TOWN councillors have set up an inquiry to get to the bottom of allegations made about activity at Middlewich Cemetery over the past three years.

Members of Middlewich Town Council say they want to hear every piece of evidence from residents about incidents which have allegedly taken place at the cemetery.

No details of what the allegations involve were discussed at Monday night’s meeting, but both councillors and members of the public spoke about allegations made on Facebook in 2016.

Five members of the public also submitted questions about Middlewich Cemetery to the town council in advance of Monday’s meeting – with three questions written on the agenda referencing an alleged large pay-out to a former cemetery worker, which one question stated to be worth £30,000.

“It’s a very emotive issue and I understand how you feel,” said Cllr Mike Hunter, Labour.

Winsford Guardian:

“What we mustn’t do is pre-judge, because if we have an inquiry and we pre-judge, then the inquiry will be deemed no good. We have to go into it with an open mind.”

Only one of the five residents who submitted questions in advance turned up to Monday’s meeting – Lee Connell.

He asked the town council: “Can we please have a long-awaited independent investigation into the possible cover-up of what went on at the cemetery?

“Please can we find out who is controlling the cemetery now, who was in control of the cemetery and council at the time allegations were made?

“Somebody was awarded £30,000 to settle his case against the cemetery. Why was he awarded such a large amount if nothing happened?

“It is now up to the new town councillors whom I voted for because of their manifesto pledge to bring the cemetery back under council control and hold this investigation.”

Among the other residents to submit questions that were read out by chairman Rachel Pendleton was Kirsty Glover, who said she read about ‘terrible things’ happening at Middlewich Cemetery in a social media post in 2016.

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In her question, Pat Woods added: “There are a lot of concerns and very disturbing factors that have been brought to a lot of Middlewich people’s attention.

“We want to bury our loved ones at peace in our own cemetery – at the moment this is in question.”

Middlewich Cemetery is run by the town’s burial board – not Middlewich Town Council – but councillors are usually appointed onto the board.

Cllr Pendleton told councillors that she had been in discussions with the board to arrange a meeting, but a date had not yet been fixed.

Members voted for Labour councillors Sean Boyle, Mike Hunter, Jonathan Parry, Helen Watkinson and Russell Watkinson to represent the town council on the board – although it is not yet clear that they will be able to sit on the board.

Cllr Parry said: “If they have got nothing to hide they will open it up and let the new council members on that board so we can find out what happened.

Winsford Guardian:

“A new investigation has to take place, and everything has to be done in open, it all has to be released to the public.

“I can assure you the one thing I want is the truth to come out, and we are not going to rest until that happens, and we will work with every single person to find out what went on.

“We want to know every single thing. This is a massive emotive subject in the town, and we are going to get to the bottom of it.”

Anyone with information to submit to the inquiry is asked to email inquirymiddlewichcemetery@gmail.com

Emails sent to the address will only be accessed by the five councillors elected onto the burial board, and residents can remain anonymous in their email should they wish.