For some time now Leicester City Council has been looking to provide a facility for families, mainly for Hindu, Sikh and Jains faiths who need access to running water to scatter ashes. Outside of London, Leicester has the largest grouping of of people from an Indian heritage.
The Council felt that families should be able to access somewhere free and local (as opposed to travelling a dozen miles out to Barrow upon Soar and scatter from a boat, which costs money).
After the ubiquitous delays and debates the Council have narrowed the locations down to three possible sites on the stretch of the river between St Margaret’s Pastures and Watermead Park.
Piara Singh Clair, the assistant city mayor for culture, leisure and sports, said: “It is a facility that the city is lacking and I would like to have something up and running no later than March.
“There will be site visits to each location and of course we will have to consult withe the Environment Agency but it should be something that is straightforward to do.
“The eventual location will need to be accessible for disabled people and will need to have some parking.
“It will need to be somewhere not too close to people’s homes, a secluded place where families can pray.”
“We would have a policy for families who want to scatter ashes and officers would advise them.”
They intend to get everything in order by March 2014.
Although they said they wished the families to be able to conduct a ceremony in privacy there was no mention how this could be done and my other worry is timings: How long do you get? Can you book? How do you book? What happens if there is someone there using the area when it is your turn , or will they be a ‘turn’ system? Perhaps I am worrying unnecessarily and the demand and the location will be such as to negate these issues.
The facility on the river at Barrow upon Soar will still be available and will be more suited to those wishing for a bit more privacy and guaranteed timings.