Burial Space

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 7:33 pm on 5th September 2012.

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Photo of Rosie Cooper Rosie Cooper Labour, West Lancashire 7:33 pm, 5th September 2012

I thank the hon. Gentleman for securing this debate. He will know that in my constituency in the 1960s a new town was built with no cemetery provision. In the past few years the council has given planning permission for a cemetery and crematorium, but on the other side of the borough nothing is happening and we are making no progress, and there is no danger of the council forcing the issue. Yet my constituents are having to pay what amounts to a death tax by being buried or cremated in other areas. Does the hon. Gentleman agree that we need councils to act with compassion towards their residents—the people who are paying council tax—who ought not be forced to be buried or cremated out of the area at a huge cost to them? There are of course religious connotations. The local Catholic priests are very anxious that Skelmersdale has its own cemetery; in fact, not only Catholic priests but the local priesthood of all denominations need burial space.