Anger at “offensive” cemetery regulations

A WIDOWER has spoken out against “offensive” new cemetery regulations that will dictate what colour of flower pot must be used for tributes.

A WIDOWER has spoken out against “offensive” new cemetery regulations that will dictate what colour of flower pot must be used for tributes.

John Ennis believes new rules at Little Paxton cemetery are too restrictive and do not allow people to remember their loved ones as they wish.

However, Little Paxton Parish Council, which has responsibility for the cemetery, said the rules were an update of previous legislation and were needed to ensure the safety and maintenance of the land.

Mr Ennis, 72, of Park Crescent, whose wife Betty is buried at the cemetery, accused the council of having an “us and them” mentality and of being heavy-handed with the regulations.

He said: “The council is constantly talking about removing things from graves. Nobody is entitled to interfere with a grave.

“This is all about power, not responsibility.”

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The new regulations, due to come into force on September 1, state that a maximum of two flower pots or one plant trough may be placed on a grave, and they “must be of an unbreakable material and terracotta or black in colour”.

They add: “Anything added to a memorial, plaque or grave not allowed under these regulations can be removed without notice.”

Mr Ennis keeps a lantern on his wife’s grave in which he sometimes lights a candle.

He said others with burial rights at the cemetery felt the same way about the new regulations.

“People are offended by the regulations. I understand that we need rules, but they have to be written in a way that doesn’t offend people. This seems to be more about controlling people.

“A lantern doesn’t offend anyone. If it doesn’t, why remove it?”

Little Paxton parish clerk Jennifer Gellatly said that anyone with burial rights at the cemetery had been informed of the new regulations, an amalgamation of previously separate cemeteries and memorials legislation, in February.

She said: “It’s good practice for councils to review and update their policies.

“Each burial authority can determine its own practice because no two cemeteries are the same. We have a lawn cemetery and the grass needs to be cut. It’s important that we are able to maintain the cemetery and also for health and safety reasons.

“If a resident has a particular concern they can contact the council directly.”

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