Council to take further action 'if needed' following Hatfield grave drama
PUBLISHED: 17:11 15 May 2018 | UPDATED: 17:11 15 May 2018
©2018 Danny Loo Photography - all rights reserved
The council has stated that it will be taking further action "if needed" after grieving families put tributes back on graves in Hatfield Lawn Cemetery.
Families who have loved ones buried in The Hatfield Lawn Cemetery have been battling with Welwyn Hatfield Council after letters were sent out in April.
The letters informed the families that the council would be “returning” the S section to a lawn cemetery.
Relatives were told that they have until Tuesday, May 1, to remove the items from graves otherwise they would be removed by the council and placed in bags and left on plinths for a short time for collection.
The council also offered to help with the removal of items.
Since then, the family of Jean Cutler, who lived in Welwyn Garden City for over 40 years and died on May 24 last year, have been putting her remembrance items back every time the council moves them and checking her grave everyday.
Last week when the council moved items off of Jean’s grave, the family put it all back the following day.
This morning the family received a letter from WHC stating that they have until May 31 to remove them again so they can grass over the grave.
Jean’s daughter Tina Potter, 56, said: “It had destroyed us. It’s the most disgusting thing ever.”
The family are arguing that it is “unfair” that others seem to be allowed to decorate the graves.
Tina added: “There are loads of other graves that have tributes on them and they’re not told to remove it.
“We simply just want it to be the same rules for everyone but this is the nastiest and most vindictive council I’ve ever come across.”
A WHBC spokeswoman said: “We are working closely with families who don’t want their graveside adornments moved to ensure they have enough time to come to terms with what we are asking and hopefully honour the request.
“Further action will be considered at a later stage if needed.”
The council spokeswoman also insisted that “regulations are applied consistently and fairly for all users”.
She added: “As it’s such a large space, plot owners have been written to in stages, but nearly all have now been contacted about the work.
“We must be fair to all users and the many families who chose the Lawn Cemetery as a resting place for their loved ones because of its distinctive character and appearance.
“We often receive contact from loved ones requesting this type of work to ensure the lawn appearance is maintained to the highest of standards.”
The family have pledged to carry on putting the remembrance items back despite the possibility of further action being taken.
They also claim that when the council first moved the tributes off the grave a number of the items were broken including a windmill and an ornament of an angel.
Tina said: “My mum picked that grave site because she thought it looked beautiful as everyone had such lovely colourful graves.
“She would not want to be there now if she knew this was going on.”