VIDEO: Woman’s agony at state of cemetery

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A pensioner has criticised the “heartbreaking” state of one of the Fylde coast’s biggest cemeteries.

Sheila Powell, from Elmwood Avenue, Preesall, claims she has complained to Blackpool Council over the last six years about overgrown grass at Layton Cemetery, where a number of her ancestors - including her mother, grandparents, and great-grandparents - are buried.

Sheila Powell with a monument dedicated to some of her relatives.

Sheila Powell with a monument dedicated to some of her relatives.

The council says it is drafting in extra staff to work on the grounds over the next six months.

However, Mrs Powell says this is too little, too late.

Mrs Powell, 77, said: “When it’s somebody you love who’s gone, it’s the only chance you have to see them.

“The cemetery has been in a terrible state. They’re not looking after something where many people have family buried, it is heartbreaking.”

Sheila Powell with a monument dedicated to some of her relatives.

Sheila Powell with a monument dedicated to some of her relatives.

Blackpool Council confirmed it had received a complaint from Mrs Powell last year, but that its records did not stretch back further.

No-one else complained about the state of the cemetery in 2012.

Coun Graham Cain, Blackpool Council’s cabinet member with responsibility for grounds maintenance, said: “We will be drafting in six extra casual staff to work on cutting the grass over the next six weeks at Layton Cemetery, to ensure it is as well looked after as it can be.

“At this time of year, when the sun is out, grass begins to grow at an extremely quick rate and that can make it particularly difficult to manage.

“Given the nature of Layton Cemetery, it needs to be cut by hand, as opposed to by a mower, which can also make it a very long and tricky task.

“We completely understand the area is of large personal significance to people, and are determined to make sure we will keep it in a suitable condition.”

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