In November 2022 Liverpool City Council updated the Memorial Mason’s Charter that must be adhered to by any masons working within their cemeteries. Within it are some important changes to what happens to memorials when burials take place in existing grave plots.
On the whole the updated charter reinforces regulations that are already in place requiring masons to adhere to strict safety standards so customers receive a high standard of service. One new process for masons is that they must now apply for a permit for each piece of work they undertake, submit risk assessments and demonstrate that any subcontractors employed will meet the required standards.
Although the updated charter means some extra administration for us at Sarsfield Memorials, it does not impact on our ability to deliver the high standards we have always strived to. However the charter also places the onus on customers to have a memorial removed, stored and re-fixed when there are additional interments in plots. Previously this work was carried out by the city council or by a mason and the memorial was left at the side of the grave. This is no longer allowed, it has to be removed from the cemetery.
For any burials that take place, it is now the grave owners responsibility to have any existing memorial removed by an approved mason. It must then be kept in storage for at least six months while the ground settles, before it is re-fixed and additional inscriptions added if required. If a memorial is on a concrete raft or a permanent foundation then it does not need to be removed. Generally the older the memorial, the more likely it will be that it needs removing. You are best to check with a mason, otherwise you may have a delay with the funeral.
There will be a cost implication for customers who request this service, we will of course endeavour to keep this to a minimum. Our understanding of why the council is now requesting the removal of memorials completely is in part due to the potential for damage by machinery while they are laid flat. It is also the case that there is often nowhere for them to go except over a neighbouring plot, causing a safety issue for families visiting graves.
There are however some changes in the Liverpool council memorial masons charter that offer flexibility to customers which is not available in cemeteries managed by other local authorities. Subject to approval and work being carried to specified standards by a registered mason, kerb sets are allowed in all Liverpool city council cemeteries. The council has also raised the height limit for memorials in newly created cremated remains sections from 3 foot 6 inches to 4 feet.
We understand that arranging a burial is a very difficult time and the additional task of memorial removal and storage can cause additional upset and stress. If you do have any queries however, please do not hesitate to contact us and we will be happy to offer guidance on the process.