Tees

Brotton residents campaign over cemetery's future

Families living in part of East Cleveland have launched a campaign to stop the council moving burials to a neighbouring village.

Brotton cemetery is close to capacity and Redcar and Cleveland Council is considering moving burials elsewhere.

Around 700 people have signed a petition calling on the council to make space in Brotton.

The council has extended its consultation on the matter until 13 July.

One option being explored is moving burials to neighbouring Skelton but local people are opposed.

More than 1,000 have joined a Facebook group supporting an extension of the current cemetery.

Businessman Graham Cutler, 48, said he felt "passionate" about the issue.

"All my family are buried in Brotton and I want to be buried in the cemetery as well," he said.

"I don't want to be sent elsewhere. I put out a petition and have got 730 signatures so far and 1,300 people have joined a Facebook group, that's really encouraging.

"It shows the village is behind us. We need the cemetery here, it's down to the council to provide it."

'Memorial garden'

The council says Skelton cemetery has capacity for the next 50 years based on local burial rates. Alternative sites in Brotton have been considered but only one is judged to be potentially suitable with cost a major issue.

A memorial garden for Brotton is also being considered. Mr Cutler hopes as many people as possible will respond to the consultation .

He said: "It comes down to village life. We were born in Brotton, many of us have lived all our lives in Brotton.

"It comes down to respect, we're fighting for the village."

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