There was a huge turnout in Northcliffe Park on Saturday to protest against building a new crematorium in the park, including many people from Shipley Branch Labour Party. This reflects the strength of feeling there is amongst local Labour Party members, who unanimously supported the motion urging BMDC to reject the option of the Northcliffe Park site at their meeting in September:
Shipley CLP notes that on 10th July 2018, BMDC’s Executive Committee considered a report on the implementation of the Council’s Bereavement Services Strategy. This strategy proposes the construction of two new crematoria to replace ageing facilities across the district, including Nab Wood Crematorium.
The report confirms that five potential sites have been identified across the district, three of which are in private ownership and two of which are in public ownership. The report to Executive Committee indicates an initial preference to pursue the purchase of private land. However, of the two publicly owned sites identified, one is Northcliffe Park.
The report notes that the Northcliffe land is held in trust (Norman Rae Playing Fields), and its use for the construction of a crematorium would require approval from both the Charity Commission and from the trustees. BMDC is the sole trustee of Norman Rae Playing Fields.
The trust document relating to Northcliffe Park (2nd April 1921) reads as follows:
‘The lands and woodlands conveyed by the indenture shall be used at all times hereafter solely and entirely as an open space for the recreation and benefit of the public and for no other purpose whatever and not for the purpose of profit and all income derived from the estate shall be used for the maintenance development or improvement of the estate.’
Shipley CLP believes that Northcliffe Park cannot be considered a suitable site for the construction of a crematorium both in view of the terms of the trust document, and because of the permanent loss of public green space which would result.
Shipley CLP resolves to urge BMDC to reject the option of the Northcliffe Park site for the reasons stated above.
Shipley CLP September 2018