The spirit of Dick Turpin lives in Conservative controlled West Lancashire District Council, except they want your money and your life, in the opinion of local MP, Rosie Cooper. In a Parliamentary debate Rosie said that Tory District Councillors should examine their consciences and provide a new cemetery now!
They have the power to do so but stand by and allow bereaved local families to face the emotional and financial burden forced upon them, burying their loved ones many miles away from their home in neighbouring areas, such as Liverpool, St Helens and Sefton.
“I am absolutely committed to remedying the dreadful situation that persists because of the unwillingness of West Lancashire District Council to provide sufficient cemetery plots, a crematorium and a remembrance garden. Local residents should be able to bury their loved ones locally if they so choose. They should not be forced into very difficult decisions, often against their religious beliefs.
“The lack of burial facilities facing many West Lancashire residents is unjust, unfair and morally unacceptable. Local residents are paying up to £982 extra, because they are forced to go outside of the area, than they would for a burial in West Lancashire. It can be a three hour round trip on public transport between West Lancashire and the cemeteries in Liverpool and St Helens.”
“What happens when neighbouring authorities start to run out of new burial spaces? Where will these leave West Lancashire residents? Provision of a new cemetery and crematorium is not a party political issue. It is down to the local Conservative councillors in charge of the authority to make decisions that are in the best interests of local residents not just for today but for the future.”
Responding for the Ministry of Justice, David Hanson MP said:
“She powerfully made the case that [West Lancashire District Council] have a moral obligation to try to provide that service in the community…I hope that [the council] will consider the moral force of her argument seriously.”
In his concluding remarks the Minister said:
“Ultimately, decisions must be made, because it is not tenable for individuals in West Lancashire to bury their relatives in neighbouring authorities at a higher cost than those authorities charge people who live within their boundaries.”