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Families pleased with rethink on grave trinkets at Great Malvern Cemetery
FAMILIES with loved ones buried in Great Malvern Cemetery are delighted the town council has agreed to work with them on rewriting the rules and regulations governing what ornaments can be placed on graves.
Relatives were outraged when they received letters several weeks ago warning them that grave decorations such as statues, toys and solar-powered lamps were against the rules and made cemetery maintenance more difficult.
They launched a campaign – a Facebook page which has attracted nearly 1,300 members and an online petition signed by 800 people.
This week, Malvern Town Council formally agreed to set up a working party to look into how the cemetery is managed. The party will include relatives, town councillors and town council staff, including deputy town clerk Linda Blake and operations manager Charles Porter.
The suggestion had been endorsed by the council’s operations committee two weeks ago and on Tuesday, councillors voted overwhelmingly to approve it.
After the meeting, Geoff Doe of the relatives’ group said they were delighted with the council’s decision.
He said: “Lots of people were outraged when they received the letters criticising how the graves were looked after.
“But since we raised our voices, we have been delighted by the way that councillors have listened to us and taken note of our concerns, and we’re really pleased that we will now be able to go forward and work together.
“We’re looking forward to sitting down with the council and working out how the cemetery can be managed in a way that pleases everyone.”
At the meeting, members also agreed that the working party will look at the guidelines for installing memorial benches in Victoria Park, Malvern Link, following a notice of motion by Councillor Martin Lawrence.
But another notice of motion by Coun Lawrence, asking that councillors or council staff should always be accompanied when dealing with bereaved relatives was withdrawn by its author.
Coun Hannah Campbell said such a move would imply councillors or staff could not be trusted to deal sensibly with members of the public.
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