A woman and her family have been left distraught after tributes left on her late sister’s grave were cleared away.'Tributes', eh? I can just imagine...
...the family were shocked to discover that decades worth of trinkets and memorabilia, even a hand-made fence around the perimeter of the plot, had been removed by site staff.Decades worth. Decades!
Ms Goddard said: “If we, as many families do, remember our family member with decorations and memorabilia, then that is our choice. My parents paid for the plot, and now they are being told that they can’t grieve in the way they have for 20 years? I think that is so wrong.
“Some of the plots have been there for thirty or forty years, and I hate to think that an older person who can only visit their child’s grave once a year might go and discover all those personal items missing.”So this came out of the blue, did it?
Councillor Andrew Moring, executive councillor of corporate and community support at Southend Council said: “Letters were sent to families with officially adopted memorials in November 2017, and notices have been displayed ever since by the memorabilia, so that anyone who hasn’t had official adopted memorials or left their contact details, could be made aware.
“Please be assured, we are not removing any plots. The greatest care has been taken since this work was began on 8th May 2018. We have started to remove all the informal memorabilia that has badly deteriorated and has not been visited for years.
"We took photos of all the sites and numbered them. We are carefully removing the items, boxing them up and are putting a photo on the box so they can be easily recognised. They will be stored for up to six months for collection by the parents.
“We appreciate that many families want to have memorials by their plots, and we offer a range of official adopted memorials, details of which are available at the cemetery office.
“The council is responsible for the area, but has been working closely with Essex Sands to find ways of creating a more pleasant and appropriate environment for the baby and child memorial area.”Translation: "Enough is enough! Take your moldy teddy bears and ghastly plastic orchids home!"