Changes in cemetery rules put forward for Wellingborough

Doddington Road cemetery in Wellingborough
Doddington Road cemetery in Wellingborough

A number of changes to cemetery rules in Wellingborough could be on the way.

Wellingborough Council’s services committee met this week to consider changes to the current rules to reflect changes in operation and consider permission for shroud burials.

The meeting comes after it was decided that some amendments were needed as the current rules have been in place since 2009, which was before Wellingborough Norse, which now manages and operates the cemeteries in Doddington Road, London Road, Finedon and Wollaston, was created.

The council has also had a request from the Muslim community to changes in the way burials take place so a general review has been undertaken.

Possible changes include setting or amending some fees, such as for a burial taking place within 24 hours.

Another is to allow for the fee to buy a grave being doubled if the purchaser has not lived within the borough for more than 10 years.

The risk analysis section of the report prepared for councillors said: “If no changes are made to the cemetery rules there is no significant risk, as the cemeteries have been operating on the current basis with no detriment for a number of years.

“By making the changes the council would, however, demonstrate that it was listening to the needs of the local community.

“Inevitably, enhancements to any service are likely to result in additional cost - which is not something the council could contemplate given its financial situation.

“This pressure would be mitigated, however, if additional costs are recovered as proposed above.”

The report also said: “The changes proposed will have a positive impact on the community groups who have requested them, in that they will have the opportunity to observe cultural and religious practices.

“There should be no negative impacts on any sector of the community because the changes will provide wider options to everyone who wants to arrange a burial in the council’s cemeteries.”

The services committee resolved that:

- the Cemeteries Rules 2018 be approved and adopted

And the committee will recommend to the resources committee that:

- the council’s fees and charges schedule be amended to add an additional line: “£544.30 for a burial which takes place within 24 hours” after the line “depth to 6ft”, subject to availability of trained personnel

- the council’s fees and charges schedule be amended to include a new fee of £384.70 for the construction and installation of a timber pack supplied by the Muslim community by trained personnel, in order to enable a shroud burial and entry to a grave

- the council’s fees and charges schedule be amended to allow for the fee for the purchase of a grave being doubled if the purchaser has not lived within the borough for more than 10 years

- the increased charges set out in b and c above be reviewed each year, but initially increase further by 50 per cent for burials on a Friday after 11.30am and Saturday morning, and by 100 per cent for the remainder of the weekend and council/bank holidays