Thursday, 16 July 2009

When They Talk About ‘Rip Off Britain’..

…who knew the councils were getting in on the act?
A grieving mother has been ordered to take down a memorial bench for her 17-year- old son and lease one from a council at five times the cost.

Gary Pitchford's friends raised £137 for a bench and brass plaque to go next to his grave in a council cemetery after he died in a car crash.

But the council says it is unauthorised and that Di Pitchford will have to pay almost £700 for an approved one which is almost identical.
Well, we can’t have an unauthorised bench in a graveyard! Why, anything could happen…
Miss Pitchford, 43, said: 'I was disgusted. I feel someone is being a real jobsworth, they have obviously never lost a child. I am on anti-depressants to help me cope and this is just another punch in the stomach.

'In my opinion our bench is sturdier and better quality than the council's one. I think they are preying on grieving families and charging them extortionate prices.'
Yes. Yes, they are…
His brother Wayne, 20, organised a collection for a hardwood bench so Gary's friends had a place to sit and reflect on his life.

Miss Pitchford said: 'I didn't know you needed permission until I got a letter saying the bench was against the council's rules and regulations and I had to lease one from them for 20 years for £700.

'What happens after 20 years - do we have to pay another £700?'
Oooooh, no. It’ll probably be treble that by then, thanks to inflation.

Got to pay the salary of all those councillors, consultants and council staff somehow…
The family have also been told that the bench is disturbing other mourners at the cemetery, in Colchester, Essex.
How? Is it singing in a loud voice? Waiting until they sit down on it, then making a noise like a whoopee cushion?

Exactly how can a bench ‘disturb’ people? What kind of people would admit to that?

And just why does the bench from the council cost nearly five times as much as an equivalent from a high street retailer?
Colchester Borough Council, which runs the cemetery and memorial gardens, defended its actions by saying that grieving families are sent a brochure from which they can choose an approved memorial.

This includes a 6ft bench made from iroko hardwood which comes from a sustainable source and has a brass plaque attached, it said.
Ahhh. Another green con that the council has bought into. I might have known…
Councillor Tim Young, who has responsibility for the cemetery, said the brochure makes clear that benches will be sited at the council's discretion. 'It's made of a special sort of wood and also the quality-of the bench is exceptional', he said. 'It does cost £685 but it lasts 20 years.

'We do not want anybody just to buy a bench for £30 from the home furniture company that will bring down the standards and quality in the cemetery.'
Well, quite.

After all, if people went out and compared the price of things they could buy for themselves against the price of things the council supplied, they might wake up and realise just why their council tax is so high.

And then they might decide to hang you and your colleagues from the nearest lamppost. And not with environmentally-sustainable hempen rope, either…
… he added: 'We appreciate that this family has suffered a tragedy and we are trying to work with them to find a solution. I agree that £685 is a lot of money.

' I think it is time for a review of some of these rules and regulations.'
Do you?

I think it’s time we decided to stop paying for people like you to run every aspect of our lives – and deaths – for us…

7 comments:

Sue said...

Here are Tim Young's details. I think I will drop him an email to express my disgust!

Councillor Tim Young (LABOUR RIP OFF PARTY)

Telephone Number : 01206 795343

Email cllr.tim.young@colchester.gov.uk

Oldrightie said...

Email duly sent asking the twat to pay for it himself out of the millions he rakes in from tax payers.

moriarty said...

As the bench will probably be vandalised before too long I don't suppose it matters much what sort of wood they use.

On the other hand, maybe memorial benches should be controlled or they'll be everywhere the way bunches of flowers are after an accident. There's one in a supermarket around here already.

Obsidian said...

The council wanted x amount for us to bury our dads ashes on another family members grave...

Typical of the small-minded bureaucrat to make even death a revenue stream - and they probably condemn businesses for being 'cold-hearted' without taking good look at themselves!

Rob said...

' I think it is time for a review of some of these rules and regulations.'

And when the heat calms down a bit, we'll ignore it.

The only 'sustainable' bit they are interested in is sustaining the flow of extorted taxpayer money.

Anonymous said...

You'd be astounded how detailed and petty the rules are for cemeteries.

Quite who gave the councils powers to meddle on such a scale is far from clear.

JuliaM said...

"On the other hand, maybe memorial benches should be controlled or they'll be everywhere the way bunches of flowers are after an accident."

The available space will probably stop them proliferating, since I don't think it's feasible to tie a bench upright to a lamppost.. ;)

"Typical of the small-minded bureaucrat to make even death a revenue stream - and they probably condemn businesses for being 'cold-hearted'..."

Of course! Evil capitalists, etc..

"You'd be astounded how detailed and petty the rules are for cemeteries."

*sigh* I probably wouldn't, but you never know...