Safety checks at Fenland cemeteries

Memorial safety inspections are currently being undertaken across Fenland's cemeteries to make sure they are safe places to visit.

Cemetery

Trained staff working on behalf of Fenland District Council are carrying out safety tests on all memorials and headstones, as part of an ongoing programme to ensure they are not at risk of falling over and injuring someone.

Although memorials remain the responsibility of the family, the Council has a legal duty to ensure the safety of visitors to its cemeteries.

Any memorials that are unstable will be laid down, while others, which have some movement will be made safe by securing with a temporary support, while a family member is traced.

Cllr Peter Murphy, the Council's Portfolio Holder responsible for cemeteries, said: "Headstones are inspected once every five years, and may be laid down if they are deemed to be unsafe. We appreciate that testing and making safe memorials may cause upset to bereaved families and we apologise for any inconvenience, but the safety of those people visiting cemeteries has to be our priority."

Before any action is taken, notices are placed at cemeteries informing the public that memorial testing will be taking place.

Memorial owners who find their headstone laid down can employ the services of a memorial mason to have the memorial safely reinstated.

Article date: February 2022.

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