Pet owners could soon have a place where they can lay their beloved animals’ ashes to rest, thanks to Calderdale Council.
As part of an examination of commercialisation, the authority is looking for ways to raise revenue, balanced with meeting service needs.
Some aspects of raising revenue where possible are at an early stage, but Councillor Susan Press (Labour, Todmorden), who holds the Cabinet’s portfolio for communities and neighbourhood services, said her directorate was already taking the idea of providing pet cemeteries forward.
Councillor Press said more than one site was being explored with the possibility of two pet cemeteries.
“As the site we are talking about is in Elland, we are looking at a separate facility for people living in the upper valley,” she said.
The council’s assistant director for neighbourhoods, Andrew Pitts, said that subject to the planning process the first, in a woodland area at Park Wood crematorium, might open in 2019.
“We know that for many people, pets are a much-loved part of the family and it’s a very upsetting time when they sadly pass away.
“We want to give bereaved families the chance to remember their pets through an official memorial site,” he said.
“There are currently no Calderdale Council-run pet cemeteries or memorial gardens, and we are not aware of any others in the borough.”
Initially the council proposed to create a pet memorial garden in the woodland area at Park Wood, he said.
“The garden would be a safe and restful place where families could place their pets’ ashes, and various types of memorials would be available.
“Subject to the required processes, this would hopefully open next year.
“We would then look at creating a similar facility in the upper Calder Valley,” he said.
The council has to find ways of increasing revenue while balancing it with services to plug funding gaps left by Government budget cuts, said Councillor Jane Scullion (Labour, Luddenden Foot) introducing the commercialisation review at Cabinet this week.