Paddock Wood Cemeteries, Garden of Remembrance and Memorial Wall
These Rules and Conditions apply to the St Andrews closed Cemetery and Cemeteries A and B, the Garden of Remembrance and Memorial Wall in Church Road.
Any enquiries or correspondence relating to these grounds and their management and maintenance should be directed to the Town Council as the Burial Authority for Paddock Wood via the Town Clerk, Paddock Wood Town Council, Podmore Building, St Andrew’s Recreational Field, St Andrew’s Road, Paddock Wood, Kent, TN12 6HT, or by telephone 01892 837373 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
These rules and conditions were agreed by Paddock Wood Town Council in January 2020 and supersede all previous rules and conditions.
- Applicants shall be required to sign a form stating that they have read and understood these rules and undertake to abide by them and this must accompany the application for interment form.
- The Town Council maintains all records relating to the Cemeteries and Remembrance Gardens, hereafter referred to as the grounds, and records and plans are available for examination by appointment during office hours. Copying of records, if required, will be charged at £1 per page. If family history enquiries are made these are at the discretion of the cemetery clerk and a fee may be charged.
- Grave spaces in the current Cemetery and Memorial Garden plots are by Exclusive Right of Burial (ERB) for a period of 75 years at the end of which the graves revert to the Council and can be reallocated or re used if required. Memorials on such expired plots may be reclaimed by the family or re-sited or removed by the Council.
- This Council currently issues a Grant of Right as proof of ERB. ERB/Grant holders will be advised by letter at the time of first interment or reservation to keep the paperwork issued along with their Grant of Right in a safe place and to ensure that their next of kin is aware of its whereabouts. They will also be advised to transfer the ERB/Grant of Right to their next of kin or another person within their lifetime to avoid disagreements following the death of themselves or another family member regarding rights to use of the grave space in the future. Applicants for further interments or memorials shall be required to produce a copy of the ERB/Grant of Right. In the absence of this the procedure outlined in the Appendix to these rules shall be followed.
- The legal title of an ERB/Grant of Right can only be issued in one name but may be transferred to another name either before or after the death of the ERB/Grant of Right holder. Families wishing to do so under this, or any other circumstance should complete an Exclusive Right of Burial Transfer form. A fee will be charged for this.
- Earthen burial plots can be reserved and paid for in advance and will be for a term of 75 years. Opening fees and memorial fees will then be payable when the plots are used at the rates in operation at the time. Reservations are not refundable except in exceptional circumstances and at the discretion of the cemetery clerk.
- In the case of reopening of plots or the use of a reserved plot the form must be accompanied by a copy of the ERB/Grant of Right so that the Council can ensure that the applicant is entitled to use the plot. If the applicant is not the holder of the grant of right, they will be required to apply to the office to have the ownership transferred before the plot can be used. If a copy of the Grant of right cannot be provided the procedure in the appendix must be followed. Transfer of reserved plots for the use of a deceased person who is not a Paddock Wood resident shall not be permitted except in exceptional circumstances and always at the discretion of the Cemetery Clerk.
- Places on the wall of the Memorial Garden cannot be reserved in advance. Plots in the New Garden of Remembrance cannot be reserved in advance except at the discretion of the cemetery clerk in cases where families wish to reserve plots adjacent to or nearby plots already used for the ashes of family members.
- Memorials may only be erected, amended or removed with the written approval of the Council. An application form signed by the ERB holder and accompanied by the appropriate fee should be submitted to the Council.
- Masons employed by families to carry out maintenance work upon memorials shall submit in advance an application form along with proof of their Public Liability Insurance, a method statement for the proposed work including details of any chemicals to be used and a Risk Assessment. An administration fee will be charged for this.
- All fees charged on these grounds shall include the charge for maintenance which will only be charged once for each plot. Maintenance in this context comprises topping up the graves in case of sinkage’s and mowing where it fits in with the burial authority mowing regime. It does not relate to the maintenance of memorials.
- The grounds are primarily for Paddock Wood residents. Non-residents may be buried here upon payment of double fees with the Cemetery Clerk having discretion to waive this under certain circumstances, such as an instance where the deceased lived in Paddock Wood but then spent time in a retirement home elsewhere.
- Baby and child plots for which the fee is waived or reduced are not issued to families who live outside the parish boundaries. These plots are for single use only and may not be used for additional interments whether earthen or ashes. Baby and child plots for families outside the parish will be charged at the full double adult rate.
- There is not usually a choice of plot, these are allocated at the discretion of the cemetery clerk to facilitate the management of the grounds. Fees are reviewed annually, and changes come into effect upon the 1st of April.
- The grounds are public open spaces that are available for all to visit and walk through. Therefore, the Council cannot be held responsible for damage to, or theft from, graves, memorials or benches. Any repairs or replacement will be at the Council’s discretion.
- The placing of sentimental items such as toys or photographs is only permitted at the time of interment. They will be removed and disposed of by Council staff after one month and families should remove them during this time if they wish to retain them. Dead fresh flowers and faded artificial flowers will be periodically removed by the estates staff at their discretion. It is not permitted to lay fresh flowers in cellophane, bins are provided for families to dispose of this packaging before placing the flowers. Fresh flowers should not be laid in cellophane, this should be disposed of in the bins provided. The quantity of floral tributes laid at the time of burial must not exceed the immediate area surrounding the grave space and must under no circumstances spill over onto adjacent plots. Floral tributes shall not exceed 60 centimetres in height.
- The grounds are places of remembrance, peace and quiet reflection and any person behaving in an inappropriate manner may be asked to leave by a member of the Council’s staff. Cycling and the playing of games is forbidden in the grounds.
- Memorial benches may be placed in the grounds with the prior approval of the cemetery clerk and the Estates Committee. Applicants will be required to order the bench from a supplier in accordance with an agreed specification and have it delivered to the workshops so that it can be installed by the estates staff. A fee will be charge for this.
- No vehicles are permitted to enter the grounds except those required by funeral directors for the interments.
- Visitors may be accompanied by a dog provided it is kept on a lead and causes no nuisance. All dog excreta must be removed by the owner.
Rules for earthen burials in Cemeteries A and B
- Graves are to be a maximum of double depth allowing two interments over time. Funeral directors are required to appoint their own gravedigger and to ensure that he is properly insured for such work in a public space. Gravediggers are required to notify the office when they arrive at and leave the grounds in the interests of their own safety.
- Coffins must be made of biodegradable materials.
- Grave spaces will be levelled and grassed over 3-6 months after interment to facilitate the good upkeep of the cemetery.
- Individual planting of graves spaces is not permitted, and the erection of kerbstones and the placing of vases, planters, solar lights or other decorative items is not permitted. Tributes such as flowers and wreaths may only be placed at the head of the grave beneath the headstone, except at the time of interment. Funeral flowers will be left in place and them removed by the estates staff after one month. Dead, or faded artificial, flowers will be periodically removed by the Estates staff at their discretion.
- It is permitted to erect a wooden plaque or cross on a grave at the time of interment when the intention is to place a headstone after the 6 months settling period.
- Permission to erect a headstone or add an inscription shall only be permitted once a memorial application form containing details of the size, design, materials and inscription has been submitted by the funeral director or stonemason and approved by the cemetery clerk. The maximum dimensions of a headstone are; height 92 cms, base plinth 31cms from back to front and 77 cms in width. Headstones may be placed on graves after a 6 month settling period. If a second burial takes place the headstone must be removed by the funeral director and only replaced at the end of the 6-month period.
- An area has been set aside for the interment of children aged 16 years and under. No other interments or memorials will be permitted in this area.
Rules for Garden of Remembrance
- Ashes are to be interred and may not be scattered in any area of the grounds.
- Plots in the Old Garden of Remembrance are permitted to accommodate up to 4 sets of ashes. Plots in the New Garden of Remembrance are permitted to accommodate up to 2 sets of ashes.
- Ashes caskets must be made of biodegradable materials.
- In the Old Garden of Remembrance If there has been a prior interment in a plot within the last three years the funeral director or family should arrange for the plot to be rodded by a gravedigger prior to the interment to ensure that there is sufficient space for the further interment.
- The placing of pots, planters, solar lights or other decorative items is not permitted. One memorial vase of traditional material may be placed upon each plot. Tributes such as flowers and wreaths may be place on the plots and dead or faded artificial flowers will be removed from time to time at the discretion of the Estates staff.
- Memorial plaques shall be cast bronze, with a raised, fine emery finish and shall be stove lacquered. They shall be 17.5cms by 7 cms and not have screw holes. A plaque memorial application form must be submitted and the proposed inscription approved by the burial clerk. The inscription shall contain only the name and dates of birth and death of the deceased and a short text (eg: in loving memory of ) Plaques should be delivered to the office and will then be fixed in place by the Council’s Estates staff.
- Rose shrubs are planted in areas of the Gardens of Remembrance by the Council and the cost of these is included in the fees. They are not planted on each individual plot.
Rules for Memorial Wall and Garden
- No scattering of ashes is permitted in the area of the Memorial Wall and garden.
- A Grant of Right will be issued for spaces on the memorial wall and shall be for a term of 75 years.
- A plaque memorial application form must be submitted, and the proposed inscription approved by the cemetery clerk. Plaques shall be cast bronze, with a raised, fine emery finish and shall be stove lacquered. They shall be 17.5 cms by 7 cms and not have screw holes and should be delivered to the office to be fixed in place by the Council’s Estates staff.
- Wreaths and flowers only are permitted to be placed at the foot of the memorial walls at the time of any service for the deceased. These will be removed by the estates staff after one month. Nothing shall be placed on the Memorial Garden or against its walls at any other time. Any items placed in contravention of this rule will be removed by the Estates staff.
Rules for the closed Churchyard
- Grave spaces in closed Churchyard were issued in perpetuity. No further earthen burials are permitted in this cemetery.
- Families may apply to inter ashes in existing graves but due to potential difficulties in establishing entitlement for the plots such permission to be at the discretion of the Cemetery Clerk.
- GDPR STATEMENT: Paddock Wood Town Council will retain contact information provided by funeral directors and applicants on forms completed at the time of burial or reservation. It will be stored securely in the cemetery records to enable the Council to establish rights to the plot in the future and for the efficient management of the cemetery. By signing such forms, the applicants agree to retention of their data.
- Applicants should take careful notice of the Rules and Regulations of the Cemetery grounds produced by the Town Council at the time of completing application forms for interments or reservations. They will be required to abide by these and should also note that the Town Council may change these rules from time to time and that they will be required to abide by any such alternations.
- The ground is primarily clay and is susceptible to water logging and visitors should therefore take care not to slip and use the pathways in wet condition
Procedure for allowing use of plot or the erection of a memorial in the absence of copy of ERB/Grant of Right
If a copy of the ERB/Grant of Right is not provided to the Council and the cemetery clerk will ask for further information regarding the applicant in order to establish the rights to the plot. If upon examination of the Councils records and any information provided it is not possible to establish the applicant’s right to the plot, then the Council has the discretion to refuse use of the plot or approval for a memorial. Alternatively, the Council shall have the discretion to ask the applicant to sign a disclaimer before a commissioner for oaths on the appropriate form. A fee will be charged for administration of this.
Maintenance of Memorials programme
We want our cemeteries to be places of peace and quiet reflection and work hard to keep them in good condition. We also have a duty to make sure they are safe, and therefore carry out a rolling programme of inspections
How it works Inspections are required by the Health and Safety Executive. Our inspections are carried out with care and consideration. If we have concerns about a memorial or headstone and feel that it poses a risk of causing injury, we will take immediate action to make it safe.
What we’ll do We will place warning tape around the memorial or headstone with some explanatory information and, if necessary, we will carefully lay the memorial flat to avoid the risk of it falling and causing injury. Our action is only intended as a temporary measure, and we appreciate owners of memorials and head stones will wish to have the memorial reinstated as quickly as possible. If your headstone has been laid down, please contact an accredited stone mason who will be able to carry out the work to make the memorial permanently safe and to reinstate it for you. Please note Appendix B regarding the Maintenance of Memorials Programme. As of April 2022, we have completed an initial programme of works and safety checks, and this will be a rolling programme. Future inspections will be undertaken on a five-year rolling basis, with all memorials inspected during this timeframe. Ones deemed to be high risk will be inspected on a more frequent basis dependent on their risk profile. Notices will be placed at the entrance to the cemeteries for at least one month prior to the commencement of inspections.