Council changes cemetery plans

NORTH Herts District Council (NHDC) has put back their plans to stop burials at Royston Cemetery until January 2012.

Originally the authority had said they were to cancel full-body burials in Royston from April due to lack of space, with the Wilbury Hills Cemetery in Letchworth to be used instead.

They have now delayed this in order to invite expressions of interest from third parties who may be willing to provide alternative cemetery services.

But any additional cemetery provision would have to be at no extra cost to the council.

At a meeting of NHDC’s Cabinet on Tuesday it was agreed that if a third party provided a suitable alternative then burials would continue at Royston Cemetery while the new development is completed, meaning local burials might continue after 1 January 2012.

Cllr Lynda Needham, NHDC’s Leader, said: “We appreciate that the issue of cemetery provision is very sensitive, and we have listened to local people very carefully.

“After consideration we felt it appropriate to allow other organisations across the district some time to consider whether they have the resources and land to run their own cemeteries before we begin the implementation of our burials policy next year.”