The Daily Telegraph
Funerals postponed as Britain braces to grind to a halt on bank holiday
Councils to scale back services and close cemeteries, while almost all publicly run buildings across the country will be shut
The King wants to see ‘minimum disruption’ to people’s daily lives
GRIEVING families face disruption on Monday with councils scaling back funeral services and closing cemeteries as the country mourns the death of Queen Elizabeth II.
Local authorities have said that the bank holiday for the late monarch’s memorial means they will be operating with a skeleton team of staff and numerous public buildings will have to close.
Britain is expected to grind to a halt with many cafes and cinemas shutting their doors; driving tests cancelled; and trains and buses operating reduced timetables, despite the Palace saying that the King wants to see “minimum disruption” to people’s daily lives amid warnings that NHS appointments could be cancelled, too.
More than half a dozen councils have announced that funerals will be affected by the bank holiday, with many more offering to reschedule services for grieving families.
Cemeteries in Watford, Preston and Luton will be closed completely to visitors.
In the Hertfordshire towns of Hemel Hempstead, Berkhamsted and Tring, the council will “carry out existing commitments in the morning” but opening hours will be shortened. Caerphilly council in Wales announced that all funerals planned for Monday will be rescheduled, although it said graveyards will remain open to the public.
No burials will take place in Belfast or Ards and North Down, in Northern Ireland, throughout the bank holiday either.
Birmingham city council said that its cemeteries and crematoria will remain open but warned the public they will “operate a reduced service”.
A large number of councils across the country said that services that have already been booked will be honoured but that cemetery offices will be closed. Most are offering bereaved families the opportunity to move funerals, given that many may not wish for them to clash with the late Queen’s.
Government guidance issued to local authorities said that “disruption to services such as weddings and funerals should be minimised”.
The majority of councils have also said that bin services will be cancelled and, as a result, will be a day later than usual for the rest of the week.
In many areas, local recycling centres and publicly run tips will also be shut, and there will be no commercial refuse
collections either. Some authorities have told people that public lavatories will be shut. Areas affected include Crawley in West Sussex, Thanet in Kent, the Scottish Borders area and Dumfries and Galloway.
Almost all councils across the country have announced that publicly-run buildings will close their doors to visitors.
These will include town halls, libraries, leisure centres, swimming pools, gyms, museums and archives. In some areas, facilities such as artificial football pitches will remain open.
The vast majority of parks are set to stay open to the public, although some of the facilities within them may be closed.
Many local authorities are warning that tea rooms and cafes will be shut, as well as visitor centres at larger country recreation spots.
Belfast city council said that the zoo in the Northern Irish capital, which it owns, will not open.
Local markets will also not take place. Areas affected by such announcements include Hackney in London, Preston in Lancashire, Rotherham in Yorkshire, Shrewsbury in Shropshire and Gillingham in Kent. Across the country, bus services are largely set to operate on reduced Sunday timetables.
On the Isle of Wight and in Newport, Wales, providers have announced that all services will be stopped between 10am and 2pm so that drivers can watch the funeral.
Elsewhere, many local authorities have announced that the park and ride services they run will not be operating on Monday.
Some councils have said that car parking services will be affected.
Shropshire county council has announced that all pay and display car parks will be made free, while East Cheshire has said two multi-storeys in Macclesfield will be shut.
Across the country, workmen will be given the day off meaning planned road works and highway maintenance projects are delayed.
Most local authorities have said that they will only respond to emergency callouts on Monday, such as trees that have fallen across roads.
Some councils have announced that normal street cleaning services will be scaled back or even cancelled entirely.
Sweeping will be suspended in Thanet, Kent, for the bank holiday, while in Watford, there will be a “limited and essential service only”. The local authority in Cambridge has said that its service will “operate from 6am-10am only with a focus on the city centre”.
Councils across the country have warned people that their main offices will be shut, with all face-to-face appointments cancelled.
Telephone lines will also be closed to general enquiries, though their emergency numbers will remain open and available.
Youth centres and adult social care, such as day services for people with illnesses and learning disabilities, will be shut on Monday in many areas. Councils will be operating emergency and out-of-hours services for those in particular need.
Local authorities across the country have also announced that family and children’s centres will close and not reopen until Tuesday.
Councils all over Britain have said that only emergency repairs to social housing will be carried out on Monday.
Some, like Woking in Surrey, have warned tenants there will be a knockon effect and it is possible that planned works for the rest of the week could be delayed as a result.