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Families invited to talks on graves row
8:50am Monday 14th October 2013 in News
FAMILIES who have been devastated by requests to remove ornaments from relatives’ graves at Great Malvern Cemetery will be taking their case to the town council this week.
Relatives mounted a furious response after Malvern Town Council sent out letters reminding people of its strict rules about what can – and what cannot – be placed on graves.
Geoff Doe, aged 61, of Russell Drive, whose grand-daughter Alyssa is buried there, said: “We have been asked to give a presentation to the operations committee on Tuesday evening, and we will be making it very clear how upset people are about this.
“Our Facebook page has 1,300 members and there is also a petition there that has more than 700 signatures, so there’s no doubt that a lot of people feel very strongly about this.
“We want to be reasonable and we hope the council will listen to what all these people are saying, because families are being absolutely devastated by this.
“It’s not about pillorying anybody, but we won’t be giving up the fight.”
Leanne Cocks, whose brother Carl was killed, aged 19, in a motorcycle accident three years ago, said: “It’s absolutely heartbreaking.
“We bought a plot for Carl in the memorial garden, and it’s all our mum has left of him. Why can’t we put a card on the plot for his birthday, or an angel?
“People really look after the graves of their loved ones, and the cemetery is a welcoming place, so we should be allowed to grieve as we want to.”
Malvern’s mayor, Coun Julian Roskams, said: “I can assure families that the councillors are taking their concerns very seriously, and we will be listening very carefully to what they say on Tuesday night.”
On the Facebook page, Nicola Daly wrote: “It is utter rubbish that after three years we receive this letter. Like most, we maintain it on a weekly basis and find comfort in doing so. Malvern cemetery is a beautiful place thanks to the families of lost loved ones and the council should be making an example of it rather than trying to destroy it.”
Anteros Battleborne said: “Spent a while at the cemetery this afternoon, it was calm and quiet with many people tending to their loved ones’ resting places.
“We were talking when a lady we didn’t know approached us, she was obviously distraught and in tears, we talked to her for a while and assured her that we would fight the council’s proposals.”
Debi Darby said: “I've just been speaking to my friend in Wales who said his local council tried to do the same with the cemetery where his baby son is buried.
“They argued that other cemeteries have plots with ornaments etc around them and they won through. “They can put what they want on them.”
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