Following advice, Ashfield District Council will re-open its cemeteries from Saturday 18th April from 9am until 4pm.
The Council took the tough decision to close its cemeteries to the public earlier this week. They have successfully made the case on behalf of concerned local residents to reopen them during the day whilst encouraging residents to continue to practice social distancing.
Councillor David Martin, Ashfield District Council’s Cabinet Member for Streets, Parks and Town Centres which covers cemeteries said, “We are receiving instruction and guidance from the Government on a daily basis. The advice from the Department of Housing, Communities and Local Government was to close our cemeteries to the public except for funerals and burials. We have sought further guidance and we believe that we can now reopen our cemeteries between 9am and 4pm.
“In the past we have reports of congregating and drinking in our cemeteries. Our Community Protection Team will be working with Nottinghamshire Police to ensure that cemeteries are used for those who want to pay their respects and remember their loved ones. As a Council, we ask that residents respect this and allow those who want to remember their loved ones to be able to do so.”
We are asking residents not to use our cemeteries for their daily exercise and will continue to work with Nottinghamshire Police to ensure that nobody congregates in Ashfield’s cemeteries unnecessarily.
Sam Dennis, Ashfield District Council’s Assistant Director Neighbourhoods and Environment said, “We have listened as a Council to concerns from residents. Our team will be unlocking the gates of cemeteries during the day. We would ask residents to respect social distancing during these difficult times. We will keep this under review. If any resident has any concerns about people congregating in our parks, open spaces and cemeteries then should call 101. We repeat the advice given to residents not to approach gatherings themselves.”
If a funeral is taking place, to enable to maintain the limit of 15 mourners and facilitate social distancing the gates will be locked until after the funeral.