Please be advised that from April 2019, Thanet District Council intends to commence Memorial Stability Testing in St John’s Cemetery, Margate.
The testing is required to be done to ensure visitors’ safety around existing memorials. It will be carried out as discreetly as possible and any required action will be taken sensitively in proportion to any danger posed.
Memorial stability is a legal requirement for burial authorities to test the stability of all memorial stones. This is to ensure people working or visiting any cemetery or churchyard can do so safely.
Below are frequently asked questions and answers which are often asked during memorial stability testing, however, should you wish further clarification on this matter, please contact us on 01843 577333.
We understand this could be a distressing time for some families, therefore crematorium and cemetery staff employed by Thanet District Council will be on hand to guide and assist you during this necessary process. Please read through our frequently asked questions below for further guidance.
What will be happening?
Thanet District Council have a responsibility to test the stability of all memorials sited in areas for which they are accountable for safety.
What happens if my memorial fails?
All memorials which fail the stability test will be supported by a wooden stake for a period of 5 years. The stone will be banded gently to the stake to avoid damage to the stone.
If the memorial is deemed too large to stake and band, the memorial will be dismantled and laid flat on the grave space by the contracted memorial mason.
What happens if I receive a failure letter?
The listed owner(s) of the burial rights should receive a failure letter if we have the correct address; unfortunately we don’t hold these for closed churchyards. Please read this carefully as it will explain the reasons your memorial has failed and the steps necessary to reinstate your memorial to the required standard. If you do receive a letter, you will have 5 years to contact a stonemason to complete the necessary repair works.
Do I have to have the memorial repaired?
No, you can choose not to reinstate the memorial and the memorial will be set so far into the ground. However, if this poses an additional risk or a trip hazard, as a last resort, the memorial may need to be removed.
Can I repair my own memorial?
No, all memorials must be repaired by a fully qualified stonemason who will submit an application to this office. This application will need to be signed by the person owning the burial rights and will detail the repairs being made. A list of local stonemasons has been provided on the back of this leaflet.
What happens if I am not the owner of the burial rights?
You will need to contact the crematorium office and request an information pack for transferring the ownership.
How much will the repairs cost, to bring the memorial up to the required standard?
All memorials are required to meet current national standards set by the Ministry of Justice and British Standards.
Each memorial is unique and could require different repairs. You will need to contact a stonemason to quote for these works.
Will I always be kept informed?
Every effort will be made to contact the person who owns the burial rights; these details will be taken from our current records. To ensure we incorporate those who have moved, a notice will also be placed on the memorial asking the plot owner to contact this office at their earliest convenience.
Please note that we do not hold any details of owners of plots within the Closed Churchyards. The local Church may hold the records, and you may like to contact them directly.
Should you require any further information or guidance on memorial stability, please contact us and speak to a member of our team who will be more than happy to help you: Permalink