Fury over rules set to leave grave bare

Kelly Keightley is complaining about Wyre Borough Council'a attitude towards her grandmother Marina Irving's grave

Kelly Keightley is complaining about Wyre Borough Council'a attitude towards her grandmother Marina Irving's grave

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A TEENAGER has slammed council guidelines which limit tributes around graves.

Kelly Keightley, of Garstang Road East, buried her grandma Marina in Poulton New Cemetery in March last year.

Instead of a gravestone, which has yet to be laid, the 19-year-old adorned the plot with flowers, ornaments and a teddy.

But this week Miss Keightley received a letter from Wyre Council demanding she remove all the items by June 16.

She said: “I was so shocked when I received the letter, really upset, I can’t give my grandma flowers so I want to put things on her grave.

“When I asked the council about the letter I was told a notification had been sent to relatives but we never received anything telling us we couldn’t have tributes.

“I was then told I could put the teddy on the headstone plinth or within 15 inches of it - there is no plinth so what am I meant to do.”

Following a review of Wyre Council’s cemeteries in October 2008 the authority decided to cut back on grave decorations to “improve the safety and comfort of all cemetery users”.

But after an outcry from heartbroken families the council approved a decision to only remove tributes from burials which took place after February 2009.

Relatives who buried loved ones after that date had to sign a contract to say no decoration, including kerbing, edgings fencing or ornaments, would be left on the grave with the exception of the headstone plinth and 15 inch section in front.

But Miss Keightley says it is not fair to expect families who are grieving to understand everything they have to sign.

She said: “My grandad gives all documentation to my mum to deal with and she doesn’t remember signing anything about memorabilia.

“At a time when a family has lost someone special it’s the last thing on their mind.

“It is so unfair people who buried relatives before 2009 can have tributes but those who buried them afterwards can’t.

“And because we have no headstone we will not be able to have anything on the plot.”

A Wyre Council spokesman said: “This is a policy which was introduced across all Wyre cemeteries to protect all users.

“Anyone with an individual concern is encouraged to contact the council for a discussion.”

Since speaking to The Gazette Miss Keightley has been told she may keep the items on the grave.