130K - the cost of new cemetery but final bill could be more

Residents who enter community lottery could win up to �25,000.
Residents who enter community lottery could win up to �25,000.

Horncastle Town Council is setting aside £130,000 to cover the cost of a new cemetery - but admits the final bill could be higher.

The ambitious project has been dogged by problems for several months but has moved a major step closer after East Lindsey District Council approved planning permission for the new site in woodland at the junction of Boston Road and the B1183 to Revesby.

The town council will now finalise purchase of the land from owners Lincolnshire County Council for £40,000.

However, clerk Amanda Bushell told this month’s meeting of the town council that estimates were ‘still coming in’ for various work included in the project.

Mrs Bushell admitted, until all the estimates had been received - and contracts awarded - it was impossible to say what the final cost of the cemetery would be.

She said the council may have to consider taking out a loan to cover any additional expenditure over the £130,000.

Extra costs could involve improvements to the car park, new fences, gates and paths.

Councillors agreed to continue with the project and also voted to pay for a specialist’s report which will focus on the ecology of the site.

There are concerns protected Great Crested Newts could be inhabiting a pond - a fact that could delay any work.

The council is committed to the new site because space is running out at the existing cemetery on Boston Road.

Meanwhile, the council has defended the way in which it produces minutes of meetings.

It follows a claim by resident Andrew Neal that the minutes relating to the March meeting were not a ‘true record of what was actually said’.

At that March meeting, Mr Neal - and another resident Richard Barker - were involved in a verbal spat with the council’s deputy chairman Coun David Roark over expenditure - including the cost of the cemetery.

Mr Neal complained about the minutes at this month’s meeting, but he was told there is ‘no legal requirement to produce a verbatum record of what is said’.