Cllr Andrew Hinchliff suggested throwing everyone in the sea as a solution to the burial debate (Image: Geraint Rowland/Getty)
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A Welsh councillor has raised eyebrows after suggesting an unusual solution to his county's increasing burial plot demands.
Andrew Hinchliff of Conwy County Council, said “everyone should be cremated and thrown in the sea for all I care” during a debate on a plan to extend a Llandudno cemetery.
The shocking comment was made during a meeting for Conwy Council’s planning committee to discuss the extensions of the Llanhros site by 1,600 burial posts.
As reported by North Wales Live, the proposal prompted a number of objections from local residents because it would be on a “green wedge” land formerly owned by Mostyn Estates.
During the debate, Councillor Hinchliff said: “I’m not a big fan of cemeteries. I think everyone should be cremated and thrown in the sea for all I care. If we are going to have it as part of a parkland and we happen to own it, we want to do the very least to disturb it.”
Cllr Andrew Hinchliff
He wondered whether a lawned cemetery might be a better idea as opposed to having headstones standing upright.
The comment made by Hinchliff caused councillors to feel uncomfortable, and Councillor Alan Hunter intervened. He said: “I think we have to respect people’s wishes about how they deal with their loved ones when they depart this world.”
Currently, the 0.87 hectare land is adjacent to the cemetery and is currently used for grazing horses, separated from the existing burial ground by a fence, hedge, and some small trees.
If the new site were to be permitted, there would be gravel paths and drainage as part of the proposal, and it would be accessible on foot from the existing cemetery.
The area of land at Llanhros which will be used for the extension of the cemetery
A report in March this year sadly revealed that four of the county’s 11 cemeteries were already up to capacity and couldn’t take any more burials – and that increased deaths from Covid played a part in this.
The application sought permission for the extension, landscaping and footpaths for the site. There will be 180 single-depth burial plots, 639 double-depth burial plots and 749 cremation plots – giving a total of 1,568 new spaces.