Grieving Chesterfield grandmother hits out at 'heartless' council chiefs after they demand she removes decorations from late husband's grave

Jean White with her daughter, Hannah Skelly, and grandson Joshua James, at her husband's grave.
Jean White with her daughter, Hannah Skelly, and grandson Joshua James, at her husband's grave.

A grieving Chesterfield widow has hit out at 'heartless' council chiefs who have demanded she remove decorations and tributes from her late husband's grave.

Jean White, 70, of Newbold, lost her husband Peter, 73, to cancer in September last year.

Mr White is buried at Eckington Cemetery and his family has placed artificial grass, three vases and some small fencing around his headstone.

But Mrs White has received a letter from Eckington Parish Council, which manages and maintains the cemetery, to say it must all be removed within 14 days.

Mrs White said: "I cannot believe it. They are heartless. It is like attacking a grieving person. I am having bereavement councilling and this will push me over the edge."

She added: "What we have done is beautiful and lovely and it is not hurting anybody."

The grandmother had been on holiday but when she returned she found the letter from Eckington Parish Council.

The letter states: "This letter is to inform you that your kerb stones or surrounds, artificial grass and private vases are not permitted.

"If a personal memorial is required, details of what is available can be obtained from from the Cemetery Office.

"All visitors to the cemetery must abide by these regulations and respect the nature of this area and its visitors.

"If the items are not removed within 14 days of this letter they will be removed by the cemetery staff by order of the parish council."

A spokesperson for Eckington Parish Council said: "The parish council do not want to cause any undue stress to the family at what is already a very difficult time. We are sorry for any upset or distress caused however, there are rules which are clearly stated.

"The parish council manages and maintains Eckington Cemetery for the benefit of all who visit. To enable operations in the cemetery to be effectively managed it is necessary to impose a number of restrictions.

"No balloons, artificial grass, kerb stones or surrounds are allowed on the plots. Any memorials, monuments, stones, tablets or vases placed on plots should be approved by the cemetery superintendent."