July 31 2014 Latest news:
Friday, April 25, 2014
More than £100,000 needs to be spent on roadways inside Felixstowe Cemetery to make them safe for the public to use.
Funeral directors, mourners and grieving families visiting graves have complained about the state of the roads and paths inside the town council-owned and managed site in Langley Avenue.
Since December one of the three entrance gateways into the site has been closed because it is in an unsafe condition.
Acting town clerk Gordon Mussett said the roads and paths in the older part of the cemetery had been the subject of complaints.
He added: “The council, as landowner, has a duty of care to all persons who might, with approval or otherwise, enter its land, and there is a real danger of an accident, particularly to the more elderly of our population, who by default comprise the majority of visitors to the cemetery.
“The estimated scale of the works, based on reconstruction to the same specification as the newer roadway, is in excess of £100,000.
“The precise figure will be known once tenders have been received.
“While there is a sum of £100,000, rising by £5,000 per annum, in earmarked reserves, this is set aside for construction of the future cemetery extension, which will be required within the next 10 years.
“In the event that the roadways are not reconstructed within the next six months the town council will be required to prevent public access to the older part of the cemetery in order to protect its legal position.”
Mr Mussett said railings alongside the cemetery were also rusted through in parts and these would need to also be replaced – a possible further cost of £50,000.
Legal advice would be sought to see if fencing off Langley Avenue might be a better option.
Councillors have agreed to draw up a specification and schedule of works and to invite tenders for the project.
The aim would be to secure a loan from the Public Works Loan Board which could be repaid over a period of 25 years at a cost of around £7,000 a year.