Safety first as headstones are put to the test

Lee Phillips,Buckingham Town Council Green Spaces Manager at Brackley Road Cemetery,Buckingham where memorials have to be tested.'120327M-A031
Lee Phillips,Buckingham Town Council Green Spaces Manager at Brackley Road Cemetery,Buckingham where memorials have to be tested.'120327M-A031

Buckingham Town Council is to begin a programme of headstone testing to ensure the safety of those visiting the town’s Brackley Road Cemetery.

The programme of memorial safety testing will be undertaken in an ‘appropriate and sensitive manner’ from Monday, November 11, starting with the oldest part of the cemetery –which is more than 150 years old.

A town council statement said: “It will be an ongoing process, undertaken a section at a time with all memorials tested over a five-year period.

“The town council has a statutory duty to comply with health and safety legislation, including ensuring the cemetery is safe. It is, however, the grave deed holder who is ultimately responsible for the maintenance of individual memorials.”

A list of unsafe memorials will be published on the town council’s website and at the cemetery. Unsafe headstones will be laid flat if there is no alternative to making them safe prior to repair.

The statement said: “While the town council will do its utmost to contact any deed holder whose memorial is found to be unsafe, if it is not possible to identify the deed holder or any living relative the town council will repair the memorial in a suitable manner.

“We therefore ask deed holders of burial plots in the cemetery to update the town council with their current address.” The town council can be contacted in 01280 816801.