‘Great concern’ over Pontefract Cemetery

I am writing with great concern regarding Wakefield Council’s removal of trees and bushes, which were a screen hiding the perimeter wall belonging to the builder’s yard adjacent to Pontefract Cemetery, Skinner Lane.

After reading the report ‘Grieving mum can’t mourn at son’s grave’ (Express October 31), I realised I was not the only one with issues regarding the cemetery. And I can confirm this lady’s grievance was just –there has been water runnign there for two years, I have skidded on the path on many occasions, it’s not good for health and safety.

The reason I was given for the removal of trees and bushes was to make more space for new graves. While I understand this completely, I could not believe the council was intending to leave the cemetery in such a state. My son’s grave is adjacent to this eyesore and I find it disrespectful.

I did say I didn’t think relatives would be pleased to have their deceased buried on such a tip. I asked if a fence could be put up to cover the eyesore. The problem was expense.

Understanding this, I suggested climbing flowering plants, like clematis or ivy, could make an attractive and perfect screen. The council department decided it would ask the builder’s yard for permission to paint the wall instead. But considering the poor state of the wall and expense in mind, would climbing plants not be the best option?

This council has a ‘do not care’ policy because the dead do not vote and cannot complain.

Chris Gomersall

Skinner Lane


Glynn Humphries, Wakefield Council’s service director for the environment and Streetscene said in response to Mr Gomersall’s letter: “We offer our sincere apologises to the family for any distress caused by these necessary changes, and can assure everyone that we are working hard to maintain a respectful environment in the cemetery.

“Recently, we have re-seeded this area to improve the overall appearance and have also made some improvements to the main drive way, verges and cleared some areas.

“We will be contacting Mr Gomersall to discuss his concerns further.”