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New group formed to protect Scholemoor Cemetery
7:00am Wednesday 2nd January 2013 in News
Growing anger over “inexcusable” fly- tipping and general waste being dumped at a Bradford cemetery has led to a group being set up to try to combat the problem.
The Friends of Scholemoor Cemetery organisation has already had one meeting and will get together again in the coming weeks to try to tackle the problem.
Bereaved families have been faced with dumped materials on pathways – including car parts, mattresses and household materials used for home improvements – when they go to visit their loved ones.
The problem at the grounds in Necropolis Road is understood to have got worse after the registrar offices were closed in July. Some of the cemetery gates also remain open all night to allow people to visit their relatives at all hours.
Ghulam Rasul, the registrar at Bradford’s Council for Mosques, said it was happening on a regular basis.
He said that debris from gravediggers carrying out their work could not always be removed quickly because the cemetery bins were full of fly-tipped material, leaving families distraught.
“They are shocked and they shout at us,” he said.
“We can’t always move the mud straightaway because the baskets and bins are too full of rubbish. It makes our bins heavy and that is a big problem.
“The Council are doing their best but they can’t be there 24 hours a day. We used to lock the gates but then people wanted to visit really late so we decided we would keep it unlocked.
“All sorts of stuff is left, including tree branches, rubbish from home improvements, and all sorts of rubbish.
“It is not the majority, only a few people doing it.
“When we are digging graves they think we are getting rid of stuff, so they think we can get rid of theirs as well.
“But we have to pay to remove it. We have this problem in the Muslim section, but it is happening all over the cemetery.
“It is people who cannot afford to dump their rubbish and they take it to the cemetery instead. Why can’t they take it to the recycling centre?
“It is something that I cannot understand. The only thing we can do is educate people and we have this group with volunteers meeting to address it.”
Councillor Andrew Thornton, the executive member on Bradford Council with responsibility for cemeteries, said those caught fly-tipping would be dealt with through the courts.
“To dump things in this fashion is inexcusable,” he said. “I wasn’t aware that it was reaching this kind of level but knew we had issues with fly-tipping around the district. “Anyone with information can call the Council on (01274) 431000.”