Poor attendance for cemetery meeting

Just seven people turned out on Monday to a meeting to discuss the future of Whitby’s Larpool Cemetery.

The meeting had been called after concerns were raised by local residents and visitors to the cemetery about its upkeep.

Whitby Town Council has already agreed it would like to take over the running of the cemetery, but had invited people along to a public meeting to find out their strength of feeling.

The meeting on Monday evening at Whitby Coliseum was also being held to gauge if there was any interest in forming a Friends of Whitby Cemetery Group to help with the maintenance of the resting place.

Coun Simon Parkes organised the meeting along with Whitby mayor John Freeman and Coun Sean Rixham-Smith.

The low turnout meant the meeting was unable to go ahead and instead, a brief discussion was held with those who had made the trip to the venue to ask their thoughts on the cemetery.

Resident Parry Thornton who has lived in Whitby for the past 18 years said he felt the cemetery’s upkeep had detoriated in recent years.

“We think it’s an extremely important part of Whitby,” he said.

“It’s an open air extension of Whitby Musuem and Whitby Library, there is so much in there, particularly in the older part of the cemetery which is why we would like to see it kept and improved.”

Coun Simon Parkes told the Whitby Gazette: “It’s very disappointing, I had hoped for more,” he said.

“One of the things we were really hoping to do is if Scarborough Borough Council transferred the cemetery to us, we want be in a better position to restore it and bring it back to its former glory.”

Coun Parkes said they must have the backing of the public to move forward.

“I think the public are interested. We are going to reschedule the meeting and see if we can get a bigger turnout,” he added

Borough Council officer Roger Burnett and a colleague had also attended the meeting to lend their support.