Rosie Cooper MP

Working hard for the people of West Lancashire

21/06/07 MP demands that the council either pay up or give resid

Rosie Cooper MP

Local MP, Rosie Cooper is demanding that West Lancashire District Council either pay up or gives residents a cemetery in West Lancashire. Rosie raised the lack of local cemetery provision with Justice Minister, Harriet Harman, during Parliamentary Questions on Tuesday 19 June.


MP demands that the council either pay up or give residents a cemeteryWest Lancashire District Council charges a total of £440 for the exclusive right to a grave and for the first burial. To bury a loved one in a Liverpool Cemetery it costs £1422. This is double the amount Liverpool residents pay and which means West Lancashire residents pay an extra £982. To bury a person in neighbouring Sefton would cost £1002, which is an extra £562 for local residents.


Rosie said:


“West Lancashire residents have for too long had to pay the price for this Council’s inaction. I am demanding that for every bereaved family forced to bury or cremate a loved one outside of West Lancashire the District Council reimburses the extra costs. The alternative is for the Council to invest the money in providing much needed burial and crematorium services here in West Lancashire.”


“I am aware there are ongoing discussions but West Lancashire District Council must do more than just give planning permission and stand back waiting for something to happen. This is what they did last time and residents are still waiting for a cemetery. I expect the Council to ensure that the new plans come to fruition and that we have much needed burial facilities. I will continue to campaign until the cemetery is open.”


“As the Minister stated in Parliament, ‘there really is no excuse for not providing the burial services needed by local people.’”


Since taking up this campaign alongside the local clergy Rosie has raised the issue in Parliament at Prime Ministers Question Time, lobbied Justice Ministers to introduce an obligation on local authorities to provide cemeteries, and has met with West Lancashire District Council on several occasions to push for a West Lancashire cemetery.




Rosie Cooper (West Lancashire) (Lab): If she will assess the implications of the Government's recently announced policy on burial law reform for the provision of burial facilities for the people of West Lancashire and other areas where there is a lack of burial space.


The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Ms Harriet Harman): We understand the importance that many families attach to having a local cemetery. Our decision to enable the reuse of old burial grounds will provide local authorities with a further option when deciding how best to meet their communities’ needs at an affordable cost.


Rosie Cooper: Does the Minister believe that West Lancashire district council should refund its council tax payers the increased cost that they incur when burying their loved ones in cemeteries in neighbouring local authority areas? This is a tax on dying. It is being imposed on the council tax payers of West Lancashire with no regard to their ability to pay, while the local authority denies its responsibilities.


Ms Harman: I know that my hon. Friend represents the considerable strength of feeling in her constituency of West Lancashire about the fact that local people are unable to bury loved ones in their own area. They have to incur the expense of travel, and are obliged to pay a higher price when they get to a burial ground outside their area. I know that she will continue to put pressure on West Lancashire district council. Under provisions announced in my written statement earlier this month, councils have additional options available to them, but there really is no excuse for not providing the burial services needed by local people






St. Helens























* 1 body/ 2 bodies/ 3 bodies

**1 body/ 2 bodies/ 3 bodies/ 4 bodies

***1 body/ 2, 3 and 4 bodies


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