Select Committee on Environment, Transport and Regional Affairs Memoranda

Memorandum by Councillor John Marshall (CEM 22)

  I wish to give account of the cemetery within the boundaries of the Headland Town Parish, Hartlepool—its name is Spine Cop. Its position is on Old Cemetery Road, Hartlepool. 18 months ago its neglect was acute, its condition was serious, its care was poor. As all County Councils, local Councils, Parish Councils have a duty of care, I find its condition appalling. With monies from other areas, things have improved in part, however, its condition is far from satisfactory. It is my opinion that government bodies are not implementing their duty of care for these cemeteries. In Spine Cop there are some 26,000 burials—only some 200-300 can be seen today. If proper funding is not forthcoming in the very near future the outer walls will fall down as there are many signs of collapse. Its environmental, historical and cultural significance has been ignored. Its condition is poor, responsibilities have been ignored or forgotten, management is poor, funding from outside bodies is slow or non-existent. Their importance within the community from councils etc, is low.

  I take heart in this enquiry and hope that a far greater importance is placed on the provision and up-keep of all local cemeteries, wherever they may be.

December 2000

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