Grave concern over cemetery burials

The family of a man buried in Sleaford cemetery are disgusted at the unhelpful way they claim to have been treated by the Town Council after what they allege to be a blunder over a neighbouring grave.

Sleaford cemetery grave policy is 'disrespectful' say Pat Cross and daughter Anne-Marie Honey. EMN-210830-173758001
Sleaford cemetery grave policy is 'disrespectful' say Pat Cross and daughter Anne-Marie Honey. EMN-210830-173758001

Graham Cross died of lung cancer and is buried in Sleaford Cemetery.

His wife, Pat and daughter Anne-Marie Honey visited the site on Father’s Day to find a new grave had been dug tight up against the foot of Mr Cross’ grave, leaving no space between the two.

Anne-Marie is furious, saying: “It leaves no space for us to stand at the foot of my dad’s grave.”

The graves have been placed ‘foot to foot’ and the council, which owns the cemetery, insisted that has been the policy for some time, with Graham’s headstone already back to back with another one behind.

The family have raised the matter with the council and met with clerk Lisa Tidy and chairman Coun Robert Oates. But Anne-Marie said: “They were more interested in what items we place on dad’s grave, even though we have got permission and agree to cut the grass ourselves.”

She believes the new grave has been dug a foot too close, as another neighbouring new grave has since been set further away. Mr Cross’ grave had also been left with rocks and soil strewn across it after the excavation.

Anne-Marie said her family are upset by the way they have been treated: “We have been told it will sink within eight weeks and we will be able to stand on the graves, but we have been brought up not to stand on other people’s graves - it is disrespectful.

“You can see other graves have been dug with more space between them.”

She added: “Coun Oates got back to me and said ‘the council has checked to ensure its staff have the right details for marking out graves and our contractor uses the correct framework when digging and I apologise if you feel we have not come up to the highest standards in this case’.”

Ms Tidy and Coun Oates have been approached for comment but had not yet responded.