Burials boost coffers

HAREWOOD Parish Council is enjoying an embarrassment of riches - a cash chest of over £100,000.

The money has come from the numerous burials carried out at the village’s popular cemetery - currently running at 50 a year.

The council now wants to invest some of the money in the parish which also takes in the communities of Wigton Moor and Wike.

Councillor Margaret Wilkinson successfully proposed the council should support scholarships to the fee-charging schools - the Grammar School at Leeds and Gateways.

Parish chairman Peter Harrand suggested the parish might also endow prizes to be awarded at school speech days.

Parish clerk Kevin Sedman will now contact local schools about the proposals.

Coun Wilkinson said she also believed the council should consider buying some land.

The village cemetery is acquiring an international flavour, reported burial board clerk, Mike Wadsworth.

“We are getting headstones written in Hebrew and Greek and shortly Chinese,” he said. “I have not yet had any written in Polish.

“I am required to ensure the headstones are not offensive,” he said. “I have dealt with over 100 so far and not refused one yet.”

Mr Wadsworth believed the cemetery will be filled in the next 12 years at the current rate of burials.

But this could be extended to 50 years if a new cemetery opens at Thorner.

* Harewood Parish Council has received assurances that the developers of houses at Village Farm - a former pig farm near the Harewood Arms - will provide a children’s playground there.

There were rumours that the developers would not fulfil this condition of a section 106 planning agreement.

“We wait and see,” said Coun John Ellis.

“But work has currently stopped completely on building the houses.”

The developers, Raven St John, have been given permission for a small complex of luxury £1m homes and some affordable homes.