LAST year, Darlington councillors were consulted about where they wanted to see a new crematorium.

There was also a proposal to extend the burial ground at West Cemetery into the allotments behind because it was said there is a shortage of burial plots.

A new crematorium is not now being built, but a new chapel is.

I am sure we would all be grateful to know by what power the local authority believes the construction of a chapel is allowed as a proper use of local authority funds?

Whilst it might be possible to build a new crematorium and attach a chapel to that, I do not believe it is in the power of the local authority to construct chapels alone.

We have a chapel building in East Cemetery which is never used. We have three chapel buildings in North Cemetery in need of restoration. There is already a chapel building in West Cemetery which is never used.

If there is a shortage of burial plots at West Cemetery requiring an extension to the cemetery burial ground, why is the local authority proposing to take up more ground for a new chapel? This project is almost certainly ultra vires and the new building is almost certainly beyond the local authority’s powers to construct.

Cllr Nigel Boddy (LibDem), Darlington.