Saturday, 3 September 2011

Dead and buried?

'Dead and buried' would have been a better headline but I'm glad it wasn't used with my photo by it! Maybe the Examiner are saving that one pending the outcome of the Planning Committee meeting.
Stirley Hill is an area is an area I know very well. I've delivered Green Party leaflets round there for years and also to the nearby houses and farms. I walk just below it on my way into town from Brockholes. It also is the only strip of land that has a shared boundary between the Newsome and Kirkburton Wards. On one side of the boundary I'm a Kirklees Councillor and on the other a Parish Councillor for Farnley Tyas and Thurstonland. It has a bleak beauty up there and great views over Huddersfield and across to the moorlands and is of course it is one of the backdrops to Castle Hill.

Local residents, 3 MPs, Kirkburton Parish Council and all 6 Kirklees Ward Cllrs either side of the site object to the proposal to put a cemetery there. The objections are not all about the visual impact of a site for 2700 graves, there are real concerns as to its suitability as a cemetery. There are issues with drainage on the site with standing water frequently seen on it (Kirklees say they can sort it).  It is fairly inaccessible for many people and the rural bus services past the site are constantly under threat. Local roads up to Stirley Hill have poor sight lines and in winter snow can be standing on the ground for long periods. It is far from ideal and far from where most people live

As I said in the meeting (webcast here) the 'Elephant' in the graveyard here is the desire for some people to be buried when there are alternatives such as cremation. Often it's not just a desire but a religious requirement. I believe that religions , however conservative they may be, need to change with the times and in this case the reality of limits to land available for burial.

'Dead and buried' would have been a better headline but I'm glad it wasn't used with my photo by it!

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