WORK to rebuild a cemetery wall flattened by a runaway JCB more than a year ago will finally begin next week, it has been announced.
The graveyard gates, parts of the entrance wall and gravestones at Warsop Cemetery were wrecked after a thief was chased through the area by police while driving a plant vehicle on 2nd July last year. He was eventually jailed for four-and-a-half years.
But the speed in which the council has got round to repairing the damage has been criticised by locals.
Portfolio holder for public protection, Coun Mick Barton, said: “We have done everything possible to advance the repair work on Warsop Cemetery, but unfortunately delays have occurred.
“Our staff have worked hard to ensure that the repair work will be of the highest standard and in keeping with the rest of cemetery wall.
“We want this situation to
be resolved as quickly as possible.”
The council said the repair plans have been dogged by problems, including insurance issues caused by the driver’s lack of cover. They said that material quotations proved a lengthy process and sourcing the exact stone to blend with the rest of the cemetery wall had taken time.
The council said the legal process had been finalised and the orders had been placed with the stone mason.
They initially said the work may not start for another ten weeks, but now say it will begin on Monday.
Ward councillor Derek Evans, who says he has been quizzed regularly by residents and says he has kept a very close eye on the situation, said: “I think they took another look at it and thought ‘let’s get it underway’.
“I’m disappointed that work was not carried out sooner, but I do understand the legalities surrounding it.
“I’m delighted that work will start but I’m sad it has taken so long for this to get resolved.”