Arguments rage on over Royston cemetery site as meeting set

Don Shewan

Don Shewan - Credit: Archant

A date has been set to brief the public on progress made for a cemetery to be built in Royston.

Land at Wicker Hall has been bought to cater for the growing need for a cemetery in the town, but the location of the site has provoked much controversy.

Speaking at a Royston Town Council finance meeting on Monday, Councillor Rod Kennedy argued the council had promised to hold a public debate on where to place the cemetery, instead of a meeting informing the public of the location.

The promise to hold a public meeting about the issue was made at Royston’s annual town council meeting at the end of March, after members of the public expressed outrage at the position of the site.

Councillor Kennedy said: “I was told in March that there would be a public meeting at which we could discuss the location further.

“A public briefing wasn’t what was promised on the night.

“You have to ask people of Royston if they are happy spending money on that site.”

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Responding to Mr Kennedy’s claims, councillor Mike Harrison said: “There is no other alternative site. Wicker Hall is the only place in the town. Otherwise people would have to go to Letchworth for a burial. If Mr Kennedy succeeds in stopping this, I will make sure the public are aware of where the fault lies.”

Concerns were raised at the annual town council meeting about the cemetery’s position on top of a hill, and the fact that the site is too small to cater for a growing population.

Don Shewan, who lives in Echo Hill, said: “Selection of a better alternative site, which would be fit for purpose, should be discussed at an open meeting. Wicker Hall can never meet either the current or future demands for burials within a growing town.

“With such an important and expensive issue, people within the town should be allowed to vote.

“The town council have failed to arrange the promised independent debate.”

The public meeting will be held on Tuesday, June 23, at 7.30pm in the town hall in Melbourn Street.

The public will be briefed on the project before being given the opportunity to ask questions.

l See Letters, page 14