Council restricts funeral services and cancels car park charges

Following last night’s announcements about community hubs and bin services, Leeds City Council has placed further restrictions on funeral services and removed charges from Council car parks and on street parking bays.

As part of steps to manage the impact of Coronavirus, and taking into account national guidance relating to social distancing, the council has announced further alterations relating to its cemeteries and crematoria service.

From Thursday (26 March 2020), the number of mourners who will be allowed at an already arranged chapel funeral service, and at burials and graveside services will be restricted as follows:

  • Up to 10 mourners can now only be present per chapel.
  • Up to 20 mourners at burial and graveside services.
  • We ask that mourners respect the two metre social distance rule at the graveside if wishing to backfill the grave. Both mourners and funeral directors must remain two metres away from council grave digging staff.
  • The funeral director or family must also bring their own spades for the backfilling of a grave.

If mourners do not respect the social distancing rules when asked, the council may need to consider withdrawing mourner participation at the graveside and council staff will backfill the grave only when mourners are a safe distance away.

Following guidance issued last week, the council will no longer be taking any new bookings for chapel funeral services. Any further bookings will be undertaken as ‘Direct Cremation Services’ only. A ‘Direct Cremation’ is a funeral which is not attended by mourners and has no service. In relation to burials, and the provision of ‘graveside services’, these burials can be booked and continue to go ahead as normal with the restrictions outlined above in terms of number of mourners and backfilling of grave.

Council-run car parks and on-street parking bays in Leeds will be free to use from today in light of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Parking charges for all Leeds City Council car parks and on-street car parking will be suspended until further notice, with priority given to NHS and social work staff and other key workers.

Councillor Judith Blake, leader of Leeds City Council said:

“We are all extremely grateful to those working so hard on the front line in the fight against Coronavirus and we’re keen to support them in any and every way we can.

“Over the coming weeks and months it’s also more important than ever that we all do what we can to help fight this pandemic by following the latest advice and guidance.”

Information on council on and off street car parking available can be found at: www.leeds.gov.uk/parking-roads-and-travel/parking

Updated advice and guidance for local residents and communities can be found at www.leeds.gov.uk/coronavirus

Further information and advice for local businesses can be found at: www.leeds.gov.uk/coronavirus/business

This post is based on press releases issued by Leeds City Council

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