A town council has accelerated its efforts to find a site for its new cemetery, stating that it wants the site to be as “inclusive as possible.”

The Environment and Amenities Committee of Abingdon Town Council were recently presented with a report from the Cemeteries and Outdoor Services Manager on options for a new cemetery for Abingdon.

The report detailed the results of a feasibility study which identified three potential plots of land.

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Councillor Gabby Barody, Chair of the Environment and Amenities Committee said: “This has been an ongoing discussion throughout many administrations.

“We’ve had a feasibility study done, which looked at the current provision of cemetery space and projected our future needs.

“It is estimated the cemetery will run out of space in 10 years, though it could be less.

“We are looking at this issue now and being proactive because in 10 years’ time it will be too late, and lots of plots are being sold for housing development, so we need to prepare for something we’ll eventually need.”

Ms Barody, a senior lecturer in paramedic and nursing science practice at Oxford Brookes University, also commented on the blooming multiculturalism of Abingdon and shared her thoughts on what this means for the cemetery.

She said: “We want to find land we can make inclusive – not just for traditional cemetery use, but for more natural burials and a wider range of cultural ceremonies.

“Abingdon is becoming more multicultural, progressive, green, and the cemetery should reflect that.

“We’ve also got to think about the fact that not everyone wants a burial, some people want cremations.

“If the site was purchased sooner rather than later, then we could think about inclusive burials early on, and provide for all cultures as best we can.”

The next stage of procuring a site will involve another, more in-depth feasibility study, looking at factors such as drainage and cost of purchasing the land.

Ms Barody said that once the three land options have been analysed for their various benefits and costs, the information will hopefully be ready for the new administration to address in their first council meeting in June.

Towns and villages such as Bicester and Wolvercote are already near capacity for burial space in their cemeteries.

Ms Barody commented: “We have accelerated out efforts to procure a suitable plot in the last 18 months.

“We don’t want to be in the situation where we don’t have any burial plots at all. If we get something local, that would be much better.

“We have to be proactive.”


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This story was written by Matthew Norman, he joined the team in 2022 as a Facebook community reporter.

Matthew covers Bicester and focuses on finding stories from diverse communities.

Get in touch with him by emailing: Matthew.norman@newsquest.co.uk

Follow him on Twitter: @OxMailMattN1