'Traditional' Wrexham cemetery nearly full

Reporter:

Jonathan Grieve

The “traditional” section of a Wrexham cemetery is nearing full capacity.

Headstones, fencing and surfacing of graves is permitted in the traditional section of Plas Acton Cemetery but only a few graves remain available.

Once that section is full, the rest of the site will be used as a lawned cemetery, where only headstones are allowed.

The proposal is subject to approval from Wrexham Council’s executive board, which is due to meet on Tuesday.

Parks manager Martin Howarth said: “Changes in the management of Plas Acton Cemetery are proposed.

“Once all grave space has been used in the traditional burial section, then the remainder of the Plas Acton Cemetery in respect of full graves (excluding the cremated remains and casket section) will be maintained as a lawned cemetery.

“Providing traditional type cemeteries reduces overall capacity of the site and would align our cemetery provision with the majority of cemeteries managed in neighbouring Welsh Authorities.

“The traditional section has caused operational issues, particularly when graves are reopened for new burials, due to the fencing around the graves causing problems of access for staff and the public for the new burials.

“Maintaining a traditional cemetery is far more difficult and labour intensive. Traditional cemeteries also have a lower capacity than lawned cemeteries.”

The executive board is also being asked to approved changes to the authority’s burial and cremation charges.

Earlier this year, the Welsh Government agreed to remove fees for the cremation and burial of children under the age of 18.

The shortfall in funding created by this is expected to be met by an ‘appropriate addition’ to the 2018-19 Revenue Support Grant.

Wrexham Council currently does not charge for the cremation or burial of a child aged 13 years and under.

There is a charge for the exclusive right of burial where the grave is purchased. The fee for an infant grave for one burial is £442.50 and where a full grave is purchased, usually with the intention of the parents to be buried with their child, the full fee is charged, currently £893. 

Since April 1, 2016, there have been two cremations where the deceased was aged between 14 and 18 and no burials.

There has been one burial of a young child where the exclusive right of burial was purchased by the parents to enable them to be buried with their child in the future.

The matter will be discussed at the executive board meeting in the Guildhall on Tuesday, which starts at 10am.

Email:

jonathan.grieve@nwn.co.uk

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