Council backtrack on cemetery notices

Sandy Town Council will hold a public meeting on the issue
Sandy Town Council will hold a public meeting on the issue

Notices in Sandy cemetery are to be removed after Sandy Town Council voted to hold a public meeting on the issue.

The meeting will take place with an independent chairman and will be held before September 22 at a venue to be decided.

Over 30 members of the public attended the council meeting to give their views on the sensitive issue which has sparked much debate.

Trixie Smith, of the Sandy Town Council Watch Group, said: “The council should hear us and realise the pain and 
anguish caused to the people of Sandy.”

Similarly, spokesman of the group, Ken Lynch, said the placing of notices on graves was “unjustifiable, unreasonable, undemocratic and most of all, disrespectful to the residents of Sandy.”

The council was responsible for placing laminated 
notices on graves and headstones at the end of July.

The notices read: ‘We are sorry but trinkets, toys, 
ornaments and lighting are not permitted on graves in this cemetery. Please remove them immediately.’

This led to public outrage from many Sandy residents who have loved ones buried in the cemetery.

Alan Digby-Cameron, of Stratford Road, whose son is buried there, said: “I am absolutely disgusted with the council. I can’t 
believe this.”

Similarly, George Konstantinidis, said: ““This is a very sensitive issue and you need to consider the people.

“No politics or legislation should be enforced regarding this issue.”

Before the council meeting took place it had been 
accepted by them that recent enforcement activity in the cemetery had been conducted insensitively.

Councillor Keith Sharp said: “This is an extremely sensitive issue which clearly a lot of people are passionate about.”

Similarly, Councillor Chris Butterfield, said: “I am all for sensible decoration of graves. I think we can entrust the public. They have common sense to decide what is acceptable to put on graves.”

However, Councillor Susan Sutton, claimed bottles of beer and wine, and magazines of an inappropriate nature, had been left on graves.

Mayor of the Town Council, Councillor Will Jackson, said: “Although members of the public had the opportunity to make short statements at our Town Council meeting on August 11 this was not the ideal forum for the public debate.

“We recognise that people feel very strongly about their cemetery.

“An open meeting will allow people to express their views in more detail.”

Despite a public meeting being held, the outcome will have no binding effect on the council.