The council has committed an extra £200,000 investment over the next 12 months to improve its cemetery service for residents
Published: Wednesday, 31st January 2018
The council has committed an extra £200,000 investment over the next 12 months to improve its cemetery service for residents.
The investment aims to improve the borough’s cemetery service for future generations and to meet the current needs of Hounslow’s diverse local community.
The council’s pledge comes despite the announcement of Carillion’s involuntary liquidation. In response to the announcement, the council agreed to bring forward the transfer of the Parks contract to its wholly-owned trading company, Lampton 360, to 1 March 2018 from 9 April 2018, and negotiations are underway to bring the transfer forward again to a date earlier than 1 March.
The council’s service includes 10 cemeteries and four churchyards with over 30,000 headstones and memorials.
Councillor Samia Chaudhary, Cabinet Member for Green Policy and Leisure, said: “This good news comes on the back of other recent investment and interventions to improve our cemetery service. We recognise the heritage significance and diverse cultural needs cemeteries have and we are striving to ensure we meet these needs.
We will launch a new cemetery strategy in the summer which will provide a blueprint for the future of our cemeteries, and will consult with residents on this strategy.”
To date, a significant amount of work has been undertaken to improve the cemetery service for Hounslow residents, including:
- Waived burial fees for under 18s - the council removed all charges as a way of supporting families at a difficult time.
- Management and addressing of ground water levels in Hatton and Borough cemetery.
- Burial services at weekends – the council can now accommodate weekend burials to ensure demand is met for faith burials requiring less than 48hours notice to access our services.
- Reuse of dilapidated buildings – the council is working with the charity Men’s Shed which engages with people to reduce loneliness and isolation. Isleworth Chapel, which had been derelict for over 15 years, has now opened its doors for community use.
- New gates at Heston Cemetery - the damaged heritage gate was reinstated with an ornate replica.
- Additional space - a programme has begun to provide additional space within cemeteries, this will increase capacity by over 2,000 burial graves.
There will be an opportunity for residents to provide feedback before the strategy is formally adopted.