Anger after cross removed from grave

A couple have today been left upset and angry after borough workers confiscated a memorial cross from their father's cremation site on grounds of health and safety.

IPSWICH: A couple have today been left upset and angry after borough workers confiscated a memorial cross from their father's cremation site on grounds of health and safety.

The team from Ipswich Borough Council's Bereavement Services have removed a number of items from the Millennium Cemetery to ensure the area remains “visually pleasing” and safe for maintenance staff.

Among the tributes was a small wooden cross made by Ben Barber, 31, in memory of his wife's father, who died from cancer last year.

Mr Barber and wife Nicole, 26, returned from their honeymoon last month to find the 20cm by 30cm cross had been taken away.

A letter warning them of the move said: “Please be assured it is to ensure the cemetery remains visually pleasing to all visitors and remains safe for ground staff maintaining the area.”

Mr Barber, of Dereham Avenue, Ipswich, said: “To come back to that around the first anniversary of his death is very hard to swallow.

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“I completely understand some items placed at some sites may have been too much in the council's view, but we are dealing with many people's grief here.

“I made the small cross myself shortly after he passed away as a tribute to him rather than buying the standard plastic plaque that the council offered us.”

Mrs Barber's father, 63-year-old former Royal Navy serviceman David Ruddock, passed away on Armistice Day last year and was cremated at Ipswich Crematorium.

Mike Grimwood, operations manager at the borough's Bereavement Services, said Mr Barber's cross was not permitted.

He said: “The overall reason for non-allowance of other items is due to health and safety reasons. Glass and pottery, for example, can become a significant risk when broken.

“These rules are also to ensure the aesthetics of the area will not be compromised.”

Have you had memorial items removed from the resting places of loved ones? Write to Your Letters, The Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk