Muslim community's 'joy' over new burial space at Burnley Cemetery
Burnley's Muslim community has said it is "overjoyed" following years of campaigning to have a new burial plot in the town's cemetery created.
After an initial disagreement with Burnley Borough Council, Muslim faith leaders in the town announced they had reached agreement with the council for the allocation of a new burial plot.
The council's recent proposed extension to the current site located at the southern part of the cemetery in Rossendale Road was overwhelmingly rejected by the community as the site was deemed to be unsuitable and inappropriate due to it being situated on a slope and edge.
Many also feared it was prone to running rain water and danger of possible landslide after graves have previously sunk in the ground making access to them difficult.
At a recent meeting with the council, former and present Muslim councillors, community leaders and members of the Muslim community who unanimously rejected the proposed temporary extension. The meeting voiced strong concern and dissatisfaction on Burnley Council over burial arrangements considered to be poorest in Lancashire.
Simon Goff, Burnley Council's Head of Green Space, informed the community that the council had found a more suitable location at a site meeting recently.
Former Burnley councillor and community leader Mozaquir Ali, who in the past fought for the current site and ran successful campaigns for weekend burials, said: "The Muslim community is overwhelmingly pleased with the council's decision offering a suitable and fitting site for Muslim burial.
"This is an outcome of our struggle, culmination of meetings and dialogue with the council for many years. We are heartened with the fact that we can now bury our loved and dear ones on a more appropriate and suitable ground within the Burnley Cemetery."
A Burnley Council spokesman said: "We've worked with the Muslim community to find a solution to this issue and identify another part of the cemetery that is acceptable to everyone, and the situation has been resolved.
"We're committed to ensure that Burnley Cemetery meets the needs of all residents of the borough no matter what religious beliefs, or not, they may have, so they can bury a loved one locally rather than have to travel out of the borough."