Councils running out of burial space with calls for grave plots to be reused (From Bournemouth Echo)
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Councils running out of burial space with calls for grave plots to be reused
10:34am Friday 27th September 2013 in News
Grave plots should be re-used to address a shortfall in spaces, an academic has said.
Churches and other authorities with responsibilities for burial grounds should look at the role they play in society on the continent, according to Julie Rugg, of the University of York's Cemetery Research Group (CRG).
Research by the BBC's local radio stations has found that more than four in 10 (44%) cemeteries are expected to be full within 20 years, with a quarter full within the next decade.
Dr Rugg said there needed to be a rethink about reusing graves.
''We spend a lot of time thinking that's a problem, something we don't want - it brings money back into our cemeteries, it brings people back into our cemeteries,'' she told BBC Breakfast.
''Cemeteries become vibrant places then, where you can meet people, not these places that are a little bit abandoned, a little bit sad and lonely and neglected.
''When you go on to the continent, cemeteries are often full of people. That is not a bad thing.''
- Poole residents could be invited to buy graves in advance to fund cemetery
- Poole may run out of graves in months
The cost of dying has risen to an average £7,622 - a 7.1% increase on last year, according to a report earlier this month by insurer Sun Life Direct.
The figure, which includes costs such as probate, headstones and flowers as well as the funeral, varies significantly across the regions, with London the most expensive at £9,556. Wales was the least expensive with an average cost of £6,096.
The cost of a funeral has also increased by 5.3% since last year to £3,456, or 80% higher than in 2004.
Burial fees have risen by 69% since 2007 and cremation fees by 51%, according to the report.
The average burial now costs £3,914 and cremation £2,998.
The Ministry of Justice is responsible for legislation regarding burials.
A spokesman said: ''Any changes in the way in which graves and cemeteries might be managed need to be considered carefully and sensitively.
''We keep this area under constant review and no decisions have yet been taken.''
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