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Management rules for burial grounds

North Lanarkshire Council hereby makes the following rules for the management, regulation and control of cemeteries and burial grounds in North Lanarkshire in terms of Section 112 of the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 and Section 17 of the Burial Grounds (Scotland) Act 1855 as amended.

Interpretation

1. Throughout these rules:

(a) "The Council" means North Lanarkshire Council and their statutory successors.

(b) "Cemetery/Burial Ground" means any cemetery/burial ground or churchyard under the control of the Council.

(c) "Director" means Executive Director of Enterprise and Communities.

(d) "Lair" means a burial plot that being the volume of ground defined to contain buried human remains comprising a number of individual graves arranged vertically

Control of burial grounds

2. Control of all cemeteries and burial grounds situated within North Lanarkshire shall be exercised by the Director of Enterprise and Communities.

The exclusive right of burial

3. In exchange for the agreed payment, the purchaser (then lair holder) shall obtain an exclusive right of burial in a lair forever unless the right is validly withdrawn or transferred as provided for in these rules. A lair holder shall have no claim against the Council for any damage or loss sustained by past or future working of any mines, metals, minerals or stone or of the working mines, metals, minerals or stone in and under any ground adjoining the lair. An exclusive right of burial includes a right for a lair holder to bury any person in the lair, providing the procedures for burial in these rules have been followed.

The lair certificate

4. The Director shall provide the purchaser of an exclusive right of burial (lair holder) with a certificate describing the lair (the Lair Certificate). A lair holder registered as such in the records of the Council shall be the only person with the right to authorise the lair to be opened unless another person is allowed by operation of law to authorise the lair to be opened. The production of the Lair Certificate together with satisfactory evidence of identification (i.e. Birth certificate, driving licence, passport etc) will be held as sufficient evidence of a lair holder's identity. Only one natural person shall be registered as a lair holder at any time unless the Director, at his sole discretion, allows more than one person to be registered as lair holder in respect of any lair. No lair holder shall be entitled to transfer a lair during his lifetime without the consent of the Council and then only in accordance with the rules for the transfer of lair - see rule 8.

5. No new lair shall be sold unless required for the burial of a person deceased at the time of the application to purchase the exclusive right of burial in the lair. No person shall be entitled to demand a lair at any particular location and the allocation of lairs shall be at the sole discretion of the Director.

6. Any lair in the Cemeteries Register in the name of a deceased person shall require to be transferred to his beneficiary or successor (as defined in these rules) before being opened or used for the burial of the deceased person or any other person or for any work being carried out to erect or amend a memorial.

7. If a Lair Certificate is mislaid, lost or accidentally destroyed, application for a duplicate Lair Certificate may be made to the Director accompanied by any fee that may be set by the Council from time to time. Before a duplicate Lair Certificate is issued, the applicant must send to the Director any evidence or information as he may reasonably require concerning the circumstance of the loss or destruction of the original lair certificate. A duplicate Lair Certificate shall be in such form and subject to such conditions as the Director may decide.

Transfer of the Exclusive Right of Burial

8. A lair holder shall not be entitled to transfer or sell his exclusive right of burial in a lair except with the prior written consent of the Council. A lair holder may transfer the exclusive right of burial to a nominated person on completion by both parties of such forms as may be required from time to time by the Council for that purpose. On the submission of these forms together with such fees as may be set from time to time, and providing the Council is prepared to consent to the transfer, a Lair Transfer Certificate shall be issued in such form and subject to such conditions as the Council may decide.

9. On the death of a lair holder, his successor, as identified in terms of rules 10, 11 and 12 below, shall be entitled, on producing to the satisfaction of the Director sufficient evidence of his right, to be registered as lair holder in the Council's records. In such a case a new Lair Certificate will be issued but only when the original lair certificate has been produced and surrendered to the Council or otherwise accounted for to the satisfaction of the Director.

10. A lair holder shall be permitted to bequeath his lair to any one person. In the event that the lair holder tries to bequeath the lair to more than one person, only one of those persons will be entitled to succeed to the exclusive right of burial. Rule 12 shall be used to decide which of those persons should inherit the exclusive right of burial. The lair may only be inherited by more than one person at the sole discretion of the Director. The Council shall not be responsible for any misunderstanding or error in its acceptance in good faith of any person claiming to be the legal lair holder or to have an exclusive right of burial even should it be ascertained subsequently that such a claim was unfounded.

11. If a lair holder dies and has made no valid bequest of the lair, the exclusive right of burial in the lair shall transfer to the lair holder's successor using the order of ranking detailed in rule 12.

12. The order of ranking is

  • the lair holder's spouse
  • the lair holder's children
  • the lair holder's grandchildren
  • remoter descendants in order of descent
  • ascendants in order of ascent
  • brothers and sisters and their ascendants and descendants in similar fashion.

In the event of there being more than one person in any class of relative, the party succeeding shall be the eldest in each case and nearer of the classes shall take precedence over the remoter. Adopted children shall succeed in all respects in the same manner as natural children. The Council shall not be responsible for any misunderstanding or error in the acceptance in good faith of any person claiming to be the legal lair holder, or to have an exclusive right of burial even should it be ascertained subsequently that such a claim was unfounded. In the event of there being no successor, the lair shall revert to the Council.

13. All burials must be authorised by the Council prior to any funeral arrangements being publicly announced.

14. Notice of burial must be given to the cemeteries administration office as early as possible, and in any event, not less than 48 hours notice (excluding Saturdays, Sundays, Christmas Day and New Years Day) must be given for any proposed burial, except at the discretion of the Director. The notice shall state the name, address, age and date of death of the deceased, the place of residence at the time of death and the day and time of the burial and any other information as may be thought necessary by the Director. Following the receipt of a satisfactory notice of burial with an acceptable period of notice and confirmation of the appropriateness of the proposal form and examination of the lair register, a Preparation and Authorisation for burial will be issued.

15. No lair holder shall be entitled to have the ground opened to a depth greater than 2.4 metres and no burial shall be made unless capable of leaving at least 0.6 metres of soil between the ordinary surface of the ground and the upper side of the coffin. It is intended that lairs will accommodate four adult coffin burials but this will depend on the ground conditions discovered following the opening of a lair. Cremated remains may also be interred in a lair. The lair details and the available space in any one lair shall be recorded on the Lair Certificate following each burial. The digging of graves and preparation of foundations for monuments shall be done only by persons authorised by the Council. The Council will be entitled to charge such fees as it sets from time to time for work that is necessary to give effect to a burial.

16. The Council shall make and keep a record of every burial, specifying the lair, the depth of the grave, the date of burial, the name and date of death of the person buried and any other particulars considered necessary for the proper management of the burial ground.

17. Nobody shall hold any public meetings, processions, demonstrations, religious service (except in connection with a funeral) political rally, lecture or concert in any public cemetery, without the written consent of the Director. The consent must be obtained prior to the event.

18. The fees and charges to be paid in connection with burials, purchase of lairs and other matters specified in these rules shall be set by the Council from time to time. A scale of burial fees and other charges shall be kept by the cemeteries administration office and can be accessed on the Council website. All fees and charges paid in connection with burials, Lair Certificates or other forms of cemeteries administration shall be acknowledged by invoice or in the case of cheques a handwritten numbered receipt shall be given. All fees and charges to be paid in connection with burials, purchase of the exclusive right of burial and other matters specified in terms of these rules shall be paid to the Council on demand. North Lanarkshire Council has the right to withdraw cemetery services from a person or a business if that person or business has outstanding debts due to North Lanarkshire Council.

19. The Funeral Director is responsible for the provision of sufficient bearers to convey the coffin reverently from the hearse to the graveside and for lowering the coffin into the grave. If persons acting on behalf of the Council are asked to assist, neither they nor the Council will be held responsible for any damage.

20. Designated areas or lairs for the burial of cremated remains may be provided in some cemeteries at the sole discretion of the Director. On payment of the appropriate fee the right to inter cremated remains will be granted by the Council with the right to erect a memorial. The installation, renovation and additional inscriptions shall be subject to rules 24 to 27 below. The right to bury cremated remains and the use of lairs for that purpose shall be governed by these rules in a similar manner to the burial of coffins. Application for burial of cremated remains must be made in the same manner and providing the same information as that provided for in these rules for the burial of a coffin.

Memorials

21. The erection of a headstone memorial shall be permitted only on allocated lairs and at no other place in the burial ground.

22. A lair holder shall be entitled to have a headstone memorial erected but such headstone memorial shall not protrude in any way over the part of the lair that requires to be opened for burials and shall be restricted to at least 75 mm less in width that the width of the lair. Lair gardens can extend to a maximum of 300 millimetres (approx 12 inches) from the front edge of the memorial foundation. Any construction must be dry fixed, that is, there must be no use of concrete. Any construction must be safe in the opinion of the Director.

23. Foundations for all memorials will be constructed by the Council in accordance with such recommendations as may be formulated from time to time by the National Association of Monumental Masons.

24. The lair holder shall keep memorials in a neat, proper and safe condition of which the Director shall be the sole judge. If, in the opinion of the Director, a lair holder has not done so, then the Director will give 21 days written notice to the lair holder, at his last known address, to carry out any work he may specify as necessary to rectify the situation. If, following a period of 21 days after issue of the written notice the position has not been rectified to the Director's satisfaction, the Council shall be entitled, at the lair holder's expense, either to repair the memorials or to have them removed and, until the cost of such repairs or removal is paid to the Council, the exclusive right of burial in the lair shall be suspended. The Council shall be entitled to make safe, lay flat, band by using support struts or trench memorials by setting approximately a third of the memorial plate into the ground, according to the condition of the memorials.

25. No shrubs or flowers shall be planted in any lair except with the prior written consent of the Director and at the expense of the lair holder. The Director shall be entitled to have plants and flowers pruned and if necessary removed if, in his opinion, they have become too large, or by spreading of their roots or branches, injury may be done to any person, the ground, monuments, paths or roads.

26. Memorial wreaths, spent flowers and inappropriate items will be removed at the discretion of the Director. Tributes including Christmas wreaths and armistice wreaths will also be removed after a period deemed appropriate by the cemetery staff, taking into account the condition of the tribute, the condition of the grass on the lair and prevailing weather conditions.

27. The lair holder shall be responsible for any damage to any headstone memorial on the lair other than damage caused by the Council, or its employees or agents. The lair holder shall relieve the Council of any liability arising in connection with damage caused by any memorial on the lair or as a result of the condition thereof.

28. A request for the installation, or renovation of, or application of any additional inscription to a headstone memorial must be submitted to the Director on such forms and accompanied by the principal lair certificate and payment of such fees as may be required from time to time. Such works shall not be commenced until and unless the request has been granted.

29. No work or operation of any kind shall be permitted inside the cemetery or burial grounds without the permission of the Director who must be satisfied that the authority of any relevant lair holder has been obtained before such work commences.

30. All work referred to in paragraph 31 shall be carried out only by masons approved in accordance with any North Lanarkshire Council Registration for Memorial Masons then in force.

31. The section and number of the lair designating its location within the cemetery must be cut plainly on the side of the headstone memorial at the expense of the person who has instructed erection of the headstone memorial.

32. No memorials or part thereof shall be removed from the cemetery without the prior consent of the Director.

33. No memorial benches, trees or other forms of memorialisation shall be permitted to be situated in any cemetery without the prior written consent of the Director. All applications for such permission shall be submitted on such forms as may be required from time to time by the Director and any such permission granted may be subject to such conditions as the Director deems appropriate.

34. The cemetery can be visited 24 hours a day. Closure times for vehicular access will be displayed at or near the principal entrances. The Council shall retain the right to close to the public, at any time, all or any part of any cemetery if considered necessary and without giving notice of their intention to do so.

35. No person shall enter or leave any cemetery except by the entrances and exits provided for that purpose.

36. Dogs leashed are permitted, but fouling must be removed by the person in charge of the dog and disposed of properly. Failure to keep dogs leashed or to remove fouling will result in the person in charge of the dog being expelled from the cemetery and persistent offenders may be excluded from entering the cemetery in future.

37. Car parking facilities provided by the Council shall only be available to persons visiting the cemetery and only during such times as the facilities of the cemetery are being used by those persons. In all cases, the directions of the Director must be complied with and all vehicles in cemetery grounds or car parks must be drive at a reasonable speed and with due care and attention. The Council shall not be liable for any damage to vehicles or other property left in car parking facilities.

38. Vehicles conveying memorials or goods into cemetery grounds will only be allowed entry with the consent of the Director. The person in charge of such vehicle must comply with the directions of the Director as to the route to be followed within the grounds.

Conduct

39. No person shall, whilst in a cemetery:

(a) Use any profane or offensive language or behave in an offensive, disorderly or insulting manner.

(b) Wilfully or carelessly obstruct, disturb or interrupt any officer, employee or agent of the Council in the exercise of his duties or in the execution of any work associated therewith:

(c) Wilfully or carelessly interfere with any other person using the facilities provided by the Council, or behave in such a manner as to endanger their own or any other person's safety;

(d) Disobey any proper instructions given by any member of the cemetery staff to ensure the safety and comfort of all persons using the cemetery;

(e) Bring into or retain within a cemetery any object or objects which may be considered by any member of the cemetery staff to be dangerous;

(f) Climb upon any tree, shrub, wall, fence, railing, monuments, fountain, statue, building or other structure;

(g) Enter or use any toilet or facilities reserved or designated by the Council for use by persons of the opposite sex, provided that nothing in this regulation shall prevent a child under 8 years of age using a toilet or facilities provided for persons of the opposite sex whilst accompanied by an adult of the sex permitted to use the toilet or facility:

(h) Wilfully or carelessly break, damage, deface, disfigure, tamper with or improperly soil any tree, shrub, wall, fence, railing monuments, fountain, statue, building or other structure in the cemetery;

(i) Wilfully or carelessly damage, destroy or improperly soil any articles supplied by the Council for use in the cemetery;

(j) Retain or remove any article supplied by the Council for use by that person after the purpose of which same was issued has been served.

(k) No ball games of any description are permitted within any cemetery controlled by the Council.

Offences and Exclusion Orders

40. If the Director has reasonable grounds for believing that any person has contravened, is contravening or is about to contravene any of the foregoing management rules, he may expel that person from the cemetery. Any person who fails to leave the cemetery on being so expelled shall be guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 1 on the standard scale.

41. The Council may decide that a person who has persistently contravened or attempted to contravene these rules, in its opinion, likely to contravene the rules again. In that event, the Council may decide to make any such person subject to an exclusion order, and if the Council so decided, they shall give the person subject to the exclusion order notice of their decision.

42. An exclusion order shall take effect upon a person on such date as the Council may decide which shall be not less than 14 days after their decision to make the exclusion order. Any person who has been made subject to an exclusion order shall be entitled to make written or oral representations to the Council at any time up to the date when the order would have take effect upon them. In the event that such written or oral representations are made timeously, the Council shall suspend the effect of its decision, consider the representations and decide whether to confirm its decision or to revoke or amend it.

43. Any person who, being a person subject to an exclusion order, enters or attempts to enter a cemetery to which the exclusion order relates, shall be guilty of an offence and liable, on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding level 1 on the standard scale.

44. Any dispute arising as the real intent, meaning or interpretation of these rules or any schedule of fees and charges shall be adjudicated upon by the Director whose decision shall be final.

45. The Council shall be at liberty to alter these rules or any part of them from time to time as they may see fit, and make and enforce such other rules as they may consider necessary for the proper or better management of cemeteries or burial grounds.

46. These rules supersede and revoke all previous North Lanarkshire Council management rules and supplementary management rules insofar as the management of cemeteries and burial grounds in North Lanarkshire is concerned. The North Lanarkshire Council Rules and Regulations for the Management of Burial Grounds within North Lanarkshire Council executed on 1 May 2004 and which came into force on 1 May 2004 are hereby revoked.

47. These rules and regulations shall come into force on 1 May 2014 and shall and unless revoked, continue for a period of 10 years from that date.

Cambusnethan Baby Garden Management Rules

The baby memorial garden will be managed in accordance with the particular rules below encompassed within the overall rules for the management, regulation and control of cemeteries and burial grounds (the rules).

Interments

1. Two grave types will be offered within the Baby Memorial Garden in Cambusnethan cemetery, Wishaw. These are:

Individual lairs - these lairs will allow two interments of baby coffins and up to six sets of cremated remains caskets. An interment will be excavated to a depth of 1500mm and accommodate a maximum coffin length of 1500mm.

Communal lairs - these lairs will allow one interment of a baby coffin/casket. No other interment will be allowed in a lair in the communal area. An interment will be excavated to a depth of 900mm and accommodate a maximum coffin length of 700mm.

Memorialisation

2. The erection of a headstone memorial shall be permitted on allocated individual baby lairs and at no other place in the baby garden. These will be placed and fixed to a foundation in accordance with the management rules.

3. A memorial wall is provided for those parents who have chosen a communal lair to which a memorial plaque can be fixed. The plaques must be to standard dimensions and fixings and will require a permit to be issued before installation can take place. The fixing of plaques will be in accordance with the National Association of Memorial Masons (NAMM) Code of Working Practice.

4. Benches have been installed as part of the design of the baby garden and no further memorial benches shall be permitted. Opportunities exist for the planting of memorial trees without plaques in the natural area of the baby garden. These will be managed in accordance with the management rules.

Page last updated:
08 Feb 2021

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