ST NEOTS residents will now have to pay for the recent cemetery blunder. Since April 2007 the majority of town council decisions, mostly financial, have been made under secrecy rules: the new cemetery was one of those decisions. The town council is run by
ST NEOTS residents will now have to pay for the recent cemetery blunder.
Since April 2007 the majority of town council decisions, mostly financial, have been made under secrecy rules: the new cemetery was one of those decisions.
The town council is run by councillors petrified by financial matters like rabbits caught by headlamps. So, knowing St Neots cemetery is nearly full, our council employed consultants to find another location. Council Tax was then spent on drainage consultants, planning applications and designs for the town's first unconsecrated multi-faith woodland burial site - well worth waiting 18 months for, you may say.
Sadly, the small detail of entering into a "conditional sale" or "pre-contract agreement" with the owner of the land was overlooked. Having spent 18 months putting together proposals that would dramatically increase the value of 10 acres of agricultural land, Councillor Giles says he is disappointed that the asking price has gone up.
Moreover, according to Councillor Giles, a small piece of town centre land owned by the town council with a potential residential value of £500,000 is now to be used for burials and allotments. The latter patch of land may well have been designated for burials 80 years ago, but St Neots has grown fivefold since then. If we needed 10 acres before, 11/2 acres in the town centre is no solution.
So there we have it, Cllr Giles now wants to use the town's most valuable asset to get off the hook because the pre-contract agreement was overlooked.
Councillor BARRY CHAPMAN