Hunslet cemetery meeting

A local group campaigning for improvements at Hunslet Cemetery has held a passionate meeting to give people a say about the improvements they’d like to see at the cemetery.

The vandal-hit cemetery has been in the news recently after the Friends and Relatives of Hunslet Cemetery group launched an online petition calling on Leeds City Council to protect the facility following repeated attacks from yobs ransacking grave plots and daubing graffiti on memorials.

Thieves have stolen mementoes from gravesides and dogs have been allowed to foul pathways and grassed areas.

At a meeting held at Hunslet Methodist Church last night – which was attended by about 25 people – local residents agreed that security was a major issue at the cemetery and will explore different funding options for fencing at the group’s next meeting (date TBC).

The meeting, which focussed on security, also heard about plans by the Friends group for a series of tidy-up and planting sessions at the cemetery and a possible wildflower meadow area.

The petition – which currently has more than 400 signatures and can be found here – says:

“We the undersigned call on the Leeds City Council to actively pursue a course of action which will promote general maintenance and upkeep to the Hunslet Cemetery and replace the old deteriorating bushes with new high boundary walls that will help keep the Cemetery look and feel more secure.”

The Friends also have more than 1,200 followers on their Facebook page.

The meeting is on Tuesday, August 9, 7.30pm-10.30pm at Hunslet Methodist Church (opposite the Railway Pub).

Leeds council says it has been working with local ward members as well as representatives from the Friends to undertake a condition survey and to identify a programme of work for improvements to be carried out. Its full statement can be found here.

Hunslet is the oldest municipal cemetery in the city, dating back to 1845. The Friends have Hilary Benn MP as patron.