Decision details

Cemetery Policy

Decision status: For Determination

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: No


The Executive Director of Economic Growth and Neighbourhood Services submitted a report presenting new draft Cemetery & Crematorium Regulations (the Regulations) for public consultation.  The following documents were attached to the report:


Appendix 1 – Draft Cemetery & Crematorium Regulations 2021

Appendix 2 – Equality Impact Assessment

Appendix 3 – Cemetery Plan and Grave Types


The report explained that under the Local Authorities’ Cemeteries Order 1977 (LACO) legislation, Local Authorities were required to prepare and adopt Regulations that set out the Council's policy and procedures for the operation of the cemetery. The last time the Regulations had been updated and adopted by the Council had been in 2011.  The Regulations applied to Henley Road Cemetery, Reading Cemetery and Caversham Cemetery, and also to Reading Crematorium and Gardens of Remembrance based at Henley Road Cemetery. 


The report stated that in October 2020, representations had been made to the Council that the Bereavement Service currently provided did not fully meet the needs of the Muslim community. In consultation with the Lead Councillor for Corporate and Consumer Services and the Executive Director for Resources, temporary changes to the service had been made, with the opportunity offered for families to retrospectively upgrade to a traditional grave (these changes related to the 5th Muslim section of the cemetery in the area known as ‘Park’ only).  The Council had also committed to review the current Regulations and consult on the revised proposals.


The report summarised the proposed changes to the regulations which were within the context of a national burial land shortage, and a predicted burial provision in Reading for a further eight years (Westfield five years, Mayfield three years) should the proposed changes be adopted.  The proposals had been developed to ensure the changing needs of communities within Reading were met, where reasonable and practicable to do so, specifically considering faith burial needs, as well as ensuring operations were cost-effective and efficient. Approval was sought for a holding position until the regulations were in place, under which families would be offered a Lawn Grave only in the Westfield area of the cemetery.


Resolved –


(1)      That the Draft Cemetery & Crematorium Regulations as set out at Appendix 1 be approved for public consultation;


(2)      That a further report be submitted to the Committee in September 2021 following the outcome of the consultation process;


(3)      That the Council’s holding position prior to agreement of the new Regulations be approved.

Publication date: 15/07/2021

Date of decision: 14/06/2021

Decided at meeting: 14/06/2021 - Policy Committee

Accompanying Documents: