‘Shameful state’ of grave in Sidbury finally fixed
PUBLISHED: 11:02 22 September 2015
Pressure from concerned residents and funeral directors has prompted the district authority to fix what was described as a ‘dangerously sunken grave’ in Sidbury Cemetery.
Claire Harding told the Herald she reported the plot – which she said had sunk by about four feet - to East Devon District Council (EDDC) more than four weeks ago and she felt it was ‘shameful when nothing was done’.
The Newlands Road resident – who used to work for a funeral service – said she feels passionately about helping the bereaved and enabling them to pay their respects properly.
Northcott Funeral Directors conducted the funeral of the deceased and said it also reported the state of the grave to the authority.
Speaking before the matter was addressed, Claire said: “There have been floral tributes placed there that have been consumed by the heavy clay soil. It is just terrible.
“I just felt it was disrespectful to the deceased and their family to see a new grave in such a terrible state.
“The funeral was six weeks ago at least and whilst I am aware graves do subside, it should not have subsided to such an extent.”
She confirmed EDDC staff had now been to fill and re-seed the grave.
Claire welcomed the news and said: “Now the family will have a more respectable and bearable sight to place their flowers and pay their respects.”
An EDDC spokesperson said: “With all earth excavations, including graves, the ground will settle after the work has been completed and, inevitably, this means that levels change and need topping up.
“The burial took place six weeks ago and normally the sinkage would have occurred gradually.”
She added that staff regularly monitored the condition of the graves and increased their visits after rainfall, but said due to recent levels of rain, the change occurred almost overnight.
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