Welwyn Garden City family left ‘sick to the stomach’ after being told to clear grave of tributes

PUBLISHED: 12:53 10 April 2018 | UPDATED: 13:26 12 April 2018

Jean Cutler's grave. Picture: Tina Potter.

Jean Cutler's grave. Picture: Tina Potter.


A Welwyn Garden City family have criticised the council for not “having a heart” after they were told to remove remembrance items from graves in Hatfield.

Jean Cutler's grave. Picture: Tina Potter.Jean Cutler's grave. Picture: Tina Potter.

Welwyn Hatfield Council sent out letters to families who have loved ones buried in The Hatfield Lawn Cemetery to inform them that they 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.

The family of Jean Cutler, who lived in WGC for over 40 years and died on May 24 last year, have been left feeling “sick to the stomach” at the thought of having to remove everything from her grave.

Jean Cutler. Picture: Supplied.Jean Cutler. Picture: Supplied.

Jean died at the age of 81 following a number of health issues and has left behind seven children, 14 grandchildren and four great grandchildren.

Her daughter Tina Potter, 56, said: “We’re all in shock that the council is doing this, they have no heart.

“They just take from people all the time when all we want to do is grieve how we want to.”

The family were set to visit the grave yesterday to remove the items including flowers, floral tributes, photos, angels, ornaments, signs, lights and more.

Jean Cutler's grave. Picture: Tina Potter.Jean Cutler's grave. Picture: Tina Potter.

The former Sir Frederic Osborn School pupil added: “It makes me feel sick and just makes me want to cry.”

In 2017 Tina also lost her aunt in January, uncle in August and her brother-in-law in September.

The family was also planning to pay the council to place a bench in the cemetery with a plaque on it in honour of Jean’s memory but were quoted a “rip off” price of £900.

A spokeswoman for the borough council said: “For all those laid to rest at the Lawn Cemetery, and their loved ones, it is important that we maintain the grounds to the highest possible standard.

Jean Cutler's grave. Picture: Tina Potter.Jean Cutler's grave. Picture: Tina Potter.

“Commemorative items are welcome on the plinths so that the main area is clear to be restored to lawn, and we do everything we can to make people aware of this when they chose the Lawn Cemetery.

“We wrote to owners to explain the work, and offer our assistance, to ensure it was handled as sensitively as possible.”

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