Mourners locked out of cemetery
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