Rosie Cooper MP

Working hard for the people of West Lancashire

24/06/09 ‘Open cemetery whilst crematorium is being built’ says

West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper is calling for the cemetery at Pippin Street to be opened as soon as possible as local families are bearing the extra costs of burying a loved one.

For years grieving families in West Lancashire have been forced to use burial grounds and / or crematoria in Liverpool, St Helens or Sefton. This has left families facing an extra ‘death tax’, which can cost them up to an additional £1,000 to bury their loved one in a neighbouring local authority area.

Over the past four years Rosie has been fighting hard to secure a crematorium and burial grounds in the area even though West Lancashire Borough Council declared that they were not obliged to provide a cemetery.

Throughout the campaign Rosie has listened to many really emotional stories of people having to bury their loved ones many miles away at substantial extra cost and who have found it difficult to visit the grave because of the lack of transport and distance. Some local residents have kept their loved ones ashes in their sideboard as there isn't a garden of remembrance.

Planning permission was granted for a crematorium and burial ground in October 2008 for a site on Pippin Street.

Rosie said:

“When I became an MP I could not believe that an area the size of West Lancashire had long run out of burial space and that the Local Council hadn't met their moral obligation to their council taxpayers. Residents who have a family member die pay a premium to get their relatives buried or cremated in nearby local authority areas. This is unjust, unfair and morally unacceptable. Now after four years we have secured planning permission and I am working to get the cemetery opened as quickly as possible although I do appreciate that the crematorium will take longer to build."

“The current situation is that the developer is negotiating with interested parties with a view to signing contracts and beginning work; as well as negotiations about the highway works associated with public transport access. I would expect the Borough Council to be active and supportive in working with the developer to get the facility open as soon as possible. West Lancashire residents need a cemetery now.”

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