CONTROVERSIAL plans to limit decorations on graves in Torfaen have been announced by the local authority.

Torfaen council says it wants the help of grave owners, and families who have lost loved ones, to preserve the dignity of the borough’s cemeteries, as over personalisation is becoming an issue.

It has said that while a certain amount of grave personalisation is acceptable providing it is confined to the memorial area, Items such as glassware, stone chippings, windmills, solar lights and wind chimes are no longer permitted.

Grave owners and visitors have been given until May 31 to remove any non-regulatory items. After this time decorations that do not meet cemetery rules and regulations will be removed by staff.

Cll John Cunningham, executive member for neighbourhood services, said some items have health and safety implications for grounds maintenance staff, while others have an adverse impact on the serenity of a cemetery.

“What is seen as acceptable by some can cause offence to others and It is the council’s responsibility to maintain the dignity and tranquillity of our cemeteries,” he said.

“In recent months we have seen over-personalisation in some cemeteries that has made maintenance difficult and raised concerns from visitors, and in order to ensure consistency across all four cemeteriesWe need to ensure the policy on personalisation of graves is consistent and adhered to.”

The cemetery rules and regulations can be viewed at

To speak to the council’s cemetery officer please call 01633 871786.