Councillors will tomorrow (Thursday) consider spending £17,000 on improvements to Melton’s Thorpe Road cemetery after it failed to have its prestigious Green Flag excellence award renewed this year.
A report to go before members of the cabinet highlighted reports of poor maintenance across the site, which has a capacity for around 8,000 plots and also accommodates 31 commissioned war graves.
If approved, work would be undertaken to install better signage, to decorate and replace fixtures in the chapel, replace compost bins, demolish two concrete garages, screen off compost and spoils bays in the car par and provide information leaflets giving details about services there and the history of the site.
Councillors will be told that the improvements should help the cemetery win back its Green Flag award, which it had held for the previous four years.
The report to the cabinet states: “A series of issues have been raised recently by Green Flag award assessment, members of public as well as councillors about the quality of the space and service delivery that need to be addressed.
“The (Green Flag) judges’ feedback report highlighted that a lack of maintenance across the site has unfortunately seen a drop in standards and that it required some attention to improve.”
Councillors will also be advised at the meeting that the authority may need to create a new cemetery in the town after 2024 because of the rate at which plots are being taken up at Thorpe Road.
The reports states: “In 2018/19 there were 61 burials and 48 cremations.
“Based on these numbers, it is assessed that the cemetery has an estimated supply of five years’ worth of space left.
“The amount of land required annually to meet the demand for interments (both full burials and cremated remain burials) is reducing year on year.”
To extend the life of the Thorpe Road site, the report continues, the council would need to search for unused spaces in older sections of the site, consider using expired graves and remove unused pathways to provide additional spaces for burials.
Some burial charges and fees could also be in increased at the meeting.