Outraged residents form '˜action group' to make parish council '˜more accountable'

Outraged residents in Clowne have formed an '˜action group' following a controversial decision to chop down a set of much-loved memorial trees.

Monday, 14th March 2016, 10:37 am
Updated Monday, 14th March 2016, 11:41 am
Residents are angry that the council want to remove memorial trees at Clowne Cemetery, Ross Walker is pictured centre with the tree dedicated to his Grandfather with his Mother Mary Walker and Uncle Keith Taylor

The Clowne Together group is mainly made up of people living in the village, and was formed last month.

It follows a controversial decision by Clowne and Barlborough Burial Committee to fell 10 memorial trees at Clowne Cemetery earlier this year, which were planted in memory of residents’ loved ones.

The trees were axed, despite a petition receiving more than 500 signatures, after it was said the trees posed a risk to a nearby property.

Organiser of Clowne Together, Ross Walker, whose grandfather’s tree was felled, said: “We want the parish council to be more accountable.

“We want people to stand for election to the parish council and give them the support they need.”

The group has set-up a Facebook page called ‘Clowne Together’, which has more than 400 ‘likes’ to date.

Residents have held two meetings so far, with the last one on Saturday, March 12, at the Travellers Rest, Creswell Road, Clowne.

Mr Walker, of Gray Street, Clowne, said: “The group was formed on the back of what happened with the memorial trees.

“People were absolutely disgusted.

“I can’t speak for everyone, but people are not happy. It is quite emotional.”

The 44-year-old photographer said the group has not been formed to “cause trouble”.

“I would urge people to come along and see for themselves,” Mr Walker added.

The burial committee agreed to provide a replacement tree, a memorial stone and a gardened area with seating, following the felling.

The committee also offered all 10 families a ‘cutting’ from their individual tree for them to keep.

The Derbyshire Times contacted Clowne Parish Council numerous times for a comment but they did not respond.