Single charity to manage Highgate Cemetery after members vote

THE Friends of Highgate Cemetery have voted to abolish two of the three charities which are responsible for maintaining and preserving the historic site. Members held an extraordinary meeting last night (Thursday) in which they voted on a series of resol

THE Friends of Highgate Cemetery have voted to abolish two of the three charities which are responsible for maintaining and preserving the historic site.

Members held an extraordinary meeting last night (Thursday) in which they voted on a series of resolutions relating to how the cemetery should be managed.

Three of the four amendments, which had the support of all the trustees, were passed. The first resolution was passed meaning the Highgate Cemetery Trust will be dissolved and the Highgate Cemetery Charity, which owns the land, will now have one trustee - the Friends of Highgate Cemetery (FOHC).

John Shepperd who is on the board of trustees said: "This meeting was really about the management structure of the charity and finding the most efficient way of organising it. Everyone agreed that having one charity in charge of running the site would be more efficient."


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Members also agreed to increase the number of trustees from nine to 12, limit the time a trustee can serve to six years and introduce a conflict of interest provision.

The resolution to abolish the protectors of the cemetery failed to get the necessary support of a majority of three quarters of those voting at the meeting.

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The decision to simplify the way the cemetery is managed had the support of the Charity Commission, which noted that "a single charity at Highgate Cemetery is more likely to deliver a coherent programme for the management of charitable activity consistent with the effective use of resources".

The cemetery is considered a jewel in Highgate and many notable people are buried there including Karl Marx and George Eliot. It is one of the Magnificent Seven cemeteries built in the 1800s to deal with overcrowding of the dead in London's parish churchyards.

For more on this story see the Ham&High on Thursday (March 18).

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