Calderdale Council apology over rubble dumped on grave

image source, Stephen Booth
image captionStephen Booth said his parents' grave was one of six affected

Council bosses have been forced to apologise to a man after several tonnes of earth and rubble were dumped on his parents' grave.

Stephen Booth said the plot at Brighouse Cemetery was one of six "plastered in clay and dirt" by council workers preparing a nearby burial.

He said plants on the grave had been damaged and flowers on the grave of his wife and daughter had been trampled.

Calderdale Council said it was sorry for any distress caused.

image source, Stephen Booth
image captionMr Booth said he had been left "upset and distressed" by the incident

Mr Booth, who lives opposite the cemetery, lost his wife to cancer eight years ago. The couple's daughter died at just 27 days old.

"I come to the cemetery almost every day but when I came on Tuesday last week I found a huge pile of earth and an old door wedged against my parents' headstone," he said.

"They had been digging a new grave next to my parents' and they thought it was acceptable to just pile the old door and a pile of earth about three feet high.

"To pull my curtains back every morning and see this pile of earth was very distressing."

He said the graves had now been cleaned.

image source, Humphrey Bolton/Geograph
image captionCalderdale Council has apologised for the incident at Brighouse Cemetery

Andrew Pitts, Calderdale Council's Head of Neighbourhoods, said that during the preparation of new graves neighbouring plots can be affected by resulting debris and all grave owners are made aware of the possibility.

He said: "When this issue does occur, we do all we can to tidy the affected plots and we will work with Mr Booth to ensure he is happy with the cleaning that is done.

"We're sorry for the damage caused to the plants, and this is something we will also discuss with Mr Booth and we're happy to meet him on site to arrange for new bulbs to be planted."

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