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Planned changes to burial regulations will 'help families'
COUNCIL chiefs are being urged to change the exclusive right of burial from 99 years to 50 years with unlimited renewals.
Members of the High Wycombe Town Committee voted in favour of altering the regulations in a move that would ‘help families’.
Under the new proposals, an initial 50 year burial period would be introduced with families given the option to extend in 15 year tranches - subject to a fee.
Wycombe District Council officers stressed that graves would not be disturbed after 50 years – pointing to the fact that the exhumation of graves is illegal in England without consent from the Government.
It followed concerns from the Wycombe Islamic Mission, which initially believed the council would move in to clear the graves after 50 years.
Cllr Lesley Clarke said the move is designed to “help families” and “protect memorials”.
Cllr Ray Farmer added: “Most graves are only looked after by one generation, so 50 years should cover them.
“If there’s a need by grandchildren, great grandchildren etc to extend that, they can do so in 15 year periods for as long as they want.”
The new regulations would encourage more regular contact between the council and grave owners over a longer term – which is when memorials are most likely to require attention and maintenance.
It follows research by the council into other authorities which had experienced difficulty contacting the owners of graves which had become unsafe.
The committee’s recommendation will be put before WDC’s Cabinet.
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