St Bart's Churchyards
Following its Full Council meeting on 24 June, the Town Council has issued the following statement:
Horley Town Council would like to make it clear that the upkeep and management of St Bartholomew’s Churchyards is the responsibility of the Parochial Church Council (PCC) and NOT Horley Town Council.
Historically the Town Council has given the Church a grant to assist with the cost of maintaining the Churchyards. The Town Council has repeatedly offered advice to the PCC on how the Churchyards could be managed in a more cost effective way to a standard that the residents would find acceptable. Unfortunately the Church has not acted on this advice and the Churchyards have not been kept to a standard acceptable to some local residents. The Town Council strenuously advises the Church to take up the offer of its further advice regarding the maintenance the Churchyards.
The Town Council would look to see evidence that action is being taken by way of self-help, and outside help such as Community Payback and volunteer groups, with consideration having been given to alternative management regimes. It would also expect to be confident that the contractor responsible is being adequately monitored.
Members of the Town Council are therefore unwilling to recommend significant sums of Council Taxpayer’s money for Churchyard maintenance unsupported by an effectively costed plan. At its Full Council meeting on 24 June, the application for a grant was deferred pending receipt of more detailed information from the Church, including a Business Plan.