Survey backs plans to allow mementos at Durham cemeteries

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GRIEVING relatives should be allowed to put personal mementos by the graveside of loves ones, a survey has found.

It was one of the findings from public consultation by Durham County Council over proposed changes to the way some cemeteries are managed.

Almost 70 per cent of people thought graveside adornments should be allowed in a small personalisation area at the base of a memorial.

Although more than half of the 235 respondents believed families should be able to leave items in the larger grave area for two months, 32 per cent thought longer was appropriate.

The authority is therefore proposing the time limit be extended to three months.

The authority’s cabinet members will discuss this and other proposals and feedback at a meeting on Thursday.

Councillor Brian Stephens, cabinet member for neighbourhoods and local partnerships, said: “It can be difficult to balance the individual needs of the bereaved with the wider interests of visitors, so we appreciate this may be a sensitive and potentially emotive issue.”