Relatives remove cemetery tributes as new rules start

ANGRY Susan Hoy kneels at the memorial stone to her son James de la Hoy, pictured inset
ANGRY Susan Hoy kneels at the memorial stone to her son James de la Hoy, pictured inset
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MOURNERS have been reluctantly removing ornaments from the sites of their loved ones’ remains in a garden of remembrance as otherwise a council may bin them.

Fareham Borough Council put signs up at Crofton Cemetery in Stubbington warning that solar lights and other tributes had to be removed by today for ‘health and safety’ reasons.

James de la Hoy

James de la Hoy

And since the signs were put up last month, tributes in the garden have noticeably thinned out.

Only small floral tributes at each plot will be allowed to remain, according to the council.

Susan Hoy, 58, of Cowslip Close in Peel Common has her son James De La Hoy interred there. He died from sudden adult death syndrome aged 29 in 2008.

‘We were there on Sunday and it just looks barren and horrible there now compared to what it was.

‘I chose here because James was a Stubbington boy and we didn’t like the rules at Southampton crematorium where he was cremated.

‘I have been so devastated by this – I’m starting to think about moving James.

‘These rules are created by do-gooders with too much time on their hands.’

Carol Grimes of Cutlers Lane in Stubbington regularly visits the cemetery – her husband David died suddenly of a stroke aged 65 in early March.

Mrs Grimes said she was upset by the council’s new policy on ornaments.

‘The grandchildren wanted to put some little windmills on there for him, but we’ve since had to take them out again,’ she said.

‘It’s such a shame because people are putting all these things here for loved ones they’re grieving over. Why would someone want to stop that? I’ve taken the windmills out and we’re going to have a spot at home, but that’s not the same.

‘I just think these rules are very unfair, the children have been very disappointed.

‘It’s not intruding on anybody else. It’s health and safety gone crazy.’

Martin Skelton, of Rectory Close in Stubbington, has his wife, Ann, interred in the garden and complained to the council about the notice.

A reply from cemeteries officer Christine Callaby apologised for causing grieving families any further stress and admitted that current rules were not specific, but they will be amended in the ‘near future’.

She added: ‘In recent years there have been considerably more items such as wind chimes, lanterns, tall solar lights, hooks and spikes being placed adjacent to memorial plaques restricting the view and access to adjoining memorial plaques.

‘It is these items which the council is trying to restrict.’