Limit on grave tributes rejected

GRIEVING relatives and friends will maintain the right to leave as many personal tributes at Ipswich gravesites as they like – as long as they do not encroach on other plots or tower over memorials.

GRIEVING relatives and friends will maintain the right to leave as many personal tributes at Ipswich gravesites as they like - as long as they do not encroach on other plots or tower over memorials.

Ipswich borough councillors have backed away from plans, revealed in The Evening Star yesterday, to restrict the number of tributes to the deceased to three after deciding "common sense" ruled the council should not dictate to residents on the issue.

The council's executive last night opted to introduce new rules which only ban floral sprays and memorabilia which exceed the height of memorials or interfere with, or encroach upon, neighbouring plots.

At a meeting in the Civic Centre, Cllr Paul West, whose responsibilities include cemeteries, said: "We need to acknowledge that people show their grief in different ways and that leaving sprays of flowers and other items against the memorial is a very fair and acceptable way to show their grief.

"I certainly don't take the view that we as a council and councillors should be dictating to people what they can and cannot leave.

"It's a very sensitive area."

Most Read

He added: "I think the rules just firm up what is common sense."

Recommendations had been put to the executive which would have seen more stringent restrictions on the amount of memorabilia left at memorial plots.

The rules followed concern from officials at Ipswich cemetery that some memorials have too many personal items on them.

Cllr West told fellow executive members that a decision to go ahead with plans to limit the number of memorials to three would have been "a leap too far".

"You could have the issue of a large family who turn up at different times. What happens when the fourth person turns up with a spray of flowers?" he said.

"I feel these new rules and procedures…strike the right balance."

However he accepted the decision would make "life more tricky" for grounds maintenance staff who are responsible for keeping areas around memorial plots tidy.

The new rules come into force on November 1 but the council this week pledged to contact everyone affected to alert them to the policy before enforcing it.

Last night Cllr Peter Gardiner called for the new rules to be enforced by officers to ensure the public abides by them so that memorabilia does not encroach on other memorial plots.

"What we do need to make sure is when this comes in is that it is enforced and monitored over a period of time," he said.

Weblink: www.ipswich.gov.uk

What do you think about the personal tributes left in cemeteries? Write in to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter