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Families hit out at lack of maintenance at Cumbrian crematorium

Families have been left devastated after budget cuts mean they have to wade through knee-high grass to visit loved ones’ memorials.

Distington Hall photo
Donna Kelly

Grieving relatives have been disgusted at the lack of maintenance at Distington Hall Crematorium.

Donna Kelly’s father, Raymond Parkinson, died nine years ago and she regularly lays flowers near a memorial tree. She said this was the first year she had ever seen the crematorium so badly maintained.

“I had to ring my mum to help me find dad’s tree, I couldn’t spot it, it was so overgrown,” said Donna, of Moresby Parks. “When we did find it I had to almost chuck the flowers as I couldn’t get close enough to lay them properly.

“I am so upset that it has been left to get this overgrown – there is no respect and that is the frustrating thing.”

Lynn Marr, 64, of Wesley Court, Workington, had a similar experience when she attempted to visit a memorial tree on the anniversary of her son Ronald’s death.

“This is the place where we chose to lay our loved ones to rest,” she said. “They deserve the dignity in their death and their families deserve the respect to have a properly looked-after crematorium.

“It broke my heart to see it and it was almost like losing him all over again.

“Surely there’s a group that could take it on for the council to make sure the whole of the crematorium grounds are a place of peace and not a wild, overgrown mess.”

Copeland Council, which manages the crematorium, confirmed that it could not cut the grass because of government spending reductions.

Councillor Peter Kane said: “Sadly our funding from government has been cut so dramatically that we’ve had to make some very difficult decisions.

“In some areas at the crematorium we are now only able to make one cut a year, in October or November.

“We appreciate this is less than before and we apologise for any distress or inconvenience.

“We are still maintaining the entrance and exit, and the area in front of the building, to the previous high standard.”

Have your say

Seems to me Copeland are cutting everything except the grass

Posted by david on 1 July 2014 at 18:58

My family have a memorial at distington Crematorium,and like everyone else who visit their loved ones are unable to put flowers in vases they have to be laid on the grass, respect for our loved ones at Distington Crematorium it certainly does not know the meaning of the word, RESPECT, on Fathers day it was heartbreaking , never ever have I seen it so bare and drab,family's love to take flowers but who has got money these days for them to be placed on the ground to be dead within one day,it is so sad for the family's who can not find their loved ones memorial due to the length of the grass, any little ornaments, trinkets etc are not allowed to be placed on your loved ones memorial, if you do they get taken off and put in black boxes inside the Crematorium for you to collect, the babies memorial is so bare now, no little teddie's etc, NOT Allowed, shame on the Crematorium, no toilets open at the weekend,talk about cost cutting, in the Crematorium there is a Donation Book for up keep of the Crematorium, what upkeep, certainly not the grounds, walking around Carlisle Crematorium at the weekend was certainly a huge credit to Carlisle, so peaceful, 100% for the care and work that goes into the grounds there,

Posted by Sue, on 30 June 2014 at 20:15

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