Rugby council re-states cemetery rules as grieving mum launches petition - The Rugby Observer

Rugby council re-states cemetery rules as grieving mum launches petition

Rugby Editorial 24th Sep, 2016 Updated: 27th Oct, 2016   0

RUGBY Borough Council has reiterated the rules of one of its cemeteries after more grieving residents said they were shocked at being told to remove flowers and ornaments from graves.

In August, The Observer reported relatives of people buried at Croop Hill Cemetery in Addison Road were told to clear graves by the end of this month so they could be turfed over and maintained by a sit-on lawnmower – a policy stated in the plots’ notice of interment.

But Karen Monger, whose daughter Casey Forrest died in January 2015 aged 24, has started a petition to try to get the council to change its mind.

She said: “It means everything to me because its the only place I’ve got left to spend time with Casey.

“Home is not the same – she’s not there. So when I go to her grave I can sit and talk to her, and it’s got personal things that we’ve brought for her – teddies, jewellery, toys; things I would have bought for her.

“We decorate it for occasions like Easter and Halloween – things we would have done for her at home which we can’t do anymore.”

She added nearby plots were available at extra cost where flowers and ornaments were permitted, and asked: “Why such different rules for the same part of land?”

Ron Mann also contacted The Observer with similar concerns about his wife’s grave.

But a council spokesman said the policy was clear from the beginning and no rules had changed – adding there was a memorial area at the cemetery where tributes could be laid.

He said: “We operate a lawned grave policy in the majority of Croop Hill Cemetery which does not permit decorations, tributes or plants on graves other than in, or on, the borders of the headstone. We state the policy clearly in our notice of interment.

“We endeavour to enforce the policy in a sensitive and compassionate manner. However, we re-turf lawned grave sections in our cemeteries every year and require all items to be removed from lawned graves in order for this to take place.

“We give advance notice of the work in order for relatives to remove items before re-turfing, and store all items for six months so relatives can collect them.

“We do have a limited number of traditional graves at the cemetery and relatives who require a grave where kerb surrounds are permitted should advise their funeral director.”

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