‘She’s going to be back with her mum’ - Littleport family ‘delighted’ and ‘relieved’ as kindhearted stranger offers unused cemetery plot to fulfil mum’s last wish

PUBLISHED: 15:43 24 September 2015 | UPDATED: 15:43 24 September 2015

Rosemary Talbot, centre, died of cancer earlier this month, with her daughters Katie (left) and Sally.

Rosemary Talbot, centre, died of cancer earlier this month, with her daughters Katie (left) and Sally.

Archant

A Littleport family say they are “delighted” and “relieved” that their mum will be able to return to her family after an anonymous member of the public offered an unused plot for her burial.

Letter from Clive Webber, chairman of Littleport Parish Council

The Parish Council have worked extremely hard this past few days to find a solution, within the constraints of legislation, which will ease the pain for the family.

With regards to the current burial policy, we are restricted by the legislation that governs all Parish Councils, and contrary to common belief neither the Chairman nor an individual Councillor has the power to change, or make an exception to the policies previously set up by the Parish Council. The only option available to us is to review the policy, and the meeting on Friday was called, on the earliest legal day, to enable the full Council to review all the information relating to burials and make an informed decision, which will then apply to all burials going forward.

We are in the very difficult position that we have had to refuse burials of non-parishioners over the past 10 years, many of which had strong connections to the Village, and we have had comments over the last week from some who have been affected by this policy during that time. We are also in the position that suitable and available land has only been secured recently after a 10 year search and we are still 3-4 years away from the new Cemetery being in use, as much work still has to be done. It is likely that even with the existing burial policy in place, we will have to close the current Cemetery to body burials before the new Cemetery is ready.

The members of the Parish Council are local residents who are elected to represent all of the parishioners, and there are approximately 10,000 people residing in Littleport. We do truly care about all of our residents, and their relatives, and will always be fully committed to doing our very best to meet their needs and any requests that we receive, whilst abiding by the legislation that governs us.

A resident of Littleport came forward yesterday to donate a plot, which is no longer required, to the family. This will be a private agreement between the resident and the family as the council cannot change policy, for any reason, until a full council meeting.

I informed the family last night and have now accepted this plot.

Kind regards

CLIVE WEBBER (chairman)

Littleport Parish Council

A Littleport family say they are “delighted” and “relieved” that their mum will be able to return to her family after an anonymous member of the public offered an unused plot for her burial.

Sally Talbot has been campaigning for Littleport Parish Council to allow her mother Rosemary, who died earlier this month, to be buried at Littleport cemetery despite not being a parishioner when she died.

Her efforts attracted over 2,000 signees on an online petition as well as a personal letter sent to the council by local MP Steve Barclay.

Sharing the good news on social media, Sally said: “Thanks to an anonymous member of the public, mum can return to her family.

“They have contacted the council and offered us their plot that they bought 60 years ago - we have accepted their kind offer.

“We sat on it and thought we haven’t done this to have a fight with the council, so for it to be done through somebody’s kindness is brilliant.”

Clive Webber, chairman of Littleport Parish Council, said: “The Parish Council have worked extremely hard this past few days to find a solution, within the constraints of legislation, which will ease the pain for the family.

“The members of the Parish Council are local residents who are elected to represent all of the parishioners, and there are approximately 10,000 people residing in Littleport.

“We do truly care about all of our residents, and their relatives, and will always be fully committed to doing our very best to meet their needs and any requests that we receive, whilst abiding by the legislation that governs us,” he added.

Sally said the extraordinary general meeting which was planned for tomorrow will still go ahead.

“This has bought to light a community issue that needs addressing.

“It’s important that good comes out of it for everyone, without whom we would not be in this position.

“We’re completely relieved and delighted. She’s going to be back with her mum.”


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