Cabinet u-turn on graves

Protesting outside Halifax Town Hall about graveyard momentos (L-R) Callum Swarbrick, Michala Taylor, Taylor-Jane Swarbrick and Karen Clarke - who asked a questions to councillors at Cabinet.
Protesting outside Halifax Town Hall about graveyard momentos (L-R) Callum Swarbrick, Michala Taylor, Taylor-Jane Swarbrick and Karen Clarke - who asked a questions to councillors at Cabinet.
1
Have your say

Protestors against council plans to prevent mementos being left at graves have won a rethink from councillors.

Campaigner Karen Clarke raised the issue at a meeting of Calderdale Council’s Cabinet at Halifax Town Hall.

Speaking at question time she said: “We would like the council to revisit policy of removing mementos from memorials and put it to scrutiny panel.”

Cabinet member for communities Steve Sweeney (Lab, Todmorden) said: “This is a very emotive issue. Graveyards are a public convenience space.

“This policy was brought in because we were trying to establish a process for dealing with neglected graves.

“We have no problem with people who look after the graves properly leaving mementos but there are some that are unattended.

“This was a communication issue from our end. The message was that you just can’t put things on graves but this wasn’t our aim.”

Council leader Tim Swift (Lab, Town) said: “We are trying to strike the right balance between commemorating loved ones and maintaining the appearance of graveyards.”

They also agreed a consultation period over council tax benefit as they strive to find savings of £1.9 million.

Also on the agenda at the meeting, held on Monday July 8, was the funding green light for the Ravenscliffe School development on Spring Hall and a report on the council’s involvement in the West Yorkshire Combined Authority.

The authority, involving councils from across West Yorkshire, is designed to promote partnership working as local authorities face increasing cuts from central government.

Council leader Tim Swift said: “This is not a super council. in fact this is the exact opposite.

“This is about us working with other councils.”