Select Committee on Environment, Transport and Regional Affairs Memoranda

Memorandum by Pershore Joint Burial Committee (CEM 03)

  I have received your press notice and can provide the following brief information regarding Pershore Cemetery in Worcestershire. I respond in accordance with your intended topic descriptions:

    (a)  the local community appreciate their local cemetery. It is well used by young and old—young people die from illness or accident and friends and family pay regular visits to the grave for many years. Environmentally, cemeteries provide a quiet shelter for many forms of wildlife and a break in the built-up environment. Flowers, hedges and trees provide a good habitat although rabbits have become a problem. Pershore Cemetery was formed in 1875 and has been extended at least twice. It is an important asset to the town. A section is devoted to Commonwealth War Graves and accommodates a large number of Canadian airmen who were stationed in near-by Defford.

    (b)  Pershore Cemetery is well used and well maintained. One full time Groundsman is employed and from 1 April to 31 October part time staff equivalent to another full time worker are employed.

    (c)  The War Graves Commission are involved in overseeing the small War Graves section in Pershore Cemetery. No other Government Department is involved and this appears to work satisfactorily.

    (d)  The Committee have accrued sufficient capital to purchase an adjoining field for later use as a cemetery extension. This should give 100 years accommodation. Whilst the field will be landscaped for its intended use, it will be let on an annual agricultural tenancy until, acre by acre, it is needed by the Committee.

    (e)  All matters relating to the Cemetery are dealt with by the Joint Committee, comprising five Town Councillors and two from Drakes Broughton Parish. The Committee meet every other month, employ a (very) part time Clerk and Secretary and rely heavily on the ability of their Groundsman. This framework is very economical, with low spending and low precepts on the parent Councils.

    (f)  Pershore Cemetery relies on its precept for about half its expenditure. Fees, reviewed each year and other minor income make up the balance. It is hard to see how other income could be generated.

    (g)  None spring to mind.

November 2000

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