CREMATORIUM bosses have promised to work with experts to improve the muddy conditions at a graveyard after a grieving mum’s three-year battle.
Laura Rose (25), of Swinton, said the conditions around her son’s grave at Greasbrough Lane Cemetery were hazardous and unacceptable.
“The ground is no longer safe and we are unable to walk on it to visit our son,” she said.
“This is heartbreaking for us as you can imagine as we visit twice a day.”
Laura’s son Freddie Hutchings was born prematurely at 24 weeks in September 2017, but died 17 days later due to sepsis from a bowel infection.
“Over the past couple of years I have always rang to complain [about the ground] or spoken to the wardens in person when I’ve seen them at the cemetery,” said Laura.
“It’s only recently that I have complained via email so I can now log the proof, as the last time I rang up to complain they responded by saying they’d never had any complaints off the cemetery.”
Laura has complained twice this year and received no response from Dignity, who run the crematorium on behalf of Rotherham Council.
She last complained on February 6 over the boggy ground conditions.
“A new headstone had been fitted near my son. That has ruined the ground completely as they have wheeled wheelbarrows in front of my son’s grave,” she said.
“Now we are surrounded by deep mud (pictured).
“I know people need their loved ones’ headstones fitted but they shouldn’t do it when the ground is hazardous — it’s not acceptable.”
Steve Gant, crematorium director for The Crematorium and Memorial Group, said: “We are sorry for any distress this has caused to those visiting the cemetery and this does not reflect the high standards The Crematorium and Memorial Group seek to provide.
“We are currently working with the council’s drainage expert to find a long-term solution and we are keeping Ms Rose informed of progress.
“Improving drainage within any cemetery is likely to be complex due to the requirement that no graves are disturbed. We have been advised that work may be able to start once the weather has improved in late spring or early summer.”
Responding to the statement, Laura said she was hopeful the work would improve the situation.
She added: “The cemetery grounds are horrendous from October to March so hopefully the drainage will help, but it does need paths as well, as I don’t think the drainage alone will help, especially with how much the ground is walked on.”