Council offers a brush to grieving families to clear messy graves

Kia Tebbs next to the grave of her grandfather Derek Kenny, which her nan often has to clear of grass cuttings. DJ
Kia Tebbs next to the grave of her grandfather Derek Kenny, which her nan often has to clear of grass cuttings. DJ

ANGRY relatives have been complaining about the state of their families’ graves – and the council’s solution is to offer them a brush so they can clear the mess themselves.

Complaints about the cemetery in Robin Hoods Walk, Boston, includes overgrown grass and, where it has been cut, graves left covered in trimmings.

Kia Tebbs told The Standard her nan cleaned the area around her grandad Derek Kenny’s grave herself most days.

She said: “She’s trying her best to clean it and clear it up.

“I don’t think they’re showing respect, they’re just doing it for the job and their not doing the job properly.”

A Boston Bough Council spokesman said the authority considers the cemetery ‘an important site’ and it employs three full-time workers there, but stressed this year had been ‘particularly hard’ due to the weather.

They said it was ‘unfortunate’ that wet grass when cut could ‘splash onto some headstones’ and that they would brush cuttings off the ‘most visually affected’.

They said: “If anyone visits a memorial that is affected we will be happy to provide a brush if people were willing to help out in the short term.”

They added there are more than 10,000 headstones in the cemetery and grass cutting takes about a fortnight.

Complaints about the state of Boston Cemetery were originally posted on The Standard’s Facebook wall.

The first post was by Kia’s sister Kadie Tebbs, 22, of Kitwood Road, Boston, who wrote: “You go there to pay your respects to loved ones and the council have only gone and cut the grass around each grave and it’s an absolutely disgusting mess.”

She later added: “It’s wrong! I’ve never seen such a mess down there! You literally need to wipe the headstone to see the bottom half, it’s bad!”

Jamie Brown wrote: “It’s a disgrace, we’ve complained to the council and the crematorium on numerous occasions, they do nothing about it ever.

“To be in that job they should be compassionate, it’s a sensitive issue for those visiting lost loved ones.”

Hollie Nuttell wrote: “My mum and dads grave gets in a right state when they’ve cut the grass I remember when it was just my dad resting there and they did it all carefully and hardly made any mess at all it doesn’t look as nice as it used too down the cemetery”

Some people complained that the grass was also left to grow too long.

Alana Jones wrote: “Maybe if they didn’t leave the grass as long as they do and cut it more regular they wouldn’t make such a mess either!

“I went down there the other day the grass was up my legs it’s awful!

“With grass that long it’s gonna fly everywhere and cover the head stones, it makes me so mad, people pay a lot of money to get buried there and for nice head stone.”

Mally Will said her father tended the grave of her mum in a similar way to Kia Tebbs’ nan.

She wrote: “My dad takes the hedge shears to cut my mums grass around her grave so they don’t cut grass and make a mess.”

Carol Rodgers believes the problem is not confined to the cemetery.

She wrote: “You would think they would have some respect and not cover the headstones, it’s the same in the street, you would think they had bit it off with their teeth it’s that bad.”

Some people even questioned the value of council tax bills if the cemetery headstones were left in such a state.

Ewita Iwe added: “What is the point even to pay such a big amount of council tax if everywhere you go there’s garbage.”

Charlotte Hicks said: “The people who have the grass cutting contract with the council this year are doing an awful job, even down the street it looks terrible too.”

The council spokesman said a number of volunteers worked with the authority to help them meet the ‘increasing standards expected’.

l What do you think? Email daniel.jaines@jpress.co.uk.