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Newmarket Town Council stands by its cemetery regulations

Newmarket Town Council meet at the memorial hall (2541061)
Newmarket Town Council meet at the memorial hall (2541061)

Councillors have voted to stand by the regulations governing use of the town’s cemetery despite criticism from a grieving family.

Last week the Journal reported the concerns of the Bull family who were angry at the way they were being told to manage the grave of their 13-old-daughter, Reanna, who died tragically at the family’s home last October.

The cemetery regulations have seen them told to remove artificial grass they had laid on the teenager’s grave, along with solar lights and pots containing flowers.

Members of the town council’s community services committee discussed the complaint when they met on Monday when it was pointed out that the family had signed an agreement accepting the cemetery’s regulations when they bought the one and a half-size plot.

Councillors also agreed that they would stop offering larger graves, which were usually bought by people not resident in Newmarket.

Bull family at Newmarket grave (2409929)
Bull family at Newmarket grave (2409929)

“These graves are usually bricked up inside and we have had a lot of trouble with them because we then get calls for larger headstones,” said committee chairman Philippa Winter. “Bricks are not biodegradable and there are health and safety issues too as the purchasers do the bricking up themselves.”

Cllr Amy Starkey said: “We are only operating the regulations that everyone has signed up to when they have a loved one buried in the cemetery.”

Members also agreed to investigate a management system to control the number of vehicles allowed into the cemetery after complaints that some blue badge holders had been unable to get in. At present, one of the cemetery gates remains locked and badge holders wishing to drive in must contact the council’s office.

“We are looking at utilising a security scheme with a £10 call out to let in and out people who want to drive in. In the short term at weekends we would use the local security team to meet them and let them in until a suitable long term solution is found,” said Cllr Starkey. “We have to protect the integrity of the cemetery which sadly is currently being abused.”

“Recently we had eight cars going in around one grave,” said Cllr Winter, “and this is not acceptable.”


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