Select Committee on Environment, Transport and Regional Affairs Memoranda


Memorandum by Mildenhall Parish Council (CEM 10)

  A first response to your key questions follows:

1.  THE ENVIRONMENTAL, HISTORICAL AND CULTURAL SIGNIFICANCE OF CEMETERIES FOR LOCAL COMMUNITIES

  The present cemetery in Mildenhall was established following the purchase by Mildenhall Rural District Council of a plot of land on the Thetford Road, Mildenhall in November 1959. Mildenhall Parish Council purchased the land and took over the administration of the Cemetery in May 1971. It is not certain what provision was made before this date or why the Council chose to create a burial ground of its own. It is thought that any parishioner was entitled to be buried in the churchyard, albeit in the unconsecrated part.

  Both the previous churchyards in Mildenhall are now closed, but there is still two burial grounds in the West Row ward of Mildenhall Parish, administered by the St Peter's, West Row and the Baptist Church.

2.  THE CONDITION OF EXISTING CEMETERIES

  The present Cemetery is about half to two thirds full and is maintained by the Parish Council's "Parish Keeper", with some occasional assistance. It is generally agreed to be kept neat and tidy, with clearly maintained paths, shrubbery and simple buildings. The grass round the graves is kept short and neat and the areas set aside for memorial stones set into the ground for cremated remains are also kept in an orderly manner. (Also see 5).

3.  THE ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE DETR, AND OTHER GOVERNMENT DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES, IN THE MANAGEMENT AND PROTECTION OF CEMETERIES AND PUBLIC POLICY ON CEMETERIES AND CREMATORIA

  Although the size and depth of the graves follow the suggested dimensions (see Arnold Baker), the running of the Cemetery is regulated by the Council's own rules and conditions (see 5), which are fully explained to prospective purchasers of plots and are well known to the Funeral Directors in the district. The DETR and other agencies do not play any part in the running of the Cemetery.

4.  LONG-TERM PLANNING FOR NEW CEMETERIES AND BURIAL SPACE

  Without going into details, the Council is currently considering how it might establish further space, on the assumption that the present cemetery will be full in (say) 10 to 15 years. Some enquiries are in progress.

5.  THE MANAGEMENT AND PROVISION OF CEMETERY SERVICES

  A copy of the current (recently revised) regulations is attached to this reply.

6.  THE FUNDING AND ECONOMIC VIABILITY OF CEMETERIES, INCLUDING FUNDING FROM NATIONAL LOTTERY DISTRIBUTING BODIES

  As far as we can tell the administration of the Cemetery has been funded entirely from fees and the Parish precept. There has never been any suggestion of external funding and certainly not from the National Lottery.

7.  OTHER MATTERS WHICH MAY ARISE IN THE COURSE OF QUESTIONING

  We anticipate that there will be no other matters.

Cllr M K Smith

Chairman, General Purposes Committee

Cllr J Taylor

Vice Chairman, General Purposes Committee

November 2000


 
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