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.Well, we can’t have an unauthorised bench in a graveyard! Why, anything could happen…
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.
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.Yes. Yes, they are…
'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.'
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.Oooooh, no. It’ll probably be treble that by then, thanks to inflation.
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?'
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.Ahhh. Another green con that the council has bought into. I might have known…
This includes a 6ft bench made from iroko hardwood which comes from a sustainable source and has a brass plaque attached, it said.
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.Well, quite.
'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.'
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.Do you?
' I think it is time for a review of some of these rules and regulations.'
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…