COUNCIL Leader Matt Dormer says he is ‘prepared to talk to anyone’ over sites for a new cemetery in Redditch.
The offer comes after he rejected a call from local resident Ivan Willcock to put the new cemetery as an extension to the east of the current Abbey one by the crematorium.
“I truly appreciate Mr Willcock getting in touch with us with his suggestion however the land he puts forward is the town’s scattering area for ashes,” said Coun Dormer.
“It’s a place where people visit to lay flowers and to remember. We couldn’t put a cemetery there as it would be disrespectful and a desecration of those scattered there.”
He added that a further extension proposed by Mr Willcock into two meadows near to the River Arrow were too close to the water table to consider.
“I welcome everyone to pick up the phone and talk to me about all of the 26 places we’ve looked at in the town.
“I’ve visited them all and I can tell people the reasons why we are where we are.”
Wherever the location of the next cemetery, he said it would not be in the traditional Victorian form people might imagine.
“I don’t want to pre-empt anything, but we’re not talking about a place with a wrought iron fence around it and upright headstones,” he said.
“We want it to be a green, carbon positive place, an open space, tranquil where memorials are flat and people can walk through uninterrupted.
“I want to re-assure people that whatever we do will be in the best interests of the town.”