Wakefield Council promises 'untidy' Hemsworth Cemetery will be improved

Grass-cutting will become more frequent at Hemsworth Cemetery, as council bosses promised the site would be kept tidy for grieving families.

Wednesday, 30th June 2021, 1:18 pm
Updated Wednesday, 30th June 2021, 1:23 pm
The appearance of the cemetery has been a source of complaints from local people.

The appearance of the cemetery has been a source of frustration for locals in recent years, with many complaining that it's unkempt and overgrown.

Wakefield Council has acknowledged that the site has "suffered" because of cutbacks, but insists it's committed to making the area look nice.

The issue was raised by a member of the public as the local authority hosted a live Q&A session on its Facebook page on Tuesday.

Glynn Humphries, the council's service director for the environment, admitted maintaining Hemsworth Cemetery had been "a challenge".

He said: "I apologise if you feel it's not being cared for.

"I can assure you we are doing our best.

"We are increasing the frequency of the grass cutting there just to keep on top of it.

"One of the things we battle with is the long grass, that gets blown around, it gets wet and then it sticks to gravestones, which looks very disrespectful and which we don't like.

"But I can assure you it's something that we pro-actively trying to deal with."

The council's deputy leader, Jack Hemingway, said responding to people's concerns about cemeteries would be made a "priority".

He said: "I fully appreciate how sensitive an issue this is for families, who want cemeteries kept to a high standard.

"Without being political, I think with the cutbacks the service has suffered in previous years, but we are committed to delivering a very good service.

"I know there were issues at Hemsworth and we had reports it was untidy, but I'm aware council officers have been down there to make an intervention to improve it."

Local Democracy Reporting Service