‘Nowhere left to turn’

Be­reaved fam­i­lies’ anger at ceme­tery up­keep

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS - By Tom Her­bert tom.her­bert@trin­i­tymir­ror.com

A ROW be­tween griev­ing fam­i­lies and a parish coun­cil has erupted over grass-cut­ting at a ceme­tery.

Be­reaved rel­a­tives say they would much rather main­tain graves them­selves, but feel as if they have been ig­nored by the coun­cil and now have ‘nowhere left to turn’.

An ar­gu­ment arose last year over new grave rules put in place by Chal­font St Peter Parish Coun­cil which stated graves in K Sec­tion of The Gar­den of Rest, Den­ham Lane, must be mainly grassed over.

But re­cent at­tempts to trim the grass near plots and head­stones have re­sulted in an­gry com­plaints and pe­ti­tions from be­reaved fam­ily mem­bers who feel cur­rent ef­forts are not good enough.

Vil­lagers prob­lem is which the

say the the way in graves have

‘DIS­GUSTED’: Be­reaved fam­i­lies who have com­plained to the parish coun­cil about their grave main­te­nance pol­icy at the Gar­den of Rest in Chal­font St Peter, right been mowed over, with proper grave?” She doesn’t graves be­ing left with con­tin­ued: “We had a me.” tram­lines over them and pe­ti­tion of over 400 Mrs Fisher, who was in tufts of lawn around the signatures and the coun­cil dis­pute with the parish head­stones. wouldn’t ac­cept it be­cause coun­cil last year af­ter

Sally Gomme, whose they said some of them or­na­ments she left on her hus­band, Paul, is buried were out of the area.” son’s grave were taken in the ceme­tery, said: “I Mrs Gomme said the away said: “I’m ab­so­lutely don’t know where to go prob­lem has also started dis­gusted with the parish now or who to speak to. af­fect­ing her young coun­cil.”

“I don’t know how to grand­chil­dren. Chal­font St Peter Parish stop this. Ef­fec­tively I’m Karen Fisher, who has Coun­cil chair­man, Linda still go­ing to be a son, Barry, also buried Smith, ar­gued that a laid main­tain­ing it so why in Sec­tion K, said: “I just to lawn pol­icy was can’t I main­tain it as a don’t un­der­stand it, it adopted in Sec­tion K a

make

sense

to num­ber of years ago which fam­i­lies would have known when pur­chas­ing a burial plot.

The parish coun­cil con­firmed grass gets cut across the whole burial ground ev­ery two weeks and strim­ming around head­stones in Sec­tion K oc­curs ev­ery four weeks, as op­posed to the rest of the burial ground which gets strimmed ev­ery six weeks, weather and growth de­pen­dent.

Mrs Smith ar­gues tram­lines are a nat­u­ral part of cut­ting grass with a lawn mower.

She said: “I don’t think the parish coun­cil are do­ing any­thing wrong.”

She added: “We’re not be­ing heart­less, we’re be­ing as care­ful as we can.

“We have all lost loved ones and we do know what it’s like.”

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