Mourn­ers locked out of ceme­tery

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - News -

A DIS­TRESSED el­derly cou­ple were un­able to get in to Willes­bor­ough ceme­tery to lay flow­ers on a grave.

Den­nis Gar­land was parked near the Post Of­fice in Church Road when he was ap­proached by the cou­ple on Sun­day, Oc­to­ber 19 ask­ing how they could get into the grave­yard as the gates were pad­locked.

He said: “I was un­able to help them al­though some­one else had told them it was pos­si­ble to get in through a gap in the fence.

“I think the coun­cil closed all the gaps and kept the pedes­trian gate at the far side locked be­cause of van­dal­ism.

“The cou­ple went off to check the perime­ter fences in the hope that they could gain ac­cess as they wanted to put the flow­ers on a grave. They ex­pected the ceme­tery to be open at mid­day on a Sun­day.”

Mr Gar­land called Cllr Sue Heaton who at­tempted to con­tact the coun­cil out-of-hours staff.

When Mr Gar­land checked the gates again at 4pm they had been opened.

He said: “I do hope those peo­ple man­aged to gain ac­cess and to lay their flow­ers.

Cllr Heaton, said: “I con­tacted the civic cen­tre where the su­per­in­ten­dent told me he would see what he could do.”

Ash­ford bor­ough coun­cil spokesman Gra­ham Clif­ford, said: “We would like to apol­o­gise for an over­sight that meant that the main gate to Willes­bor­ough Ceme­tery was locked that Sun­day morn­ing.

“We are in­ves­ti­gat­ing this mat­ter with our con­trac­tors, who un­der­take man­age­ment of ceme­ter­ies on our be­half.”

Locked gates at Willes­bor­ough ceme­tery

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