Derbyshire widow piles pressure on council to resolve flooding issues at husband’s graveyard

A Derbyshire widow is again pushing a council to make improvements at her husband’s graveyard – which has been left repeatedly waterlogged.

Tuesday, 11th May 2021, 12:59 pm

Jane Buckley sadly lost James, her husband of 51 years, last October after he suffered heart failure.

The 73-year-old was buried at Marlpool Cemetery in Heanor – but Jane said the graveyard has been left ‘looking like a paddling pool and a building site with water and mud everywhere’ following poor weather.

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Amber Valley Borough Council says it is 'sorry for any distress caused by standing water in the cemetery'. Pictures taken by Brian Eyre in January.
Amber Valley Borough Council says it is 'sorry for any distress caused by standing water in the cemetery'. Pictures taken by Brian Eyre in January.

At the time, Amber Valley Borough Council (AVBC), which manages the cemetery, apologised for ‘any distress caused by standing water’ at the site – and said it hopes to resolve the problem ‘in future’.

Jane, who is in her 70s, said this week: “In January AVBC told the Derbyshire Times it had ‘commenced a tender process to extend the cemetery, which also includes the provision of a second soakaway, in order to reduce the likelihood of standing water in future’.

“All that is still not sorted.

Jane Buckley at her late husband's grave.

“This issue has been going on for years and people whose relatives are buried at the cemetery constantly feel fobbed off by the council.

“When is this situation finally going to be resolved once and for all?

“Will it be this year?

“We don't want to face another autumn and winter of bad weather and seeing our loved ones’ graves under water yet again.”

Jane, of Saxton Avenue, Heanor, also raised concerns about an ‘unstable’ path, near her husband’s grave, which has been damaged by standing water.

A spokesperson for AVBC – which is now under Conservative control following last week’s local elections – said a maintenance team will visit the cemetery and ‘undertake any repairs necessary’ to the path.

They added: “The drainage works, as detailed in a plan released by the council in February, were put out to tender along with the works to extend the cemetery.

“The returned tenders are currently going through final evaluation and the funding is in place to undertake the works.

“Following final evaluation the council will appoint the winning contractor to undertake the works as soon as is possible.”

A message from Phil Bramley, Derbyshire Times editor

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