Stop the unjust removal and disposal of grave memorials at Watton Cemetery.
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Watton Town Council has announced that they will remove anything left at a graveside which is beyond two vases of real flowers. ‘No artificial flowers, no solar lights, no wind chimes, no ornaments, of any material’… otherwise they will forcibly remove items and simply destroy the graves people have lovingly tended.
Please take a moment to sign this online petition and share on social media and with family and friends so they can do the same.
The Cemetery is a wonderful, colourful place of remembrance; what it is not, as the rather heartless sign would imply, is a mess. The vast majority of graves/interments are kept neat and tidy and nothing is beyond the confines of anyone’s plot. There is little you can do for a loved one once they have passed, so placing these memorials or planting a few spring bulbs means the world to people who have had their heart broken by grief.
What makes this Cemetery so special is the how it reflects so much love with flowers and personalised memorials at the gravesides. For as long as I can remember, this has been the case– so why the sudden clamp down?
The council receives over £1,000 for a grave plot lease. You don’t lease/rent a property and then told by the landlord that you cannot put your possessions in it.
There have to be some rules within a public space such as this, but these rules simply go too far and are far too restrictive.
Two vases per grave and nothing else means that if my family were to follow these rules, only two of my Mum's three daughters would be able to place flowers on their Mothers grave on her birthday or Mother’s Day.
Why on can’t the grief stricken parents of their 6 year old place his much loved dinosaurs’ on his grave if it helps them grieve? Why can’t there be a Norwich City Gnome be given to someone for their birthday? And how are artificial flowers at a graveside at all offensive?
The wind chimes and solar lights make the place almost magical… having been there previously at dusk, the cemetery suddenly twinkles and sparkles beautifully.
Many people are not able to tend the grave every week, some not living in the area, and therefore it needs to be agreed that longer lasting plants, artificial flowers, and memorials need to be left safety and without fear that these will be removed and thrown away. A grave with dead flowers, looks far worse than that with artificial flowers or a few spring bulbs popping up.
What harm does this do? Have a heart.
This petition requests that:
· That nothing is removed from the cemetery unless this is by the relatives by their own free will.
· For the Council to respond to concerns highlighted by the community who feel this action is too heavy handed. They claim to have responded to ‘concerns raised’ so we expect the same in return.
· For the exact reasons for each restriction to be given and for each to be discussed to allow for the rules to be revised and modernised.
· For the rules to take account of the need for artificial flowers and longer lasting memorials to be placed on graves, not only fresh flowers.
· For the council to consider alternative solutions to the reasons for each restriction. E.g. ask those visiting the cemetery to all take an active role in taking care of it, by and dispose of dead flowers on any grave or picking up any litter that has blown into the grounds?
Clearly from the graffiti on the notice and the response on social media, there is much support for this. We no longer live in a world of despair, but celebrate lives lived. There is no need to place such strict heavy restrictions within this well-kept cemetery.
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