By Harriet Ernstsons Friday 26 October 2012 Updated: 29/10 13:17
A DISTRAUGHT grandmother cannot be buried next to her beloved grandson due to a council mix-up.
Jill Beard was devastated when Studley Parish Council informed her someone else had been buried in the space she had reserved and paid for.
The Castle Road resident said she bought the plot in Studley’s cemetery shortly after her grandson George Vale passed away. The 14-year-old had raised thousands for charity before he lost his battle with cancer.
But two weeks ago she was given the heartbreaking news the plot had mistakenly been given to someone else and because that burial had already taken place the council was unable to change it and she would just have to choose another plot.
“I can’t do anything about it but I want to stop it happening to anyone else,” she told the Standard.
“This lady rang me up out of the blue and had all her facts wrong, saying it was my nephew buried there not my grandson.
“It’s a very sensitive issue and it needs someone caring to do this job and not mess it up.”
It is not the first time it has happened. Julie Summers’ dad passed away in July last year. The day before his funeral, she discovered her own plot - rather than the one intended for her father - had been dug up.
Although the family managed to ensure he was buried in the correct grave, she branded the situation ‘despicable’ and said those responsible at the council needed to be ‘hauled over the coals’ about it.
“It is alright for the councillors to say yes we have made a mistake but this is gross incompetence and they have a job to do to represent the people in the parish so this is a totally unacceptable situation,” she added.
“Who is going to be held accountable for this big cock-up? Jill was seriously within her right, not that she would, to have stood her ground and said she wanted that body exhumed and moved as it’s her plot and she paid for it.
“You pay your money and it’s marked down and that’s it as far as you’re concerned. To get a phone call to say the plot has now been given to somebody else makes you wonder if they can be trusted to do their jobs correctly.”
Having attended the last parish council meeting, the women have been invited back to attend a further meeting once an investigation in to the matter is complete.
Chairman Paul Beaman said: “Studley Parish Council will carry out a full investigation when the clerk returns from holiday. We have apologised to all concerned and once the investigation has been completed they will be notified.”
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