Families win right to decorate children’s graves in town cemetery

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Ringwood cemetery is run by the town council
One of the decorated graves at Ringwood cemetery

FAMILIES can continue to decorate child graves in Ringwood with ornaments, articles and kerbstones.

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Over the past decade or so some of the spaces for children aged 12 and under in the local cemetery – which is managed by the town council – have been altered by their families.

The issue came to the attention of the authority recently after kerbstones were installed at one particular plot. Under the rules no alterations are allowed to adult or child graves.

But town clerk Chris Wilkins told the latest recreation committee meeting there has not been any enforcement during the past few years to changes made by families to child graves.

In a report he said it was “unclear how this situation had been allowed to develop” and the council could contact the rights owners and ask them to remove the banned items.

However, given the sensitivities involved and that the rights owners would likely object to the request – especially given the length of time since any enforcement had been done – Mr Wilkins suggested members instead amend their rules.

A slight wording change would permit changes to young person’s graves, he stressed, and going forward any items could only be added to the affected spaces with his permission.

Mr Wilkins warned members if they objected and wanted items removed they should be prepared for the “possible public reaction to this”.

The proposal gained unanimous support.

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