Stop attacking Worcester's cemetery, says volunteer

Stop attacking Worcester's cemetery, says volunteer

Stop attacking Worcester's cemetery, says volunteer

First published in News Worcester News: Tom Edwards by , Political Reporter

A WIDOW who tends to Worcester Cemetery has defended its appearance - and says she is fed up of criticism over it.

Una Dunnett, who lives in Windermere Drive, told your Worcester News the cemetery deserves praise rather than attacks.

The 71-year-old volunteer tends to the Astwood Road site's Garden of Solace, saying she checks it "every day" and spends three sessions a week making it look welcoming.

She says the cemetery's staffing levels from the city council has been cut from 15 gardeners to just two over the last decade, and insists that is a large reason why the rest of the site is not as kept as it was.

As your Worcester News revealed last month, the council's new Conservative leadership has criticised the grass at the cemetery for being "out of control" and has created a new action plan to improve it.

Mrs Dunnett said: "I looked at what was being said in the Worcester News and couldn't believe it.

"I think it's disgusting. I volunteer there and nobody can say the Garden of Solace is not in good condition.

"I spend around an hour on it three times a week and check on it daily, it's beautiful.

"The council has constantly cut the gardeners down, it was 15 at one point and now there's only two, that might be why they've had problems.

"I agreed to take on the work and I'm proud of it, from my view what's been said is wrong."

In recent weeks Conservative councillors have criticised the cemetery's condition, calling it "undignified".

Councillor Andy Roberts, cabinet member for cleaner and greener, says he is aiming to ensure the whole site is restored back to its former glories.

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 (10)

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5:44pm Mon 21 Jul 14

CJH says...

"...says she is fed up of criticism over it." Fed up of?
"...says she is fed up of criticism over it." Fed up of? CJH
  • Score: 0

10:44pm Mon 21 Jul 14

rubalish says...

I go to St John,s cemetery each week and I know there has been criticism there if the chap gets grass on the graves .I think the people that criticize should try and do this job perhaps they would no be so quick to condemn.
Keep up the good work especially in the heatwave that we have been having .
Well done the cemetery looks good .
I go to St John,s cemetery each week and I know there has been criticism there if the chap gets grass on the graves .I think the people that criticize should try and do this job perhaps they would no be so quick to condemn. Keep up the good work especially in the heatwave that we have been having . Well done the cemetery looks good . rubalish
  • Score: 11

11:38pm Mon 21 Jul 14

Jabbadad says...

I think that when Andy Roberts the councillor responsible criticises his own department while obviously trying to be political should recall that this situation at Astwood Cemetry has just not appeared but has been quite poor for some years.
And as said in this paper it would not hurt some able bodied relatives to pop along sometimes and tidy up.
This situation should be considered when choosing Cremation or Internment.
I think that when Andy Roberts the councillor responsible criticises his own department while obviously trying to be political should recall that this situation at Astwood Cemetry has just not appeared but has been quite poor for some years. And as said in this paper it would not hurt some able bodied relatives to pop along sometimes and tidy up. This situation should be considered when choosing Cremation or Internment. Jabbadad
  • Score: 5

12:52pm Tue 22 Jul 14

millyfish says...

My grandparents are buried in the cemeterty near the wall that runs along astwood road. The state of it is appalling. Twice i have had to take my own shears down there and cut back holly bushes and trees just so that i can asccess the grave. The graves there are clearly tended to frequently so i cannot understand why the surrounding areas are being neglected, that access is getting nearly impossible and that i am having to do a job that the council should employ someone to do. Respect for our loved ones is all we are asking.
My grandparents are buried in the cemeterty near the wall that runs along astwood road. The state of it is appalling. Twice i have had to take my own shears down there and cut back holly bushes and trees just so that i can asccess the grave. The graves there are clearly tended to frequently so i cannot understand why the surrounding areas are being neglected, that access is getting nearly impossible and that i am having to do a job that the council should employ someone to do. Respect for our loved ones is all we are asking. millyfish
  • Score: 1

1:32pm Tue 22 Jul 14

willing says...

CJH wrote:
"...says she is fed up of criticism over it." Fed up of?
I don't know why the great illiterate of Worcester have thumbed down this guy's post. He is absolutely correct, and I find it really annoying and not at all acceptable when a journalist, whose job is all about words, has such a poor grasp of basic English
[quote][p][bold]CJH[/bold] wrote: "...says she is fed up of criticism over it." Fed up of?[/p][/quote]I don't know why the great illiterate of Worcester have thumbed down this guy's post. He is absolutely correct, and I find it really annoying and not at all acceptable when a journalist, whose job is all about words, has such a poor grasp of basic English willing
  • Score: 0

3:49pm Tue 22 Jul 14

CJH says...

willing wrote:
CJH wrote:
"...says she is fed up of criticism over it." Fed up of?
I don't know why the great illiterate of Worcester have thumbed down this guy's post. He is absolutely correct, and I find it really annoying and not at all acceptable when a journalist, whose job is all about words, has such a poor grasp of basic English
Why thank you! I guess that those who don't like it don't understand why it's incorrect. By the way, I'm not a bloke, but no worries! :-)
[quote][p][bold]willing[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]CJH[/bold] wrote: "...says she is fed up of criticism over it." Fed up of?[/p][/quote]I don't know why the great illiterate of Worcester have thumbed down this guy's post. He is absolutely correct, and I find it really annoying and not at all acceptable when a journalist, whose job is all about words, has such a poor grasp of basic English[/p][/quote]Why thank you! I guess that those who don't like it don't understand why it's incorrect. By the way, I'm not a bloke, but no worries! :-) CJH
  • Score: -4

3:08am Wed 23 Jul 14

Northerngirl1954 says...

I attended a Cremation just over a month ago which l was sitting very near to the window in the Hall l thought what a mess the small garden looked infact it looked more like a jungle, the grounds around the outer area at the front looked perfect and feel that this should have been the same kind of neatness, lawn with a pretty border so l'm afraid l agree with Mr Roberts not to mention depressing to look at. A further issue l can 't understand is how some private individual if l am understanding the article correct can be allowed to have the use as what seems to appear, surely the cemetery should be solely responsible , a problem which should never have been allowed in the first place.
I attended a Cremation just over a month ago which l was sitting very near to the window in the Hall l thought what a mess the small garden looked infact it looked more like a jungle, the grounds around the outer area at the front looked perfect and feel that this should have been the same kind of neatness, lawn with a pretty border so l'm afraid l agree with Mr Roberts not to mention depressing to look at. A further issue l can 't understand is how some private individual if l am understanding the article correct can be allowed to have the use as what seems to appear, surely the cemetery should be solely responsible , a problem which should never have been allowed in the first place. Northerngirl1954
  • Score: 9

12:27pm Wed 23 Jul 14

Jabbadad says...

The Cemetry has always been a sensative subject, many comments have appeared in this Newspaper. It is my undersatnding (I'm sure the experts will rush to correct me) that the Council have a Statute obligation to provide a Cemetry, and methods of Internment or Cremation, which they can then charge reasonable rates for whichever service is provided. They also have responsiblity for the grounds surrounding the graves or garden of remembrance, however the grave itself is the responsibilty of the surviving relatives, but with the council having the authority over what is placed upon the actual graves.
there is a Cemetry Committe, which for many years Mike Layland was the Chairman.
On many occasions the present Chappel is far too small, and a sensative extension on the very ground mentioned by Northerngirl and viewed through the Chappel window would be welcomed.
Of course the grounds need more maintenance, all that is needed is more funding. I for one would be quite happy for additional funding being made available by a small increase in Council Tax's, since I like may more citizens of Worcester just visit this facility for a funeral.
The Cemetry has always been a sensative subject, many comments have appeared in this Newspaper. It is my undersatnding (I'm sure the experts will rush to correct me) that the Council have a Statute obligation to provide a Cemetry, and methods of Internment or Cremation, which they can then charge reasonable rates for whichever service is provided. They also have responsiblity for the grounds surrounding the graves or garden of remembrance, however the grave itself is the responsibilty of the surviving relatives, but with the council having the authority over what is placed upon the actual graves. there is a Cemetry Committe, which for many years Mike Layland was the Chairman. On many occasions the present Chappel is far too small, and a sensative extension on the very ground mentioned by Northerngirl and viewed through the Chappel window would be welcomed. Of course the grounds need more maintenance, all that is needed is more funding. I for one would be quite happy for additional funding being made available by a small increase in Council Tax's, since I like may more citizens of Worcester just visit this facility for a funeral. Jabbadad
  • Score: 6

6:42pm Wed 23 Jul 14

Northerngirl1954 says...

Jabbadad wrote:
The Cemetry has always been a sensative subject, many comments have appeared in this Newspaper. It is my undersatnding (I'm sure the experts will rush to correct me) that the Council have a Statute obligation to provide a Cemetry, and methods of Internment or Cremation, which they can then charge reasonable rates for whichever service is provided. They also have responsiblity for the grounds surrounding the graves or garden of remembrance, however the grave itself is the responsibilty of the surviving relatives, but with the council having the authority over what is placed upon the actual graves.
there is a Cemetry Committe, which for many years Mike Layland was the Chairman.
On many occasions the present Chappel is far too small, and a sensative extension on the very ground mentioned by Northerngirl and viewed through the Chappel window would be welcomed.
Of course the grounds need more maintenance, all that is needed is more funding. I for one would be quite happy for additional funding being made available by a small increase in Council Tax's, since I like may more citizens of Worcester just visit this facility for a funeral.
That would make perfect sense to extend the Chapel out wards from the windows into the Garden of Remembrance that l must say is always looking neat and would be more appreciated than what is seen now
[quote][p][bold]Jabbadad[/bold] wrote: The Cemetry has always been a sensative subject, many comments have appeared in this Newspaper. It is my undersatnding (I'm sure the experts will rush to correct me) that the Council have a Statute obligation to provide a Cemetry, and methods of Internment or Cremation, which they can then charge reasonable rates for whichever service is provided. They also have responsiblity for the grounds surrounding the graves or garden of remembrance, however the grave itself is the responsibilty of the surviving relatives, but with the council having the authority over what is placed upon the actual graves. there is a Cemetry Committe, which for many years Mike Layland was the Chairman. On many occasions the present Chappel is far too small, and a sensative extension on the very ground mentioned by Northerngirl and viewed through the Chappel window would be welcomed. Of course the grounds need more maintenance, all that is needed is more funding. I for one would be quite happy for additional funding being made available by a small increase in Council Tax's, since I like may more citizens of Worcester just visit this facility for a funeral.[/p][/quote]That would make perfect sense to extend the Chapel out wards from the windows into the Garden of Remembrance that l must say is always looking neat and would be more appreciated than what is seen now Northerngirl1954
  • Score: 5

2:44pm Wed 30 Jul 14

Northerngirl1954 says...

Having visited Astwood Cemetery to a family grave this morning l was so surprised to see how the Cemetery looked and could see that a lot of effort had been made, the best l had seen for a very long time. Whilst walking l spoke to a young lady who introduced herself as a friend and gave me a good insight to the future and hopefully continued improvements. l am normally the first to moan but also give credit where due, well done to all staff involved
Having visited Astwood Cemetery to a family grave this morning l was so surprised to see how the Cemetery looked and could see that a lot of effort had been made, the best l had seen for a very long time. Whilst walking l spoke to a young lady who introduced herself as a friend and gave me a good insight to the future and hopefully continued improvements. l am normally the first to moan but also give credit where due, well done to all staff involved Northerngirl1954
  • Score: 2

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