In accordance with paragraph 2.24 of the Council’s Committee Procedure Rules and Appendix on Public Speaking, set out in the Constitution, a total period of 15 minutes is allocated for members of the public to put questions to the committee on any matter relating to this agenda. Each member of the public will be allowed up to two minutes each to speak, and the Chair will have discretion to vary this where they consider it appropriate.
Members of the public wishing to speak are required to provide notice of this at least three clear working days’ in advance of the meeting.
Sandbach resident Dave Poole attended the meeting and asked a question in relation to agenda item 5, To receive petitions. The question related directly to Sandbach Cemetery and had been posed to Sandbach Town Council also. Mr. Poole would like to know why the land for Sandbach Cemetery had been registered in a different parish given the Land Registry had on record: Land to the South of Newcastle Road, Arclid which was three miles to the east of Sandbach.
RESOLVED: The Chair agreed a written response would be provided.
Alsager Town Councillor Sue Helliwell attended the meeting and asked a question in relation to agenda item 5, To receive petitions. The question related directly to Alsager Burial Ground. Councillor Helliwell advised the Committee than in in August 2018 a meeting took place between interested stakeholders and Cheshire East Council, with the aim to support Alsager residents in getting extra burial ground in Alsager. It was agreed that Cheshire East Council would establish ownership and tenancy of Close Lane Farm as one potential site and to establish the area needed for a 100 year capacity cemetery. Sue queried if this had ever been done.
Sue also asked if Cheshire East Council could assist Alsager Town Council and Alsager residents with the acquisition of a new burial ground for traditional or alternative burials. This was on the basis that the current graveyard in Alsager reached capacity in 2019 and the Council had no scope to extend or invest in it. Sue noted that given the aging population and reliance on public transport the Alsager Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group did not consider proposals for residents to use facilities in Crewe and Macclesfield a viable option.
RESOLVED: Paul Bayley, Director for Environment and Neighbourhood Services confirmed a report was sent to Alsager Town Council on the 17 April 2019 that outlined how much land would be needed to provide burial provision in Alsager for 100 years. Paul Bayley also advised that the Council does not own land known as Close Lane Farm, although there was land in ownership of the Council that was accessed via Close Lane Alsager that formed part of the Farm’s estate and this land was occupied on a long term tenancy basis.
Sandbach resident Phillip Brooks attended the meeting and asked a question in relation to agenda item 6, Potential Future Items for the Work Programme. The question related directly to the Cheshire East Cemeteries Strategy. Mr. Brooks felt that the original draft document was flawed in two respects. 1) There was no account of the subject of the land available to extend Sandbach Cemetery and 2) the distances that had previously been calculated related to funeral corteges moving between either Crewe or Macclesfield cemeteries and not those who wanted to frequent the cemetery as friends and family who would want to visit cemeteries more than once and perhaps daily. These kind of distances would not be feasible to do regularly on public transport.
Mr. Brooks asked the Committee to take into account the human costs of implementing the cemeteries strategy as it stood and to consider reviewing it as a matter of urgency.
RESOLVED: That Mr. Brooks be thanked for his attendance and his comments be noted by this Committee.