Call for cemetery ban rethink

Residents have raised a petition against the ban.
Residents have raised a petition against the ban.
2 March 2017 10:51AM

BEREAVED families in Prudhoe are calling on the town council to relax its ban on graveside ornaments.

Nearly 800 signatures have been gathered for a petition asking Prudhoe Town Council to reconsider the regulations at Edgewell cemeteries.

People are not permitted to place ornaments, fencing or kerbstones on graves.

The rules do allow for memorial flowers, wreaths, vases and items to be placed on the memorial plinth at the head of a grave.

Prudhoe Town Council says that the grass around the graves must be kept closely cut and the ground kept as level as possible.

For grass-cutting machinery to move around the cemetery with ease, the council says the burial ground must be ‘kept in a safe and tidy condition, as required by law.’

However Prudhoe resident, Bev Barker described the ban as disgraceful.

And alongside husband, Michael, she launched a petition protesting against the regulations.

Bev said: “We have family up in the cemetery and go there regularly. We have a push mower to cut the grass and use scissors to tidy around the headstone.

“I think the ban is disgraceful. A lot of people grieve at the cemetery.

“For birthdays and anniversaries, a lot of people go up with bouquets and wreaths from family and friends.

“There’s no room to put them all on the headstone, so some are left on the grave. Are they going to be thrown in the bin now?”

And at last week’s town council meeting, Prudhoe resident Gary Lawson described the ban as a desecration.

Gary attended the meeting on what would have been his late wife, Lynn’s, 59th birthday.

He said: “I’ve got a fence around the grave and I go around with clippers and keep it spotless.

“Now it’s got to be dragged up.

“My wife has been dead for three years and I miss her every day. That place is where I can sit and talk to her and this is desecrating her grave in my eyes.

“You lot sit here and make these decisions and we have to put up with it. I think it’s disgraceful.”

Councillors agreed to reflect on what had been said and reconsider the issue at the next town council meeting.

l Prudhoe Town Council has also received a complaint about a petition going missing from shops in the town.

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