Edgewell Cemeteries – Memorials

Edgewell Cemeteries - Regulations

Prudhoe Town Council is the burial authority for Prudhoe.  The Council want Edgewell Cemeteries to offer a safe and comforting environment for those who visit and for them to be maintained to a high standard.  We thank you in advance for your support in upholding these regulations.

Any comments or concerns regarding Edgewell Cemeteries should be directed to the Clerk:

(Office) 01661 835487 (Mobile) 07495856624 (email) sarah.eden@prudhoetowncouncil.gov.uk

EDGEWELL CEMETERY REGULATIONS

Edgewell Cemetery is open to the public 24 hours/every day.

Whether or not exclusive rights of burial have been granted, permission is required to scatter cremated remains.  Also, no interment of ashes should be carried out without prior arrangement and permission by the Council.

Please be aware that adjacent graves may need to be opened.  The Council will ensure this is done sympathetically, but this may temporarily restrict access to your grave.

The Cemeteries are maintained as lawned areas, and the Council is responsible for grass cutting.  To ensure the Cemeteries are kept neat and tidy, and to facilitate the use of the machinery to cut grass and deter weed growth, the following are absolutely prohibited:

  • Kerbstones
  • Decorative fencing of any kind, or other types of edging enclosing graves
  • The planting of flowers, trees, shrubs, bulbs, gravel, ornaments etc. (except items placed on the memorial base/plinth)

Where deed holders place kerbstones, fencing, ornaments and/or planting on the grave, the Council is unable to carry to essential maintenance, and the deed holder will be expected to maintain the grave themselves.  If, as a result, graves are not adequately maintained, the Council will contact the deed holder and request that items are removed.

It is particularly important to note that periodic topping up of graves is carried out in the two years following a burial; items placed atop the grave will thwart this essential work.

A single memorial may be placed at the head of the grave, following application by a licenced memorial mason, on behalf of the deed holder.  A list of licenced memorial masons can be obtained from the Council.  Every memorial application, including additional inscriptions and/or cleaning, are subject to approval by the Clerk to the Council, prior to work being granted permission.  Deed holders are encouraged not pay for services until approval has been given.

The Council accepts no liability for loss of, damage to, or breakage of memorials or items placed on them.  Owners of memorials may wish to consider taking out insurance cover against theft of, or damage to, memorials occurring through vandalism, severe weather conditions, or by accident.

The Council periodically carries out stability testing of all memorials in accordance with guidelines issued by the Ministry of Justice.  Where the stability test indicates that any memorial requires remedial work to make it safe, a hazard warning sticker is placed on the memorial and the Council will contact the deed holder.  The Council communicates full details at the time of testing (currently every five years).

Dogs must always be kept on a leash and owners must always clear up after their dogs; failure to do so is a summary offence punishable with a fine.

Children under 12 must be accompanied by a responsible person when visiting the cemetery.

Visitors are reminded to deposit all rubbish, including waste flowers, wreaths, and litter, in the bins provided.

Deed holders are reminded to advise the Council if contact details change.

Offences in Cemeteries

Section 18 of the Local Authorities Cemeteries Order 1977 states that no-one shall create a disturbance, commit a nuisance, interfere with a burial, interfere with a grave or memorial or flowers etc, or play any game in a cemetery.

Section 19 of the Order states that such an offence is punishable on summary conviction by a fine.

Edgewell Cemeteries - Memorials

Since 1992, following an accident in Preston, there has been heightened awareness about the dangers of memorials. In 1994, the Memorial Advisory Bureau produced “A Guide to Best Practice‟ for Burial Grounds and Memorials. In 1996, the Confederation of Burial Authorities (CBA) commissioned some research into the problem of dangerous memorials and the National Association of Memorial Masons (NAMM) issued a set of installation guidelines in their Recommended Code of Working Practice.

Since that time the Institute of Cemetery and Crematorium Management (ICCM), have published management guidance in their publication the Management of Memorials, this was based on the research carried out by the CBA and supported by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

Responsibility for the overall safety within a burial ground lies with the burial authority, in this case Prudhoe Town Council; these responsibilities are under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and the Occupiers Liability Act 1957 to ensure that, as far as reasonably practicable, our sites are maintained in a safe condition. This includes ensuring that anyone who enters the site to carry out work, such as a memorial mason, carry out this work in a safe manner and in such a way that others using the site will not be put at risk.

Whilst the responsibility for general safety lies with the burial authority there are specific responsibilities for memorials that lie with both the owner of the memorial and the memorial mason responsible for installing it. The owner of the memorial is responsible for maintaining the memorial in a good condition and should be properly informed, in writing, of their and other parties’ responsibilities. They should also be encouraged to insure the memorial, just as they do their household property.

Memorial masons are legally liable for the work they carry out and should ensure that memorials are erected safely and in accordance with current standards available within the industry (such as quality specifications like the NAMM Code of Working Practice or similar). This responsibility is placed on masons in the Consumer Protection Act 1987, the Sale of Goods Act 1979 (amended 1994), the General Product Safety Regulations 2005 and the Directive on Liability for Defective Products (85/374/EEC).  Prudhoe Town Council will only allow licensed memorials masons to carry out work in Edgewell Cemeteries and we have a robust system in place to ensure that proper practice is adhered to.  Claims for poor workmanship can be made by the owner up to 6 years after the memorial has been installed.

As the burial authority we are required to carry out regular inspections on memorials, at least once every 5 years. Where unsafe memorials have been identified through this inspection programme, we have a responsibility to ensure such memorials are not a danger to visitors and employees in the burial ground. Where possible, we will contact the owner and advise them of the problem and ask them to make the memorial permanently safe, usually by having it refixed.

Obviously, if there is a clear defect with the way in which the memorial was installed then the owner may have some redress through the memorial mason who originally installed it, should it have been installed in the previous 6 years. If not, they will have to pay for the memorial to be installed to an approved standard.

Where owners cannot be traced the burial authority has to make a decision on how to deal with the memorial.

Memorials and Memorial Masons

The Town Council requires memorial masons to demonstrate current membership of a relevant nationally recognised trade association and / or of a registration scheme for qualified memorial fixers operated or sponsored by such an association, with a mandatory condition of membership in either case being binding adherence to the National Association of Memorial Masons’ (NAMM) Code of Working Practice, failure to abide by which could result in expulsion from membership of the trade association or register in the event of a breach of the Code deemed to be significant in nature or degree.

The Town Council also requires (1) masons’ undertaking to install new or replacement memorials to a designated specification (i) in respect of the memorial and (ii) in respect of the ground anchoring and foundation, and (2) masons’ undertaking to adhere to the Town Council’s own code of working practice, embodied in this Licence, for masons working in the Cemeteries. Only masons accredited as required above, and agreeing to operate to the specified standards, may be licenced to operate in the Cemeteries.

Those masons licensed to work in Edgewell Cemetery can be found by clicking HERE.

Mason Permit Application

Memorial Mason License

2020 Application to Erect Memorial Form

NAMM Diagram of permitted memorial

Memorials Work Inspection Sheet (SJE revised January 2019)

Bereavement Services

Prudhoe Town Council will always prioritise questions and concerns relating to bereavement, funeral arrangements and the operation of Edgewell Cemetery.  Families may also wish to use the services of Funeral Homes/Directors when making arrangements, who can then contact the Town Council on your behalf.

The Exclusive Right of Burial can be purchased in advance or via a Funeral Director.

Burials are always arranged in consultation with a Funeral Home/Director.

The interment of cremated remains the scattering of ashes can be arranged in consultation with a Funeral Home/Director, or directly with the Town Council office.

All of our forms are linked below.

Exclusive Right of Burial Application

Interment Form (Burial/Cremated Remains)

Memorial Seat Application

Right to Erect a Memorial