AS a widower, I was not entirely surprised to read the complaint of the ‘them and us’ treatment described by John Ennis, whose wife is laid to rest in Little Paxton cemetery (The Hunts Post, July 13).

My wife is also at peace there, and I believe all parishioners received notification about the stringent safety ruling some years ago. I have to say that I, among others, was held responsible for the family memorials deemed to be unsafe at the time.

We were told that the tests undertaken had shown a number of memorials in a condition that the council described as in need of repair. I am sure I was not alone when a demand to attend to the memorial to my wife was received. The maintenance had to be at my own expense.

If I had known that the parish council was going to marshal the bereaved into such subservience, I would never have allowed my wife to be buried with such an aggressive parish council which, unlike other parish councils that pay for the upkeep and safety of graves, demands that the financial burden be borne by us parishioners of Little Paxton.

Like Mr Ennis, I regard the rules as a nit-picking control that deeply offends me. I feel the restrictions he describes do indeed cause offence, as did the actions of the council, which tied messages to gravestones aimed at securing compliance from those unfortunate enough to have been involved with the 'safety' ruling some years ago.

As a result of my enquiries at that time, I refused to pay for the maintenance of the memorial to my late wife. I contacted the funeral directors and explained the situation. I received a letter from the managing director, who was very concerned and could not have been more polite and understanding.

Mrs Gellatly might be interested to know that my memorial was repaired by Cobbolds as a gesture of good will to my family.

Matters relating to those who pave passed on from this life should be dealt with appropriately, with respect and diplomacy, and cost nothing.

To John Ennis I extend my sympathy and understanding.

TONY PENHALL

Gordon Road

Little Paxton