Accessibility Statement
Skip to main content
Chat icon Chat with us live

Tameside Bereavement Services


Overarching Policy

To facilitate the better provision, operation, administration and management of cemeteries, crematoria and bereavement related services

Primary Purposes

  1. To promote the improvement of cemeteries, crematoria and public services.
  2. To promote the advancement and welfare of people employed in the Bereavement Service.
  3. To prove our ongoing commitment to the residents of Tameside to continually improve the Bereavement Service. To help achieve this we have adopted "The Charter for the Bereaved". This acts as a major tool in the Business planning of the Cemetery service. Click here to view the 33 Rights you are entitled to.
  4. To seek to generate interest in and educate people about bereavement.
  5. To influence the expansion of services and clarify the various roles & responsibilities of those involved.
  6. To be committed to improving the service by confronting rather than disguising or ignoring death.
  7. To define the rights of every individual who experiences bereavement. In achieving this aim, we set standards of service related to burial, cremation and funerals. It is a written statement of what can be expected and enables people to judge the quality of the service received

In line with the Councils Corporate objectives and to mirror the Council's Corporate Strategy, we will take into account the six main themes from the Community Strategy. These are:

  • Supportive Communities
  • A Safe Environment
  • A Prosperous Society
  • A Learning Community
  • A Healthy Population
  • An Attractive Borough

Statutory Responsibilities

We shall, at all times, operate our facilities in accordance with all statutory requirements. We shall ensure the health, safety and welfare of staff and visitors and abide by The Council's Health & Safety Policy - Memorial Safety PolicyLink to Adobe PDF file

Service Provision

We will provide a service sympathetic to the needs of our clients, based on confidentiality and the provision of impartial advice.

Caring for the Community

All cremation and burial facilities will be managed with competence and efficiency, to ensure that the entire bereavement experience occurs without error or insensitivity, and meets religious, secular, ethnic and cultural needs of the bereaved.

Service Sensitivity

The burial or cremation of a human body is a highly emotional occasion for those taking part. Each of our cemetery and crematoria will be managed to create and maintain an atmosphere of solace and respect throughout the entire proceedings. This sensitivity will extend to all staff and contractors working at our facilities, through the application of bereavement sensitive specifications. Staff will respond sympathetically to individual funeral needs and shall give a justifiable reason for refusing specific request. We will also adhere to The Institute of Cemetery & Crematorium Managements Policy on The Disposal of Foetal Remains. click here to view the Policy for the Sensitive Disposal of Foetal Remains and Policy and Guidance for Baby and Infant Funerals Link to PDF Document

Bereavement Support

Staff must be aware of their responsibilities for the care and support of the bereaved, who depend upon our services.

Professional Competence

In order to achieve the required level of professional competence, all staff shall receive training and gain experience relevant to the provision of cemetery, crematorium and associated services. Training, as required, shall continue throughout careers in order to maintain a high level of professional competence.

Staff in senior positions should be diploma holders of The Institute of Cemetery and Crematorium Management.


All staff should possess qualifications and undergo recognised training specific to their duties. At the senior management level, the appointment of staff in possession of the Diploma of the Institute of Cemetery and Crematorium Management is seen as a minimum requirement. The appointment of all staff must emphasise the need for proper conduct and demeanour, as well as technical expertise. Staff will act and speak in a manner that recognises the sensitivity of bereavement, both during and outside working hours, and their general behaviour must not detract from the standard of service expected and indeed required.


Staff shall ensure that in providing facilities, which are compatible with the needs of our customers, they are aware of their responsibilities to the environment as a whole.

We shall minimise the impact of bereavement upon the environment.

This should encourage the greater use of earth friendly materials, particularly in coffins and containers used for burial or cremation, a reduction in fossil fuel usage and emissions to air, and the use of suitable ground for burial so that water borne pollution shall not occur. Metal residues found in cremated remains shall not be salvaged for any purpose. They will not be removed form the crematorium and shall be interred in the grounds.

We are committed to recycling flowers from funerals to make compost for the cemeteries, plastic wrappings from flowers etc to make plastic memorial benches and waste bins and we use crushed recycled glass to level graves rather than clay.

We have also introduced solar lighting at the Crematorium and are committed to extending this programme.

Equal Opportunities & Funeral Custom

Staff shall be committed to the elimination of discrimination and the promotion of equality in employment and service delivery. It is recognised that everyone is of equal value and should be respected for their individual needs and abilities.

Staff shall ensure that all ethnic, religious and secular cultures are given equal consideration in the provision of bereavement services.

Staff shall endeavour to be fair, reasonable and just in all their professional activities and will uphold the Council's Equal Opportunities Policy, which is based on the principle that no person shall be discriminated against because of their age, culture, disability, ethnic origin, gender, marital status, nationality, race, religion or sexual orientation.

Quality Policy

Staff will aim to provide the highest standards in service delivery in accordance with best working practice (eg the Charter for the Bereaved) and the principles of best value. The Division delivers services in line with recognised National and International Standards, Codes of Practice and Council Policy.

Experienced staff are available to ensure that a high level of service is maintained and customers requirements are met. The reputation for Quality built up by this Division over the years is a fundamental constituent of its policy and is to be safeguarded by every possible means. Every member of the management team regards Quality Assurance as a major responsibility and is determined to see that the best practical methods are adopted.

In doing so the Division is committed to a policy of Quality Assurance to ensure that our service meets the Quality requirements, and at the same time the performance requirements of our customer contracts.

It is key in the objectives of this Division that the Quality Management System provides: -

  • Confidence to our customers that their requirements for quality and safety are being achieved in the delivered service.
  • Confidence of our management & staff that the requirements for quality are being fulfilled & maintained, & that quality improvements take place.
  • A framework for establishing and reviewing quality objectives, therefore performance targets are set, agreed and monitored in all departments on a regular basis.

Objective evidence of this fact is provided through the establishment and maintenance of a Quality Assurance System that complies with the requirements specified in BS EN ISO 9001: 2008. 


If anyone wishes to make a complaint about any aspect of the service we will direct him or her to The Council's Complaints Policy and procedure.

Individual Disposal

The importance of human beings as individuals and the manner in which they inter-relate with relatives and friends does not diminish in significance following death. It is important for the bereaved to know that the burial or cremation is individually carried out, and the following requirements must, therefore, be met:

General Conditions

  1. No coffin/container/shroud shall be accepted at a cemetery unless the name of the deceased therein is clearly shown.
  2. The identity shown on the coffin/container/shroud shall be verified at every funeral.
  3. If burial is to occur, the body and its coffin/container/shroud will be placed in the identified grave.
  4. If cremation is to occur, the body will be cremated individually and the correct identity shall be maintained throughout the process.

Requirements Relating to Cremation

  1. A body shall not be removed from the crematorium after the service of committal, except by order of a Coroner or for some other valid reason.
  2. The container and the body will be placed in a cremator and cremation will take place the same day. The coffin or container with the body inside will not be opened or otherwise disturbed, other than in exceptional circumstances, and then only with the express permission and in the presence of the Applicant for Cremation.
  3. Once a coffin or container has been placed in a cremator, it will not be disturbed until the process of cremation is complete. On completion, the whole of the cremated remains will be removed from the cremator and reduced to granular form, except where this is specifically not requested, and will be disposed of or released according to the instructions of the Applicant for Cremation.
  4. Cremated remains placed in the Garden of Remembrance will be treated with reverence and respect. If strewn, they will be obscured by soil or brushing.
  5. Cremated remains must be labelled and released in suitable, unused containers, and where sent by post or carrier, capable of withstanding transit without damage.

The Code of Cremation Practice will be adhered to at all times. Click here for Code of Cremation Practice

Requirements Relating to Burial

  1. After the coffin/container/shroud and body have been committed into the grave, they shall not be removed or otherwise disturbed except for lawful exhumation, by licence and/or faculty or by the order or a Coroner.
  2. Immediately after the mourners have departed the graveside, the grave will be entirely backfilled and made tidy. This work will be completed on the day of the burial and must not extend overnight.

The Code of Burial Practice will be adhered to at all times. 

We will abide by The Institute of Cemetery Managements Policy on Shallow Graves. 

Memorial Safety

All memorials will be inspected annually and in accordance with The Memorial Safety PolicyLink to Adobe PDF file

Rules & Regulations

The Rules & Regulations of the Cemetery & Crematorium are reviewed regularly. Please see our Rules and Regulations here


Everyone has the right to inspect the crematorium or cemetery during normal working hours, upon application to the Senior Registrar.

Public health funerals

Public health funerals are funerals arranged by Local Authorities for those people who have died and have no known relatives to arrange or pay for their funeral; or have relatives who do not want to; or are unable to arrange their funeral. Local Authorities have a responsibility to arrange such funerals.

Our duty to assist

Under the Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984, we are responsible for arranging the funeral of any person who has died within the Tameside Metropolitan Borough District where it appears that no other person or agency is making suitable arrangements for the funeral.

The Council will only take responsibility for all arrangements for funerals where it has a legal obligation to do so.
In such cases, we will arrange and pay for a simple but respectful funeral. Unless it appears that the deceased would have been against cremation, the funeral arrangements will be made with the funeral director nominated by the Council for a cremation service.

If the person left paperwork that they wanted to be buried, suitable arrangement for burial is made. In these cases an appropriate religious or non-religious ceremony would be arranged in accordance as far as possible with the deceased's beliefs.

We cannot be involved if funeral arrangements have already been made or the funeral has already taken place. Anyone giving instructions to a funeral director will be responsible for any costs incurred.

Where we have arranged and paid for a funeral, the Council can recover from the estate of the deceased person any expenses incurred.

Funerals we have assisted

We publish a list of all Public Health funerals (community funerals) we have assisted with since 2011. This list is updated after any Public Health Funerals has taken place. View on link here Community funerals and deaths with no next of kin in Tameside