Rarely-used legislation is being used to try and force Allerdale council to do something about a village cemetery.

Councillor Peter Kendall has lodged a “Councillor Call For Action” along with a 150-signature petition to have the Flimby cemetery urgently upgraded.

The CCFA was introduced in 2007 and gives a councillor power to refer a matter to the scrutiny committee when it is of direct concern to the ward that councillor represents. It enables a member to refer a matter to Allerdale council’s scrutiny committee.

Coun Kendall said he had taken the action because of his concerns about the cemetery and Allerdale council’s refusal to do anything about it.

He said the paths leading to the cemetery were in a state of disrepair but he was particularly concerned with access to the new cemetery “which is like climbing the north face of the Eiger,” he claimed. “I, along with many residents and fellow councillors believe the path up to the new section is dangerous. I have spoken to clergy and funeral directors and they all share these worries.”

The first and last time a Councillor Call For Action was lodged was in 2009, again over a Maryport issue. At that time councillor Carni McCarron-Holmes invoked over Allerdale’s failure to do anything to maintain or upgrade the promenade here.

Coun Kendall said he had taken this action as a last resort, having failed to convince the council of the importance of work there.

The state of the cemetery came to light in May when community figures expressed concern that someone could be injured after Allerdale refused to install paths in a newly-opened burial area.

The area is hilly and uneven and is particularly dangerous in poor weather.

When told that Allerdale had no plans to build paths, Coun Kendall said: “We have had investment in footpaths at Maryport Cemetery and Salterbeck Cemetery. It’s our right to have the same sort of access.”

Flimby’s town council representative Carol Tindall added: “We’re not asking for a lot of stuff doing to it that would make it an outstanding cemetery. We’re just asking for it to be brought up to standard.

“It costs the same to be buried there as it does to be buried in Cockermouth or whatever, so why should we settle for second best?”

George Kemp, new Allerdale executive member with responsibility for environmental matters, including cemeteries, said he had been to Flimby and was not concerned about danger.

“The footpath is quite steep from the bottom to the new section. There was some mare’s tail growing on the path and I asked for that to be removed and the bottom of the path levelled out. But we are not going to tarmac the whole place.”

An Allerdale spokesman said: “We can confirm that a call for action has been submitted by Coun Peter Kendall in regards to Flimby Cemetery and it will be dealt with through our normal procedures in accordance with the council’s constitution.”