Anger at removal of graveside ornaments
Row over council’s new ‘laid to lawn’ policy banning personal items
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.