Humberside

North East Lincolnshire Council's memorial plans 'a whitewash'

Plans for a council to provide memorial plaques and headstones in North East Lincolnshire's cemeteries for a fee have been opposed by stone masons.

The authority said it was proposing to "offer bereaved families a low-cost option" in providing memorial masonry services.

The National Association of Memorial Masons said the plans would "price mason businesses out of the market".

The plans are being discussed at a cabinet meeting.

If approved, the service would be run on a not-for-profit basis and could start operating from the autumn, North East Lincolnshire Council said.

Not 'level playing field'

Yvonne Wilson, of the National Association of Memorial Masons, described the council's proposal as "a whitewash".

"If North East Lincolnshire Council moves in to this - or any other local authority - then it would mean it would affect local and regional memorial mason businesses.

"It won't be a level playing field because local businesses would be at a disadvantage."

Ms Wilson said the association was trying to seek "clarification from the council on how it intended to set up and operate its service".

Memorials such as headstones, vase blocks, plaques, tablets, crosses and kerb sets are erected at cemeteries by monumental stone masons independent of the local authority.

A spokesperson for North East Lincolnshire Council said the authority had "some stone masons within the council" but was yet to establish a model of how its operation would work.

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