Monmouthshire County Council is to carry out an inspection of memorials in its cemetery in Mathern Road, Chepstow this autumn. The council has a requirement to ensure the safety of people visiting or working in its cemeteries and checking the stability of memorials is an important part of that obligation. Testing will be carried out by trained employees.
Failed memorials will be supported by a stake and band as a short term measure and cemetery staff will attach notices notifying family members that they must engage a registered memorial mason if they wish to re-erect the stone. If contact details are available the council will also write to families about the action taken and the steps they need to take. Memorials not re-erected within six months of test failure will be sunk to one third of their depth at the head of the grave.
The council recognizes that family members may become anxious when informed that a memorial is unsafe but it hopes that those affected will understand the overriding principle to ensure the safety of people visiting the cemetery. Anyone concerned about the stability of a memorial or requiring further information should email the Cemeteries Officer – firstname.lastname@example.org – or telephone 01873 735852.
Monmouthshire’s cabinet member with responsibility for cemeteries, Councillor Phil Murphy said: “The work at Chepstow Cemetery is the next stage of our rolling programme to ensure the safety of memorials in the county’s cemeteries. Anyone with concerns should contact us and we will be happy to address them. The work is likely to begin in October and completed by the following month.”