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SHEFFIELD OFFERS TALKS AFTER MOURNERS' CEMETERY SIT-IN

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Sheffield City Council has apologised to grave owners who it says were misled by a recent letter about the placing ...
Sheffield City Council has apologised to grave owners who it says were misled by a recent letter about the placing of momentoes around headstones.

The Yorkshire Post (p1) reports that bereaved families staged an all night vigil in a Sheffield cemetery in order to persuade the council not to remove momentoes and gardens built around their relatives graves.

But Sheffield City Council says they will be meeting protesters at the earliest opportunity to assure them there was never any question of a ban on the placing of photos, flowers and teddy bears on city gravestones, and no action will be taken until agreement has been reached with all sides.

The Post reports that one protester, a local minister complained: 'What is happening is quite insensitive and quite unbelievable. The gardens people have created are quite modest and very beautiful, and what people have done is part of coming to terms with losing someone they love.'

Cemeteries manager John Batley said there was an area to plant flowers around headstones, the Post reports. 'The council's rules prohibit any encroachment on to the grass in the form of fences or kerbs, because this makes the cemetery difficult to maintain and makes it look untidy.

'For every person who builds out a foot, someone else goes 2ft. We try to be as flexible as we can, but we have to draw the line somewhere.'

In a council statement, Bill Jordan, chair of environment health and standards programme committee said: 'We apologise for any upset caused to relatives and will now be working closely with all parties to agree the creation of the right setting for the remembrance of out loved ones.'

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