By Harriet Ernstsons 27/07 Updated: 27/07 10:03
DISGUSTED residents have slammed the borough council for neglecting the graves of war heroes.
Sian Philips contacted the Standard after noticing the grass at Plymouth Road cemetery, which is home to the graves of a number of First World War soldiers, had been left uncut, saying she was 'completely disgusted' at the state of the area.
"The council should be ashamed. They have money for their hanging baskets and flowers outside the Town Hall, but leave the resting place of war heroes abandoned and overgrown - shocking," she said.
"It's a really sad sight, I know it's been wet but that is no excuse for it to be in this mess. I have seen the council mowing lawns across the town over the past few months, but the graveyard has been abandoned."
A number of residents also attacked the council on the Standard's Facebook page over the issue, with some suggesting a group should be formed to go to the cemetery and cut the grass themselves.
Jackie Speirs added: "I think it's a disgrace, these poor men died for us to have our freedom yet they get left like this. It is no way for any of our war heroes to be left."
Sue Hanley, the council's executive director for leisure, environment and community services, thanked residents for their offers of support but said work was due to start soon and blamed the recent run of wet weather for the delay.
"All the rain we’ve had in combination with warm temperatures continues to cause abundant growth, as many people with gardens will know, further compounded by often unsafe conditions for machinery to be operating, and so we’ve had to prioritise limited resources this year," she said.
"We know it’s an issue, we’re working on it and we’re looking at how we manage the cemetery in the longer term."
A spokesman the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, which is responsible for looking after the graves but not the area around them, said their regional supervisor would be making an inspection in the next few days and would push the council to act if it was felt maintenance work was not being carried out satisfactorily.
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