Cemetery grounds close at Brighton crematorium

Posted On 07 Apr 2020 at 9:25 pm

The cemetery grounds at Woodvale Crematorium in Brighton are to close – except for funerals – from tomorrow (Wednesday 8 April).

One of the leading members of the Labour administration in Brighton and Hove, Councillor Daniel Yates, said: “I’m saddened to say we have taken the difficult decision to close the cemetery grounds at Woodvale Crematorium from tomorrow.

“This is not a decision taken lightly and has been made following new government guidance for managing crematoria.

“The guidance states crematoria must close to the public, except for funerals.

“This requirement also includes a cemetery if the crematorium is situated in the cemetery, which is the case at Woodvale.

“Of course, those attending funerals will still be allowed to do so, but a limit of 12 mourners at the chapels remains in place.

“This is to ensure guidance on social distancing can be followed.

“We understand that this will be upsetting to those who wish to visit the graves of family and friends but it’s important that we follow regulations on health protection at this difficult time.”

Councillor Yates added: “While other cemetery grounds in the city will remain open, I would again urge people to only visit these for funerals or to visit graves and memorials.

“Unfortunately, despite requests not to do so, a minority have continued to use the grounds for exercise, dog walking and family outings.

“Cemeteries are a place for mourning and remembrance and people should be allowed to do this in peace.

Councillor Daniel Yates

“The increased numbers of people using the cemetery grounds means social distancing has become more difficult, putting the public and cemetery staff at risk of contracting coronavirus (covid-19).

“I know that this decision will upset those who wish to visit the graves of loved ones at Woodvale, particularly during this challenging time for us all, but protecting public health must be our number one priority.”

Brighton and Hove City has published more details on its website.

  1. Christopher Hawtree Reply

    When were the last burials at Woodvale? I think it has been “full” some while?

  2. Kelly Reply

    People using the cemetery for exercise is wrong. I would of liked to of done to visit my Dad on his 2 year anniversary on the 16 April and now I’m unable to do that due to people being selfish. A cemetery is not a place for exercise it’s a place for mourning loved ones who are no longer here and selfish people have stopped people being able to do that.

  3. Steven Reply

    There are no parks or recreation grounds near me, the only large outdoor space is the Brighton Borough Cemetery. Now that it’s been closed, the only place for me to exercise, if I want to stay relatively near to my home, which is advised, is up and down the narrow pavements, everyone is doing the same. It’s not “selfish” to walk, quietly, through a large, mostly empty cemetery, where 90% of the graves are over 75 years old. The decision to close this cemetery is an own-goal in terms of helping us reduce the spread of the virus. It should be reconsidered. Claiming the staff can’t remain socially distant in this environment is simply incredulous, I have walked there dozens of times and have never seen any staff.

  4. Billy Reply

    This whole policy needs a rethink.
    We’ve just had Easter Weekend where to discourage day trippers and other visitors to the city was obviously right. But at the same time to victimise those locals using the beach was a bit stupid.
    If people are allowed out to take exercise then what better choice than walking on the sand at low water – on land that is washed twice a day by the tides?
    With media interest focussed on Brighton, some were calling for the beach to be closed. Doh! If the beach is closed then there are more people on the prom. If the promenade is closed then there are more people on Hove lawns. If Hove lawns are then closed do we then close the seafront road as well? And then where do we locals go for our brief moment of fresh air?
    We are a city where big houses are divided up into flats and bedsits, and where residents often have no outside space. The more outdoor spaces we close, the more we shift normal people elsewhere and the more difficult it becomes to ensure social distancing.
    In this case, there are several graveyards, mostly up hills, that will never be full of people and which are just fine to keep open. It’s too easy in a time of crisis to take the knee jerk option and to close everything.

  5. Jane Burkin Reply

    Woodvale can’t enforce this, at all! Carry on visiting you loved ones graves! I intend to.

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