Fury at council grave charge

NDET 19-7-13 MC 28'Alfreton Cemetary on Rodgers Lane has been issuing families with rules on what they are allowed on their headstones.
NDET 19-7-13 MC 28'Alfreton Cemetary on Rodgers Lane has been issuing families with rules on what they are allowed on their headstones.

Disgusted mourners who found fee notices slapped on the graves of loved-ones have called for the council to reconsider its approach.

Becky Day, 37, was shocked to arrive at her grandmother’s grave at Alfreton cemetery to find a letter demanding she pay £87 for a garden permit because she has more than the one pot plant allowed under council regulations.

“I felt sick,” said sales assistant Becky of Willows Place. “I can’t stop crying. I don’t want it to look just like a bit of grass in a field. I shouldn’t have to pay to keep it looking nice.”

Emma Townsend, of South Normanton, was forced to pay the charge for the grave of her seven-year-old daughter, who died from a brain tumour in 2010.

“I arrived to see my daughters grave and from the car could see something had been left on the stone,” she said.

“I presumed it would be something nice but as I walked over I saw it was a notice telling me the grave did not comply with cemetery rules. Whoever put it there surely still has humanity?”

Becky, Emma and several others with family resting at the Rodger’s Lane site are setting up a petition to call on the council to scrap the charge enforced when families want to plant flowers and shrubs on graves.

Assistant director of landscaping services at Amber Valley Borough Council Simon Gladwin, said plots at Alfreton cemetery cost £525.

He added: “When someone installs a garden it makes it more difficult for the area to be maintained, and it increases the council’s maintenance costs so it is a one-off fee that we charge.”