His­toric graves are wrecked by yobs

Macclesfield Express - - FRONT PAGE - STU­ART GREER

HIS­TORIC graves at Mac­cles­field Ceme­tery have been wrecked dur­ing a rampage by ‘mind­less’ yobs.

Staff at the ceme­tery on Prest­bury Road ar­rived at work on Mon­day morn­ing to find 22 his­toric head­stones van­dalised.

Some of the graves are near the old chapel and date back to when the ceme­tery was first opened in 1866 and are ir­re­place­able.

A tall conifer was also torched and pipes for sup­ply­ing wa­ter to visi­tors were dam­aged dur­ing the crime spree on Sun­day night.

It is latest blow to the ceme­tery which has been hit by a num­ber of breakins and in­ci­dents of crim­i­nal dam­age over re­cent months.

There are now calls for ur­gent im­prove­ment to se­cu­rity, in­clud­ing the in­stal­la­tion of CCTV cam­eras.

The ceme­tery is run by Or­bitas, an arms-length com­pany owned Cheshire East Coun­cil.

Coun­cil­lor Lesley Smetham, deputy chair­man of Or­bitas, said: “This mind­less van­dal­ism in the ceme­tery is to be de­plored.

“It’s up­set­ting for rel­a­tives to see me­mo­ri­als des­e­crated.

“Staff work hard at keep­ing the ceme­tery a beau­ti­ful and peace­ful last rest­ing place for their loved ones.

“This de­spi­ca­ble be­hav­iour will not be tol­er­ated and we will be do­ing ev­ery­thing in our power to stop it.”

Also ex­press­ing his shock was David Rut­ley, MP for Mac­cles­field.

He said: “It’s a shock­ing dis­play of van­dal­ism which you wouldn’t ex­pect in Mac­cles­field.

“It shows a com­plete dis­re­spect for the fam­i­lies of those whose graves were dam­aged.”

In Fe­bru­ary, van­dals tar­geted Mac­cles­field Cre-

by ma­to­rium by cut­ting tele­phone lines and light­ing ca­bles be­fore scorch­ing a swear word into the door of the chapel.

In April two teenagers were caught by po­lice smok­ing cannabis near the en­trance to Mac­cles­field Cre­ma­to­rium as a fu­neral was tak­ing place.

There have been reg­u­lar re­ports of drug deal­ers op­er­at­ing in the quite corners of the ceme­tery and ear­lier this month the main­te­nance yard was bro­ken into and equip­ment stolen.

Coun Ains­ley Arnold, who rep­re­sents Tyther­ing­ton ward for Cheshire East Coun­cil, said se­cu­rity must be im­proved.

He said: “I am ap­palled by this wan­ton van­dal­ism.

“I have raised the is­sue of im­prove­ment to se­cu­rity such as CCTV but we must move for­ward to pro­tect the ceme­tery build­ings and to gives us over­sight of those caus­ing dam­age.”

Some of the smashed grave­stones at Mac­cles­field Ceme­tery, parts of which date back to the open­ing of the ceme­tery in 1866

●● MP David Rut­ley de­scribed the dam­age as a ‘shock­ing dis­play of van­dal­ism’

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.