Information for funeral directors

Cemetery information and regulations for funeral directors.

Interpretations

Throughout these regulations the following words and expressions shall have the meanings as stated below:

Table outlining the phrases used and their interpretations

“The Council”

means Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council

“The Cemetery”

means the cemetery or burial ground as the case may be

“The 1977 Order”

means the Local Authorities Cemeteries Order 1977

“The Bereavement Services Officer”

means the Council’s manager of the cemeteries and burial grounds

“Official Receipt”

means the official Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council receipt

“Grave”

means a burial place found in the ground by excavation

“Private Grave”

means a grave in which the Exclusive right of burial has been purchased

“Lawn Section”

means a section of the cemetery which is grassed and maintained as a lawn

 

Management of cemeteries

The Council reserves the right to make any changes to these regulations as may from time to time be necessary.

The Council’s cemeteries are managed under the terms of the 1977 Order which forms part of these regulations. 

Control of cemeteries

Subject to these regulations any changes made by the Council, the general management and control of the cemeteries shall be exercised by the Bereavement Services Officer.

All enquiries regarding the Council’s cemeteries should be made to the Bereavement Services Officer by emailing bereavementservices@redcar-cleveland.gov.uk or calling 01642 444420/21.

Any complaints/comments should be made to the Bereavement Services Officer in writing without delay.

Interments

All Notices of Interment must be submitted on the printed form which can be obtained from the Bereavement Services Officer or downloaded below:

They must be received, fully completed and emailed to bereavementservices@redcar-cleveland.gov.uk at least five working days before the interment (excluding Saturday, Sunday, public holidays or other holidays granted by the Council). 

This period is reduced to 24 hours when infectious diseases or other urgent cases are involved.  Notice of Interment forms must be signed by both the funeral director or his representative and the client. 

If they are not they will be returned for a signature to be obtained.

The Bereavement Services office should be notified if the funeral director knows that the number of mourners is likely to exceed fifty or if the cortège will arrive earlier or later than 15 minutes before/after the time stated on the Notice of Interment.

Fees and charges

All fees and charges due to the Council, other than those paid on account, must be paid when sending in the Notice of Interment form.  Official receipts will be given for fees paid.   

Cheques should be made payable to Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council.  Card payments are also accepted via the Bereavement Services office.

Copies of the fees are available from the Bereavement Services Officer or can be viewed on the Redcar and Cleveland website.  These are reviewed yearly in April.

Burial restrictions

All burials are subject to the statutory provisions in accordance with Schedule 2 Part 1 of the 1977 Order.

Burials cannot take place on Sundays, public holidays or other Council approved holidays.
 

Registrar's certificate for disposal / Coroner's order for burial

A Registrar’s Certificate for Disposal or Coroner’s Order for Burial, or a declaration in the form prescribed by the Births and Deaths Registration Act 1926 (and any amendments) must be delivered to bereavementservices@redcar-cleveland.gov.uk he before the interment can take place.

A Certificate of Cremation must be produced before a burial or the scattering of cremated remains can take place.  This may be emailed to the office but must be received prior to the burial or scattering taking place.

Failure to produce the relevant certificate or order will result in the postponement or cancellation of the burial. 

Burial times

The Bereavement Services office will accept bookings for burials as follows:

Table outlining burial times

Monday to Thursday

9.30 am to 3.00 pm  (cremated remains)

12.30 pm to 3.00 pm (full interments)

From 1 December to 31 January each year the last time for an interment will be 2.30 pm

Friday

9.30 am to 2.00 pm (cremated remains)

10.30 am to 2.00 pm (full interments)

Saturday

9.30 am to 11.00 am (cremated remains)

Coffins

The Funeral Director or other person(s) responsible for the burial shall provide sufficient bearers to lower the coffin into the grave.

Where a coffin is not used, the body must be taken to the grave in a hearse (or an appropriate vehicle) or a funeral director’s removal shell.

The body of a person who has died from a notifiable disease must be enclosed in a sealed coffin before burial and information regarding this must be given at the time of booking of the interment. 

For the interment of cremated remains in a grave the ashes shall be contained in a sealed biodegradable container.

Digging and opening of graves

All graves must be dug by staff employed or contracted by the Council.

The removal of a memorial and/or kerb set to facilitate an additional interment shall be the sole responsibility of the funeral director or responsible person(s), together with any fees associated with the removal.  

The memorial may be restored to its original position. This should be done to NAMM/BRAMM standards. 

Pre-leased grave spaces which may have been dug for three will need to be tested for sufficient depth and then permission may be given for a third interment.  

The top coffin must be at least three feet below the surface of the ground.

Common (public) graves

A common grave is a grave where the exclusive right to bury and the right to erect a memorial has not been leased.

Memorials must not be erected nor adornments placed on a common grave.

Leasing of graves

The allocation of a grave space is under the control of the Bereavement Services Officer.

The Bereavement Services Officer will try to meet the wishes of relatives in relation to the leasing of a grave space in a particular section/cemetery. 

This may not always be possible and it may be necessary for burials to take place in grave spaces other than in the preferred locations.

A grave may be held for future leasing, either by a Funeral Director or an individual person, for a maximum of three months only before leasing. 

After this time the grave will automatically be re-assigned for leasing.

A grave will not be registered in the name of a Funeral Director or firm of Funeral Directors, or a partner, director or employee of such firms or monumental mason, unless evidence satisfactory to the Bereavement Services Officer is given that the grave is required for use by the applicant as a private individual and not for the purpose of business.

Attendance of ministers of religion

If ministers of religion are required at a burial then this must be arranged by the funeral director or their clients. 

Lawn graves

Double depth lawn graves will hold two full interments.  Single depth lawn graves will hold one full interment.     

The Council will maintain the whole of the grassed part of the lawn section and nothing must be planted or placed on this area.

Cremated remains

The area allocated to a grave within a cremated remains section is 61 cm (2 ft) wide x 122 cm (4 ft) long.  

This applies to all cemeteries apart from Loftus, Skelton and Brotton. 

The size of the graves allocated in these cemeteries is 122 cm (4 ft) wide x 61 cm (2 ft) long. 

Full sized memorials will be allowed on cremated remains plots in Loftus, Skelton and Brotton. 

A cremated remains grave will hold two interments of cremated remains which must be interred in a biodegradable container unless the remains are to be scattered.

It is the responsibility of the person arranging the interment to produce the cremated remains for interment at the cemetery unless agreed with the Bereavement Services Officer. 

The Council will maintain the whole of the grassed part of the cremated remains grave and nothing must be planted or placed in this area.

Child burials

An area in each cemetery has been allocated for child burials for the interment of infants up to the age of 4 years.

The area allocated to a grave within the child burial section is 61 cm (4 ft) wide x 122 cm (4 ft) long and will hold one interment.

The Council will maintain the whole of the grassed part of the grave and nothing must be planted or placed on the area.

Muslim burials

The exclusive rights of burial in grave spaces will only be granted sequentially.

Graves may be mounded to a maximum height of 15 cm (6 ins) above normal ground level after settlement has occurred except in lawned areas where mounding is not permitted.

Graves will be orientated so that they face Mecca/north.

Bodies to be buried without a coffin must be wrapped in a shroud or suitable cloth so that the body is hidden from public view during the burial service.

Bodies must be transported to the graveside in a removal shell, solid box, closed van or other means deemed suitable by the Bereavement Services Officer.

Interments will be undertaken as soon as operationally possible.

Fully completed application forms, the appropriate disposal certificate or burial order and full payment must be delivered to the Bereavement Services Officer at least four working hours before the start of the funeral. 

Whilst every effort will be made to arrange a funeral for the precise time required, it may be necessary to arrange the funeral for an alternative time dependent on circumstances.

Twenty six weeks after an interment in the Muslim section the Council will sow with grass seed or lay turf over the whole of the grave space.

The owner will maintain the whole of the grassed part of the plot.  If the owner fails to maintain the grassed area the Council will have the right to maintain the plot.