Cemetery work comes under fire

Planned works at Mayfield Cemetery in Cramlington.
Planned works at Mayfield Cemetery in Cramlington.

Work is taking place to widen paths and roads in a Cramlington cemetery after concerns were raised over the damage being caused by workmen.

Visitors to Mayfield Cemetery have hit out at the distress staff are causing by churning up grass near greens while driving around in their vehicles.

Planned works at Mayfield Cemetery in Cramlington.

Planned works at Mayfield Cemetery in Cramlington.

Now work is underway to widen the paths, although one resident has hit out at Northumberland County Council removing sections of greenery to replace them with tarmac.

Mr Swann said: “The physical damage can no doubt be repaired but how much better if the understandable distress and the unnecessary expenditure were avoided in the first place.

“Obviously the County Council alternative to using more suitable vehicles and more careful and skilled drivers is to needlessly spend money removing greenery and potential grave space.

“If there was effective management (and a genuine culture of respect) then NCC would have been aware of the cemetery damage without having to be told by third parties - or have avoided it in the first place by simple means.”

A County Council spokesperson said: “This is an operational cemetery and we have to use vehicles such as small diggers and trailers to carry out work there.

“We are responding to concerns that were raised about damage caused to grassed areas by these vehicles.

“As a result of this we are widening some of the access paths where problems have occurred, so that in future we can minimise the risk of damage during periods of wet weather and to help us maintain the cemetery grounds to a high standard.”

Mr Swann also hit out at the lack of repairs to the lights on the zebra crossing near the cemetery, saying they have not worked for more than six weeks and are an accident waiting to happen.

“There is obviously no money for safety schemes then,” he said.

A council spokesperson said: “We are aware of this issue which appears to be an intermittent fault. We are working to ensure a long-term fix as soon as possible.”