A MAN has expressed his disbelief after the council pulled up flowers planted at this mother’s grave.

Andy Maskell, 36, buried his mother Patricia at Southend Crematorium eleven years ago when she died of cancer.

He and his young nephews had decorated her lawn grave with fencing, pebbles, solar lights and flowers to memorialise the keen gardener.

Mr Maskell, a Basildon resident, says he was upset to find the council had cleared the items and flowers as they contravened cemetery rules.

“I just wanted to make it look nice for her,” Mr Maskell explained. “It was a sentimental thing I had done so that when I go down there to visit her, I can sit there and reminisce over my memories of her.

“Mum was a keen gardener, so I had planted plants that I knew that she liked especially and used to grow in her garden. When I went there I would be able to, as you do, talk to her about them.”

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Mr Maskell is upset that flowers are other graves have been left out, but the council says it is because these items are laid at the plinth of the grave, rather than on the grass.

Councillor Martin Terry, cabinet member for public protection, said: “We want our cemeteries to be a place where family and friends can spend time to remember their loved ones, in a pleasant and safe environment. We understand and appreciate the sensitivity of wishing to place personal/decorative items at the grave of a loved one, and in this case the placing of items on lawn graves.

“Lawn graves by their nature have to be maintained as lawned areas, so our staff have accessibility to carry out the necessary maintenance within the cemetery. These conditions are made clear to those wishing to acquire a lawn grave so everyone is aware of which personal items can be left and how they should be presented.

“Last year, the council reminded people of the need to place personal items in the prescribed way so we could ensure we could continue to maintain the areas from both an environmental and safety perspective which was becoming increasingly difficult.”

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