A STRATTON churchyard that has been closed for more than 120 years will now be officially maintained by Cotswold District Council, following a decision at a recent council meeting.

Members of Cirencester Town Council voted in favour of taking on responsibility of the graveyard at St Peter’s Church, which was last used in March 1888, after being served with a written notice from the local Parochial Council.

No sooner had the council taken responsibility; they had given it away again by issuing the same notice to the district authority.

Speaking at the meeting on Tuesday, February 4, Andrew Tubb, CTC’s chief executive, said it was in the council’s best interest to serve the notice.

“It is not the actual maintenance work that would cost us, it is the liability we would face should anything need repairing,” he said.

A document, which was given to members at the meeting, stated that any maintenance work required would fall outside of the town council’s current budget provision.

It read: “Whilst minimal, there would be an impact on personnel resources at a time when the town council is already providing enhanced service provision over and above its day to day service delivery and ongoing products.”

St Peter’s Church has approximately 40 gravestones in its grounds, along with a number of table-top style tombs.