Government seeks closure of failing cemetery

Tottenham Park Cemetery in Enfield is facing closure after owners repeatedly failed to make necessary improvements to ensure the safety of burials.

From:Ministry of Justice and Mike Freer MP

Closure of Tottenham Park Cemetery sought following failure to improveConcerns raised after remains unlawfully disturbed at the privately-run siteClosure would prevent future burials on the site, except for in reserved plots

The government has today (11 January 2024) announced its intention to apply to the Privy Council for an order requiring burials be stopped at the cemetery in North London. This would mean no new burials would be permitted, except where plots have previously been reserved.

The move follows 2 government-ordered inspections which found remains were being unlawfully disturbed during the burial process. Recommendations that no new plots should be excavated or sold, record keeping should be improved, and a survey undertaken to identify existing burials have not been met.

The prevention of future burials should not impact the opening of the site for the public to visit their loved ones’ graves.

Justice Minister Mike Freer said:

The people buried in this cemetery were laid to rest and the repeated disturbance of their remains is not only illegal but a breach of trust.

I believe it is necessary to seek this closure to ensure that Tottenham Park Cemetery can safely serve its community in future.

The Ministry of Justice will continue to work with the cemetery’s owners, Enfield Council and other interested parties to ensure the reserved graves continue to be managed.

Complaints about the site were first raised by the local council, Baroness Hussein-Ece, and local MPs, prompting the 2 inspections.

For the government to stop burials at private cemeteries legally it requires an Order in Council. Those are considered by the Privy Council Office and signed by the King.

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