‘Make your voices heard’: Relatives plea over plans for cemetery in Skegness

The Standard has followed the heatbreaking story of Serina Pickering, whose stillborn baby Brittany was buried in St Mary's Churchyard  17 months ago.. ANL-170516-134115001
The Standard has followed the heatbreaking story of Serina Pickering, whose stillborn baby Brittany was buried in St Mary's Churchyard 17 months ago.. ANL-170516-134115001

Relatives who have loved ones buried in a Skegness cemetery are concerned some others may miss out on an opportunity to put forward an argument to stop the Town Council enforcing the removal of treasured items from gravestones.

Mothers of babies buried in St Mary’s Cemetery in Winthorpe made a plea to councillors at last month’s meeting and it was agreed the removal of items scheduled for May 1 would be put on hold while a working party looked into the matter.

Councillors are keen to seek views from a broad range of people with family buried in the cemetery

Town clerk Steve Larner

Meetings with the working party have been arrange for Wednesday and Thursday, May 24 and 25.

However, the mothers who formed a group at the meeting say more notices about items on gravestones are appearing throughout the cemetery and they now worried not everyone who could be affected has been contacted.

Clare Hall, who started an online petition which gained more than 200 supporters, made a plea on social media saying: “On behalf of a small group of people who have come together, I’m trying to get in contact with as many people who have loved ones or know people who have loved ones that are buried in St Mary’s Cemetery, Winthorpe.

“Skegness council are trying to enforce the rule that all items are removed so that the graves can be lawned over, We will only be permitted to place fresh flowers on the graves.

“At the moment this enforcement has been placed on hold until further notice, The council have agreed to listen to all individual families about their concerns and are holding meetings at St Mary’s on May 24 and 25.

“Families have been given a time slot of 15 minutes.

“If you would like your say, please contact the council.”

The Standard has followed the heartbreaking story of Serina Pickering, whose stillborn baby Brittany was buried there 17 months ago.

She also started a petition and said: “I just can’t bring myself to take the stuff off yet.

“I really hope they don’t put my teddy in bin – it’s been there nearly 17 years. This is so unfair - that was my place to go on my own to make it nice.

“If I had known this would have ever happened, I would have loved to have her in my garden and then made it nice.”

Town clerk Steve Larner said: “The council representatives on the working group have agreed how they intend to approach the gathering of the broad range of views, together with other factors and issues that influence the management of the cemetery.

“Those people who left contact details following the council meeting have certainly been approached and all those that wanted an appointment to discuss their individual concerns have been given a specific time and date.

“Councillors are keen to seek views from a broad range of people with family buried in the cemetery and to this end the opportunity to attend one of these councillor meetings has been advertised on the council’s website and through social media.

“Anyone with a grave space in the cemetery wanting an appointment can contact the office and get one.

“The notices on graves are to show which graves are having grass seed sown. This is part of routine maintenance that is undertaken each spring and autumn (the correct times for sowing grass seed).”

To contact the council, call 01754 766113.

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‘Don’t put my teddy in bin’