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Cemeteries

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 27th March 2020.

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Photo of Aaron Bell Aaron Bell Conservative, Newcastle-under-Lyme

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what economic assessment he has made of the effect of transferring closed burial grounds from the Church of England to local authorities.

Photo of Aaron Bell Aaron Bell Conservative, Newcastle-under-Lyme

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what funding is available for local authorities to maintain burial grounds.

Photo of Aaron Bell Aaron Bell Conservative, Newcastle-under-Lyme

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many closed churchyards have been transferred from the Church of England to local authorities in Staffordshire since 2010.

Photo of Aaron Bell Aaron Bell Conservative, Newcastle-under-Lyme

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, if he will make an assessment of the adequacy of the Burial Act 1854 and the financial effect of its provision on local authorities.

Photo of Alex Chalk Alex Chalk Assistant Whip, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice

Historically, the Church of England has made burial provision for local communities, and continues to do so. The transfer of responsibility for closed churchyards to local authorities returns the accountability for their maintenance to the community as a whole. Local authority spending priorities are a matter for local discretion.

Data on the transfer of responsibility for closed churchyards to local authorities is not held centrally.

The Law Commission’s current Programme of Law Reform includes a project to consider streamlining and modernising the law governing the disposal of human remains, with a view to putting forward a legal framework for the future.

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