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Hundreds sign petition over changes to graveyard policy

Woodlands Crematorium
Woodlands Crematorium

More than 700 people have signed a petition against changes to the council’s graveyard policy.

As reported by The Scarborough News, Scarborough Council recently voted to tighten its policy on grave side decorations.

One councillor, cabinet member Bill Chatt, even described Woodlands Cemetery as “like a disco” at night.

Now Wendy Pratt, whose daughter is buried at the cemetery, has called on the council to rethink its policy. She said: “To be confronted by a sign at the entrance to the place where my child is buried, was incredibly upsetting. I spent several nights in tears wondering if someone was at her grave taking measurements and touching the gifts I had left there, without my permission. It felt like my grieving process had been invaded.”

She said Cllr Chatt’s comments were “insulting”. She added: “When you bury a child, one of the hardest things is to imagine them in the dark and the cold, alone in a cemetery.

"This is one of the reasons that people leave lights on the graves. I would ask who those lights are hurting, at night, when there is no one there?”

Scarborough Borough Council failed to respond to the petition when asked by The Scarborough News.

Speaking in December, council leader Cllr Derek Bastiman said: “It is extremely sensitive.

“However, we went up as a cabinet and saw the destruction and damage that had been done and it is upsetting for the majority of the families, I feel sure.”

To view the petition go to https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/scarborough-council-allow-flexibility-of-rules-over-what-is-permitted-on-children-s-graves?bucket