NEWTOWNABBEY Borough Council has confirmed that it stopped emails from anti-cemetery campaigners going to local councillors.
A spokesperson for the local authority said the decision to block emails from the change.org cemetery petition had been taken as a temporary measure.
“Letters emailed in relation to the change.org cemetery petition were being received in high volumes in members’ inboxes and this was limiting all other email activity. This meant that members of the public, council officers and other agencies were having difficulty in contacting councillors by email and all other council business with members was being affected.
“In order to temporarily resolve the email problems it was decided to block these emails to members’ inboxes. Following this decision the petition organiser subsequently removed the members’ email addresses from the petition site and all further emails for the petition were directed to the Mayor’s email address,” she explained.
“The council appreciates the sensitivities and concerns that people have about the cemetery proposal and values the feedback that has been received to date, including that received through the petition. All council members will be made fully aware of the outcome of the petition.
“The council is carrying out a full and thorough consultation on the cemetery proposal and all those people who have expressed their views already and others can be involved in this process. Anyone who would like to be advised of the arrangements for the consultation process can register their interest by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org with their contact details,” the spokesperson added.
It is understood that councillors are due to be updated on the cemetery issue at their monthly meeting on Monday, July 30.