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Opening hours at cemetery under review

PUBLISHED: 11:25 16 September 2001 | UPDATED: 10:31 03 March 2010

STOWMARKET Town Council, which closes its cemetery during the afternoon to combat vandalism, is to review its procedures after a grieving widow complained.

STOWMARKET Town Council, which closes its cemetery during the afternoon to combat vandalism, is to review its procedures after a grieving widow complained.

Christine Abbott, from the town, recently lost her husband Ray, who is now buried at the town's cemetery. But she says she is having to rush visits to leave before the gates are closed.

The gates close by 4pm every day, except Fridays when they close at 3pm, and Mrs Abbott, of Windermere Road, said,: "It's silly to close during the middle of a summer's afternoon. I often come back from town with flowers and find it closed. That does not seem right.

"I understand the current closing times have been decided to stop vandalism, but it is a very emotional time when you lose a partner and surely it is not too much to ask to be able to visit the grave without the stress of having to rush?''

Marilyn Finbow, town councillor, said: "We should be sympathetic. These are real concerns for her and I understand what she is saying.

"We need to look at this two ways. We have a lot of equipment stored at the cemetery in our buildings and we have had problems with break ins.

"But I do feel 4pm is too early, especially during the summer months.''

Gordon Paton, town councillor, said it was not unreasonable to ask to keep the gate open longer.

He added: "The hours it is open are for our convenience at the moment, rather than those who visit the cemetery.''

Stowmarket Town Council now wants to extend the cemetery's opening hours until dusk from April to September, although it will keep the gate closed from 4pm for the rest of the year during the winter months.


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