Grieving relatives bemoan state of Corby cemetery

The grass at the Shire Lodge Cemetery in Corby is too long, say grieving relatives
The grass at the Shire Lodge Cemetery in Corby is too long, say grieving relatives

People with loved-ones buried at Corby’s Shire Lodge Cemetery are calling on the council for action to improve maintenance after the grass grew to unacceptable levels.

Traditionally, people from Corby are proud grave-tenders and keep the final resting places of their loved-ones looking spick and span, even years after their death.

A dog statue gets lost in the grass at Shire Lodge Cemetery

A dog statue gets lost in the grass at Shire Lodge Cemetery

But they say their efforts are being hampered because the grass at the Rockingham Road burial ground is left looking unkempt for long periods of time.

And even when it is cut, the residue is not raked up.

Grass cutting at the cemetery is managed by contractor Kier on behalf of Corby Borough Council.

The recent warm weather has seen the grass grow to unmanageable levels.

One caller to the Northants Telegraph said: “It’s just so untidy. My husband and my parents are buried there and it’s upsetting to see it in a mess.

“People in Corby do spend a lot of times tending to the graves. They’re very, very proud of them but the areas around them look terrible.”

Local people have taken to social media to air their grievances.

On Facebook, Tracey Hankins from Corby said: “I was there on Sunday at my daughter’s grave. It looks a total mess. It’s really sad that they have left it to grow so long.”

Corby Conservative Councillor Kevin Watt told Facebook users: “Long grass and the general state of the cemetery has been a depressingly ongoing issue for a number of years. I thought that the number of resident complaints and members’ complaints to council officers had spurred Kier into resolving these issues. Sadly not. Members will continue to complain to head of environmental services as this is completely unacceptable. But to be honest it feels like banging your head against a brick wall.

“If I can offer one ray of hope it is that the new shared partnership between Corby and Kettering councils recognises the importance of the upkeep of the cemetery and its current poor state and has highlighted this Cemetery as a priority and to bring it up to the high standard of Kettering cemetery and maintain it at that level. I can’t believe that cutting grass can be so difficult.”

A Corby Council spokesman said they have been assured that extra resources have been deployed to bring the cemetery back up to standard.

They said: “We are aware that there have been issues with the grass cutting at Shire Lodge Cemetery and it is something that we have been addressing with the contractors, Kier Street Services.

“We have been assured that the level of grass cutting and maintenance will be brought back up to standard and the contractors have deployed extra resources to the cemetery this week to help with the outstanding work.

“We will continue to monitor the progress.”