Parish council apologises for “any upset” after ornaments and flowers removed from graves

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Denmead cemetery
Denmead cemetery

A parish council has apologised for “any upset” after it removed ornaments and flowers from graves at a cemetery.

Family members discovered on Thursday that a groundsman at Denmead Burial Ground, acting on the instructions of Denmead Parish Council, was removing items and loading them onto a wheelbarrow.

Becky Whatley said: “I have witnessed three very distressed ladies sobbing at this shocking action – one being my Mum. No consideration or consultation has been made with the people who tend their loved ones’ graves.”

Amanda Roswell said: “This is absolutely disgusting. I took roses yesterday as it was my Nans birthday. My family members were able to retrieve it before it went into the wheelbarrow. Our whole family are devastated. Shame on all those responsible.”

Grace Inns said: “A date could have been set, so whether people agree or not, they had time to remove what they wanted to keep before it was taken away, maybe next time advertise a date so we can go and remove the stuff to be kept instead of you chucking it away.”

Yesterday the Parish Council said in a statement: “Denmead Parish Council manages the burial ground and has, for many years, had regulations which ensure it is maintained as a peaceful country burial ground. When families inter their loved ones, they sign to agree to those regulations.

“Our staff have always periodically removed items that don’t comply with the regulations as well as plastic wrappers and dead flowers.

“Recently a member of staff was injured when maintaining the burial grounds by a memorial that didn’t comply with the regulations. We hope that residents will understand that our staff need a safe working environment and that it is important that memorials are maintained.”

Today the Parish Council said: “We apologise for any upset caused and invite all residents to please call the parish office if they are unsure what they can place on the graves of their loved ones.”

It added: “Denmead Parish Council would like to apologise for the distress caused and misleading messages and would like to clarify the information regarding the Burial Ground. The Council want to make sure that you, as a resident, have the correct information.”

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