Grave buried in long grass upsets family

At the family grave in Stoney Royd Cemetry, are Danielle Stephenson, Ben Alexis, Mandy Stephenson, Joyce McDermott, Wendy Alexis and Terry Tucker.
At the family grave in Stoney Royd Cemetry, are Danielle Stephenson, Ben Alexis, Mandy Stephenson, Joyce McDermott, Wendy Alexis and Terry Tucker.
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Relatives say Calderdale Council has shown a lack of respect by allowing cemetery grass to overgrow.

Joyce Lyons was laid to rest in 2004 and her husband Benjamin in 2009 at Stoney Royd Cemetery, Halifax.

Relatives from Illingworth, Halifax, visit every week to tend the family plot, but, overgrown grass surrounds the grave and a nearby memorial bench.

Sisters Mandy Stephenson and Wendy Alexis are among regular visitors.

Mandy said it was upsetting to see the untidyness around her nan and granddad’s resting place.

“It has never been this bad - it’s a mess and looks like a jungle,” she said.

“When my nan died it was always kept nice.”

Wendy said it was disrespectful of the council to allow grass to overgrow in cemeteries.

And, when she rang to complain she said she was told a lack of staff was the problem.

“But, we pay for the upkeep and the council should have a bit more respect - one day these people at the council might have family in one of the graves.”

A council spokesperson said: “A combination of circumstances has led to Stoney Royd not being maintained to its usual standard.

“An unusually high number of families choosing to have their loved ones buried (15 over the past two weeks) means cemetery staff have been unable to devote as much time as usual to cutting grass. This, coupled with the growing season, means the grass is longer than we would like. Staff are now working to ensure the cemetery is returned to its usual high standard of maintenance. We expect all of the grass will have had a full cut by the end of next week.”