A Penarth resident has taken to Facebook to register her complaints about Penarth’s Town Cemetery – which is the responsibility of the Labour-run Penarth Town Council.
Suzanne Regnard says the one thing that visitors to the cemetery won’t see is anyone cutting the grass or chopping down the weeds
Some areas of the cemetery are so overgrown with grass and weeds they’re almost waist-high and the overgrowth is encroaching onto the graves themselves.
Yesterday it appeared a start had been made on cutting the grass and three gardeners armed with strimmers were cutting back the long grass and weeds – but it’s likely to take several days to get the cemetery looking as it should.
The most unkempt areas are at the western end of the site furthest away from the main road.
Another issue highlighted by Ms Regnard is the council’s treatment of gravestones.
Several memorials in Penarth Cemetery have had yellow and black “Health and Safety” warning-notices stuck on them and they’ve been secured with plastic tape to wooden stakes driven into the ground – apparently because there’s a perceived risk of them falling over.
The potential hazard posed by such gravestones was amongst the risks highlighted by the council in a recent internal report.
Ms Regnard – who had initially misdirected her criticism at the Vale of Glamorgan Council – says “And they have the cheek to put notices on untended graves!!!???!!! How can they put 2 weeks notices on graves saying they will remove headstones unless they are tended, when they can’t even manage to keep down the dandelions.”
Plaid Cymru Barry Councillor Shirley Hodges points out on Facebook that ‘Penarth town council are responsible for the cemetery not VOG [Vale of Glamorgan]. It’s a lovely cemetery just needs more care and love from town council.’.
Penarth Town Council’s only responsibilities are to look after the Paget Rooms, the Kymin, West House, three allotment sites , one children’s play area and Penarth Cemetery – yet it now spends more money that ever before, and has increased its staff to a record 19 posts.
This year Penarth Council’s current Labour-run administration raised its precept (the part of council tax charged to local residents) to an all time record high – and is now trying to persuade the Vale of Glamorgan Council that it should take over the Vale’s responsibilities for grass-cutting of all public areas of the town.
Ms Regnard says on Facebook “I visited my relatives grave there again on Sunday…. I have never seen the cemetery looking so dishevelled….what’s happening ?? “