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Disputed grave proposals for Preston voted through

Graves at Preston Cemetery
Graves at Preston Cemetery
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Leaseholders for plots at Preston Cemetery are to receive letters informing them that regulations for grave memorials are to be enforced.

The controversial proposals have been voted through by the city council despite the decision being called-in for further scrutiny.

Patricia Varty hands in a petition at the town hall last year

Patricia Varty hands in a petition at the town hall last year

It means a limit of 2ft 6ins will be kept in place around graves where memorial items can be placed.

READ MORE: Preston grave rules set for further scrutiny

Cemetery group 'very upset' with decision to keep memorial rules the same

Council bosses said this is required because “unauthorised kerbs, fencing and memorials” can cause problems with maintenance that cost £60k per year.

However, campaigner Patricia Varty has vowed to take the matter further and is considering legal options.

Ms Varty, who represents the Friends of Preston Cemetery Group, said the local authority has ignored its consultation results.

An initial petition calling for a review had attracted 4,500 signatures.

She said: “We are exceptionally upset (with the decision). We feel like we have been betrayed.

"We are not going to just go away."

The group hoped a three to four foot limit could be agreed but the council said it was not “practicable”.

Meanwhile, the most popular option from the public consultation was to allow personalisation to the full length of grave boundaries.

A majority of scrutiny committee members voted against sending the matter back to cabinet to “reconsider and undertake further clarification.”

A council spokesperson said: “We understand this is a sensitive issue, and we will be writing to all relevant Grave Deed Leaseholders in the coming weeks to inform them of the decision to maintain the existing rule and offering to work with them to help make these changes.

"As some memorialisation covers a greater area, a reasonable period of time has been agreed for people to make any necessary changes.

“A thorough review has now been carried out and the council decided the existing maximum space allowed in the cemetery rules should be retained (i.e. a space of 2 foot 6 inches)."