AN alcohol ban at Solihull cemeteries has been given the go-ahead by councillors – after anti-social behaviour and tributes taken from graves.
Cabinet member Alison Rolf has formally backed the exclusion of alcohol being taken in, left or drank across the borough’s cemeteries and crematoriums, proposals we reported last month.
From April 1 alcohol will no longer be permitted within council-run cemeteries.
Chiefs say this is to ensure Robin Hood, Woodlands and Widney Manor cemeteries remain safe havens for people paying respects.
The change in policy has been introduced following instances where alcohol has been left on graves and subsequently consumed by others, which has led to anti-social behaviour, the council says.
A report by Julie Williams, operational support manager of the council’s bereavement services, says anti-social behaviour has taken various forms – including theft of flowers and lanterns from graves.
There was also an incident involving threats of physical violence to one of the grounds staff, it adds.
Cabinet member for stronger communities and partnerships councillor Alison Rolf said: “We want to make sure our cemeteries are a peaceful place for visitors when they come to pay their respects to their loved ones.
“While many people are respectful when they visit, there have been times when others have behaved inappropriately.
“This has been caused through drinking alcohol which they have obtained from it being left on graves.
“We hope that by not permitting alcohol to be brought into, consumed or left in the cemeteries will ensure any anti-social behaviour is eliminated and people feel comfortable when they visit.”
Council officers will be working with the police to patrol the cemeteries and ensure the new policy is followed.
Any alcohol found within the cemetery grounds after April 1 will be removed, the council warns.
For more information about Solihull’s cemeteries visit www.solihull.gov.uk