Send us news by text, start your message Knutsford News and your send photos and videos to 80360
Grave concerns over delays to plans to give cemetery overhaul
COUNCILLORS have stalled on plans to overhaul the dilapidated Knutsford cemetery.
The town council has spent the past year working on a plan that would see it take control of the maintenance and upkeep of the Tabley Hill Lane cemetery as part of a transfer of assets programme with Cheshire East Council.
The town council currently owns the site but the maintenance work has been controlled by the borough authority since the 1970s.
But at its latest meeting town councillors decided to look into further options despite a deal on the table, which would have seen neighbouring Northwich Town Council look after the site.
It currently cares for three sites in Northwich.
Relatives of family members have consistently criticised the condition of the Tabley Hill Lane plot – currently managed by Cheshire East Council – over the past three years.
Complaints have centred on gravestones being laid on the ground and grass verges not being cut but other pictures taken by the Guardian show soil strewn over burial plots and ornaments knocked over.
Clr Clive Nicholson told fellow members at the meeting that he believed other local authorities should be asked to tender for the work before a decision could be made.
It was also proposed that the council asks Cheshire East Council for more details of what it would propose but the meeting was warned that the authority could take six months to be in a position to even discuss the matter.
But Clr Peter Coan slammed Cheshire East Council saying the authority had had enough time to get it right.
“We’ve given them years and years to get the cemetery sorted out but they’ve failed every single time,” he said.
Clr Tony Dean said he wanted to know why Knutsford was in such a bad condition but Clr Julian Goodrich added he had visited Macclesfield cemetery and said it was clear it had been a victim of a ‘poor service’.
But Clr Goodrich added the matter needed more thinking time as Cheshire East Council was changing its mind.
“My concern is that Cheshire East is radically changing what they have said in the past couple of weeks and we need to have another think,” he said.
“Secondly I would like to see what other offers are out there so see if they are willing to do a similar service to Northwich so we could compare it.”