Published September 17, 2019 at 13:48
Councillor Alyson Barnes, Leader of the Council, said:
Over the last few days I have had many dozens of emails relating to the plans to move a small part of the parks and cemeteries team at Haslingden Cemetery from their current location at The Whitaker.
I want to thank everyone for taking the time to get in touch and share their views with us.
We are sorry to have caused any upset although it has been unfortunate that the wrong information about the application has been circulating in the public domain which we are sure would have increased people’s distress.
Of course, I also accept we could have been clearer about the plans much earlier.
Therefore I have asked officers to review the decision, look at it again and find another solution. Whilst the plans at Haslingden Cemetery would have had minimal impact to residents and cemetery visitors, I cannot ignore the strength of feeling against the plan.
The issue has also highlighted that there is no formal mechanism for the Council to discuss plans at our cemeteries with residents and cemetery users. I think developing proposals to support people to set-up ‘Friends of’ groups, which exist at cemeteries in other boroughs, would be a positive step.
Friends groups would be independent of the Council, and would be run by volunteers, but the Council would be happy to provide support in terms of setting up and initial guidance. Should there be any changes to the cemetery, we can discuss them with the groups before decisions are made.
I will keep you updated.