Burnham-on-Sea & Highbridge Town Council



Briefing Note for councillors:     An update on the Burial Service and maintenance of the cemeteries

Issued to:                                         Burial Committee 1st July 2020

Purpose of Report

To share an operational update on the burial service, grounds maintenance carried out over the period affected by CV-19

Burial Service

Contingency plans across Somerset have been developed and I am currently working very closely with Sedgemoor District Council and providing them with a weekly update. All paperwork is being processed electronically including the green death certificate. CV-19 Risk Assessments and an infection control action plan was disseminated to all grounds maintenance staff.

Local Funeral Directors have all been contacted, informing them of how we as a burial authority by adopting all government guidelines will be facilitating interments.


The three cemeteries have remained open as per government wishes and they are receiving visitors other than those attending a funeral. Funerals are exempt from the restriction on social gatherings of only two people, guidance has been issued that says that immediate family only may attend, whether this is a burial or a cremation. The staff at the cemeteries are well informed of these guidelines.

The staff are now working in the cemeteries full time and catching up on the jobs they were unable to do earlier in the year.

Rough Sleeper

For several months a rough sleeper had been in Highbridge Cemetery displaying anti-social behaviour. Reports from many of the neighbours and visitors to the cemetery were passed onto the 101 service. The behaviour from this rough sleeper became untenable, he was defecating all over the cemetery, pulling flowers from graves, leaving all his rubbish lying around, shouting & swearing at visitors – many became too frightened to visit their loved ones. He was banging the front gates, and the only option was to lock them at night and reopen them in the morning. A neighbour to the cemetery – Mr Keen kindly offered to do this for us. Signs were put up with the opening times and a short explanation as to why. Chris Tuck and myself provided a statement to the police along with one or two neighbours.

I am pleased to say that a two-year Civil Injunction has been issued against this man not to set foot in Highbridge or Burnham. If he does enter the cemetery the police have said to ring 999, and he would be arrested.

Cemetery staff

Team work has been wonderful throughout these strange times. Whatever has been asked of the cemetery staff they have carried out willingly, from the removal of reported pole and directional sign on the beach to delivering letters to a 1,000 households in the town and providing a marshalling during the pedestrianisation.

Two of the Cemetery Caretakers have been booked to attend a course run by TQ Excel in Rooksbridge, this will provide them with a Chapter 8 license. This will allow them to continue their relief work with the pedestrianisation of the High St. to allow Phil New a day off in the week. The law is that to open & close a road even moving a barrier the person permitting it to happen must have a Chapter 8 license. The payment for this training will come out of the Speed Indicator Budget. When this council purchases the SID’s they will be able to operate them immediately using these two members of staff

Water leak

Highbridge Cemetery had a rather large water bill, so after investigation in the cemetery by Bristol Water they have concluded that the underground leak is on our side of the ‘T’ towards the toilet building. A Waste Water Notice will be issued; this is a legal document to get the leak fixed. A plumber to fix this will be contacted this week.


The tree work has finally started with Brent Road Cemetery being completed and Highbridge tree work is being done this week.

Report author:          Lorna Williams – Deputy Town Clerk

Report Date:               24th June 2020

Records Retention Schedule

Financial Risk Management Policy - March 2023

Grant Application Kings Coronation Form

The Coronation of His Majesty King Charles III will take place on Saturday 6th May 2023, with an additional bank holiday on Monday 8th May 2023.

We are keen to hear from groups/organisations in Burnham-on-Sea and Highbridge that are looking to celebrate the Coronation. The Town Council has £1500 available to allocate to events being organised to celebrate the Kings Coronation. The maximum grant to be allocated per event will be £500.

You must meet the following criteria for your application to be considered:

– The event will be open to all members of the public

– The event will be free of charge

– The event will take place within the Coronation weekend

– The event will take place within Burnham on Sea or Highbridge


Applications will close on Monday 6th March at midday. 

Your organisation and contact details

What happens next....
Applications will be considered at the Finance and Resources Committee Meeting on Monday 13th March 2023. You will be notified after this date whether your application has been successful.
Burnham & Highbridge Town Council takes your privacy seriously and will only use your personal information for the purposes of contacting you about this grant. The Council’s privacy notice can be found here.

We use cookies to help make this site better. Read more about our cookie policy.

Skip to content