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Letter: Councils should not be allowed to sell memorials

20 November 2013

I, not only as a stonemason, have issues with this ill considered idea by the North East Lincolnshire Council selling memorials. The council says it is a member of NAMM and on the British Register of Accredited Memorial Masons (BRAMM), but that does not imply that it is "fully compliant with the scheme", as it says. It means, from a cemetery's point of view, that memorials are fitted in compliance with the NAMM code of working practice by licensed installers. Indeed, the Council has already stated that the memorials would be supplied by other persons.

As the Council will not be directly involved with the manufacture of the memorials, how can it police the supplier? Will applications for permission to erect a memorial for orders taken by the council receive faster responses than those submitted by the council’s competitors?

As appointments to install a memorial must be made with this council, will is supplier again receive preferential treatment to the detriment of competitors?

The questions go on and on, because you have the people that should be regulating what is happening within their cemeteries governing themselves! Never a position to let yourself get into as it is A MASSIVE CONFLICT OF INTERESTS and open to a huge amount of ABUSE.

You would not have a defence QC deciding who, from his own firm, would be prosecuting the case against his client!

The council has decided to supply memorials "at cost on a non profit making basis...AT FIRST" (I think the ‘AT FIRST’ bit of this is the crux).

With the cards all stacked against them, the local masons who depend on these cemeteries for an income could be crushed into going out of business and so reduce the competition and the choice available to the bereaved. AND THE WORST BIT ABOUT THIS IS THAT AS RATE-PAYERS AND RESIDENTS THE MASONS WOULD BE HELPING TO FUND THEIR OWN DEMISE. Once the competition is gone the Council could increase its prices and lose the 'AT FIRST' bit of its statement.

The councillors are elected, by the people for the people. Does this move show that? These guys have been elected by the people SO THEY CAN THEN DO WHAT THEY WANT DESPITE THE PEOPLE.

In my humble opinion they are moving outside their remit and charging ahead blindly in a bullying 'we can do what we want' manor AND OUR OWN GOVERNMENT IS ALLOWING IT BY FAILING TO STEP IN AND STOP IT!


Politically dissillusioned

James Roche


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