the office of the Clerk to the Burial Authority on which the applicant must give a specification of materials to be used and a copy of proposed inscription together with the dimensions and a drawing to scale of the proposed memorial. This must be accompanied by the requisite fee.
  24. The Burial Authority reserve the right to remove any memorial which does not conform to the design or dimensions which were submitted and for which a permit was granted.
  25. In that portion of the Cemeteries set aside for the burial of cremated remains, memorials shall be restricted to a tablet of a design approved by the Burial Authority. No additional memorials shall be permitted; (you may wish to seek advice from a Funeral Director or Stonemason).
  26. The grave number and section letter shall be incised at the base on the reverse side of every memorial in the same manner as the inscription.
  27. No kerb stones, or other edging materials, including posts and chains, or any type of enclosure, shall be permitted in the Cemeteries.
  28. .No workmen or materials required for constructional or maintenance purposes in respect of memorials or otherwise shall be received into a Cemetery on Saturdays, Sundays, Christmas Day, Good Friday and Public Holidays.
  29. The Burial Authority does not accept responsibility for any damage or loss occasioned to any person, vehicle, and equipment or otherwise within a Cemetery.
  30. The Burial Authority shall not be liable for damage to any memorial in the Cemeteries caused by storm, wind, subsidence or by any other cause.
  31. With the exception of guide dogs, no dogs are permitted in the Cemeteries.
  32. Cycling shall not be permitted in the Cemeteries
  33. Application for a search to be made in the Register of Burials and the provision of certified copies of entries therein must be accompanied by a fee of £20.00 in respect of each burial.
  34. The Committee have a duty of care to the staff that work in the cemeteries and have to comply with current Health and Safety Regulations, for these reasons and in order to be able to maintain the cemeteries in a simple and effective manner the Burial Committee reserves the right to change and update these rules and regulations when needed.
  35. With effect from 1st April 2015 any new section of the cemeteries will be laid to lawn.
  36. The Burial Committee in accordance with Burnham-on-Sea & Highbridge Town Council’s Balloon & Sky Lantern Policy adopted in 2018, prohibits the release of balloons and lanterns from within its cemeteries.

Dated: 11th September 2019
Lorna Williams – Clerk to Committee

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