Leading Worcester councillor's anger over "undignified" cemetery

Worcester News: Worcester Cemetery, off Astwood Road Worcester Cemetery, off Astwood Road

THE elected politician in charge of Worcester's cemetery has revealed his own personal battle to clean it up - after admitting he feels "ashamed" at its "undignified" and "macabre" state.

Conservative Councillor Andy Roberts, who became cabinet member for cleaner and greener one month ago, said he is battling his own personal sorrow after seeing the condition of the Astwood Road site first hand.

Cllr Roberts said during his visit he saw the awful condition of a grave where he knew the woman buried there - a sight which prompted him to act.

He also insists his criticism over the state of the cemetery, which started three weeks ago, is "not an attack on the Labour group".

Labour were in charge of the city council until the start of last month.

Cllr Roberts, speaking during a full council meeting, said: "When I went around it myself I saw the mum and dad of (a lad called) 'Jason', who is in one of the graves.

"They said to me 'you've got to look at this', and pointed to a grave near to them.

"Through neglect the soil had dropped about three feet, it was a macabre sight - I actually knew the lady who was buried there, and that's what ashamed me."

During the meeting he also said his criticism of the site was not just confined to the length of the grass.

"When you come out of the chapel, the flowers are dead," he said.

"When you look at the Garden of Solace, it's full of weeds.

"Sure, grass does grow faster if it's warm and wet, but there's more to it than that."

He was prompted into his comments by the opposition Labour group, which raised the topic.

Councillor Geoff Williams, the former Labour deputy leader, had asked Cllr Roberts if he was "ashamed to have focused on the length of the grass" in his previous criticism of the site.

The council is now working on an action plan to improve the overall look of the cemetery after families contacted your Worcester News with concerns over it.

Last month we reported how 73-year-old Sylvia Hayes, from Weston-super- Mare, was confronted by 4ft-tall grass which obscured the grave of her brother, Kenneth Meek, when visiting the cemetery where her mother is also buried.

Among the other phone calls was Janet Whyte, 75, who lives in Droitwich and had her parents, grandparents and brother laid to rest at the cemetery.

She used her own shears to deal with some of it.

Comments (3)

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6:54pm Tue 8 Jul 14

Jabbadad says...

While not suprised at Andy Roberts CONservative yelping, this Cemetry has just not fallen into a questionable state during the past few months of a Labour council. it 's been a mess during the reign of the CONservatives as well.
I hope that the recognised political relationship between Andy and the long standing Chairman will now quickly put some dignity back into a solem and respected place.
If all fails ask Ditta to sort things out he has previously demonstrated an active graveside manner.
While not suprised at Andy Roberts CONservative yelping, this Cemetry has just not fallen into a questionable state during the past few months of a Labour council. it 's been a mess during the reign of the CONservatives as well. I hope that the recognised political relationship between Andy and the long standing Chairman will now quickly put some dignity back into a solem and respected place. If all fails ask Ditta to sort things out he has previously demonstrated an active graveside manner. Jabbadad
  • Score: 0

11:25pm Tue 8 Jul 14

Samboy says...

Grow ujo JabbaBAD and learn to read all the report. He specifically said that he was not attacking the LAYburr party.
Grow ujo JabbaBAD and learn to read all the report. He specifically said that he was not attacking the LAYburr party. Samboy
  • Score: 2

12:51am Wed 9 Jul 14

Jabbadad says...

Oh sorry samboy I obviously don't understand Andy Roberts and his politics then?
But to repeat, our Cemetery has been a disgrace for some years now.
The facilities are quite poor, particularly when we look at Cemetery's in other local Counties. And it also seems that these days the capacity for the families and mourners frequently overflow into standing down both sides of the Chappel.
It was suggested that there was to be an extension under the CONservative control, however to the rear by using the shelter for mourners which is used when the small waiting room is full and it rains etc.
When what it actually needs is an extension over the small garden which is visible through the window when you are in the chappel, it could easily be designed to be closed off for smaller congregations.
However it also seems that this City struggles to look after it's Older People when they are alive, so to expect any dignity when they have passsed away is perhaps just asking too much. So back to Ditta.
Oh sorry samboy I obviously don't understand Andy Roberts and his politics then? But to repeat, our Cemetery has been a disgrace for some years now. The facilities are quite poor, particularly when we look at Cemetery's in other local Counties. And it also seems that these days the capacity for the families and mourners frequently overflow into standing down both sides of the Chappel. It was suggested that there was to be an extension under the CONservative control, however to the rear by using the shelter for mourners which is used when the small waiting room is full and it rains etc. When what it actually needs is an extension over the small garden which is visible through the window when you are in the chappel, it could easily be designed to be closed off for smaller congregations. However it also seems that this City struggles to look after it's Older People when they are alive, so to expect any dignity when they have passsed away is perhaps just asking too much. So back to Ditta. Jabbadad
  • Score: -3
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