Safety inspections for cemetery monuments and graves

A specialist contractor will carry out inspections on the condition and structural stability of gravestones and monuments over the coming months, for the ongoing safety of visitors to the council-owned and managed sites in the Borough.

Lawn graves at Southend Cemetery

The council has a duty to ensure monuments and gravestones in the Borough’s cemeteries and closed church yards are in a stable condition. Contractors will be inspecting all sites in the town, and any sites that are deemed to require attention will be clearly signed.

The signs will have contact details so owners can speak to the council to discuss any potential issues. Any monuments or gravestones which are dangerous because they are at risk of falling over at any time and require immediate repair works will be laid down. Repair works will be the responsibility of the grave or monument owner.

Cllr Martin Terry, cabinet member for public protection, said: “The council’s cemetery team has a contractor on board to carry out these inspections in council-owned cemeteries and closed church yards to ensure our sites are safe for visitors when visiting their loved ones.

“We understand the heightened sensitivity relating to graves and monuments, so we wanted to make sure anyone who is visiting their loved ones and sees staff inspecting graves, are aware of what is taking place.

“The inspections will not be intrusive, and the contractor will be respectful throughout the inspections, but it is vital these inspections are carried out to ensure the risks of any potential accident are minimised.”

Inspections will begin week commencing 20 September. If anyone has any questions or concerns regarding the inspections, please call 01702 215015.

Published: 8th September 2021

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