Council forced to apologise over ‘disgraceful’ cemetery

DURRINGTON Cemetery is untidy, overgrown and a disgrace.

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This is the view of upset families who are becoming increasingly frustrated at finding the Worthing Borough Council-owned cemetery in an unkempt state.

Some are taking matters into their own hands by tidying their respective areas.

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R.Poland of Rogate Road, Worthing, wrote to the Herald after contacting the council but receiving no reply.

He said: “Having gone to the cemetery to tend my mother and sister’s graves, I was appalled at the condition it was in.

“Grass was over 4ft high and you were unable to see the gravestones.

“This is the resting place for the deceased who are unable to cut the grass and we also are unable to as we cannot find the graves.

“Families and loved ones spend thousands of pounds for a plot and a memorial stone but they do not expect it to end up in these conditions.”

Linda Thorne, of New Road, Durrington, said: “It is awful. We had to cut the grass round my Dad’s grave and also my grandparents’.

“I emailed the council and their excuse was the adverse bad weather and people being off sick.

“That’s no excuse. It was distressing.”

Jennie Brown responded to a post on the Herald Facebook page. She said: “It is a total disgrace. I go to my Dad’s grave, which is at the top end of the cemetery and even when the grass has been cut, it is never cleared away.

“The only places in the cemetery that do look good and are neat is where people are doing the grass etc for themselves which I don’t think they should have to do.

“This is not an option for me as I don’t drive and do not have the right equipment to use anyway. Very sad to see it so disgustingly untidy.”

A spokesman for the council said: “Worthing Borough Council would like to extend our apologies for the current length of grass in sections of Durrington Cemetery. Unfortunately, standards in parts of the cemetery are presently not in keeping with what we strive to achieve.

“We would like to reassure you that we have all our available cemetery staff working hard to try to keep the grassed areas within a standard acceptable to our cemetery visitors, in addition to them carrying out their grave-digging duties.

“The current weather conditions we are experiencing has contributed to the excessive grass growth caused by rainfall which fuels a flush of growth once the weather warms up in the Spring months.

“To counter this, we have this week moved in temporarily additional staff from other teams within the parks and foreshore section into the cemetery which will allow us to catch up with the outstanding grass to be cut.”