A FORMER Huntingdon mayor claims one of the town’s cemeteries has been allowed to become feral and overgrown in an attempt to win an In Bloom award.

Doug McIlwain believes that Huntingdon Town Council's decision to let part of the Priory Road cemetery grow wild is “disrespectful of the dead”.

Councillors agreed last October to follow the recommendations of a report from Anglia in Bloom to encourage biodiversity by allowing wildflowers to grow to attract insects in the cemetery and in the churchyard of St Mary's in the centre of town.

But Mr McIlwain said: “The area has started to look derelict. The council has told me that it will make a decision on cutting the grass after the Anglia in Bloom judging takes place on July 16, but the time to cut the grass is now.

“I don't know what kind of award they are hoping to win with this. There are up to 10 graves that are obscured by the growth, which is disrespectful, and the people who have loved ones in the cemetery shouldn't be happy.”

A town council spokeswoman said it had not received any complaints about the look of the cemetery.

She told The Hunts Post: “Last year the council considered the report by Anglia in Bloom judges that said we should try to encourage biodiversity in cemeteries and closed churchyards.

“For that we allow these areas to be maintained less and mowed at the end of season to encourage wildflower growth.

“The Anglia in Bloom judging takes place on July 16 and if councillors want to change their minds on this, the earliest opportunity is July 19 in the next leisure and amenities committee meeting.”