'It's a crematorium, not a business emporium' - what Gazette readers said about controversial florist plans
Preying on the vulnerable or providing a valuable service?
Proposals to open an on-site florist at South Shields Crematorium have split the opinions of Gazette readers.
But the idea has been met with criticism from some, saying its opening would "prey" on people while they are grieving.
Others have argued that the plan's approval is "commercialising" the crematorium, when they would rather see extensions to the building and car park happen first.
Speaking to the Gazette, a council spokesman said the authority would look to offer the facility to a local supplier to run, if plans are approved.
The application also revealed that the facility would employ one full-time and two part-time members of staff.
A number of readers also offered their support for the plans - and said that the florist would benefit those who do not drive, or who are paying their respects to family and friends while visiting a memorial.
Here's how you reacted to the issue on the Shields Gazette Facebook page:
Louise Archer: "If it brings in enough revenue to get the crem open and functioned to full capacity then do it."
Wendy Stead: "As a florist myself I really think this is a bad decision. Families are going there to grieve not to go into shops on grounds where loved ones are remembered. They will be opening a Starbucks next just to make money."
Annmarie Noble: "Great idea for those visiting memorial plaques and trees, it'll save buying flowers elsewhere and bringing them with you."
Julie Hurst: "I personally think its a disgusting idea. Preying on the vulnerable."
Deborah Laverick: "They should be thinking of ways to help local businesses and encourage people to use shops in your local area."
Nicola Robertson: "Good idea as long as they don't cost the earth and try and take people's eyes out."
Yvonne Anderson: "Does everything have to be commercialised now?"
Garry McKenna: "It’s a crematorium not a business emporium."
Julie Anne Stephenson: "Be a shame for all florists that will lose a lot of business."
Vivienne Kane Burgoyne: "Next they will be offering to have the wake there too. Let the trade stay in the community."
Nikki Brockbank: "Think it may be for people visiting the book of remembrance and wall plaques rather than for actual funerals."
Adrienne Arthur: "Ridiculous idea, the council want to concentrate on extending the actual building. It’s far too small these days for the amount of people attending."
Agnes Noble: "I personally think it's a good idea they have had one at the German cemetery and crematorium for years as long as the prices for the flowers are reasonable and people who travel on public transport to place on memorials as not everyone is a car driver."
Viv Marley: "I don't believe for one minute that people mourning their loved ones want to go shopping on the day of the funeral."