Town Council Statement on Cemetery Memorials
Following social media posts regarding Coleshill Cemetery. Coleshill Town Council wish to make the following statement:
“The Town Council owns and manages Coleshill Cemetery, off Maxstoke Lane. The Council, as with other Burial Authorities, has a Cemetery Policy which contains nationally recognised rules and regulations relating to the maintenance and operation of the cemetery. The Council adopts a policy for the maintenance of the cemetery in order to protect it as a tranquil and reverent place for friends and loved ones to visit their relatives.
“The Town Council’s Cemetery Policy can be found located on the noticeboard in the Cemetery. New owners of plots at the Cemetery are also provided with a copy of the policy.
“In relation to the issue that has been raised, the relevant parts of Town Council policy are, ‘No glass article or any article of pottery shall be placed on a grave. Wind chimes and windmills will not be permitted in the cemetery.’
“The Town Council operates a lawned cemetery and therefore has to ensure the area is able to be mowed. Flowers are, of course, well and truly allowed and particularly welcomed. However, wind chimes and windmills have been viewed as detracting from the reverent feel of the area.
“The above restrictions have been in place for a number of years. Visitors to the Town Cemetery often comment positively on the general appearance of the cemetery and the fact that it is beautiful, reverential and respectful. Comparisons are made with other cemeteries where colourful memorials are seen as making the overall appearance less appropriate in the eyes of most visitors.
“Recently, a family has been advised by a member of the Council staff that its windmill and scarecrow would probably have to be withdrawn, to be collected from the cemetery office. The three very beautiful and well-maintained flower bowls and one vase were not of issue whatsoever and the Council welcomes these as floral tributes in our cemetery.
“On hearing that the family has been made to feel upset as a result of this, the Council will now take the time to listen and reflect on the views expressed about the windmill and scarecrow, not only in relation to this particular grave but in the context of the wider Cemetery. The Council has therefore decided to leave these memorial items in place until a next opportunity to discuss it in early July and will be liaising with the family. The Council welcomes the views of those who use of our cemetery and we look forward to having a discussion about how we operate the cemetery in a way which continues to be respectful to all of those who have sadly passed away.”