New improvements for joint cemetery

Merton and Sutton Joint Cemetery is set to benefit from a range of new improvements, which will include a new seven-acre extension.

The site, which is also known as Garth Road Cemetery, was opened in 1947 and provides burial space for different religions. It is run by the Merton and Sutton Joint Cemetery Board and maintained by Merton Council.

Funds of £1.6m were secured for a new extension, which has been completed. The extension will provide approximately 20-30 years of new burial space for the residents of Merton and Sutton, by which time other local cemeteries will be nearing burial capacity.

A further £168,000 was set aside for a new entrance to the cemetery and repair works on 1,000 headstones in Section B. The car park at the front of the cemetery is being replaced with landscaped gardens and a new driveway to the main entrance gates. The leaning headstones in Section B – which are currently fixed to foundations which are breaking up – are having new bearer beams so that they will be all upright again.

Merton Council’s cabinet member for environmental sustainability and regeneration, Councillor Andrew Judge, said: ‘We have been looking at ways to develop the site for extra burial space for quite some time. I am pleased the funds were secured to complete the large new extension and carry out the improvements needed for Merton and Sutton Joint Cemetery.”

Chair of the Board, Councillor Dave Callaghan of Sutton Council, said: ‘The new extension means the cemetery will have the capacity for new burials for many years to come. We are also making major improvements to the cemetery entrance, including landscaped gardens and a new driveway, which are much-needed. I am also pleased we are now able to deal with the leaning headstones because they have been a cause of distress for relatives for some time.’

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