Anger at re­moval of grave­side or­na­ments

Row over coun­cil’s new ‘laid to lawn’ pol­icy ban­ning per­sonal items

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - FRONT PAGE - By Lor­can Lovett lor­can.lovett@trin­i­tymir­ror.com

A ROW has erupted over or­na­ments which were re­moved from a grave by a coun­cil due to new reg­u­la­tions at a ceme­tery.

Be­reaved mother Karen Fisher whose 36-year-old son Barry died three years ago, placed items at Barry’s grave at the Gar­den of Rest in Chal­font St Peter, along with other mem­bers of the fam­ily.

Mrs Fisher wrote to the Ad­ver­tiser claim­ing the items had been ‘stolen’. How­ever Chal­font St Peter Parish Coun­cil has since re­ported tak­ing the or­na­ments off the grave and mov­ing them to the parish of­fice as they break the ‘laid to lawn’ pol­icy.

The pol­icy states 85 per cent of a plot must be grass and it af­fects the 58 plots in sec­tion K and all fu­ture plots bought at the ceme­tery.

Chal­font St Peter Parish Coun­cil an­nounced the mea­sure for ease of main­te­nance and cost ef­fi­ciency.

Work be­gan in Oc­to­ber to im­ple­ment the rules which stirred anger among sev­eral be­reaved fam­i­lies at the site, in­clud­ing Mrs Fisher’s.

She wrote to the Ad­ver­tiser at the time, say­ing: “As much as the coun­cil says it is in the agree­ment with the con­tract, who is look­ing at the small print when bury­ing a child?

“I think they need to take into ac­count peo­ple’s frames of mind when they choose to have a fam­ily mem­ber buried there.”

She wrote on Mon­day: “I would like to add to it that some of the things his fam­ily have put on his grave have been stolen.”

Widow Lynn Bald­win, whose hus­band Keith is also buried in sec­tion K, said: “I’m ab­so­lutely dev­as­tated for her and I’m angry some­one could do this. If I ever thought somebody took some­thing off Keith’s grave I would be be­side my­self.”

Parish coun­cil chair­woman Linda Smith says the owner of Barry’s plot is his widow, who was warned that plac­ing ob­jects on the grassed over plot breaks the rules.

She said: “Th­ese or­na­ments have been planted all over and should not have been there. They were told this was some­thing they should not do and the owner was told they were go­ing to be re­moved.”

The or­na­ments are avail­able for col­lec­tion in the parish of­fice, she said.

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