The Memorial Awareness Board holds different events every year to promote the benefits of stone memorials.The listings for 2015 are:
The seminar will, as in the past, take the form of a debate and explore all the issues. It will be followed by a reception.
For ticket enquiries please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Do not hesitate to attend, not only is the issue central to the future of all memorial masons, but the event itself is full of expert opinion and a great venue to network and meet like-minded people in the industry. For more information of the issue please visit www.namm.org.uk to join the petition and find out how your area is affected.
See below for NAMM petition and more on the topic of debate:
NAMM would like to make all Masons aware that some Councils are still using tax payers’ money, Council workers and Council premises to set up in direct competition with local Memorial Masonry businesses.
The recent provision of the Localism Act 2011 introduces a new General Power of Competence which explicitly gives Local Authorities in England and Wales the power to directly extend the range of services they provide and trade for profit in direct competition with local businesses without fear of legal challenge.
Already some Burial Authorities are selling memorials directly to the public and also installing memorials in their Cemeteries.
For example North East Lincolnshire Council have a clause in their Memorial Masons Registration Scheme which inevitably gags Masons from speaking out against the Council for fear of losing the right to work in their cemeteries. We refer to page 10, section 5. Unacceptable Activities, point 5.5 It says:
5.5 Memorial masons must not conduct themselves in a manner which in the sole opinion of the Registrar could reasonably be regarded as bringing the council into disrepute or otherwise act in any way which the Registrar reasonably considers to be inappropriate.
Please see below for the full document.
For Councils to set up in direct competition with local businesses is clearly ethically wrong and may be the deciding factor in a local company surviving during these harsh economic times; indeed one mason has already been made redundant as a direct consequence of this action.
As Local Authorities everywhere look for ways of maximising their income to offset Government cuts they will now increasingly look towards other areas of business they can exploit. This means that if they are not challenged they may extend their interests to other potentially vulnerable trades that they can set up in competition against.
NAMM has a letter on its website www.namm.org.uk that we encourage all masons and any other small business to download and send to your local MP’s requesting them to look into this extraordinary action. There is also a link where you can find the contact details of your local MP.
NAMM has asked Mr Mark Lowe QC to write an amendment to the Localism Act that would ensure Local Authorities have to make sure that their actions do not affect existing local businesses. We will then try and lobby Government to use this suggested amendment as a way of stopping Councils setting up in competition with the very people they are supposed to be supporting.
The ‘Who Do You Think You Are Live’ event is the biggest family history event in the world, run annually by Genealogy Event Ltd. For the first time, in 2013, MAB had a stall at the event, promoting the importance of stone memorials for genealogy purposes. The stall will give members of the public the chance to see a memorial mason in action and to learn the techniques involved in creating a grave stone and in completing grave stone rubbings for genealogy purposes. For more information on the event please see the Who Do You Think You Are Live website.
In the past the Memorial Awareness Board ran the Most Unusual Memorial Competition. The competition called upon stonemasons to send in pictures of the most unusual memorial they had been commissioned to create. Entries included butterflies, motorbikes and football shirts.