MIDDLEWICH Town Council has given Middlewich Cemetery Board (MCB) 14 days to transfer control over the town's cemetery.

The town council believe MCB has 'no authority or power to manage the cemetery' and the management falls on the burial authority which is Middlewich Town Council.

Advice has been sought from counsel Robin Green through specialist local government solicitors at Wellers Hedleys.

Wellers Hedleys have now sent a copy of counsel’s advice, together with a request that Middlewich Cemetery Board (MCB) transfer all control over the cemetery within 14 days.

Middlewich Town Council hopes MCB 'take on board the advice sought and hand over control to the council so that no further costs are incurred by the town council'.

A spokesperson for the town council added: "In the event that the members of Middlewich Cemetery Board fail to transfer management of the cemetery to the town council, the town council shall instruct its legal advisors to proceed with injunctive proceedings without further notice.

"The council is conscious that progress has been slower than hoped – this has been due to the extremely rare circumstances and issues involved in this case, which has required specialist solicitors and counsel.

"Staff workloads and the effect of the pandemic has also hindered process.

"The council and its legal advisers are now able to act immediately on the expiration of the 14 days period if MCB do not comply."

A spokesperson for Middlewich Cemetery Board said: "As of Monday, November 22, no letter has been received by the solicitors of Middlewich Cemetery Board.

"The solicitors acting for Middlewich Cemetery have previously requested information to move this forward, and the town council has, of today's date, sent no information to back up their claims."