Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting CHNEWS to 80360, or email
Plan to review rules at West Craven cemeteries is opposed
11:00am Friday 12th October 2012 in News
A proposal to change cemetery regulations in Pendle has angered West Craven councillors, who are concerned it could cause distress to grieving families.
Pendle Council has put forward plans to vary certain regulations in response to the growing practice of putting unauthorised structures and items on graves.
In a report, which was considered by the West Craven Area Committee, Philip Mousdale, Pendle Council’s deputy chief executive, asked members to support staff in taking sensitive but firm action to enforce the new regulations and remove unauthorised structures which have become unsightly.
The proposal also seeks to amend regulations to allow grave owners to install half-length and full-length kerbs, subject to obtaining a permit and the work being undertaken by an approved memorial mason.
The committee was also asked to consider fees for permits as part of a council-wide review of charges.
The report says that currently 450 graves are in breach of regulations across the borough, most of which are in the Nelson and Colne cemeteries.
Coun Ken Hartley (Lib Dem), who visited all three West Craven cemeteries, said: “I’m quite surprised by how neat and tidy the cemeteries are. They’re absolutely in magnificent condition.
“The problem they’re having is with particularly elaborate memorials, but I’m not convinced that we have a problem in West Craven. I don’t see the need to fix something that isn’t wrong.”
Committee chairman, Coun David Whipp (Lib Dem) agreed, saying: “It’s extremely distressing if this council went to people and said that they can’t tend to graves. There’s no way on earth that I’d even contemplate approving this. As far as West Craven is concerned, this is not a problem.
“This is an overly bureaucratic council that people will see as trying to fleece them at a distressing time.”
Mr Mousdale said: “We’re currently consulting with all five area committees in Pendle about the proposed changes.
“The outcome of this consultation will be presented to executive councillors at their meeting on October 18.
“No decisions will be made until then.”