Campaigners wanting to save and prevent the former Swinton Unitarian Church Burial Ground from removal have received a much welcomed boost from the Salford Green Party.
Asda Supermarkets have notified the Ministry of Justice of their intention to remove the remains of 313 Swintonians, including victims of the 1885 Clifton Pit Disaster, Peter Holland, local artist and historian in Swinton, a World War 1 soldier Pte W L Blears and over 300 other Swintonians from their final resting place so that Asda can build a supermarket.
Campaigners from Friends of Swinton Unitarian Burial Ground have been campaigning with affected families for several months fighting Salford City Council to reject Asda'a plans if it meant the removal of the burial ground.
Now ex-councillor for Swinton South ward, Joe O'Neill has made contact with campaigners to offer his support for the preservation campaign.
Joe O'Neill from the Salford Green Party writes :-
"As a Party we welcomed the possibility of a stimulus in the form of a new Supermarket on Swinton Precinct, but not at any price. We are devastated with the way residents have been treated in regards to the Burial Ground sited on the outskirts of the precinct, and the bodies who lay at rest. We have spoken in depth with Mr Moulding of the Community Action Party and offered our support in any way that would be of help. We may differ politically but we believe parties should unite on this occasion to support a common sense approach and to gain a fair and just result."
On Behalf of Salford Green Party
The Chairperson of Friends of Swinton Unitarian Burial Ground, Gillian Welsh has welcomed the support from the Salford Green Party by saying "This is great news and hope Mr O'Neill and his colleagues in the Green Party will help us deliver a successful outcome in preserving a piece of Swinton's heritage. We are not against an Asda Supermarket. We just want Asda to amend its plans so that they can have their Asda but leave the burial ground alone. We are pleased the Salford Green Party agree with us and we are grateful for their support."
Michael Moulding, Deputy Leader of the Community Action Party also welcomes the support and says "The Community Action Party in Salford and the Salford Green Party are fully behind the campaigners to preserve the burial ground. I am pleased Joe made contact and offered me his genuine support for the families of the deceased and I know they are grateful."
Michael Moulding of the Community Action Party is representing families affected by the proposals at their request in legal action in the form of a judicial review application to Manchester County Court as Salford Council approved development of the burial ground for the Asda supermarket on June 14th.
Friends of Swinton Unitarian Burial Ground and families pictured right holding a recent vigil at the threatened burial site.
Campaigners wanting to save a burial ground in Swinton from destruction have been given a much needed boost from the Salford Green Party