Liverpool

Birkenhead cemetery's baby graves left in 'disgusting' state

Overgrown graves at Landican Cemetery Image copyright LDRS
Image caption Pictures show the graves were heavily overgrown

The graves of babies have been left in a "disgusting" state by a council's failure to maintain a cemetery, a bereaved parent has said.

The Local Democracy Reporting Service said the dedicated garden at Landican Cemetery in Birkenhead was overgrown and a rabbit's carcass had been found.

Kelly Louise, whose son died at birth, said the grass was "right up past my heels", adding: "It's not nice to see."

Wirral Council said that as it was maintained by hand, upkeep took longer.

Ms Louise said wildlife was "to be expected, but if it was managed properly, [dead animals] would not be left there - it's disgusting".

Image copyright LDRS
Image caption The council said an angel statue would be repurposed as a "new focal point"

Julie McDonald, who lives next to the cemetery, said she reported problems in May, but nothing has been done.

She said the garden had "gone downhill" in the last six months, adding: "I took photos, I got in touch with the council, I told them how sad I was.

"It's been over a month now... and absolutely nothing has been done. It's disgraceful."

Wirral Council said restricted access to the graves could "result in our dedicated staff struggling to properly mow lawns and overgrowing grass without disturbing the many flowers, photos, candles and other sentimental items".

The council's lead for community services, Councillor Julie McManus, said the authority was looking at work that would "reduce the need for such intensive ground maintenance".

She said she understands "the anguish that parents feel" and that improvement works began in May to put in "three new archways" and repurpose an angel statue as "a new focal point".

The changes, due to be completed by October, will also include more seating, new planting beds, a butterfly sculpture and a mosaic feature.

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