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Garff Commissioners could undertake burial ground maintenance

Monday, March 4th, 2019 6:07am

By Ewan Gawne - Local Democracy Reporter

Garff Commissioners are exploring the idea of taking on responsibility for the maintenance of burial grounds in the local area.

It comes following fears volunteers many not wish to undertake the roles of churchwardens in future.

The commissioners have entered into ‘initial discussions’ with church authorities to find out whether a transfer of responsibilities would work.

If both parties agree, a private members bill would have to be brought forward in parliament to change the law, allowing for the transfer to take place

It’s understood the two Garff MHKs are happy to do this should the two authorities agree.

Members of the public are being invited to comment on the proposal by the local authority, which will provide updates when available.

The Church Commissioners, which make recommendations to the Bishop on changes to the pastoral organisation of the Diocese, are understood to be in favour of the transfer, should an agreement be reached.

The Lonan Burial Authority will introduce a rate of 13 pence in the pound from April this year.

Under current legislation (Burials Act 1986) it’s the duty of churchwardens to maintain any parish burial grounds in the parish.

Douglas Borough Council currently operates the only civic burial ground on the Isle of Man.

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