Council's cemetery compromise branded an 'absolute joke' by relatives

Relatives have slammed a compromise offered by Edwinstowe Parish Council in a row over floral tributes on graves.

Families of those laid to rest at The Forest Cemetery have complained to your Chad over the policy that bans vases and trinkets on the grass surrounding graves.
A mother whose stillborn son is buried at the cemetery has said the council's decisions have caused "unnecessary stress."
Kerry Wardle, 29, from Clipstone lost her son Kai Day six years ago.
Her family said toys laid at her son’s grave, including a red fire engine which was for his birthday, were moved.
They said toys which they lay every year for his birthday, which they removed and placed into a keep safe box a few days after have "never been moved" before September last year.
On Tuesday, March 13, the parish council, which runs the cemetery, unanimously decided to update the cemetery rules during a meeting.
As part of the changes relatives who do not have vases built into the gave stone must apply to place flowers on the grass around the graves.
Updated rules state: “Floral tributes only will be allowed on the grass for Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Easter, Father’s Day and Remembrance Sunday. They will be removed and disposed of after seven days.
"Floral tributes only will be allowed to be placed on the grass on three other occasions during the year.
“An application must be made to the council office for approval prior to placing the floral tribute.
“If no application is received, the floral tribute will be removed immediately.”
Relatives have branded the change an ‘absolute joke’.
Bosses at the parish council have said a “copy of these rules is always given” to clients but it is "up to them to read it".
Councillor Celia Brooks Chairman the council has said the council is looking into cemetery plots with no headstone, she said: “The rules at the cemetery have not changed since 1992 at least.
"We are aware of the sensitive nature of this but most people are very happy with the way the cemetery is run and how it looks, it is respectful and beautiful.
"We have had the same groundsman for three years, why would he suddenly change? He wouldn't.
"The compromise is something we as a council have agreed one we have to keep the place looking as glorious as it is now - we cannot have bits and bobs anywhere"
Natalie Palmer, from Berry Hill, to came to the Chad in February with the complains started a petition to get the rules amended, it currently has 500 signatures.
The 31-year-old whose dad is buried at the cemetery found that flowers she had placed in a vase next to his grave in September were “thrown to the floor” because of the ban.
Natalie spoke to the Chad after a private meeting held between concerned relatives and Mark Spencer, Sherwood MP, on Friday, March 16.
In the meeting around 50 relatives got to tell their stories about the recent ‘problems’ at the cemetery.
One woman who had been tending a grave for 13-years grew wildflowers around the headstone until a few months ago when the council requested her to remove them.
Natalie said: “The support we have had is amazing.
“All of this has come from one complaint I made.
“Everyone feels the same about the situation at the cemetery.”
Emma Marsden, 42, from Worksop, was living in Bangkok at the time when Natalie noticed the flowers being moved, said she was unhappy about the recent change to apply for placing flowers, she said: “The cemetery is stunning and I praise the council for maintaining it but with the recent changes it now looks bare.
“When I was buying flowers for my husband's mothers grave for Mothers Day I had to think about getting a just a small bunch because the family shares one pot, but why should it be like that.
“We will just have to compromise if that is what we have to do.”
Mark Spencer, Sherwood MP, has said that after listening to the concerned relatives he will sit down with the council about the issues raised.
Speaking to your Chad after the meeting he said: “I am hoping the council might reflect on some of the changes they want to enforce and show a bit of compassion frankly.
"They are custodians of the cemetery for the community and the community clearly feels that they want to leave flowers.
“I am in contact with parish councillors, hopefully, we can sit down and try and find a way for the council to run the cemetery efficiently but allow the community to leave the flowers and trinkets.
“The parish council is there to represent the community
“This is really important - I expected half a dozen people to turn up to the meeting held on Friday and we have ended up with 50 to 60 people in the room, people have left work to come to this meeting.
“I think that does demonstrate how strongly people feel.”

Moved objects at The Forest Cemetery.

Moved objects at The Forest Cemetery.

Moved objects at The Forest Cemetery.

Moved objects at The Forest Cemetery.

Emma Marsden and Natalie Palmer.

Emma Marsden and Natalie Palmer.