Knutsford Town Council marked the turn of the new year by becoming a burial authority as Knutsford Cemetery returned to local control; this followed a review of options which took place in September 2018 when the council decided to terminate the service agreement with Cheshire East Council.
The five-acre site on Tabley Road opened in January 1902 and whilst it had been managed by Cheshire East Council and the former Macclesfield Borough Council since 1974 the ownership of the site has always been held by Knutsford Town Council.
“Our aim is to have a place of remembrance in which we can all commemorate, remember and spend time with our loved ones, a place which the community can be truly proud of and we believe the town council is best placed to deliver this.”Cllr Andrew Malloy, Mayor of Knutsford
During 2020 the council will be introducing a number of changes as part of ambitious plans to make the cemetery the best in Cheshire. The council’s plans include:
- Installation of new bins across the cemetery to make it easier for visitors to dispose of on-site waste
- Creation of new flower beds at the entrance to the cemetery
- Installing additional benches to provide a place for visitors to sit and reflect
- Planting trees to replace those which have been felled in the past
- Re-standing fallen grave stones
- Removing the existing ‘road blocks’ made with old grave stones and replacing them with flower planters
A new part-time post of Cemetery Groundskeeper has been created and will start in March with the mission of ensuring the cemetery is continually well cared for. On top of the essential maintenance the groundskeeper will be levelling lawns and tackling areas which have been overtaken by weeds. The groundskeeper will help the council minimise costs and cut carbon emissions by composting all green waste generated at the cemetery, creating compost which will be used on site.
The transfer of the cemetery operation is being delivered at no cost to the Knutsford taxpayer as costs are forecast to be covered by the fees charged for burials.
“We have been exploring the options on how best to manage the cemetery for a number of years and with it now back under direct town council control we are looking forward to making improvements and maintaining a quality cemetery for our residents”Cllr Jan Nicholson, Deputy Chairman of the council’s Assets and Operations Committee and member of the council’s cemetery working group
The council welcomes feedback on all the services it offers and especially suggestions as to how it can work it make the cemetery as welcoming and pleasant as possible.