Cemetery Memorials Policy reminder

Thursday, 5 July 2018

Scarborough Borough Council is reminding people of its Memorials Policy, which sets out what should and shouldn’t be placed on graves by loved ones.

The policy applies to Woodlands and Manor Road/Dean Road Cemeteries in Scarborough and Larpool Lane Cemetery in Whitby. It aims to achieve a neat, tidy and dignified appearance in all the cemeteries.

Following a review of the Memorials Policy at the end of 2017 and a decision by councillors to place more emphasis on enforcing it, the council erected a number of signs at its cemeteries promoting the importance of following the policy. However despite it being a number of months since the signs were erected, many memorials are still in breach of the policy.

During the next month the council is highlighting the importance of following the policy in a series of social media messages, which will make it clear what is and what isn’t permitted on graves and refer people to the online copy of the policy, which is available at: www.tinyurl.com/ydbduarb 

Flowers, potted plants and miniature heathers or shrubs that remain small over time are permitted in front of an authorised memorial stone or on the vacant space for a memorial stone, up to a distance of 46cm for full graves and 30cm for cremated remains graves.

However the council is unable to permit unauthorised memorials and adornments on graves such as small fences, kerbs (which are only allowed in the older cemetery sections), lights, glass, porcelain tributes, wind chimes, pebbles, chippings, trees, bird baths, bird tables and similar items.

If breached memorials remain evident later this year, in accordance with the terms of the policy, the council’s Bereavement Services will begin the process of removing unpermitted items from graves for collection within three months by the grave owner, as well as anything that becomes neglected, unsightly, overgrown or that encroaches on adjacent graves.

Cllr Bill Chatt, Cabinet Member for Public Health and Housing said:

"I realise grave adornments are a very emotive issue but what are treasures and enhancements for some can be unsightly and upsetting for others. Our memorials policy seeks to bring about dignified resting places that strike a balance for everyone and therefore I urge grave owners to help us achieve this by following the Memorials Policy at all times."

Anyone with any queries about the policy can contact Bereavement Services on 01723 372652 or 354393 or email bereavement.services@scarborough.gov.uk

Image showing examples of what is permitted and not permitted on graves