Friends of Hunslet Cemetery edge closer to success in security campaign

A group which is campaigning for better security at Hunslet Cemetery appears to be edging closer to success.
The Friends of Hunslet Cemetery group has been fighting for a security fence and gates at the cemetery following problems with vandalism, theft and anti-social behaviour. Now, the group has received an email from someone from the council’s parks and countryside department following a public consultation into installing security measures.
The group has posted the email on their Facebook page, which has nearly 1,200 members:
“Dear All, please  take the time to read the following email the Admin Team received from Joanne Clough, LCC, Cemetery’s & Crematoriums, Parks & Countryside… looks like we’re almost there!! 
“Following the wider community consultation we had very few responses, which is fine as people have had the opportunity to make comments. I am now in the process of trying to sort out a gating order so that we can install gates across the public right of way so that we are able to lock these at night and secure the cemetery. This means that the public will still be able to access the public right of way during the day.“The problem is that the crime figures are low for a gating order to be supported but we need the gating order in place otherwise we will have to install a metal fence between the wall and the cemetery. That in itself will create a corral and that will make path users feel trapped and unsafe as the path is quite long.“I am told that a gating order has never been done in a cemetery before and most of the gating orders that have been created are where they are blocked off permanently with only local residents having a key etc. The crime figures for these gating orders are also much higher in comparison to the ones we have for Hunslet Cemetery. In addition to this, the crime figures have also reduced between 2010 and 2011. Whilst that is good news over all, it does not really help our case to promote a gating order.“Therefore we are breaking new ground and if we are going to have any chance at all to promote a gating order, I need some information from the Friends. I have supplied the police crime figures and included the ParksWatch incidents and they are still low. “Have you kept any of the press cuttings that relate to security issues at Hunslet Cemetery? If so, can you send these to me please? How many press releases has the Friends of Group done between Jan 2010 and Dec 2011.

“Also how many hits have you had on your website or can you count how many people have said that they want a metal fence etc during this same period?

“Any information that you give to me must be able to be backed up on fact in case the gating order is legally challenged. Once the Environment Team have this information they are prepared to draft a report. If that is successful, it means we can begin work on ordering the metal fencing and arrange for the work to begin some time after March or soon into the new financial year which will be good news.

“I don’t think we are ready yet for a meeting, as I need to get this further forward yet but I do need the information from your group.

Many thanks.
Joanne Clough”